There are things in life that we never think of controlling. We tend not to worry about those things or try to change them. For example, I used to live around Rochester, NY. The winters were miserable.
MAKING ANXIETY MANAGEABLE
There are things in life that we never think of controlling. We tend not to worry about
those things or try to change them. For example, I used to live around Rochester, NY. The
winters were miserable. The summers were short. Spring and fall were really nice. No one
tried to change the weather because we accepted it for what is was. The weather was
something that we needed to take into account we dressed in a lot of layers in the winter
and put snow tires on our vehicles, but no one thought that they could control the
There are other things in life that we accept that we’re powerless over, e.g. we drive
defensively because no one knows what other drivers will do. We accept that there are
aspects of a person that genetics, not us, has control over. For the most part, we accept
that we can’t control other people.
Again, we take these things into account, but we accept that we’re powerless.
Then, there are other things that we have come to believe that we have some control over.
Some of these things could be:
• If I work hard and obey the rules, good things will happen.
• We manage our finances. Everyone knows that there’s going to be an unexpected bill
here and there, and sometimes there’s a windfall. However, most of us, by and large, live
within a budget.
• There are people in life who I want to treat well, e.g. close friends, close family.
• I believe that if I eat right and exercise, I will have some control over my health.
• Most of us plan on staying out of trouble. Mostly, we obey the law.
I imagine that we could list other things that we perceive that we have some control over.
With other things we accept powerlessness.
What happens when we start to lose control over those aspects of our lives that we
perceive we ought to be able to do something about? To be brief, Dr. Martin Seligman and
others have done a lot of research in the laboratory and in real life that provides us with
insight. It’s not hard t