Although many wish to avoid this truth, the fact of the matter is: life is full of things we cannot control. Far more often than usual, we get caught in a cycle of exerting our limited psychological resources on things we cannot control. Rather than continuing to waste your time, energy, emotional bandwidth, and more focusing on things out of your control, there are ways to shift your attention to the things you can control. Try the following tips, provided by Forbes and other sources, to help you actively interrupt this unhelpful pattern and stop stressing about the things you can’t control:
- Determine what you can control: Differentiate between what is beyond your control and what is not. You, for example, cannot prevent a storm from coming but you can prepare for it.
- Try not to worry: The Dalai Lama states “if a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
- Identify your fears: Exploring your fears and possible outcomes can bolster your confidence surrounding your ability to cope. Acknowledging that you can gracefully and effectively handle the worst-case scenario will allow you to allocate your energy into more productive places.
- Implement lifestyle changes: practicing healthy daily habits can enhance your mental health. Be sure to eat nutritious meals, avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs, stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.
- Practice positive self-talk: Positive self-talk encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements, that speak to you and repeat them regularly.
- Explore relaxation methods: Test out as many different relaxation methods as you can to figure out what resonates with you best. Consider trying meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music, journaling, etc. to help quiet your mind. Research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
As frustrating as it can be to be faced with things that are out of your control, it is helpful to bear in mind that regardless of the circumstance, the way you respond is one aspect with which you will always have control. Although it is natural human nature to crave control it is essential to realize and recognize that there are things in life that are simply beyond your control. You will be much more effective when you put your time and energy into the things you can control.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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