As humans, we are told we have to keep on top of thousands of different things to be successful. We’re told to be authentic, yet professional, to work hard, yet make sure to prioritize self care. We need to fit infinite things into our days to be ‘perfect’. In 2020, almost 80% of the US population were stressed, while in the UK, 60% of young people felt under extreme pressure to succeed. It’s more essential than ever before to remember that you can’t always be in control of your life.
Yet sometimes we do feel like our lives go off track. Fortunately, we can take steps to regain control and confidence. This article is going to focus on the realistic steps you can take as an individual, when you need to feel in control of life again.
Organize The Space Around You
You can’t physically control external forces in your life, but you can physically control the space around you. As much as possible, organize your items and living space. Cleaning can be extremely therapeutic, and techniques like Marie Kondo and her KonMari method have only grown in popularity over time. Many people feel a renewed sense of purpose and clarity when they take the time to declutter their lives.
The minimalist movement has gained in popularity, with many people hiring skips and storage facilities to help reduce the mess in their homes and businesses. Sheridan Skips is an excellent example of a skip hire and waste removal company that specializes in both industrial and residential waste removal. If you are struggling to make a dent in your home waste clearance, invest in a business with a dedicated account manager that can help create order.
Getting clutter and disorder under control, on your terms, allows you to restore order to what might seem like a small, but is in fact a significant part of your life. On average, 80% of individuals who take the time to organize and declutter their personal space feel happier and in control of their lives. Starting with small things you can control will ultimately shift your perspective on how you view your life.
Take Some Time To Think
When things seem out of control, your brain often speeds up, with thoughts spiraling wildly out of control. If you feel like your life is going off track, take some time to think. Reconnect with yourself and take some time to jot down the following thoughts:
- Are you doing what makes you happy right at this moment?
- What is one thing you can do that you enjoy today?
- Can you take the time to do five minutes of self care? What would that self care look like?
Take a brief moment to identify one thing that will make you happy now, and do it. It only has to be a quick five minutes if any longer seems too daunting, but that small step is the first move towards taking control of your life. Over time, you can build up these small moments of self care into longer periods of time. Having some time to think and look after yourself will help you feel in control.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Easier said than done, right? Our quest for perfection leaves many of us with highly unrealistic expectations. If we applied them to anyone else, we’d feel like we were being overly critical and putting too much pressure on one person. You are enough as you are. Putting too much pressure on yourself can take a huge toll on our physical and mental health. If you take the pressure off yourself to achieve that unrealistic goal, you’ll be surprised at how much more in control of your life you will feel.
The 1% Better Mindset
The 1% better mindset is the idea that each day you can try to be 1% better than the day before. By the end of the year you will be 365% better, with incremental steps taken every 24 hours. This can be the tiniest step, like going to bed 10 minutes earlier, saying kind words to the person you buy your paper from, or even gradually planning a trip you’re going to take at the end of the year.
If your life is feeling out of control, then the 1% better mindset is a small but manageable goal you can set yourself to create small and achievable targets that you’ll build up over time. When you set yourself unrealistic goals, you’re more likely to fail as you set yourself unrealistic standards. This is why New Year’s resolutions so often are unsuccessful. Rather than enjoy the process of self-improvement, we set targets we’ll never meet, and beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve them.
The 1% better mindset allows you to enjoy the process of self-improvement. Remember, life is a marathon and not a sprint. If you plan the small steps to achieve the bigger end-goal, you’ll feel like you are more in control of your life, and are steering it in the direction you want.
Identify What The Problem Is
All too often we have those vague feelings of something in life not feeling right. But, what is the actual issue? Are you unhappy with your work, your personal life, your relationship? Really dig into the root cause of the issue and you’ll be able to take proactive steps to get your life back on track.
However, what might seem like a huge issue might not be the root cause of your problem. We evaluate three simple solutions that could help you get greater insight into yourself, and rule out any of the below issues.
Solution 1: Socialize A Little More
People are feeling down in a mid-pandemic world. Many people feel vaguely unhappy, yet can’t pinpoint the reason why. But statistics show that 6-7 hours of socialization each day is the optimum formula for happiness. So in a world where we spend the majority of our time in one place, working through a screen, it just shows that taking the time to go and talk to people could be a fix for an issue you never knew you had.
Solution 2: Get Outdoors
How often do you get outside? Spending time outdoors can boost your mood, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even give you a stronger immune system. As little as half an hour outdoors each day can reap huge benefits for your body. In a world where many of us do work remotely, or indoors, taking the time to go out can make you healthier, give you greater perspective and add some structure to your day.
Solution 3: Speak Up For Yourself
Many of us hate conflict, but suppressing emotions can make you feel bad, and ultimately you will lose your self-confidence. You are your biggest advocate, and speaking up when you need to can make you feel in control of your life. If you’re finding it hard to stand up for yourself, start by advocating for other individuals. Champion those who have achieved something at work, or in your personal life. Then, try to write down things you’ve achieved as if you were that external person.
These steps might sound obvious, but so many people disregard their emotions, physical exercise and access to direct sunlight. Seeing if these solutions give you more clarity is the first step to gaining control and feeling better about yourself.
In our modern and fast-paced world, we can all put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve. With almost all of us feeling stressed by the future, we each have the capacity to feel like our life has veered off course.
Fortunately there are many steps you can take to regain control of your life. Start with the physical space around you, restoring order and calm to your surroundings. Give yourself some breathing room and practice basic self-care. Over time, you can build this up into longer and longer periods, until you are prioritizing yourself and your care. Be kind to yourself, as this doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
Try the 1% better mindset, and set yourself miniscule but achievable goals over a year to set yourself on the road to self-improvement. Big goals are often unrealistic and will lead you to give up or feel overwhelmed.
Finally, give yourself space to work out what the root cause of the problem is. If you are struggling to identify the core issue, look at a simpler solution. Are you exercising regularly? Are your social needs being met? Are you getting fresh air? That huge problem might be resolved by taking smaller steps to look after yourself.
You are the ultimate guardian of your life, and the person who says what it looks like. Regaining control is often an illusion, as we can never truly have power over what other people do and think. You are your greatest advocate, so be kind and remember that you are enough just as you are.