How to Cope When Things Are Out of Your Control


Sometimes things feel out of your control. While that might only be a feeling on some occasions, there are really are times when you can't control what's happening around you. You can't control what's happening in the news, you have no say over whether someone you love gets ill, and if your boss wants to fire you or make you redundant, there's unlikely to be anything that you can do about it. When things are out of your control, it can be difficult to cope. It might make you feel as if you don't have control over anything when, in reality, it's likely something specific that you can't control. Knowing what methods you can use to cope can make it easier for you to navigate through tough times.

Accept the Things You Can't Control
There will always be things in life that you can't control. You can't stop natural disasters from occurring or other people making decisions that you don't like. It's not always easy to face the fact that you have no control, particularly when you are being affected by an issue that you can't change. However, accepting that there are some things that you can't control can help you to cope. By realising that there's nothing that you can do to change some things, it can help you to worry less. There's no point in worrying about something that you have no control over. You can only react and think about the things that you are able to control.

Control the Things That You Can
You might not be able to control specific things, but that doesn't mean you have no control. Perhaps you can't convince your boss not to fire you, but you can decide what you're going to do once you're out of a job. You can make a choice to look for new work straight away and to apply for benefits in the meantime if you need to. It's not just the big things that you can control, either. Having control over smaller things is also helpful. A daily routine allows you to do lots of little things that you can control. You can decide to do everything from getting out of bed and showering to making a healthy meal or working out.

Recognise What You're Feeling
It's important to allow yourself to feel things. Sometimes, however, you might not even know what you're feeling. It can be difficult to recognise some of your emotions, and even more so to know what to deal with them. Feeling stressed, anxious and even angry when things are out of your control is common. If you look at a list of anxiety symptoms, you might find that you are experiencing several of them. Putting names to your feelings can be extremely helpful. It can help you find the right ways to talk about them and address them.

Find Calming Techniques That Work for You
If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, having methods to help yourself relax can make it easier to cope. There are many ways you calm yourself, whether it is to deal with acute feelings of anxiety or stress, or you want some routine ways to relax. You might enjoy meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, working out, or anything else that helps you to unwind. Sometimes it's the little things that can help you to feel better.

Share How You Are Feeling
Talking to others about how you are feeling is a great way to cope when you feel like things are out of your control. It can be especially helpful when you talk to other people who are experiencing the same things that you are. You might think that you are alone, but you can discover that you have similar feelings to each other. If you don't want to talk to others, you might want to consider writing your feelings down. You can also find ways to share them anonymously online, or you could find a counselling helpline to talk to someone.

Stay in the Present
One of the things that can make you feel anxious when something is out of your control is what might happen in the future. It's easy to spend a lot of time worrying about what comes next, even though you can't do anything about it until it happens. It can help you if you are able to stay in the present instead of dwelling on the future. Practising mindfulness is one way that you can do this, putting your focus on the here and now.

It can be a struggle to deal with things when you're not in control. However, there are ways that you can cope and learn to deal with what's happening.

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