Many things in life are uncontrollable. Other people’s choices, death, illness, alcoholism, addiction, financial issues, and natural disasters. Yet, we still try to direct people and get angry when they don’t do what we wanted.
You’re left there dumb-founded at reality. This wasn’t supposed to happen!
These emotions can solidify into bitterness. As a result, they deteriorate your mental health and cause feelings of helplessness.
What people do isn’t our choice.
You might blame others for what happened. Some people curl up in denial of reality. Others torment themselves with worries about what might happen. Even though they’re only making things worse for themselves.
If you refuse to unchain yourself from these worries, you face a challenging road ahead.
The following are some consequences of holding on to uncontrollable events:
- Ever-growing resentment, anger, and fear
- Depression or anxiety
- Inability to enjoy your life
- Pre-mature aging
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
If you do what you can to help and then stop worrying about the uncontrollable:
- You’ll have more satisfying relationships
- Your mental health improves
- You gain a new confident outlook
- Your health strengthens, and your pain subsides
- You can relax and focus more on what matters
As you can see, it’s much better to release these unnecessary worries so you can be happy. It’s time to learn how to do just that.
Here are some ways you can finally let go of the uncontrollable:
1. Let go of how you believe things “should” be
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
— E. M. Forster
Growing up, we all formed ideas about how things “should” be. It can feel devastating when life proves that these beliefs are wrong. The sooner you realize this, the better off you’ll be, and you won’t set yourself up for disappointment.
As innocent children, we believed silly things like:
- Our loved ones will never die.
- No one we care about will get divorced.
- Catastrophes only happen to others, never to us.
- We should always get our way because the world revolves around our happiness.
Turns out, these things aren’t true.
Even worse, your ego keeps telling you, “You’ll never be happy until you get what you want.”
But, don’t make everything depend on getting your way because sometimes it won’t happen.
Ask yourself, “What story do I believe about how things should be? How is this unrealistic? What can I do to be happy despite not getting what I wanted?”
When things don’t work out, respond like a confident, resilient adult. Shrug your shoulders and accept it. Besides, it’s not the end of the world! There are so many other paths you can take to an exciting, fulfilling existence.
2. Stop trying to predict the future
If you want to get frazzled, imagine the future in an undesirable situation. Your head will spin with all kinds of catastrophes and horrific events! So, yeah, don’t do that.
No one knows what will happen. Those who try to scare you with destructive predictions are trying to manipulate you! Only you are in charge of what you believe. Don’t give that power to anyone.
So, if you imagine terrifying scenarios of what might happen, stop. Chances are, they won’t happen, and if they do, it won’t be as bad as you thought.
Therefore, it’s best not to get worked up for no reason. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and be grateful for all today has in store for you.
3. Allow the uncontrollable to take its course
“Let your mind wander in the pure and simple. Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course.”
Since you can’t change the situation, you might as well roll with it instead of resisting it. Resisting reality only intensifies your pain.
For example, if your friend marries a terrible guy and she refuses to listen to your advice, let it go. There’s nothing you can do to stop her anyway. We all learn most effectively from our mistakes.
Maybe your friend starts taking addictive drugs, and they ignore your warnings? Let it go. Dwelling on it won’t rescue them. Besides, they might need to learn these harsh lessons to become the inspiring person they were meant to be.
4. Just be here, now
“Just be, and enjoy being.”
— Eckhart Tolle
Allow things to take their course, even if that means someone will have to endure pain for it. Don’t try to force them to do anything, they’ll end up hating you for it. Even though it’s not an ideal situation, you can’t fix it. So, it’s better to release it.
Obsessing about the uncontrollable steals your happiness from the present moment. When you stop resisting the inevitable, you free yourself from its captivity. You can find pleasure in the little things and dedicate yourself to anything you do. So, decide today that you’ll allow reality to take place and to go with the flow. Fighting against it is futile.
When you imagine what’s going on with others or society, you bring in stress and misery for no reason. So, focus on the present moment, and you’ll decrease your stress levels instantly.
5. The only constant in life is change
“Life moves on and so should we.”
— Spencer Johnson
There’s one thing about life that you can guarantee, and that’s change. Things won’t stay the same, friends move away, and new people replace them. But you can’t throw a fit to make your old friends stay. You must let them go.
It’s better to work on improving the things you can control, and you’ll feel less stressed. Don’t waste time obsessing about what you can’t change.
6. Worrying about the uncontrollable doesn’t help
“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.”
— Steve Maraboli
If you can do anything to help the situation, do it, but then don’t stress about it. Worrying and being miserable doesn’t prove you care. Would you be a “bad person” if you felt okay? Even if something horrendous happened to you? It’s understandable to be distraught but, you don’t have to feel that way forever.
Practice resilience, get back up, take a shower, and then do something to brighten your day. Get some exercise to revitalize your soul and boost your neurotransmitters. Whatever you can do to get your mind off of things you can’t change, do it.
7. Defeat your fear of letting go
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. They prefer suffering that is familiar to the unknown.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t be afraid to let go of something that has haunted you for years. At this point, it’s become familiar and habitual. So, losing this part of your life might feel scary. Soothe your mind by thinking how glorious every day can be when you put an end to this torment. Imagine how wonderful you’ll feel when you replace needless suffering with freedom and peacefulness.
The future is unknown, but don’t let that scare you. There are many incredible events on the horizon.
8. Focus on gratitude
You will struggle until you decide to let go of anger, hate, and fear.
Thinking about things that bother you can become a habit. You’ll need to replace it, and a perfect replacement is with gratitude.
Spend time thinking about what you’re thankful for. Show people your appreciation. Indulge in activities that make you feel blissful and content. Ignore the rest and let others be.
9. Choose acceptance
“Enjoy what you can and ignore the rest. Let’s not waste any energy fighting things that are outside our control.”
— Paulo Coelho
Resisting reality leads to suffering. The best way to end your anguish with the uncontrollable is to stop fighting against it.
The only area you have ultimate power over is within you. Be grateful for that because your internal state affects your world the most. You can enrich your mind and optimize your physical health; however much you please.
Understand that sometimes things won’t work out how you wanted. But don’t get angry or blame others for it; take it in stride.
Be brave and accept reality. Fighting against it will only make you look weak and immature. Not to mention, you prolong your misery. Take the better path of acceptance.
10. Do what you can, then let go
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
— 14th Dalai Lama
For some things, you can do something to help, like give a hurting friend advice. But remember, it’s up to them to use it. You can’t force people to do what you think is right. Instead, you’ve got to step back and see what happens. Don’t let it consume your thoughts. Instead, focus on something you can improve, like a hobby or a project.
In short, stressing yourself out about the uncontrollable is pointless. You don’t need permission to start living in tranquility and contentment. Unload this burden from your shoulders once and for all. So, you can relax and focus on enhancing your world.
Notice when you feel upset because of someone else’s actions. Observe your emotions but don’t absorb them. Let them float through and watch them leave. Resist the temptation to grab ahold of them.
Always remember, you are worthy of happiness and a fulfillment. But you can’t liberate yourself until you stop trying to control the uncontrollable.
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