Hardship needs no introduction. It’s all around us and mentioned daily on every news outlet and social media platform.
This series of articles is not about hardship. It’s about you.
Our newsletter Weathering the Storm is a source of curated tips and strategies to help you weather the emotional storm. This newsletter is inspired by actual clients* and written by experienced psychologists.
*All client names are fictional and presenting issues are composites of client experiences.
For as long as she can remember, Sarah has been dealing with issues related to anxiety.
Recently though, her anxiety levels only seem to be getting worse and they’re becoming unbearable. She’s tried all the tricks : she’s gone for a walk, listened to her favourite music, and planned movie nights with her family. Yet nothing seems to be helping with the overwhelming stress she is feeling.
No matter what she is doing, she continuously thinks to herself :
- Do my friends really like me?
- Will I end up with a job that I like?
- Will I be able to handle my next semester and the heavy course load?
- Will I ever be able to stop worrying about everything and just be happy?
Like most of us, Sarah knows that no certain answers to these questions exist. Yet to overcome the uncertainty, she finds herself answering each question by playing out the worst case scenario. This in turn, leads to emotional turmoil.
When we focus on what we have no control over, we feel powerless, discouraged, angry and fearful. But it’s hard to shift our focus when it’s all everyone is talking about. So one strategy is to remember the old saying:
- Focus on what you can change
- Accept things you can’t change
- And have wisdom to know the difference
Remembering to distinguish between what we can and can’t change can sometimes alleviate anxiety. What’s the point of wasting precious mental and physical energy focusing on things we can’t change?
But what happens when we still can’t stop thinking about things we can’t control?
Our next article will answer this specific question. Here’s a hint : double-standard.
For more tips, visit our blog here.
We welcome you to leave comments as well as questions in the discussion section so we can try to answer some of them in upcoming posts.
PsyMontreal is a network of licensed psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists offering psychotherapy services in-person, by phone and via videoconferencing.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at 514-337-2473 ext. 0. We’re available 24/7 to answer your calls.