How to be Centered When Everything is Out of Control

“You only have control over three things in your life—the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”

~Jack Canfield

On many days, we have the feeling of being out of control. No matter how much we would like to be in control of every aspect of our life, the bottom line is that we have no control. And this is the hurdle we must surmount. What do we do about that feeling of not having any control? It’s not pleasant, and in fact, it’s a major source of anxiety and stress. It leads to professionally diagnosed disorders, restricts us with inaction, and makes life unlivable.

So, we come back to the question, how can we be centered when everything is out of control? How do we keep the chaos and mess around us, from usurping our peace? The solution is unique to the person and there are a variety of practical ways to remain centered when lacking control. Where the situation appears complex, the solution may be simple.

The immediate answer is to ensure your mental health. When your mental health is in jeopardy, so is everything else. It is imperative to protect your mental well-being, to maintain a sound mind, and fortify your mind against negativity, stagnation, and unproductivity.

Photo by Anh Q. Tran

Acknowledge your feelings. Recognizing the lack of control, like a lot of problems, is the first step. You can’t do anything until you identify the problem—And the problem is the feeling and being out of control. It’s the awareness that you have no power over the situation and it’s okay. I repeat—it is okay. It’s perfectly normal to get mad, get frustrated, or even depressed by not having control. The key is not letting that feeling consume you. If it does, you become immobilized and effectively unable to change your situation.

Photo by Nada Gamal

Accept the feeling of being out of control. One of the main reasons the lack of control is overwhelming and in some instances to the point of obsession is that we do not accept the fact that we are out of control. No matter your position, what authority you may have, what security you are given and hold on to, the only thing you can control is yourself.

Photo by Trent Szmolnik

Empty your mind. The mind becomes a dangerous place when negative and oppressive thoughts overwhelm the psyche. Gather them all together and release them. These thoughts will paralyze you and it’s best to be rid of them. There are many ways to dispose of these thoughts, such as therapy or group meetings. I lean towards journaling as a daily therapeutic practice. I leave my thoughts on the page.