What is one thing you can control? I frequently ask this question in my work. Oftentimes our life can feel out of our control – whether you were passed over for the promotion you thought you deserved or you are experiencing a painful rift within a relationship or your kids just don’t seem to listen to anything you say – a lot of life can feel out of our control! And when we feel out of control, we can become anxious or feel discouraged by our own sense of powerlessness.
Focusing on what you can control, lessens those feelings.
When we talk about one thing that you can control, the emphasis is often on changing your perspective or controlling your reaction to a situation. This requires a shift in your mindset and attitude. All of which are good and necessary things! But sometimes that can be hard as it can take a lot of work and time to arrive at a healthier emotional place. So I wanted to suggest something different.
What if while working to address your emotions, you take a slight detour and try doing something tangible? This is by no means a “fix”, but it can sometimes be a helpful starting point when you are feeling stuck and out of control.
I recently found myself in a season where several things in life seemed out of my control. I felt trapped and my outlook on everything began to take a negative bent. And then I did a thing – one Saturday I went to Target and bought a few baskets and bins and spent an hour organizing my linen closet. Did all of my problems magically go away that afternoon? No! But for a moment, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I set out to do a task and continued it to completion. I engaged in something creative and calming. For me, organization offers a sense of peace as I was able to glean and simplify a space, bringing chaos to order. This simple task left me feeling invigorated. It lifted my mood and reminded me that there is still a lot that I can do even in this challenging season.
This act served as a catalyst to begin shifting my mindset to feel differently about things beyond my control.
If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, what is one tangible thing that you can do today that may help you regain a small sense of control?
Written by: Rebekah Jones