There’s something comfortable about predictability and familiarity. Although it may not be very exciting, it can give us a sense of safety and control. While it may be what some of us crave, at some point in our lives, we’re likely to have an experience that throws our familiar routine off track. Some of those curveballs are easy enough to bounce back from while others can leave us reeling from a full blown “psychological earthquake” where life is now compartmentalized in two camps: before and after “it” happened.
So, what can you do to help regain a sense of control when you’re facing a messy reality? Here are 10 ways to create new solid ground as you slowly regain your sense of safety and calm once again:
When you’re thrown off track or when life hits you hard, nutrition is one of the simplest changes you can make to immediately regain a sense of control. Whether you’re pre-planning your meals and snacks, or making “non-negotiable rules” about how you’ll tackle eating behaviors and choices, taking back the reins around your eating will help you immediately realize that what, why and how you eat is completely within your control.
Fitness is another habit that can immediately bring back a sense of control. With fitness, you’re controlling how your body looks and performs while showing yourself that you’re prioritizing your need for an energetic, strong and healthy body…which can translate to a strong and healthy mind. The mental clarity that fitness can bring also encourages new ideas and solutions to emerge; giving you the mental space you need to put everything into perspective.
When you’re well rested you think more clearly. It’s during deep restorative sleep that stress hormones also have an opportunity to regulate and rebalance; slowly turning off the stress response which over time leads to symptoms, illness, conditions, and disease. Prioritizing sleep can set the wheels in motion for a calmer and more controlled body and mind.
Whether you’re healing from a situation that threw you off guard or derailed you completely, your mindset is one of the most important things to regain control of. One intense feeling of anger, sadness, grief, shame or unhappiness caused by a negative experience, can trigger thousands of thoughts. Unfortunately, we often entertain those thoughts for so long they slowly become our beliefs. If you’re not careful, one thought can become a belief and linger in your mind changing your mood and affecting your personality. Taking control over your thoughts is one of the most important ways to regain control over your mind.
What you listen to:
When you feel thrown off track, it’s crucial to be very careful about who and what you’re listening to. If you’re listening to people who are negative, critical, judgmental and pessimistic, it’s that much harder to get back on track. Making the decision to monitor what and who you’re listening to can filter the messages so only the ones that help can be allowed in.
What you watch:
Watching shows or movies that make you feel anxious and afraid reduces your sense of control rather than enhancing it. You have control over what you watch so the decision to only watch shows that help you feel inspired, entertained, enlightened and happy can give you back a sense of control when it’s been taken from you.
What you do:
Every day you’re making hundreds of choices from the way you dress to the way you interact with others. Making a firm decision to do things that bring you towards what you want versus away from it can slowly remind you that you have more control than you thought.
A morning practice calms the body and mind, establishes a connection when you’re feeling lost, and can help you feel centered and more balanced. Whether you’re journaling, meditating, doing yoga or simply finding a few moments to sit quietly, a practice helps reduce the mental chaos while increasing a sense of control over your life and environment.
When you feel out of control, it’s important to get support from family, friends, the right coach, therapist, health expert or healer. It’s during these times that we can benefit from an unbiased viewpoint, ideas we may not have been aware of, or simply the compassion and support from someone who cares.
Two people can have the exact same experience and can see it so differently based on their perspective. When you’re thrown off track, it’s easy to see things from a victim or martyr standpoint but that only keeps you stuck and small. A different and healthier perspective allows you to see that same scenario as the perfect opportunity to rise; becoming the victor and hero/heroine instead.
So, which of these 10 strategies will you implement to regain a sense of control when you’re faced with a messy reality?
We’d love to know in the comments below!