Daily routines, structure and keeping life simple are all strategies used by people with anxiety at some time or another. Anxiety, left unchecked, can create chaos. It can cause us to worry without reason and make difficult times unbearable. It is those times when we lean back to the known, the routines of our lives, to help us manage symptoms of anxiety.
But today, in our world, uncertainty looms all around us. There are daily news reports of wars, taking place across the world, but close to our world nonetheless. Each day we hear gloomy reports on the economy, over 7% of Americans are now out of work, people are losing their homes and economists are not predicting any easy answers.
As an American people, we voted a few months ago on a new President. Our vote, in it's own way, was a vote on how (and who) to fix the problems of the world, of our country and of our lives. We voted for change. Next week, that change begins to unfold.
But change can be scary and fear can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. What if we were wrong? What if the problems can't be fixed? What if our lives fall apart before anything gets better? What if...?
During times such as these, it is important to take stock of your own life. Decide if your fears are reasonable and if what you are worrying about is within your control to fix. For example, the war between Israel and Palestine is troubling. It is disconcerting and for some that may have friends or relatives involved in this conflict, it is particularly frightening. But for most of us, it is a world event in which we have no control and no ability to change.
For each "what if" you find yourself wondering about during the day, decide if you have any control over the situation. If you do, make your best effort to control it. For example, you do have some control (but not complete control) over keeping your job. You can make sure you arrive at work on time. You can put forth your best effort and keep communication with your superiors open if you are having difficulties. But you can't control the economy and the impact the economy may have on the company you are working for.
In the coming weeks and months, our new President will have many issues to face. Issues that impact your daily life. These include not only the economy and the wars, but also health care, including care for mental health issues.
Our new President has goals of making sure each American has access to affordable health care. He has goals of creating universal, digital health care systems to enhance everyone's quality of health care. These are situations beyond the average American's control, but are within his sights.
For these situations, we must have faith in our government and in our leaders and although that has been difficult at times, my question to each of you is:
Do you have faith in President-elect Obama to help make this country a better place for all Americans?
What situations are impacting your life and are beyond your control that you would like to see him focus on?
Published On: January 13, 2009