Changing the focus to get some control.

Guest post by Alicia

I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and get easily caught by desperation; my focus of attention becomes the problem and a kind of tunnel vision does not allow me to make good decisions.

I have read somewhere that one of the causes of anxiety is the feeling of lack of control of a situation. Therefore, I’m trying to grasp at least a little bit of control in any circumstance by changing my focus.

When the feared situation is in the near future, I try thinking past it, as if it were already solved. That is: I lengthen my scope – I become “long-sighted”.

But when the problem ahead seems to depend on a number of coordinated decisions in time, and looks overwhelming and scary, I shorten my scope to the next step. I tackle each step, one at a time.

If nothing seems to depend of my decisions (like waiting for a result of a medical test, for a buyer for my home, etc), then it’s pointless to worry anyway. But I do! So I focus on other situations in my past: in most of them, the feared ‘reasonable’ outcome didn’t happen. And I remind myself to “let go and let God” (whatever God/higher power you believe in) or flow with the Tao of events.

I can testify about many times in my life when I was in a tragic deadlock or got to the rock-bottom, and my fate changed its course abruptly for something unimaginably better.


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