Finding Peace Amid Crisis

Tips on controlling your fears and refocusing your thoughts.

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Curt Rosengren
Between world events, the changing environment, and the current financial crisis, there's a growing sense of anxiety and fear in the air. It's almost palpable, and it can be hard to resist joining in.

But being consumed by fear is debilitating. It sucks us dry and leaves us feeling frail and vulnerable. It's bad enough when that fear is of something we have some degree of control over (like fear of failure in a new career), but when it's directed at areas where we can have no reasonable expectation of control, it can leave us feeling helpless.

So what to do about it? Here are some ideas I have found helpful in my own life:

Ask, "What's positive?"

Find and focus on the positive. Acknowledge your fear, but don't let it swell up and block out the positive aspects of life. Ask, "What gives me hope?"

Journal about what makes you feel hopeful: big things or small things. Find sources of hope to focus on. Ask others, "What gives you hope?"

Question those around you about their sources of hope. Stay in the present moment.

This is so hard to do, and so powerful when we can do it. In my own life, it's probably my single most effective approach. Control what you can. Let go of what you can't.

Taking action on what you can control helps you stay empowered. Letting go of what you can't control reduces the energy drain and stress. Meditate.

Even simply slowing down and focusing on your breath for 10 breaths can have a calming effect. How about you? How do you find peace in the midst of all the fear?

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.