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First Responder Wellness Week Day 4: Shift your focus

Our control is mostly limited to our thoughts, attitudes, actions and decisions about what steps to take next

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Concentrating on aspects within our control significantly aids in stress reduction. Often, stress escalates when we dwell on elements beyond our grasp — how others perceive us, their actions toward us or potential future scenarios. These concerns are inherently stressful because they lie outside our sphere of influence. Research indicates that individuals who quickly shift their focus to controllable elements in any situation are better equipped to handle complex challenges.

In reality, our control is mostly limited to our thoughts, attitudes, actions and decisions about what steps to take next. To harness this control, consider asking yourself: What perspective do I want to adopt? How can I act proactively? Where should I direct my efforts given my current situation?

By actively redirecting your focus to what you can influence, you not only mitigate stress but also empower yourself to navigate through challenges more effectively. This shift in attention fosters resilience and a proactive mindset, key components for overcoming obstacles.

Get more resources to share with your team at the First Responder Wellness Week resource center.

Dr. Rachelle Zemlok is a licensed clinical psychologist in California, specializing in work with first responder families. She serves as the strategic wellness director at Lexipol, supporting the content and strategy related to first responder mental health and wellness, with a special focus on supporting spouses and family members through the Cordico Wellness App. Prior to joining Lexipol, Zemlok founded First Responder Family Psychology, which provides culturally competent therapy to first responders and their family members. She is the author of “The Firefighter Family Academy: A Guide to Educate & Prepare Spouses for the Career Ahead.” For more information on Dr. Zemlok or to connect with her please visit her website.