All too often, we worry about things we cannot control. We worry about it raining on our wedding day, how our boss will react when we ask for a few days off, about the way our brother-in-law will behave at Thanksgiving, and a slew of other matters that we simply can’t control.
We go through life mistakenly believing that we have control and power to shape the world we live in. And while it’s true that there are aspects of life that we can control, there will always be plenty of uncertainty. How we tackle that ambiguity is key to our own happiness. By its very nature, the world is transient.
The forces of time, choice, and individuality will always keep us guessing. Although we have far less control over our life than we may like, it does not have to be scary.
At the root of our desire to control the circumstances life throws at us is simply our survival instinct. If we have complete control over everything, we can avoid insecurities, discomfort, and self-doubt. In essence, control is a measure of protection.
Without it, we are left with feelings of despair, powerlessness, or even rage. But no matter what concerns you hold close to your heart, worrying about them is no way to live. The anxiety you feel from worry can actually stop you from enjoying greater personal growth. So how do you train your mind to stop worrying about things you can’t control? The following solutions are sure to help.
Face Your Fears
In many ways, confronting your fears head on can be good, even cathartic. You can do this on a daily or weekly basis by writing down what makes you anxious. Whether it’s worrying about what people think of you, what the day will bring, or anything else, simply sitting and meditating with your fears can help you shift focus.
When you take a deep dive into what you’re worried about, you may find that you break those feelings down. Facing your fears can help you understand your own motivations; self-knowledge is an important aspect of achieving inner peace.
React With Intention
Although we don’t always have control over what happens to us in life, we can control how we react. For example, if a person was unkind or hurt you, you can react in a plethora of different ways. You could hang on to resentment, hate, and anger, or you could turn your hurt into understanding and compassion. By focusing on a desire for peace in all aspects of your life, you take back control. You can choose how you are going to react and how you let others make you feel.
Live in the Now
The root of fear and worry is anxiety about the future. But the only thing that exists is what is happening right now. People who are trying to control their lives are living in the future. Instead, work on creating opportunities in the present moment. One of the easiest ways to do this is by meditation. You can also take 15 minutes to go for a walk, write in a journal, or call a friend. Give yourself a time out to refocus on what is happening now.
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Perhaps, for example, you find yourself most worried when you are about to speak in public or when you are in social situations. While you could simply try to avoid people because of your social anxiety, that isn’t very practical. A more reasonable solution is to let go of expectations and fear of the outcome. Instead of feeling terrified, work on controlling your attitude toward the event.
As mentioned, worry is a way to protect us from the unexpected. But if you let go of that fear, you embrace new opportunities that you otherwise may have missed. Giving yourself permission to let go and overcome your worries can be very freeing.
Seek Professional Help
Whether you have been a “worrier” all your life or you recently started feeling anxious, it can be an exceedingly difficult way to live. A common misconception is that worrying will make you feel safer about the things you cannot control. But that could not be further from the truth. Many people try to handle their anxieties on their own, but it isn’t effective. You deserve to enjoy your life, worry-free.
Handling your anxieties alone can be hard, but it is easy to connect with a professional therapist in person or from the safety and convenience of your own home. These measures are a great start to get a handle on your mental health.