Three Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

In today’s world, life can often feel like a never-ending list of things we must do to be successful in life. Throw in the constant buzz around personal development and productivity, and things can quickly escalate into a spiral of inaction. To feel more in control of your life, you need to go back to the basics.

Champions are brilliant at the basics.

John Wooden

Three basic things you can do to gain back control and direct your life in the direction you want to go.

Pay Attention

Overstimulation can cause your attention to wander in many different directions, which can result in poor decision making and ultimately contribute to your already rising stress levels. Think of those days when you are running around trying to complete all the tasks you think are essential, only to feel you haven’t achieved anything at the end of the day.

Contrary to popular belief, no one can multitask effectively; our cognition doesn’t allow it. So that long list of things you need to do can either end up in a series of incomplete or poorly executed tasks or an all-day Netflix binge with nothing completed.

To combat this, try to focus on one task at a time. Walk outside without a phone or music to recalibrate and begin your tasks with a solid foundation.

Spending time in nature has many positive effects on the mind, grounding you in the present, replenishing your cognitive abilities and having a knock-on effect on other areas of your life.

Catching Feels

The concept ‘you are the five closest people you surround yourself with’ has been around for a while now. Growth and success is not all your group contribute to your life. You can also be highly susceptible to those around you’s emotions.

Getting pulled into negative talk can be very easy, especially with all the difficult things going on in the world right now. Spending time with people who focus on the negative aspects of life (you know the serial complainers who have a whole lot to say about nothing) will inevitably lead to you focusing on the same. Over time you will feel drained around these people, and you will become a drain on your own life.

When you focus on the positive, you can have the same effect on those around you, which may help manage those difficult people in your life that you cannot escape.

So, surround yourself with people who encourage and support you and create boundaries for complicated people. Take a beat when you find yourself agreeing with something you know you wouldn’t usually agree with. Peer pressure is not just for teens!

by Marekuliasz at Getty Images

Trust Your Intuition

When faced with a decision that may cause something in your life to change, whether that’s having eggs for breakfast instead of cereal or leaving your job and pursuing what you love, it’s going to have a domino effect in many other areas of your life, and your brain knows it. Your brain is quite content with the way things are, it knows that cereal at breakfast means you’re embarking on the same routine as the day before, and the day before that; nice, comfortable, reassuring routine, even if you know in yourself, it’s not what you love. When your brain susses out, you are on track for a change; its safety mechanisms kick in.

So, what are your brain’s safety mechanisms that prevent change?

They are our old friends’ procrastination, perfectionism, worry, fear, and impulsive action.

To make changes your brain won’t freak out at, or will at the very least settle down quickly, we need to take baby steps.

First, we need to ensure a calm state of mind — here is where meditation is beneficial to allow your brain to freak out and throw a million and one scenarios and outcomes at you. Meditating is helpful because it will enable your brain to begin processing change. Once you have gone through all the negative, your brain will be open to the positive. Allow your brain to explore all possibilities.

Once you have gone through that process, bring the issue you’re having/ the change you want to make to your mind, allow yourself to ask any questions, do not edit yourself. It can also be helpful at this point to write your questions down. Then you can pick those questions and responses that resonate with you most, which is where your intuition comes in. You may feel it as something in your stomach, your chest, or an overall feeling of knowing. Trust this; even if you are not 100% certain, you can continually reevaluate.

“Intuition is seeing with the soul.”

Dean Koontz

You can implement three simple things right now and instantly gain more control in every area of your life.

Remember, do not focus on being 100%; that is perfectionism trying to coerce you into the world of perfectionism.

Feeling more in control of your life means taking responsibility. Practice paying attention to how you feel when completing tasks, spend time with encouraging and challenging people, and listen to your intuition. When you feel like your days are beginning to get on top of you, don’t ignore it and keep pushing on; this will inevitably lead to burnout. Stop. Listen. Learn from yourself. You are the only one that can do it.

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