How to Gain a Sense of Control in a World Full of Chaos
There are a lot of things beyond our control. Bad things happen all the time. Global pandemics break out, you might have lost your job, you might hate your job, a relationship may have ended, your favourite shows get cancelled, etc. etc. You get the picture.
The good news is that while there are countless things beyond your control that I can list, there is also an unbelievably long list of things that are in your control that you can choose to focus on.
As the Serenity Prayer goes: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
What Are Some Things You Can Control?
You cannot control everything, but here are a few things you can:
How Much You Try to Learn and Grow
Even if you don’t have a lot of money in the bank, chances are that you have a phone and access to the Internet or a library where you can learn about a lot of things that will help you in your personal life, with your personal growth, in your career, in your relationships, etc.
Spend as much time as you can on learning and personal growth. That is something you can control. You can listen to podcasts and audiobooks and watch videos online. That is something you can control.
How You Spend Your Free Time
You might not have a lot of control over how many hours you have to work in a day to get the job done, but you do have control over how you spend your free time.
Do you spend your evenings at home watching reality TV shows, scrolling through social media, and eating junk food? Or do you spend your free time on learning and personal development, spending time with your friends and family, playing video games, board games, and/or playing with your kids? Do you spend your time doing things you love and working on your skills like gardening, dancing, cooking, playing sports, or writing? Are you using your time to work on your side hustle?
Are you letting your creative freak flag fly? How are you spending your free time? That is something you can control.
Your Health Habits
Maybe you cannot afford to go to a gym or cannot travel to one. But you can exercise in your own home. If you have space the size of a yoga mat, then you have enough space to exercise.
What are you eating? Even if you can’t afford to eat organically, you can try to eat as healthily as possible within your own means. Intermittent fasting is free to do. If you stop snacking, you can save money and if your health improves as a result of your efforts, you can save yourself thousands on medical bills in the future.
Are you getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night? Perhaps the maximum number of hours you can clock is 6 hours (something beyond your control), but if you are only getting 5 hours of sleep per night because you are watching TV late at night, you can take control by getting as much sleep as you possibly can and switching to 6 hours.
Are you drinking enough water? Again, something that you can control.
How Clean is Your Space?
Whether you live in a small room or a mansion, are you taking care of the space you are in? You might not be able to control where you live, but you can control whether or not you leave dirty clothes on the floor, make your bed in the morning, throw out your trash, etc. Cleaning and organising your space is an easy way to start gaining a sense of control.
Are You Taking Care of Your Appearance and Hygiene?
Did you brush your teeth, brush your hair, take a shower, wash your face, trim your nails? You don’t need make-up, expensive clothes, or a hair salon. Do what you can to take care of your personal hygiene and the way you look.
How You Treat Others
Even though you cannot control how other people treat you, you can control how you treat others. Are you helping your friends and family where you can? Are you friendly to the cashier at the store?
How are you treating other people?
Developing a Healthy Mindset
Life may present you with a ton of obstacles, but you can choose to develop a growth mindset, a positive one. You can choose to believe that you can overcome the obstacles you are facing. You must believe that you can figure things out. As Marie Forleo says: “Everything is Figureoutable”.
A healthy mindset is not necessarily something you will develop overnight, but you can choose to work on your mindset. The effort is something you can control.
If you look around and take the time to reflect, you might discover that there are a lot of things that are within your control. Do as much as you possibly can, regardless of where you are in your life and what challenges you are facing.