Letting go of control – 5 ways to regain your life

It’s time to start letting go of control.

Have you ever found yourself trying to micro-manage every area of your life? 

I want the weather to be sunny tomorrow, I want the stock market to go up, I want to feel good and healthy at all times, I want to impress others in my presentation ….and the list goes on. 

Well I am guilty of this, and I can assure you it’s a tiring process that does more harm than good to you in the long run. All these wants are the direct result of the need to control your environment to match your expectations of life. 

If things don’t go as you expect them to, then that’s when negative energies build up and manifest as stress, anger, anxiety and/or sadness. 

Not only is this counter productive it’s a complete waste of your energy. As the saying goes; “where you place your attention is where you place your energy”. If your attention is going towards controlling things that are completely out of your control then you have found yourself a tiring issue.

The current Covid-19 situation, furthermore, goes on to add fuel to a long-burning fire. People can and should take all the precautions needed to ensure good physical health, though what this pandemic is showing us is that life is ultimately not in our control.

Hypocondriac shaking angel of death's hand, then washing his hands

A few years ago I would have found myself freaking out at this situation. A part of me was a massive hypochondriac to the point I wanted to control how long I lived ( …Forever!), I’d want to control what happens to me, when as well as how!

My mind was always switched on, working out how to deliver the impossible task I was asking it to do.

Letting go of control

After years of going round in loops trying to catch my own tail, and a few burnouts later, I came to the realisation that letting things unfold as they are is one of the tricks to regaining peace of mind. 

Don’t think I’ve  become a zen master, I’m nowhere close. I still, till today, tend to control things quite often, but to a much lesser extent and with the awareness and understanding that letting go of control is a necessary and lifelong process.

The rewards of letting go of the need to control everything, indirectly, and ironically leads you to being more in control of your life.

So amidst the chaos of this Covid-19 outbreak, here are 5 ways you can start letting go of control to re-centre yourself today:

Meditate

You don’t have to sit cross legged or chant any mantras. Simply find a comfortable position or go for a walk and mindfully start watching your thoughts without judgement. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without giving in to the urges to react or tighten your chest to avoid discomfort.

To make this process easier, follow your breath in and out to fully ground yourself in the present moment. Meditation isn’t a one time healer. It takes years of practice to get consistent results. 

My advice, start slow, take a few minutes a day and increase gradually as time goes on. If sitting alone with your thoughts is too boring or distracting, try a guided meditation on Youtube. My personal favourite are the guided meditations of Jason Stephenson. 

Check him out :

Journaling

Journaling doesn’t necessarily have to be for times of distress. It’s  actually a proven way of helping one become aware of his/her internal thought processes. Our thought processes are the result of years of construction and they often unfold in our subconscious mind. 

Journaling helps us become aware of the negative thought patterns  in our mind, which lead us to the incessant need to control. 

Becoming aware of our irrational thoughts often allows us to choose a different behaviour or approach the next time a situation out of our control arises.

Limit Social Media/ News Portals

You may be wondering what it has to do with letting go. 

Well in times like these if most of our time is spent giving our attention to the scaremongering of the press or scrolling through Facebook to see everyone’s reactions to  the current outbreak or scrolling to see how many new deaths there are in your area, you’re not putting your energy to good use.

By all means check the news and enjoy social media, just keep your thoughts focused on the positive things you can control around you and avoid all these stories which fuel your anxiety. 

Consider reading a good book, watching a good movie, fitting in a good workout or yoga session or even video group chat with close family and friends. You will notice that letting go of the negative headlines brings more peace to your day.

Gratitude

I never truly believed the power of gratitude until I found myself going through my third stress related burnout. 

Simply make a list of 5 things you are grateful for at this given moment (Yes, even if you have been tested Covid-19 positive!) You will see that a shift of focus on the things you do have rather than the things you lack brings about a feeling of peace and serenity.

Your mind may quickly wonder back to the things you lack, but like any habit, practise makes perfect.

Spirituality

I’ve always been the scientific, logical thinker and hence never gave any importance to spirituality. Spirituality is not the same as being religious. Spirituality is the sense of being connected to something bigger than ourselves. It could be the Universe, Spirit, God, Energy, whatever you want to call it.

What I’ve learnt reading countless scientific and spiritual books is that we are more than our physical bodies. It may be hard to comprehend this just reading it out on a blog post, but the fact that so many different sources (including the Bible!), ultimately share the same message, brings me comfort and helps me to let go of control more and more each day.

Here are a few books amongst many others which I highly recommend you to read: 

  • You can heal your Life (by Louise Hay)
  • Becoming Supernatural (by Dr Joe Dispenza) 
  • An Untethered Soul (by Michael A. Singer).

In conclusion, remember, it’s not all that easy to let go of control. It’s a lifelong process. Though if you keep persisting, you will truly start to see a shift in your energy levels. If you fail and fall, just get back up and persist. I now know it’s well worth the continued effort and it should hopefully keep my 4th control related burnout well at bay.


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