To break free from the need to control, you have to change your mindset.
Let’s go back to our wedding example. The soon-to-be-married couple will not be happy if they hold onto their need to control. They will end up miserable. They can only control their actions and responses to unpleasant situations, not all the minutiae of the day as it unfolds.
They must adopt a mindset of acceptance.
And, let’s be honest, this is frustrating. What’s with having to accept everything that happens to us? It’s the kind of thing that sounds too simple to be true. And that’s because it’s almost always the simplest explanation that leads to the most fundamental change.
But just because something sounds simple doesn’t mean it’s simple to implement. Implementation can take time. Or it can happen in an instant. It all depends on your approach.
So this is what I want you to do if you are dealing with an overwhelming desire to control you environment.
Acknowledge that feeling - You’re not a bad person because you feel you need to control what’s happening to you. You’re a human being. Simply acknowledge what you’re going through. This is step one–and it’s a very important step.
- Consider a potential worst-case scenario, and either say it out loud or write it down. Taking one of these two actions will usually reveal how ridiculous these thoughts are that your brain comes up with. Plus, this is how you get space from your loopy thoughts. This is how you get ready for step three.
Take action. What kind of action, you ask? Any action. Don’t continue to think. Don’t write or talk to yourself for hours. Take a simple action. Do the first thing that feels good. Look around, smile, and be in the moment. It’s action that cuts through anxiety, like a knife slicing through the air.
Anxiety doesn’t know what to do when you take action.
Anxiety thrives when you’re stuck in your head and when your body is immobilized. Anxiety and action literally can’t exist together.
Think about anxious times in your life. What happens when you’re taking action? You can’t worry at the same time because you’re too busy doing something in the moment. This is how it works.
Remember, feeling like you need to control what’s around you doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s a natural reaction to stressful events.
And some people become more anxious than others. I’m prone to anxiety. It’s just how it is. But I’ve learned to accept my thoughts and distance myself from them.
And then I take action.
Now it’s your turn.
Can you try this simple approach today to let go of your need to control?
What do you have to lose?
I think you know the answer to that.
And there you have it. This won’t solve all your problems, but it will get you in the right mindset! I hope it helps.
Did you miss my very first video update yesterday?
It’s part of the new experimental issue I’m sending out one time each week, on either Saturday or Sunday. The Mental Health Update is now five days a week to give you some time to catch up with old issues. Please let me know what you think if you get a minute today.