941-462-4807 meg@megyounglcsw.com

We all feel out of control from time to time in our lives. We believe life is spinning out of control and there is nothing you can do to stop it or turn it around. All we want to do is cry, or scream, or hide from everything.

The problem is when we feel out of control too often (by the way, how often is too often is a personal thought). When we’re feeling out of control, we’re often looking at the big picture. Whereas that can be and often is a good thing, sometimes it’s overwhelming. For example trying to clean your entire house instead of one room or one task at a time.

I don’t like feeling out of control and I’m sure you don’t either. It has taken me a long time (and I’m still learning) how to stay feeling in control in an out of control world. I’ve talked about the importance of staying in a relaxed body – calm breathing, loose muscles, etc. This is absolutely key to feeling in control. Next time you’re feeling out of control, take a step back and notice your body and what is happening to your breathing and muscles.

When we’re feeling out of control, our bodies THINK we’re in danger and send us flying into fight/flight/freeze mode to protect us. Unfortunately this is the exact opposite of what we need at the moment. We need to get out of fight/flight/freeze and into a calm body so we can think logically and make informed, rational decisions.

Simple, right? Of course it is! I never said “easy;” I said “simple.” How badly do you want to feel in control? Truly! It is one thing to want something, but completely different to crave it with all your being. Once you crave it and set your mind to it, any behavior change (including emotional changes) are within your reach.

Set yourself a goal to work on being in control during any situation. Feel it with all your being. DO something about it every day. Spend a few minutes several times per day practicing mindfulness, breathing, and muscle relaxation. Then think about something slightly upsetting and keep thinking about it while using breathing and muscle relaxation. See what a difference it makes. Don’t give up. Change doesn’t happen immediately. Nobody got good at anything by practicing it once per day or less. Spend time every day working towards this goal and it will be yours!