Do you ever lose focus? Ever laid the day out perfectly and had a plan in place to accomplish important goals just to have those plans go completely sideways? In this blog post I’ll provide you with an easy method to regain your focus when anxiety starts to knock you off-track. I use a fun acronym to remember what I need to do to get back on track.
Truth be told one of my biggest anxiety triggers is loss of focus. I know that there are lots of ladies who can relate. We women are wired to think about the broad picture and lose focus more easily than men. (There is a great book which I haven’t yet read called “Men are like waffles—women are like Spaghetti” on this topic.). Like many women I think in broad terms. I mix information together, loop in emotions, relationships, knowledge and past experiences. Most men are born with the ability to compartmentalize and focus on just the facts that matter for the issue at hand. This is a big advantage for men!
Yesterday I was looking forward to a day of writing my weekly blog article, releasing a video and the possible satisfaction of knowing that I’d be reaching someone (anyone) needing help.
Ironically, yesterday that someone was me!
Often our best laid plans go to hell in a handbasket. I allowed a minor family conflict to send me and my plans off the rails. I’d lost focus on what I was doing and got completely side-tracked. I allowed my emotional self to run the show, and became paralyzed for part of the day.
Suddenly, out of the blue, my 22 year-old daughter shows up looking for some Mommy time. Although still frazzled it forced me to shift focus to her and what was going on in her world. Even though I wasn’t focused on my original goals of the day, I was now focused on SOMETHING other than that insignificant family coflict. Being there for my daughter was my disrupter.
Anxiety? Kick it in the NADS!!
We spent all of Saturday afternoon together. She stayed long enough to come out to dinner with my husband and I. I listened intently to all that was going on with her boyfriend, her girlfriends, work, and school. At first I only half-listened but the more I focused on her, my own anxiety quickly faded away.
Changing what you focus on is recovery 101. But when you are reeling in those emotions, it’s tough to think. It’s tough to pull yourself together. Depression and anxiety are both very self-centered states of being. Continuing to focus inward only makes matters worse.
To help with this I needed to come up with a neat little acronym to assist me in remembering to get it together. It should help you too, it’s goofy and has a hint of 8th-grade boy humor. Are you ready to hear it?
The next time anxiety pushes you off-track, just kick it in the NADS!
- Notice – Notice when you are starting to feel anxious
- Acknowledge – Acknowledge and accept that anxiety has crept up and it’s perfectly normal. It happens to all of us.
- Disrupt – Disrupt the self-defeating thought pattern
- Shift – Shift your focus. Help someone else. Call a friend or relative. Engage in an activity that helps others, or just be there to listen. There is a blessing in it for the both of you.
This does the trick for me. The key is having the wherewithal to call what you know into play before it gets away from you. Acronyms help me, they’re easy to remember and effective to use.
I hope this helps to give you the focus and clarity you are searching for! Thank you for reading this blog post.
Stay tuned for more from my arsenal of tools to help deal with all of your self-defeating emotions.
If you liked what you read, please forward, share or post!
Most of all, be fearless!