The Eye of the Storm

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

The Eye of the Storm


The Eye of the Storm

January 26, 2022

A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen and my daughter Julia – who is in the eleventh grade – entered and she was on the verge of tears. She said “Dad, I’m so overwhelmed about exams. I have so much to study and I think I’m going to fail.” I know that sometimes you have to be a member of MENSA to get into college – at least it feels like that – but I also know that’s not the case. I told Julia “I’m going to help you. I’m going to show you a technique but you’ve got to listen to me this time.” The technique is called Moving into the Eye of the Storm.

I drew a picture of a hurricane on a piece of paper with that center eye that’s very calm. I said “Julia, for this to work, though, we have to except a couple principles.” The first principle is that life is like a storm and there will always be more that has to be done than time permits. The second principle is that comfort is not the objective. One must get used to discomfort.

We looked back at the picture of the hurricane I drew for her (similar to the one below) and I explained that this is life. It’s always going to be like this. There’s always going to be more demands & more expectations. There’s really never any escape from it but you can use a mental technique where you compartmentalize and you emotionally & psychologically remove yourself from the storm. You’re not denying that the storm is out there but you are able to move into the eye and find peace & calm.

Anyone that’s been through a hurricane knows that within the eye of the storm, the sun is out, the birds are flying and there’s no wind at all. While it’s beautiful in the eye of the storm, you know the storms coming back so you must get ready to reenter the storm and fight another day. When you get tired and exhausted, you can reenter the eye to rest.

Why this technique works is that people appreciate the fact that there’s always a storm. By accepting the fact that the storm never ends, you don’t minimize their plight or the demands that they are faced with. Instead, you’re helping them both cope with the storm and helping them learn that it’s okay to retreat and take a break in the eye. We all need to take a break and become rejuvenated whenever there is a storm but we also have to learn how to fight our battles.

I challenge you to use this technique when you’re feeling overwhelmed or need help performing. You can always enter the eye and get rejuvenated. When you’re ready, jump back in that storm and fight the good fight. Be bold & good luck!!!