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Many of us struggle with anxiety.  In general anxiety results from loss of control or a perceived sense that control may be lost. Consider those who have anxiety in crowds, or while driving, or before an important exam. In each of these cases, anxiety results from loss of control over outcomes.

 There are two basic approaches to reducing anxiety. One is to adjust one’s life to make it more controllable - simpler, more predictable and less stressful. Since few of us can move to a deserted island to live alone, there is another, more therapeutic solution. If we can, we must accept that there will be things that we cannot control. And those are the things we must let go! This can be challenging.

To effectively let go takes mindfulness. One must be  focused and fully aware of the events of one’s day, and one’s life, while running an ongoing assessment of whether outcomes can be controlled. Addiction culture has it right with its use of the serenity prayer: “the serenity to accept things that cannot be changed, the courage to change things that can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.  AA participants recite this at the opening of every meeting, and try hard to live the words in their lives.

Life is, by its nature, stressful and unpredictable. Though we cannot control most of what happens to us, we can control our reaction to these events. Once we let go of that which we cannot control, we  will feel much less stress, diminish our risk of disease, and live more joyful lives. That is my wish for you.

Dr. John Monaco

MONACO Wellness

(813) 541-6440

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