Long Island Counseling: How to Focus Your Energy on What You Can Control

There is something comforting about control. When we feel like we’re in control of a situation, we feel more confident and more capable. But when we feel like we’re losing control, even if it is of something small, then it can trigger both fear and anxiety.

One of the main issues with feelings of control, however, is that in some ways they are an illusion. There are many aspects of our life which we do not control:

  • Our Partners
  • Our Jobs
  • Our Health

Even the small things, like whether we get approval for a car loan or whether or not our child gets a good grade on a test, are not in our control. Some people respond by trying to take control of these situations, but that can only make it worse – you still do not have control, and you can hurt your relationships in the long run.

Why Worry?

When something is out of our control, we often respond to it with worry. We worry about whether or not the outcome will be in line with what we want and expect. Worry is, in many ways, a form of trying to gain control. By worrying, our minds feel like we’ll be able to gain control over the outcome.

But this is not the case. Worry provides only the illusion of control, but the outcome is still independent of that worry. In the end, your worry plays no role in your ability to get the results that you want, other than cause you stress.

Giving Up Control for a Happy Life

For those that struggle with worry and anxiety, the willingness to give up control over the things we have no control over is a critical step into finding happiness.

Not only does worry itself cause stress and anxiety – but when you’re focused too much on what you cannot control, you’ll often find your happiness is dependent on an outcome that you have no effect on, and that you lose focus on the things that you can control that may actually bring you greater levels of contentment.

If you find that you’re often trying to gain control over that which you cannot, it helps to refocus your energy into looking at what you can control, and what will give you a better life. If you’d like help with your stress and anxiety, please feel free and call me today at 516-732-0273.