“We need to focus on what we can control, rather than what we can’t, because if you spend too much time trying to control the weather, you’ll miss out on the sun.”
There are so many things in this life that we can’t control. The weather, the opinions of others, who our next prime minister will be, and certainly not the impact of COVID-19 on our society. We can try and sway people by being the YES-MAN, we can vote in every election and we can pray every day for the sun. But the reality is, if we spend our life fighting against the rain, everything else in life passes us by too.
As cliche as it sounds, we need to focus our energy on what we can control, as opposed to what we can’t. Not only does this help our outlook on life and our mental health, but it removes us from the daily grind of autopilot and forces us to focus on being more aware of ourselves.
10 Things you can control RIGHT NOW.
How you interpret a situation.
You can’t control how someone interacts to or with you. But you can control how you choose to interpret it a situation. Step back and think about how you’re going to react before it happens. What are you thinking and why? What can you do right now, and what should you take away from this? How the other person reacts is outside your control, as are the emotions or feelings attached to their reaction. The sooner we learn that we can’t control others around us, the easier it becomes to focus on our own reactions.
How you treat others.
Kindness. Forgiveness. Warmth. Compassion. These are only a few ways that you can positively choose to treat people. I’m a firm believer in karma, and what you put out into the world will come back to you. Some would even say it comes back threefold! So, I’m always cautious about treating people fairly and compassionately.
That does not mean that you are free to be walked over! Do not allow someone to undermined your or treat you disrespectfully. Refer to the above point on how you can approach those situations mindfully.
What articles/blogs/books you read.
The media we consume can be the making or breaking of our mental health. If you’re constantly looking at models who face tune, and generally alter their photos, how does that impact how you feel about yourself? Does that make you feel good about your unaltered body in its natural state? No, of course not.
While weaning myself back to social media in February 2019 after an extended break, I made a point to unfollow all the accounts that caused me harm. That meant having to make harsh decisions when it came to my friend’s list too, as some of them constantly promoted weight loss. Sadly, that also meant unfollowing a great few people on Instagram who were in recovery. Not because I didn’t want to support them, but because their own recovery bodies/pre-recovery bodies/the words they used triggered me so intensely.
Remember. You’re in control of the media you consume. If you’re in a dark place and continue to read nothing but triggering content, chances are you won’t be leaving that place anytime soon.
Asking for help is hard. I’m not going to sit here and deny that. But making the choice to allow yourself to ask someone, anyone, for help is up to you. If and when you decided to ask for help, remember, you are brave. Possibly the bravest you’ve ever been. You should be so, so proud of yourself.
Whether or not you eat.
This is so important whether or not you’ve had prior food-related issues. Our bodies need nourishment and hydration throughout the day. Even if you’ve just eaten, if you’re still hungry, then honor it. Don’t wait until you’re actively thirsty, keep a bottle of water or juice near you at all times. The more we nourish ourselves, the better we function as both people and living beings.
By allowing yourself to eat you’re topping up the resources your body needs to keep going. Hunger causes so much unbalance and often leaves us unproductive, lethargic, and hangry!
How many times you say ‘I love you‘.
This might seem like a very silly thing, but you have no idea how important those three little words can be. ‘I Love You’ can never be said enough to the ones you hold dear.
Whether or not you judge other people.
You can’t control if other people judge you, but you can control your judgment of others. It takes practice, and won’t happen overnight. If you work in an environment where the bitching is high, it can be even harder. BUT no one likes being judged, especially unfairly.
“When you catch yourself saying or thinking judgemental things, mentally pull yourself aside and remind yourself that you don’t like it, so nor would they!“
How much time you spend worrying.
I’m an anxious person by nature, and I get how easy it is to get drawn into worrying. There is certain things we can do though. We can stop ourselves mid-worry, and gently take one step at a time.
- What am I worrying about?
- Will worrying about it now change anything?
- Is there anything I can do, or is it out of my control?
I used to worry about all the things that I really couldn’t control. On occasion, I still do, but I’ve learned to walk through it slowly in my head and determine if it’s really helping anything.
“Worrying never robs tomorrow of it’s sorrow, it only saps today of it’s joy.”Leo.F. Buscaglia.
Controlling what we say to ourselves is so, so important. The internal conversations we have with ourselves can make or break our mental health. Being positive and compassionate builds a healthier level of self-esteem than if we are always talking down to ourselves.
Think before you speak. Is it helpful? Are you being overly critical? Would you say it to your best friend? No to all of these? Go back and try again.
Speak to yourself how you would speak to your friends, your nieces, nephews or even your kids!
The effort you put in.
Put in the effort in your recovery and you’ll reap the benefits. Don’t kill yourself, but always do your best in every situation and you’ll never have any regrets about your performance.
What else do you think is within your control?
These are only a small selection of the things in life which are well within your control, no matter the situation. Don’t burden yourself with worries that aren’t yours to carry. Do what you can for yourself and the ones you love, and STOP high jacking the worries of others.
Easier said than done, right?