Staff Blog: Shifting into Gratitude

Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
W & J Staff Psychologist

A number of things can be helpful when dealing with fears or tolerating the uncertainty that fuels anxiety. We know that attention plays a significant role in perpetuating anxiety and fear. The more we pay attention to fear by allowing ourselves to focus on irrational thoughts, the more anxious we feel and the more evidence we look for and find to confirm our fears.

What is the bigger picture? This can be a powerful question when we feel overwhelmed with fear and find ourselves ruminating on negative and often irrational thoughts. Rather than jump around from tree to tree, step back and view the entire forest.

Gratitude can be a great place to shift our attention when we feel overwhelmed. Take a moment and reflect on the people in your life you care about and the things that you have and appreciate. Think also about the basic things that are often taken for granted, such as a roof over your head and healthy food to eat. Shifting our attention to gratitude can be an excellent way to take a break from “feeding the monster,” or focusing attention on our irrational fears and the uncertainty we face daily.

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