Michael Church, blog co-host, shares some brief thoughts on where your coping focus should be placed.
You are neither cats nor dogs who live in the present, no more than you are a computer who can avoid stress and people, and intellectualize your way through life and be satisfied. Instead, you must learn to keep your focus on your goals and purposes, and tune out the noise and chaos around you. Furthermore, you must be wary of focusing on your temporary thoughts and feelings, especially those negative ones, because that focus will misguide you to see them as your problem. But they are not your problem; it is your inaction toward meaningful goals that is the problem and that hinders your coping efforts. Effective coping requires moving toward purposeful goals, even when that pursuit causes suffering. That’s right – even when positive goal-directed actions bring you anguish, it is the discomfort that can increase a sense of meaning. You will value most the things you have worked hardest for, and suffered for the most. Inaction caused by lack of clarity of values and purposes, or an inability to overcome fear, are the primary sources of psychological stress. Almost inevitably, people who are not meaningfully engaged in purposeful commitment toward obtaining desired goals, are engaging in self-defeating actions. These types of people either underachieve by avoiding stress and growth, or they get lost in escape behaviors that temporarily give them a cheap thrill at the expense of their long-term health. Proactive coping with stress requires you to maintain a focus on your goals and purposes, and engage in actions that bring you closer to those goals.