How Do I Approach A Major Negative Event That I Know Will Be Stressful -- Such As A Court Appearance?

Dr. Jeffrey Janata answers the question: 'Removing Stress From Negative Events?'

— -- Question: How do I approach a major negative event that I know will be stressful -- such as a court appearance?

Answer: Well ironically it's much the same process with which we'd approach and anticipate a positive event. We have to plan ahead. We are always better off if we can prepare ourselves in advance -- if we can anticipate the challenges that are coming our way, if we can use organization on our behalf to make sure that we're handling those things, leaving enough time to handle those things that are going to be challenging to us. The importance of delegating responsibility is never more clear than when you're involved in a legal situation in which you have to delegate responsibility to a good attorney who can handle your case and in whom you can put your trust.

So the process, I guess I would argue, is much the same as it is for positive event. We have to plan ahead, we have to strategize, we have to delegate, we have to find people we can trust, and we have to make sure that our expectations aren't too negative. Like the positive event where we're concerned that our expectations may be too positive, we also don't want to bombard our self with sort of catastrophic thoughts about how negative an event this can be. Because that's not necessarily going to be accurate any more than it's going to be accurate to think that your wedding's going to be perfect.

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