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During times of uncertainty, fear and anxiety, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the world around us. As we search for security and stability, we might be faced with all the things we can’t control: the decisions our legislators make, the state of our healthcare system, whether our loved ones get sick and dozens and other circumstances. However, if we choose to, we can take solace in what we can control — which is a lot.
Times of crisis are ripe with opportunity to remember that we are in control of our own thoughts, which in turn control our emotions and our actions. While it takes discipline and intentionality to put this practice into action, this concept is rooted in proven research in cognitive psychology. Here’s how it works:
You experience the world. Something happens – your governor issues a stay-at-home mandate, your child gets sick or you can’t make payroll. These events are facts that haven’t been shaped by your own opinions, interpretations or assumptions. They simply exist, and they have a neutral charge; only you assign them positive or negative meaning.
You create your thoughts. In an attempt to make sense of your external environment, you consciously and unconsciously untangle what’s