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  • Writer's pictureAshley McMann

Letting go of control

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Over the past week I heard this saying spoken a handful of times by individuals all across the board. After about the fourth or fifth time, I finally came to the realization that maybe it wasn’t just a weird coincidence and the universe, God, whatever you want to call it was trying to tell me something.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with control, particularly the inability to control others. After weeks of trying to force specific reactions and responses out of others, it finally dawned on me that I was attempting to change things I had no control over. I was only making things worse and creating unnecessary worry for myself. Having this realization made it clear to me that I needed to release control of some things and allow things to flow naturally. Releasing myself from control allowed me to let go of unneeded stress in my life.

So how do we let go?

Embrace trust. Rather than try and force things to work out the way you think they should and in your time, learn to trust the process and have faith that everything will work out the way it is intended to. Release yourself from the need to know what’s next.

Accept what you cannot control. We all have a circle of control. Within that circle are the things within our control, mainly ourselves. Outside of the circle is everything outside of our control. Allow yourself to let go of that which is outside of your circle.

Control the things you can. Write out what is in your circle of control and focus on that. For example, you may not be able to control others, but you can control how you react. In the end, you will be more effective and less anxious when you focus your time and energy on the things you can control.

Ground yourself. When we feel out of control, we often let our anxiety get the best of us. We ruminate on all the ways things could do wrong, rather than focusing on what could go right. This can cause anxiety to spike, making it difficult to regulate our emotions and behavioral responses. When this happens we need to bring ourselves back down to earth. Go for a walk, call a friend, meditate, or engage in breathwork. Grounding ourselves and learning to control our emotions will make letting go of control much easier in the long run.

Positive Affirmations. Develop healthy mantras to keep yourself going and remind yourself when you are in control. My go to mantra in any situation I can’t control is the three simple words “Let it be”. Saying these words in my head reminds me that while I have no control over the situation, I honor and respect myself enough to trust the process and have faith in the outcome.

If you feel you could use some help in releasing control and living a more peaceful life counseling can help. Contact us at Mindful Living Therapy today. We can be reached at 512-931-1404 or contact us here.

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