On Anxiety, Control, Change, and the Unpredictability of the Future

[Episode 36 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC shares some of his thoughts on topics relating to anxiety, control, change, and the unpredictability of the future. He discusses anxiety about outcomes that are looming, but not necessarily certain. When we worry about these circumstances, we are seeking control of our lives. Part of human nature is to control; however, life never stops changing. We can either resist, manipulate, or run from change all to preserve our sense of control. When we are waiting for the future, we are in a place of “not knowing.” This unknown can bring about rumination, excessive worry, and other anxiety. Physically, our bodies may exhibit symptoms of stress.

It is important to remember that we will not always feel the way we currently do because life always changes. This does not guarantee resolve, but it does guarantee change. Accepting this change is part of dealing with our anxieties. Certain events that we may judge as “bad” can be used for good. In these situations, we can either grasp for control or take a stance of unknowing. Taking a stance of unknowing is not necessarily a stance of apathy or inaction, but an attitude of accepting life’s change and being able to come out on the other side having grown from the experience.

Listening to people who are dealing with anxiety is extremely beneficial. Having someone truly listen can be calming. Getting into nature is also helpful as well as meditation or mindfulness. Physical activity can also be a useful way to relieve some stress and gain control over our bodies. Art forms like crafts or music-making get us out of our “thinking mind.” Past therapy methods relied solely on changing our “thinking,” but more recent theories emphasize the emotions and the physical body. Past experiences also shape the way we respond to current events.

Paul suggests journaling and dating events that come up. Predict what will happen and write it down, and wait to see what actually happens. Most of the time, our predictions will be incorrect! When we keep our “judging mind” in check, we are less likely to be distraught when change occurs. Mental health is an active process, and we all are involved in this process. Using these techniques can help keep our perspective in check.

To further explore these concepts, contact Health for Life Grand Rapids. One of our clinicians would be happy to explore the circumstances affecting your life and give you tools to help you cope with change as it occurs.

Learn more by visiting our counseling page here.

Or reach out for a complimentary 15-minute consultation here.

Or call 616-200-4433. We at Health for Life would be glad to help!

To subscribe to “The Intentional Clinician” podcast, check out http://paulkrauss.podbean.com or type in the title into your favorite podcast application.

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Grand Rapids, home of The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor. Paul is now offering consulting for a few individuals and organizations. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433.

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