In these uncertain times, something I’ve found to be helpful is a shift in focus. Instead of thinking about what is OUT of my control, I shift my focus to what is IN my control. When we spend our time thinking about what is out of our control, such as the scope of the pandemic or how long we will be bound by physical distancing, our minds tend to get stuck in a pattern of anxious thinking. We are trying to find answers for what is unknowable and trying to plan out for what is out of our hands. Instead, I tell my clients (and myself) to shift their attention and energy onto what is in their control.

Here are some examples:

  • It is out of our control how many people get sick from Coronavirus, but it is in our control to educate ourselves and follow CDC guidelines for best practices.
  • It is out of our control how long our college campus remains closed, but it is in our control to continue to attend class online and complete all of our assignments.
  • It is out of our control that we cannot physically be with our friends and family, but it is in our control to find creative ways to socially connect through virtual means.

Although it may sound simple, it is incredibly effective. Through a shift in our attention, we can bring back a feeling of ownership and normalcy to our daily lives.

A note about the featured image:

Sarah recently assisted Chapman’s MFT Program Chair, Dr. Naveen Jonathan at Stress Management Workshop held at Cal State Long Beach