Controlling What You Can

Do you ever feel like events in your life have gotten out of control? Some days, it’s easy to feel that way. These past few months have presented us with a whole lot of days where everything seemed to be a little – or a lot – out of control.

No matter how diligently you set goals, visualize results, and affirm a positive outcome, every once in a while your life is going to feel as if it’s gone a little sideways. Carefully laid plans go up in smoke – sometimes quite literally. People you counted on, bail out on you. A health or family crisis strikes. An earthquake or tornado puts you back to square one. Suddenly, you feel as if you are completely off course, out of control, and lost at sea.

At times like these, there are a few things it may help you to remember. First, no one can control every aspect of life, and adversity comes to all of us, no matter how moral we are, and no matter how good our attitude is. Bad things happen to good people all the time.

Second, it is important to realize that there is one and only one thing in life that is completely within your power to control, and that is your response to what happens to you. When you find yourself overcome with feelings of fear, helplessness, doom and gloom, you can put the brakes on these feelings by gently but firmly choosing to shift the focus of the thoughts that are running through your mind.

Your feelings are a direct result of the thoughts you think. Setting aside some time every morning and evening for positive reflection, visualization, affirmation, or guided meditation is a highly effective way of getting these thoughts back under your control again. You sleep a better, more restful sleep and wake the next morning, ready to meet the challenges of the new day.

If you don’t do this already, give yourself the opportunity to decompress each day. Lay down on the floor and purposefully relax every inch of your body, every muscle and bone and nerve. This focused attention on relaxation also allows your mind to focus, allowing you to take control of your thoughts. Give yourself the time to give yourself a break from the stress of trying to control the world. Just concentrate on controlling your thoughts.