How to Cope When Things Feel Out of Your Control

No controlDo you ever feel as if you wield no control over what is happening—in your life, your career, the world? Most of us have felt that way at one time or another.

These day I hear lack of control in people’s voices as they speak to me or share on social media. And this state causes them fear, depression and general malaise.

I get it. No one likes to feel out of control—not even me! That’s why so many people have what we call “control issues.” They want to increase the amount of certainty they experience in their lives.

I have news for you: There is no certainty in life … ever.

Maybe you are upset about an election result and what that means to the health benefits, tax structures, or freedoms you now enjoy. Or you might worry about the current situation in the company for which you work because there’s a possibility of getting laid off. Or one of your children has something going on in his or her life, and you want to “fix” it but can’t.

Again, I get it.

I often feel way out of control when it comes to my kids’ lives. This was true when they were younger, but now that they are adults, it’s worse! I cannot control them nor the situations into which they place themselves.

And politics? Well, let’s not even go there.

Work and career? As an entrepreneur, I am faced with uncertainty daily … Will I have enough clients, customers, or readers to keep my business running and support myself at the same time?

When you feel as if you have no control, there are some things you can do to help yourself. Here are five strategies you might find useful.

Connect with Source

If you belief in God or a Divine Energy or Source, you’ll find it reassuring during uncertain times to connect with the Creator.

My niece says we need spiritual resilience, and I agree.

For me, this is a matter of both prayer—speaking to God about my concerns—and faith—trusting that it will all turn out okay in the end.

Try saying a prayer any time you feel uncertain or stressed about your lack of control over current conditions.

Finding Peace Within

Meditation is a fabulous way to find the calm that always is available within. No matter what is happening around you, inside you is a place of peace.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed or disheartened by your inability to control a situation, stop for even two-to-five minutes to meditate. Notice how it calms your nervous system and gives you a sense of peace.

Meditation focus your attention on the moment. And at this moment, you are alive, safe, unthreatened.

Control Your Mind

When the world feels out of your control, take control of your mind. It’s your mind’s negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and constant replay of negative potential outcomes that drives you crazy!

You cause your stress and worry by allowing your mind to run amok. You allow yourself to focus on the condition that feels out of your control … incessantly.

Additionally, your mind affects your feelings. Whatever you focus your thoughts on results in a corresponding emotion. So if you think obsessively about losing your freedom, you will feel fearful. You might also feel depressed.

Your body will respond in kind, causing physical symptoms that make you feel worse or intensive your fear and depression.

That’s why you must take control of your mind. When you find it focused on things that upset you, place it’s attention elsewhere … like on your grandson’s smile, your dog’s unconditional love, the orchid blooming on your windowsill, or even a funny or happy movie.

Don’t let your emotions control you. Control them. Generate the feelings you would like to have.

As you do so, your emotions and body will respond. You will feel better, happier, and more in control.

I’d call this developing mental and emotional resilience.

Connect and Serve

Don’t sit at home and worry! Get out with friends and family who have the ability to raise you up and reassure you with out being Pollyann-ish.

Additionally, connect with those who are the most vulnerable to the current situation. Ask if you can help.

Being of service always provides a way to feel more connected, fulfilled, and in control.

You even can volunteer for a charity, donate money to a cause, or send letters to those who have more power than you to affect change. This will make you feel as if you are doing something constructive to better the situation, and in the process, you will gain a sense of power in the situation.

Don’t put your head in the sand. Instead, dig your heels in and try to make a difference.

Be Okay with Lack of Control

This might be the hardest strategy to put into use. However, sometimes all you can do is sit with your own discomfort. Look right at the situation, accept that it exists, and feel the corresponding emotions.

When you are willing to feel your emotions and let that wash over you like waves, you get to know your emotions and thoughts intimately. That’s when your feelings become less frightening and intense. This makes it easier for you to face each day with positivity and power even when you can’t control the situation.

The strategies and tools mentioned above work in almost every circumstance. Give them a try. Let me know in a comment below how they work for you.

If you find yourself continuing to struggle when you lack control, apply for a free one-hour strategy session, so you can find some tools to help you not only cope but thrive in any situation.

Want some help feeling more in control? Get a copy of my FREE ebook, 20 High-Performance Strategies and Habits You Can Implement TODAY! Just fill out the form below. (The ebook will arrive attached to an email.)

Don’t wait! It’s your time…now…to level up so you can achieve your potential, fulfill your purpose and live your life fully—no matter what is happening around you.

Photo copyright: miceking/123RF.com

 

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