Saturday, April 3, 2021

Helping our patients with zooming in and out from thoughts and feelings for better mood regulation and problem solving

Knowing how to “zoom in and out” from thoughts, data, and feelings is super important for emotional regulation and problem solving. 

But like changing gears, we need to know what those gears are, what they are there for, and what it feels like.

So let’s start with “zooming in”...

“Zooming into” a thought, a piece of data, or feeling is great for judging something as good or bad. We see it in detail. We get super focused on it. Of course in this state, we can lose openness and curiosity. We are more prone to stress in this state with more fight, flight, and OCD features if overly excessive. The main purpose of “zooming in” is to take action.

“Zooming out” on the other hand is full of curiosity and openness. We see everything as “bigger picture”, and can see things that we couldn’t to see before when we were too “zoomed in”. We see many possibilities. It’s great for brainstorming. It may be harder to take decisive action in this state. We are happy to observe the world and “go with the flow”. There may be less stress for us, but our inaction and lack of focus may stress out others around us! The main purpose of “zooming out” is to perceive and gather relevant information without judgement.

So which one do you tend to overdo or underdo? Which ones do your patients tend to overdo?

Better “zooming” skills=better problem solving= mood regulation=better biopsychosocial health

Good General Practice=“Zooming out” first before “zooming in”, and avoid falling into the trap of “zooming in” too quickly unless it’s an emergency.

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