What do 6 Blind Men, an Elephant and Your Anxiety have in Common?

anxiety and elephants

In some form or another, The 6 Blind Men and an Elephant parable has been passed down through the millennia reaching every corner of the world.

Well, probably every corner. Never heard of it? Okay, so maybe it missed a place or two. So here goes twitter style.

6 blind men all touch different parts of an elephant. Each get an incomplete picture of the whole but think they have an accurate picture.

For a longer, more poetic version, definitely check out John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887) version but my synopsis gives you the gist.

What do 6 blind men and an elephant have to do with your anxiety? Anxiety touches on a particular fear or worst case scenario that has entered your thinking and then thinks it totally “knows” the situation. Trying to talk sense to it or fill out the picture with a more balanced perspective is often disregarded because your anxiety insists it knows the real story or has the full picture already.

So what can you do once your anxiety starts to rise to help it keep a more open mind than the 6 blind men in our parable?

Picture an elephant and 6 possibilities. The next time you start to feel your anxiety, allow a couple of your fear thoughts to enter the picture. Acknowledge these panicky possibilities but then come up with at least 3 thoughts that allow for the outcome to turn out okay or even great.