Focus on what you can control when it comes to stress management

When it comes to stress management, focus on what you can control, for times are stressful right now as we continue to work through the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully there are resources out there that can help you de-stress. We spoke with Dianne Christensen, NMSU Assistant Professor & Family & Consumer Science Agent, about a series of Zoom webinars being put on by the NMSU Extension Service addressing these needs.

Beginning the week of May 4th, they are offering a 4 week series on managing stress. It will air on Thursdays from 11:30-12:30 via ZOOM. To get the information to register or the link to listen to it later, go to

There are two types of control: Internal and external control. When we have a strong sense of internal control, it feels like we are in the driver’s seat, that our choices and our actions impact what happens.

External control makes us feel like we are in the passenger’s seat, that other people or outside circumstances determine what happens in our lives. At any given time, both our internal control and external control are at work in our daily lives.

By understanding there are things we can control, things we can influence, and things we can’t control or influence, we can develop a greater sense of internal control by focusing our thoughts and actions on things we can control and influence in the present, every day. The more internal control we feel we have over what happens in our lives, the more motivated we are to take action and the happier, less stressed we feel.
Consider how much time you spend thinking about things you cannot control, such as what the government is doing, the lack of groceries, etc versus what you CAN control every day, making healthy food choices, being grateful for what you DO have (rather than what you do not have), and getting out each day for exercise and to be fully present with the day and your surroundings.

Bernalillo County Extension Service is staffed by experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to public residents, agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, gardeners, and others in our diverse New Mexican rural, urban and suburban communities.

County Extension programs are designed to help people use research based knowledge to improve their lives in the areas of agriculture, animals, horticulture, food, nutrition, wellness, family relationships, environment. community and economic development, and youth leadership.