At Patton and Patton, Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t believe in doom and gloom. Our people are working remotely, but we are here for you. We answer questions. We are proactive. Control what you can control. We have been through many crises; we will get through this one by working together. We will not only survive, but as a community, working together, we will thrive. As Andy Stanley said, “When they tell the stories of this time, let our stories be stories worth telling.”
I have had several clients while staying at home experience have serious mood changes, chest tightness, muscle tension, aches pains, difficulty sleeping inability to relax and more. We all worry and when it gets too intense it becomes a problem. I realized that my clients need more than just a legal answer, so I invited mental health worker Annette Norris, to help us in a special interview for my clients, which I now share to a larger audience. I’ve embedded the recording here and a summary of our conversation continues below the video.
Thoughts happen first then feelings happen.
The thoughts create beliefs and the beliefs create the feelings. Change the thoughts and the feelings can change as a result. Sometimes your mind jumps to worst case scenarios, i.e., ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’. Although its normal to worry, it becomes unhelpful when you focus excessively on hypothetical worries instead of practical worries or when your mind interprets predictions as facts, like “I’m going to be stuck inside for months on end.”
Find a trusted news source.
- Find 1-2 news sources that you trust to get your information from. Limit your time on those news sources. If you want somewhat reliable virus information, go to the source of the CDC or KDHE websites.
- Be careful about your social media exposure. For some, Facebook is their means of socialization so stopping Facebook is to isolate more. However, be wise. Do not get baited into a FB discussion/argument. Some people love controversy and love to argue their point. FB can have useful information, but it also has wrong information. Check sources and do not believe everything you read. Be careful if you have hysterical friends. They live in high anxiety states and will pull you into their world.
- Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t.
You cannot stop hypothetical worries from occurring, but you can control your response to them.
Draw a circle – Label inner circle – Within my control and the Outer Circle – Outside my control. Focus on the inner circle.
The ABCDE Technique
Attention – When you feel distressed, stop what you’re doing and pay attention to your inner dialogue. What is your mind telling you?
Believe? – Do not automatically believe your thoughts!
Challenge – Defuse anxiety by broadening your focus. What’s the bigger picture? Is the thought fact or opinion? What might you think if you were feeling calmer?
Discount – Acknowledge that anxiety has been dominating your thinking and let the unhelpful thoughts go.
Explore options – What would be helpful to focus on right now? What options do I have available?
The THINK Technique
True? – Is this thought 100% true? If not, what are the facts, and what is opinion?
Helpful? – Is paying attention to the thought useful to me or others?
Inspiring? – Does the thought inspire me or does it have the opposite effect?
Necessary? – Is it important for me to focus on the thought? Is it necessary to act on it?
Kind? – Is the thought kind? If not, what would be a kinder thought?
Find Healthy Distractions
- Find free online courses you are interested in. Dallas Theo Seminary has free classes on various Bible books or topics done by their professors.
- List 5 places you would like to visit and take a virtual tour of the place.
- Find a pen pal
- Find a free online yoga class and learn some basic stretches
- Watch a live stream theatre show from The National Theatre
- Plan your meals
- Learn how to play an instrument.
- Download the Library app and read a biography about someone you are interested in.
- Cook something you have never made before.
- Watch TED TALKS about things that interest you.
Finally, focus on what you are grateful for, review your blessings. Write your blessings down on pieces of paper and put them in a jar. Each day draw out a piece of paper and focus on that blessing.
Send your legal questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know how I can help you. I will answer your questions without charge.
As I write this, my mind goes back to my childhood, Sunday School Class when Mrs. Parks taught us a little song, about when the rains came down, and floods came up, but the house on the rock stood firm, “complete with hand motions. Thank you, Mrs. Parks, you were molding my soul for a time such as this. God Bless and Stay Safe. I am praying for you all.
You can reach Annette at her web page: https://christfirstcounseling.com/annette-norris, much of the above comes from Thewellnesssociety.org, Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook.