Do you ever feel like life is a roller coaster of highs and lows, stresses, and excitements? Sometimes, we can get caught up in a string of events where we feel overwhelmed and things are out of control. We may sometimes feel like we have to take our life back before we lose control of everything.
It can seem like life is a shirt that is falling apart, and if you pull one thread it might unravel everything. Instead of losing sight of your goals and feeling defeated, these 7 behavior changes and small steps will allow you to take back your life.
1. Take Power Back in Your Job
Feeling out of control can often relate to your career and may stem from seeing other people excelling and being promoted when you are not. If this is the case, you might ask yourself, “Am I putting in enough effort? Am I working hard and smart?” Once you assess your answers to these questions, consider developing skills that give you more leverage in your job.
Some examples are improving your writing, joining a networking group to refine your public speaking, or becoming more organized with time management capabilities. Possessing expertise for one of these skills will allow you to feel more in control, which helps you take charge of more tasks and leadership roles.
Feeling out of control can also come from struggling to stand out in the workplace, especially when your job is virtual. It can be difficult to feel noticed on a conference call or Zoom meeting, and this might trigger feeling disconnected.
To regain power and stand out to your boss, you can send email updates or take the extra initiative to do outside research on a group project. You might consider sending your manager a thank you note with a small gift card for supporting everyone during the pandemic.
In virtual meetings, you can create a leadership role for yourself by suggesting that you will bring a motivational quote to each meeting. A small gesture like this gives you a way to stand out, and you can be proud to know that you’re making a difference in the overall experience of your team.
2. Assess Your Financial Stress
When things feel out of control, it can be due to your financial situation. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by debt or unable to pay off a credit card. If this is the case, you’ll want to hit pause and look at behaviors that are causing these circumstances.
Maybe you are overspending on expensive products when there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good. Or you might be paying for subscriptions to services that you never use. Once you figure out what habits are taking a toll on your finances, you can make a plan to regain control in this area and improve your situation.
On the other hand, being overwhelmed by your finances might be the result of not planning enough. If you are considering starting your own business, be sure you are fully aware of the costs involved and determine whether it’s worth it to accrue that debt. By evaluating your options and getting recommendations, you will be more financially prepared.
If you are thinking about earning a college degree or a postgraduate certification, try to plan ahead. Analyze what job you might have with your qualifications and whether it will allow you to pay off any loans or debt. You could also look into alternative career paths, such as specialty trades that do not require 4-year degrees but are a reliable source of income. If you have a solid plan, you can take charge when things feel out of control.
3. Allow Yourself to Outgrow Relationships That No Longer Serve You
Part of taking back your life when things get out of control is understanding your needs first, and then the needs of others. With relationships, desires or lifestyles may change. If this happens, it might feel like things are out of control. If this is the case, remind yourself that you can decide if it is a relationship you want to hold onto.
By assessing your needs first, you might find you’ve outgrown the connection. You don’t necessarily have to end the partnership, but you have the power to change the dynamic. Consider taking time apart or becoming a supportive friend rather than a romantic partner.
With friendships, perhaps your interests no longer align. Your buddies might enjoy getting together for drinks every weekend, but you would rather spend that time and money on a cooking class. It’s okay to focus on yourself. You aren’t ending the friendship. You are just taking more control over your time.
The same goes for family relationships. Maybe you’ve always paid the bills for a relative, but it just isn’t feasible for you anymore. Consider telling your family member that you can no longer financially provide for them, but you will support them in other ways.
Though this might be difficult, it’s important you have to look after your own well-being first. It’s like how the airplane saying goes: put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on someone else. When you understand what connections are best serving you, then you will feel more in control of your life.
4. Practice Positive Self-Talk
When things get out of control, it’s easy to be self-deprecating or hard on yourself. This can quickly lead to a downward spiral of feeling overwhelmed and powerless. To take back your life, create a mantra that you will say when you have a negative thought or feel stressed out.
For example, when something happens that didn’t go the way you wanted, say out loud, “that’s life; release it.” Or if your mind is filled with a swarm of discouraging opinions, try shouting “go away!” You will find that you feel lighter from taking the power back.
