Anxiety is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be a debilitating condition that interferes with daily life and prevents individuals from achieving their goals. However, there are strategies that can help manage anxiety, one of which is focusing on what you can control. By focusing on what you can control, you can reduce feelings of helplessness and increase your sense of agency, which can help manage anxiety. Here’s how it works:
Identify What You Can Control
The first step in focusing on what you can control is to identify what those things are. Anxiety often stems from feeling overwhelmed by circumstances outside of your control, such as global events or other people’s actions. By identifying the aspects of your life that you can control, such as your own thoughts, actions, and emotions, you can shift your focus away from the things that cause anxiety. Below is a list of 10 things you can control.
Develop a Plan of Action
Once you have identified what you can control, it’s important to develop a plan of action. This can involve setting specific goals and breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. By focusing on the things that you can control, you can develop a sense of purpose and direction that can help reduce feelings of anxiety.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. By focusing on the present moment and observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment, you can develop a greater sense of awareness and control over your mental state. Mindfulness can also help you identify negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety and replace them with more positive and constructive thoughts. Please read my blog post, 7 Techniques for Practicing Mindfulness.
Let Go of What You Can’t Control
While it’s important to focus on what you can control, it’s equally important to let go of the things that you can’t control. This can involve practicing acceptance and learning to tolerate uncertainty. By accepting the things that you can’t control, you can reduce the impact that they have on your mental state and focus your energy on the things that you can control.
Finally, it’s important to practice self-care when managing anxiety. This can involve taking care of your physical health through exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough rest. It can also involve taking care of your mental health through activities such as meditation, therapy, and spending time with loved ones. For more information, you might enjoy the Daily Self-Care Checklist below.
By focusing on what you can control, you can reduce feelings of anxiety and increase your sense of agency. By developing a plan of action, practicing mindfulness, letting go of what you can’t control, and practicing self-care, you can manage anxiety more effectively and achieve your goals. While it may take time and effort to develop these skills, they can be a valuable tool for improving your mental health and overall well-being.
If you are struggling with anxiety, and need professional help, please contact me, clinical psychologist, Dr. Christine Dickson. My practice focuses on mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, which is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety. Please reach out to me today through my website.
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