There are various reasons why you may feel like your life is out of control. As I write this, we are on a stay home order, but there are other circumstances that can arise to throw your plans off course. Here is what to do when you feel like your life is out of control.
What to Do When You Feel Like Your Life Is Out of Control
There are things you can do when you feel like your life is out of control. Some are actions and others are mental shifts to make. Keep hope alive as you focus on what you can do in the situation.
Acknowledge you can’t control everything
I think people inherently know that they can’t control everything, but in day to day life they tend to forget that. People attribute too much blame and too much control to themselves.
If we have learned anything this last month it would be that we absolutely cannot control everything. Maybe that idea is terrifying or perhaps it is freeing.
When you think that you are in control of everything that makes you pretty important, doesn’t it? But with that also comes a lot of pressure and sense of responsibility.
But it is a myth. None of us can control everything and we need to let go of the idea that we can.
“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find the joy in the story you are actually living.” -Rachel Marie Martin
In some situations, you will have had zero control over what happened. When those things happen, there is no need to take responsibility because there was nothing you could have done to prevent it.
In other situations, your choices influenced you getting to a place of feeling like your life is out of control. When that happens, look for what you need to take reponsibility for.
Don’t be a victim. When you had a role in the situation, but do not accept any responsibility, you can’t grow and learn. See what you can do differently next time. Tough situations can provide the best lessons.
Focus on what you can control and change
Even when you had no responsibility in what happened, you are still responsible for how you choose to react and respond. You get to decide what steps to take next.
With our current situation, we don’t get to control the world. We can each do our part by staying home right now. But beyond that, we can decide how we use this time.
Do we look for ways we can reach out and help or encourage others? How do we treat the people in our houses during this stressful time? Have some grace with yourself through the tough days that come, but try again to focus on what you can control.
Be creative & think outside the box
You may not be able to go out and do all the things you normally would so it mean thinking more creatively. Think outside the box as you work to solve problems and continue to support and encourage others.
My family has joined together to get each other groceries to avoid going into stores as much as possible. Our normal habits are no longer options and we are all learning to be a bit more creative in the process.
In other circumstances, your resources and options may be limited as well and require creative thinking.
Acknowledge and process your feelings
It’s not always easy to process through the range of feelings that come when you are feeling like your life is out of control. Emotions can swing wildly while you walk through this difficult journey.
Don’t try to stuff those feelings. Acknowledge and process them as they come. Write those thoughts and feelings down in a journal to help you work through it.
As you write, don’t attempt to edit yourself. It can be a cathartic process if you are willing to really get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper.
At some point, it’s helpful to talk to a close trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling. Counseling can be really helpful too. There is no shame in taking steps to care for your mental health.
You won’t be able to move on with your life fully if you don’t deal with situations as they come. When you carry all the difficulties and challenges of the past with you, it just weighs you down and continues to negatively impact your life.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”―Theodore Roosevelt
Choose healthy coping mechanisms
When you feel like your life is out of control, you need to look for appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms. Choosing unhealthy behaviors will ultimately leave you feeling worse and hurting you even more.
Ultimately you are looking for what you can control and choosing things that are healthier for your mind and body will leave you in a much better place.
Opt to go for walks, read books, and call friends. Choose the healthy coping mechanisms that work best for you. Creating new habits may not be easy, but the end results are worth it.
Be willing to wait
This part is going to be easy. I venture to say almost every person I know struggles with patience. It doesn’t come naturally and we aren’t used to having to wait.
However, life doesn’t always give you what you want when you want it. In fact, I’ve found that almost never happens. The best things are worth waiting for though even if it isn’t easy.
In the current situation, we are all having to stay home and wait whether you want to or not. I’ve seen that the world is not great with waiting or uncertainty. And I get it. It’s tough.
But just as we have to accept that we can’t control everything we also have to accept that we can’t control the timing of everything either. There are lessons to be learned in the waiting.
We can’t force always time frames to change, but we can learn to wait well.
Start a habit of gratitude
Do you want to know a sure-fire way to instantly change your attitude when you feel like your life is out of control? Focus on gratitude.
You can choose to be grateful every day despite your circumstances. That doesn’t mean that everything becomes easy. Life is still just hard at times.
Focusing on gratitude can change how you feel about the situation. When you keep your mind on everything that you have, you feel better about the parts of life that may not be going right at the time.
Studies have found that grateful people are happier and live longer. What you focus on grows, so why not choose to focus on the good? The simple act of writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day could change your life.
Overcomers face huge obstacles in their life and get through them by focusing on being grateful for what they do have and working with that. You can be an overcomer too.
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