Releasing control

24th April, 2017   |    By Bethwyn   |    3 min read

There have been so many tragedies on the news lately, planes going missing, planes being shot down. Wars happening. World leaders acting less than ideally. And so many problems happening within Australia that people are beginning to question whether we are really the kind and calm people we were once painted to be.

And then within people’s own lives, there are so many worrisome things that happen. Losing loved ones, or having someone close to us get very sick – either suddenly, or gradually. Everyday stressors impact on us, too. The guy driving in front of you that cuts you off or doesn’t indicate before swerving in front of you, your boss giving you more work than you can possibly handle, your friend not returning your calls because they have a new partner and have disappeared into them. Your pet throwing up on your favourite rug, or tripping you over and making you smash your favourite mug.

We have to deal with so much – people tell us we have to deal with it all – that it is no wonder when we try to control any aspect of our lives that we can. We try to speed up our siblings, yelling at them to get out of the bathroom. We try to eat meals faster so we can return to what we were doing. We push the dog out of the way so they won’t come near us, just in case we’re carrying our favourite mug.

None of it really helps. People just end up irritated with you because you’re yelling at them or nagging them, and I’m pretty sure people are giving themselves serious heartburn from eating so fast. Sometimes, you just need to let go of the need to control everything.

When I first started getting sick, I tried to control it. I still do this sometimes. I would tell my pain to go away for now, and it could come back later. I would try to force myself to do things even when I was feeling really unwell, thinking that it was in my head and would go away, or that it would get better at some point (it usually didn’t). Other people seemed to think that I could control it – if I just did >insert advice here< enough – so I began to think like them, too.

Let me tell you, trying to control my illness didn’t help me feel too good about myself. In fact, I was miserable. And I think most people feel that way when they try to control things to the point of yelling or getting frustrated with loved ones. If we can relinquish control – not necessarily stop working towards a goal, but stop trying to force it to happen – then everything just feels a little lighter, less tense.

Try this – next time you’re running late for something, or feeling the strain about some topic, just stop your thought process – mid-sentence if you need to. Just recognise that you’re feeling stressed, and then let go of needing to get to your location RIGHT NOW. Your worry and stress isn’t going to change anything – it won’t make the traffic faster, as much as you might like to think that. And speeding – whether in a car, on a bike, or just walking – can just make things more dangerous. Relax. Take a few deep breaths, and think about maybe putting on your favourite music, or a radio show. Enjoy the journey, if you can.

Good luck!


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