Do you ask yourself often: but what if….? And then the following pops up in your head: my experiment will fail, my supervisor is not content, I might not find the right literature, if my PhD won’t succeed, if I can’t do it. Probably you can easy add more statements to this list.
Most PhD students are experts in these ‘what if…’ thoughts. These thoughts make you worry a lot and also take so much energy. It is more than likely that you experience the same. If you have a lot of these thoughts, the chances are that you worry a lot, maybe worry so much that you feel unhappy; can’t focus on your work and basically you have lost the pleasure in what you are doing. Because: what if….?
Luckily there is a simple way to change these thought patterns. It is called ‘live in the moment’ which sounds maybe wooly and vague. Nothing could be further from the truth though!
What can you do if you have these ‘what if…’ thoughts and you want to be more connected to the now. Use ‘at this moment’ thoughts.
I give you some examples:
At this moment I am sitting behind my desk and am watching the computer screen.
At this moment I can hear the traffic outside.
At this moment I can feel the warmth of the sun on my arms.
At this moment I am on my bike and feel the wind through my hair.
You basically describe what you are observing this moment. This will help you to stay in the now and not to disappear in the past (what if I had done that differently) or to get lost in the future (what if they still don’t approve of my work next time).
As always a new habit ask for some practicing but you will find out that these ‘at the moment…’ thoughts will help you to feel more calm and relaxed.
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