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How to stop trying to control everything - and feel less stressed!

It is so common for our stress and anxiety to be connected to our need and want to control.

And this want can have you feeling that you can control situations that you actually can't.

In fact, in certain situations, we may be so deep in it that we don't realise that this situation is out of our control.

So how can you stop trying to control everything - and feel less stressed?

So the first step, in that case, is to start the practice of zooming out from situations and observing them. Then the second step is to ask yourself, is this situation in my control?

When you can start to categorize things under the labels 'what is within my control' and 'what isn't within my control', it definitely helps to reduce stress and anxiety surrounding a situation.

There are so many things in this world that we can't control, they are external to us and we can only really control how we react to the situation, not the situation itself. Did you take that in? sometimes you can only control how you react to the situation, not the situation itself.

One way you can start to become the observer or 'zoom out' from a situation is through the practice of meditation. You can start to become the observer of your life, you can start to observe the way that you're acting in situations, you can observe how someone is making you feel and then you're able to take that step back. That observation allows you to create awareness to shift your reaction and not become reactive to situations that can be tense and stress-inducing. You can start to realise that the way someone else is acting is out of your control, your reaction is what you can control in the situation.

You might have heard this concept of surrendering something over to a power bigger than

you. It's often used in religious or spiritual practices, it is also used in recovery programs (12-step programs) and I want to cover it because it's a helpful practice. You don't need to be religious, spiritual, or in recovery to adopt the practice.

I use the practice often and in a very practical way. I'll give you an example of how I use it nearly every day that you might like to adopt. If you are trying to get from point A to point B, whether you are on the train, bus, car, or even bike, you will likely experience delays at some point. I catch the train and will often experience delays. It's almost funny now for me to step back and observe the reactions of the different people on the train. Some people are getting really frustrated, some are talking to themselves. If you are running late for something, of course, it's normal to feel frustrated and that's why it's the perfect time to practice this concept.

If you are able to step back or zoom out, you will realise that you can't control this situation. You will realise that the train system, the traffic, and the roads are BIGGER than you. You can surrender the situation knowing that something bigger than you have created this situation. Your frustration won't shift the situation. There's nothing else left for you to do but to surrender and let go of it. Coming back to my earlier point you can't control the situation but you can control how you react to it.

So throughout your day, you can start to reduce your stress and anxiety but asking yourself a few questions and taking a few actions:

  • Can I control this situation?

  • Is this situation out of my control?

  • Is there something bigger than me at play here?

  • Have I done everything I can that is within my control related to this situation?

  • I can control my reaction in a situation, how am I reacting?

  • Am I observing this situation, am I 'zoomed out' of the situation, or am I pulled in and reacting?

  • What can I let go of, what can I surrender so I don't need to carry around stress and anxiety related to things out of my control?

If you want to reduce your stress and anxiety even more, check out the Inner Compass Journal.

Everything about this journal is intentionally easy to follow and simple to integrate into your life. You will see benefits in all aspects of your life, including; your relationship with yourself and others, decision-making, trusting yourself, finding more peace in your life, reducing your stress and anxiety, and making you resilient even through your most difficult moments.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Louise xx


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