How to Deal with Anxiety over Things You Can’t Control
Take a breath.
We live in a world full of chaos and unknowns. Nothing is too consistent and some people don’t deal with that as well as others. The unknown is one of the most unsettling thoughts for someone with anxiety. Typical for most people, the more control you have over something, or someone, or some situation, the better you feel. Yet, it is impossible to have control over everything in this life. Sometimes you just have to let it go. Here are some things you can do to decrease your anxiety when you don’t have control.
Figure out what things you can’t control.
If you can pinpoint and verbalize the things in your life that you have no control over, it is empowering. By saying “I don’t have control over this and that is okay,” you almost feel like you have more control than before. You are controlling how you react and act. Acknowledging these things is vital because if you try to ignore it or ignore the fact that you have no control, your anxiety will increase. Decreasing your anxiety starts with the acknowledgment of the things you cannot control.
Figure out what things you can control.
On the opposite note, pinpoint and verbalize things that you can control in your life. Doing this helps you differentiate between what you have power over and what you don’t. Also, harnessing your energy and emotions into a productive through process does wonders for your anxiety. Sometimes I write a list of things everyday that are up to me, that I can have control over, and that I can decide on. This settles me down and emotionally grounds me.
Finding the middle ground between control and letting go
You have to realize that nothing is black and white. In the things that you can control, there is always something that is still out of your control. Yet, in the out of control things you can find something within to control. For example, you can control what you wear everyday but you can’t control what other people think about what you wear. On the other hand, you can’t control a fluke accident but you can control different aspects of your safety. My brother who was always afraid of being in danger had to realize that sometimes things happen and he will never know if or when they will. But to help him, he installed wireless security cameras in his home to have some piece of mind. He accepted that he can’t control the outside world but he can control his home and how he monitors it. You can control what time you leave for work. If you are anxious about being late or not making it in time for a flight, don’t focus on the outside circumstance that may affect that like traffic. You can’t control traffic. Yet, you can control how early you leave.
Speaking positive affirmations to yourself does wonders in this arena. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, feeling anxious, and downward spiraling, you need to tell yourself that it is okay. “I can do this”, “everything will turn out fine”, “I am doing a great job” are a few positive affirmations that can help when feeling anxious. If you start focusing on something and start feeling anxious but you can’t control it, take a deep breath and tell yourself one of these things. I promise it will decrease your heart rate and calm you down.
It will be a lifelong struggle trying to figure this out. These few tricks are really beneficial and may help decrease your anxiety.