Even spending a few moments in front of the mirror every day to say a few encouraging words can be very empowering. When you are your own motivator and say phrases like “today will be a great day” or “we’re going to get past this,” it can transform your mindset, and you will radiate confidence.
Looking into your eyes in the mirror and declaring, “I am proud of myself,” can be uplifting and change your outlook on a difficult situation. The next time you are going to give a presentation, state “I can do this” at least three times. This positive self-talk will encourage you to do the best that you can. Even when things feel out of control, if your thoughts are positive and you are kind to yourself, you will be better able to take back your life.
5. Find Your Go-To People
Having people in your life you know you can count on is invaluable. We all benefit from support or advice from a friend to remind us we don’t have to tackle every obstacle on our own. If there is ever a moment when you feel like you have too much going on, find the go-to person you can call for guidance or vent out.
Various people in your life can be coaches in different ways. You might have a specific person you can reach out to when you’re having job challenges because this friend is really career-focused. When you need a shoulder to cry on, find that empathetic companion you know will best comfort you.
A close family member can also be the key. They can help you clear your mind and pull you out of a rut by offering a new perspective and reminding you that you are strong. Your family often knows you best, and they will always support you. Even your four-legged friends can be there when you need to get something off your chest. Our pets are great listeners. Having loved-ones like this who empower and encourage you in times of need will make it easier to gain control when life gets tough.
6. Revive Your Energy
To take back your life when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try discovering ways to be rejuvenated. If you’re working from home and sit at your desk for hours, consider taking 5-minute breaks to move around. This could be quickly walking in your home to get your energy level up or even doing 10 jumping jacks and a few pushups.
Consider buying a standing desk that gives you the freedom to be active while doing work. Moving will get your blood pumping, and instead of feeling tired and complacent, you will be motivated to conquer anything.
Stimulating your five senses is another way to revive your energy. Turning on all the lights might make you feel more awake and motivated or dimming them and lighting a candle may help you concentrate. Opening a window, feeling the fresh air, and hearing sounds from outdoors can also be revitalizing. Even adding family photos to your desk or putting an inspirational poster on the wall can be visually stimulating and increase your energy.
You might consider listening to music that pumps you up while you work. Your favorite songs will be invigorating and empower you to take on the day. Finding energy and motivation will set you up for success and assist you in gaining control of life.
7. Make Time for Reflection
Sometimes, life feels out of control because we are constantly busy and surrounded by noise. You have to find that quiet place where you can reflect and ponder on how you’re really feeling. This might be when you’re doing the dishes or folding laundry. A chore can give us the space to process what is happening in our life. Finishing a task is also therapeutic and allows us to feel lighter.
Even driving to work can be a quiet time for reflecting before the next activity. It creates an opportunity to mentally plan and prepare for what’s coming up. The shower is also where some of the best ideas are generated. We can wash away a day full of tension and come out feeling refreshed and more alert.
When reflecting on your past or future, consider breaking it down into things you can control in a day. Ask yourself if you are happy or are if there habits or activities you want to change.
You might decide that you’re unsatisfied with your weight or eating habits. Just becoming aware of this is part of taking back your life. Remember the words of Maya Angelou: When you know better, do better.
By hitting the pause button and making time for reflection, you will be able to move towards regaining control.
It’s never too late to take back your life. You might feel like you will never get out of your financial hardship, but there are ways to get assistance.
Debt can be written off, and you can always negotiate. If you feel stuck in a stagnant relationship, you can always take a break from that person, go to counseling, or start a new partnership. It’s never too late to pursue your personal goals. If you want to go after that promotion or start a new hobby, there is no time like the present!
Remember, you always have options and life is a journey. If everything were perfect, we would not have the heroic stories from times when we picked ourselves up after a setback. By practicing these 7 tips, you will feel prepared to tackle and embrace life when it feels out of control.
More Tips on How to Take Back Your Life
- How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries
- How to Get Your Life Back on Track When Things Are Out of Control
- Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power
Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com