Justin Pere was recently interviewed by John Colucci with KOMO News in an online Q&A, taking questions submitted by KOMO News followers. In this interview, we discussed ways to deal with anxiety and the desire for control.
Please reach out to Clarity Counseling Seattle to schedule a Teletherapy appointment to help with these difficult times.
A brief description of the answer given can be found below the video clip.
Anxiety and Control
The question was asked about people who struggle from anxiety, about how they can deal with the difficulty of control, specifically the lack of control during something like a pandemic, as it can exacerbate feelings anxiety.
This can seem obvious but the first step is to practice accepting that there simply is a lack of control that we each have on circumstances like the pandemic. Which can be an upsetting realization, of course, but we can make the situation even more upsetting by trying exert control where we cannot. I often think of The Serenity Prayer in situations like we're all dealing with this year, which says the following: Give me the serenity to accept the things I can't change; the courage to change the things I can - and the wisdom to know the difference.
Simple to say, hard to do, absolutely. What a great idea...change what you can, accept what you can't, and use your wisdom to know which situation you're in or changing or accepting. But being simple doesn't mean this is easy. It's not. And yet the better we each get (and this can be learned) at putting into practice the premise of the Serenity Prayer, the easier life becomes, especially in this time of Covid.
In my 17 years of doing therapy, I so often have seen clients struggling as a result of not applying this concept to their current challenges. They are either trying to control something they can't (like their spouse or others, ageing, change) and it's causing them anxiety, or they are feeling helpless to change something that they actually can change (strengthening relationships, self-care, learning to let go). And the "wisdom to know the difference" comes with time of practicing the hell out of this technique over time. But it absolutely can be learned...it's a skill, and like anything else that can be learned, we can all learn to reduce our anxiety by getting better and better at releasing the need for control, especially in areas that simply are outside of that ability to control.
Online Counseling in Seattle, WA
The Serenity Prayer is one of many skills, concepts, and tools we help clients with in our therapy. To learn more about scheduling an appointment for Teletherapy in the 98109 area, please reach out to our Seattle office. We are offering our full-range of therapy services in the form of online counseling (telehealth).