What has control got to do with stress?
Control was always something I really struggled with if I am being honest. Perhaps it was my personality or my upbringing but I always felt as though I need to be able to predict what was around the corner so that I could plan and be prepared. It probably came from my need to always be perfect or perceived as such which is closely linked to self esteem which I will cover in another post. I am the kind of person that thrives off following a routine and having structure in my life, and in the past if things didn't go as I had planned them it would throw me off and leave me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Perhaps you can relate!
If there is one thing that living with a chronic autoimmune condition has taught me its that I cannot control everything, that if something is outside of my control that there is no point getting frustrated and trying to constantly 'fix' things, it is best to let go, to accept and to surrender. For me that is when I have made plans (following through with my words is one of my strongest values) but I have a flare up and I cannot follow through. I have learnt that there is no point beating myself up over it because tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to do better or be better.
It is in our human nature to seek structure, routine, control and balance however we cannot let things not going to plan throw us into a downward spiral. The fact of life is that sometimes things will happen that we have no control over.
When I was younger I would always try to find a meaning behind whatever had happened especially when bad things happened. I would asks my self 'Did I subconsciously attract or manifest this into my life?' or 'What lesson is the universe trying to teach me here' and to be honest that was just down right exhausting to think that way. Absolutely often there are lessons to be learned however sometimes life is random, bad things happen to good people for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On a more positive note some of the best things in life happened when they aren't planned and completely spontaneous that is one of the best parts of living mindfully in the present moment in my opinion. A part of this is being okay with change and welcoming new things and experiences into our life and trusting that it will enrich us and help us to grow.
When it comes to control I like to use the phrase 'control the controllable'. I also prefer to use the word influence rather than control. When something doesn't go to plan I ask myself was, this within my control? Could I have influenced the situation or other person in a different way through my words or actions? After asking these questions I will let go, move on and accept that what happened is in the past and I must focus on being in the present moment rather than obsessing over what I or another person could have done differently (that past situation cannot be changed).
I posted about this on Instagram but I thought I would share it here to round this post out. A little disclaimer upfront and not to sound all 'woo woo' however I learnt this in a dream and I think it is so powerful.
In my dream I was a a yin yoga class and instead of the teacher coming up and adjusting my pose she came to the top of my mat and looked me in the eye and said 'Rebecca, for every action there is a reaction, you get to choose your action, that is the very definition of free will, just remember like causes like'.
I think that is so relevant to control. How others act or respond is within their control not yours, what you have control over is how you respond and your energy. If you lash out or become passive that is you choosing your your energy, I try to practice empathy and remember that I don't know the day or life the other person has had, they are living their truth and doing their best there is no good in letting the negative energy of others effect me.
Wow! this was a long post! I hope it helps.
As always, love and light!
Until next time,