I think if this past year has taught or reminded us anything, it is how little control we have at times of things happening. We are all guilty of spending a lot of time worrying or getting stressed out about things we have little to no control over. With this, it is possible we can end up feeling uncertain, powerless, overwhelmed, irritable and drained.
Unfortunately, we can create the false idea that if you worry enough, you can control certain outcomes or scenarios, when in truth, there is a whole lot in life we cannot control.. We cannot change the uncontrollable, but we can change the way we think about it. What is important is learning or understanding how to be alright with the uncontrollable. It may feel like it’s easier said than done, but all you need are the right tools.
Find some useful tips below to try and combat those feelings of stress or overwhelming anxiety when it comes to things you can’t control…and just think, you’ll be able to be much happier, effective and efficient when you put your energy and time into things you can control.
- Figure out what you can control and what you cant — recognising that all you can control is your attitude and your effort will mean that you won’t be worrying over things you can’t control. For example, you cannot prevent a storm coming, but you can control how you prepare for it
- Question yourself as to whether what you are thinking is really true — challenging what you know to be true… ‘I must work 14x hour days to get it all done’, ‘There’s nothing that we can do about it’… these are statements that you need to challenge what you believe. There are always solutions
- Accept and tolerate that life is uncertain — our ability to controlling how we interpret situations and being able to recognise that life is full of ups, downs andsurprises
- Create a plan and action for the things you can control — this will subsequently lead you to making you feel more in control and making progress. By working on a plan to take action and taking action itself you’ll feel much more productive
- Decipher what your fears are — usually, the worst case scenario isn’t as tragic as you imagine. You are stronger than you think when you acknowledge what you are actually afraid of happening
- Reframe the situation — changing what you think or reframing is the ability to change your perspective. Switching the around. 1+1 = 4 is not the way forward. Understanding this shift in perspective means that ‘I miss working in the office’ could also become or mean ‘I don’t miss my commute, I love to be able to walk my dog in the morning’ or ‘I miss going out all the time’ could become ‘I’ve saved so much money this month’. There are always positives to all the negatives
- Establish healthy affirmations — develop healthy sentences, mantras, phrases that you can either say to yourself or write down that will keep you mentally strong. These sayings will ground you, aid you in withstanding self doubt and endless overthinking. For example, mine is ‘nothing else matters’
- Know when you’re overthinking rather than problem solving — replaying scenarios, or filling your brain with negative chatter and false stories imaginging horrendous outcomes repeately isn’t going to held. However, solving the problem will. Keep working on solutions and finding ways to increase your chances of success.Being able to know when your thoughts aren’t productive and do something different to focus your brain elsewhere
- Share with others — trying to come to terms with a situation or even trying to fix it on your own is always harder. A problem shared is a problem halved. The process of talking something through, helps bring it to the front of our mind and work out through the process. These aren’t always comfortable or enjoyable conversations, but they help to restore an essence of control
- Build a toolkit for your mental health — exercise, sleep, meditation, mindfulness, journal, practice gratitude arrangements with friends, things to look forward to, self care and a nutritious diet are all things that will aid managing your stress. Finding healthy stress relievers and eliminating unhealthy coping skills will really benefit you
Let me know how you get on!