How to be OK with having no control over your situation

So much is out of our control. And, with the way the world is today – we don’t even have control over whether we can leave the house. Of course, we stay home, because we want to be safe and do our part to keep others healthy, but it’s freakin’ hard.

That’s why it’s important for us to remember the things we do have control over. Otherwise, we can get extremely frustrated and really lack any sense of calm or even focus. 

Feeling out of control isn’t healthy for us – mentally or physically. Things that I have noticed happening with me….you might relate:

  • Lack of focus or concentration
  • Feeling of uncertainty and just an overall anxious feeling
  • Lethargic, tired, achy

Other things that I’ve heard people say they are feeling are snappy or argumentative, unsatisfied and bored, and just “out of sorts.”

If you want real control, drop the illusion of control. 

~Byron Katie

The problem with wanting to have control over our situation is that it causes us to actively resist “what is” or when “life happens.”

We have an idea of how we want life to be for us. And, then when it doesn’t turn out that way, we resist or push back against the outcome we didn’t want or didn’t plan for. 

None of us (well, unless you’re a scientist or into epidemiology) expected that there would be a pandemic across the world that would force most of us to stay home.

We didn’t even think about “social distancing” or “self isolation.” No one thought we’d be worried about finding what we need (i.e., toilet paper) at the store or making DIY masks.

Resistance can show up as complaining, worrying, dwelling, or constant news watching/reading.

It can also be doing things that we know aren’t the best choices like snacking on junk, binging Netflix, sleeping in late, hanging out for hours on social media, or even watching Tik Tok videos (take it from me…this will SUCK you in!).

Whatever way it shows up, resistance causes mental and physical stress. 

What is the opposite of resistance? FLOW

Below is an infographic explaining the difference between Resistance and Flow.

Resistance vs. Flow infographic

As you can see, flow is a MUCH better option. But how do we stop resisting and get to the place of ease by accepting what life hands us?

How can we just be OK with things happening that we didn’t want or plan for? That doesn’t sound so easy. Sometimes things that are out of our control are REALLY crappy, REALLY hard, and REALLY suck! For some of us, this pandemic may be creating extreme hardships.

I do NOT want to minimize how difficult it is for so many people. I also do not want to compare anyone’s difficulties or abilities to manage situations or circumstances.  

For meditation today, I searched the word FLOW. While in meditation, I was reminded that letting go or surrendering to what IS can be an amazing way to FEEL BETTER about having little or no control over a situation.

Meditation is the ONE THING that I know will help us move from resistance to flow.

Flowing WITH what is happening, rather than struggling against what is happening will automatically create less tension. You will feel an immediate sense of relaxation and clearing of your mind.

Clearing your mind can:

  • Remove clutter that leads to being unfocused, unclear, and unproductive.
  • Create space for doing things that make you happy. 

Easing the tension can:

  • Release stress on your bones and muscles.
  • Give you more energy to choose healthy options which in turn lead to less brain fog and more focus or clarity.

Meditation can help us learn how to release resistance and to flow with what is. One of the first things we do when starting a meditation is to “settle in” which to me involves focusing on releasing tension in all parts of the body.

Sometimes it’s a body scan – relaxing and releasing all tension throughout the body, one body part at a time. This tension is like the resistance we put up in situations that are outside of our control (or not what we would have chosen).

Practicing the releasing of tension during meditation makes it easier for us to release during other times…like when we are feeling anxious about going back to work or watching the news and feeling like there’s nothing you can do to help. (Remember though – staying home IS helping.)

Dealing with uncertainty and things outside of our control is hard stuff. For some of us, these life circumstances can be extremely difficult. To get to a place of being OK with having no control over your situation, start consistently practicing meditation today. 

If you’ve been meditating on and off, here and there, I recommend carving out time each day for quieting the mind. If you’ve tried, but didn’t it didn’t really click for you, try it again.

There are unlimited guided meditations on YouTube or any number of apps. (I use Insight Timer.) Some of them resonate with me and others don’t.

Meditation will give you the chance to practice flowing WITH your circumstances rather than resisting or fighting against them, giving you more opportunities for living a more peaceful and healthy life.  

And, if you are able to practice  with consistency, it can make a world of difference! 

I use a Habit Tracker to check in with myself and see how consistent I am with my various routines. Try this FREE Habit Tracker to help you with consistently adding some super simple things to your daily routine!

Remember to check in on Facebook and email me anytime! We got this!

~Lisa


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. FIrst of all, I love your infographic—so simple to understand!
    I am in midlife. Exercise is huge for me! And I don’t do anything at the gym, I just get outside and garden and pull weeds. When I have a few days not moving, wow it really affects me. Once i get outside, my mood lifts.
    I have a new issue though, my shoulder is starting to hurt!
    xo Eva

    1. Lisa

      Oh Eva! I was raking the other day and the tendinitis in my forearms was flaring up the next few days! Seems like there are new issues creeping up on is in this period of life. Thanks so much for your comment and for your note about the infographic!!

  2. Jenifer

    It’s so interesting how you’ve explained this and it makes complete sense. Among huge issues like health, financial stress, etc..it was really about changing our way of life over night. I think going with the flow of the new normal is so much easier after the initial resistance is over. Great post!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks for your feedback Jenifer!

  3. Shelley Webb

    Clearly, I’m not in the flow… and I don’t even have an excuse because I have worked from home for over 8 years! I’ve even been meditating. I think I just need some retail therapy! 😉

    1. Lisa

      LOL – I dreamt of shopping the other night Shelley! Retail therapy actually sounds helpful right about now!

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