We all live under the impression we are in full control of our lives until the unpredictable happens. This is when we realize this is far from being true, and we start panicking. While the unpredictable can always occur, how you react to it makes the difference between being or not in control of your life. Dominating your anxieties and managing obstacles is what also puts us in full control of our lives. Below are some strategies that will help you manage better how you deal with, and react to what is happening in your life. (1)
Accept you are not in full control
Acceptance is the first step to mastering your own life. This doesn’t mean you have to act passively to what is happening to you. It only means that you have to accept that unpredicted and unasked for events can always occur, and they shouldn’t derail your entire life. It means you have to accept your life also depends on external events, which you may not always account for in your plans. This is the first step to always being ready to deal with the unpredictable.
Do things that scare you
If fear is what is holding you back, getting involved in things and activities that scare you can be a good form of exposure therapy. It will help you, in the long run, to face your fears easier, and become less sensitive to scary scenarios.
Breaking free from a life lived in fear is facing them. Are you scared to sit in the face of a large audience? Next time you go out, pick a karaoke night and sing in the face of all those strangers. This isn’t as useless at it initially looks. It will force you to master your negative emotions with more ease in more formal situations; a business presentation, for instance.
Sleep plays a determinant role
Anxiety and the lack of control are things that go hand in hand. And, apparently, they are both rooted in the lack of sleep discipline. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and try to stick to a clear sleeping schedule. Discipline is the key word here and you should follow the same sleep schedule every night, to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.
The lack of sleep structure and discipline are identified as roots of several mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. You can’t be in control of your life when battling anxiety, so beware of your sleeping patterns.
Save money to control the unpredictable
Financial hardship is the least desired situation you want to find yourself in. However, when you are in control of this situation, your self-esteem goes through the roof. Save money, to prepare for the unpredictable.
When living without savings, you are not in control over your life. You can do as much as prioritizing expenses, without having an actual choice. And if unpredictable expenses appear, your entire life is thrown back, and you start panicking.
You can follow some simple money-saving strategies, the 50-30-20 being one of the most popular. In this budgeting strategy, you allocate 50% to paying off your bills and monthly expenses, 30% to clothing, entertainment, and so on, and 20% of your monthly income goes into your savings account.
Pick up a hobby that forces you to be cool-minded
Being in control of your life also means not letting yourself driven by emotions, exclusively. If you have difficulties in controlling your reactions and keeping a cool head, you can look into hobbies that virtually force you to keep your cool and avoid impulsive reactions.
You may be surprised, but Forex trading is one of those hobbies that might help you. You can’t trade currencies successfully without patience and discipline.
Get a good grasp of the basics and try to find reliable ECN brokers. These are good starting points, and you can build up from there.
Currency trading will also force you to outline clear goals for your journey and to define strategies that will help you reach those goals. Being able to identify risks, to keep fear and greed at bay are good lessons Forex trading will teach you. And that will put you in full control over your life.
Ditch social media
Social media is outdated, and it prevents you from becoming your best self. It forces you to unintentionally compare yourself and your life with others’, it makes you waste time, and it is far from being as useful as it used to a while ago.
Use social media only as a tool to keep in touch with your loved ones. A social media-free regimen will help you a lot, in the beginning. After a while, you can start checking your feeds once a day, but no more.
Lists are your best friends
If forgetfulness and the lack of organization are the things that prevent you from being in full control of your life, making lists can be a good habit you can pick up.
Get a daily planner if this helps. Prioritize your activities based on their importance, and try to achieve as many goals as possible from your list. This will teach you discipline and organization and will allow you to refill your schedule with other important tasks and activities, as soon as you tackle the ones you have on your list.
Give up stimulants
Caffeinated drinks can be a real helper, but for the anxious person who wants to gain more control of their life, it can be destructive. It’s not about the substance itself, it’s about the amounts you ingest. And most people tend to consume too much caffeine and energizing substances. Besides, ditching caffeine can help you practice self-discipline and acquire more control of your life. After all, caffeine causes dependency and kicking off the habit will reinforce your discipline.
These are some of the best tips we can offer for those who want to gain more control over their lives. However, there are more strategies than the ones presented above, so feel free to do your independent research.
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.