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The year 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty for everyone in the world due to the pandemic. That uncertainty was a source of anxiety for us all. We had no idea when we would see our families, get back to normal life, or if we would get sick during the pandemic. In general, this anxiety that was created was surrounded by the fact that our lives were impacted by something we couldn’t control.
If I received a dollar each time someone said they had anxiety from not being in control, I’d be rich. Yet, life is full of unknowns that are out of the realm of our control. As people, we tend to go down this rabbit hole of asking ourselves a bunch of “what if” questions. We think of the craziest scenarios that most likely won’t happen 99% of the time. If the 1% do come true, most likely the results won’t be as bad as our initial thoughts.
It is important during these times that we employ strategies that help calm our minds and bodies. I share this due to the fact that we want to attack our problems with a clear mind. Otherwise, you may do something rash or impulsive that you could regret later. And if that happens, you can become trapped in a revolving situation of bad decision making and feelings of inadequacy.
To prevent that from happening, I’m going to list a few strategies below to help you get through those times when you find yourself in a situation where you cannot control the outcome.
1. Focus on What You Can Control
This suggestion comes across as pretty self-explanatory. Yet, it is one of the hardest to accomplish. Your anxiety stems from the situation that is out of your control. When working with people, I ask them often what can they control in their situation. The responses that I usually get are their reactions, feelings, thoughts, and perspective. Emphasizing your role versus the role of others can help minimize the paralyzing impact that anxiety can bring.
2. Accepting What You Can’t Control
Another suggestion that is hard to do but is still critical in minimizing your anxiety is accepting the unknowns. I don’t know about you but I drive myself crazy trying to figure out the “whys” of what is happening. However, there are going to be times where you are never going to get the answer you want.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, just be ready to accept the fact you may never get that answer. You cannot control that you may not get that answer and your energy will be better spent accepting and moving on from it. Putting your energy towards those who matter and your projects will better serve you in the long run.
3. Staying in the Present Moment
Finding a way to have your mind match your body is a great way to limit your anxiety. You may ask the question, how isn’t my mind matching my body? Well, let me give you a scenario.
Have you ever been out driving somewhere and you are thinking about all the “what if” scenarios such as what’s for dinner, something that happened, etc.? While you are driving, you snap out of it and then ask yourself, “did I run a stop sign or that red light”? That is a classic example of your mind not matching your body. Your physical body is in the car driving. However, your mind is caught up somewhere else.
When you find yourself in a situation that is truly out of your control, utilizing strategies to have your mind and body match is crucial. This blog post here dives deeper into this concept.
4. Practice Self-Care
A common theme in many of my blog posts is the emphasis I place upon self-care. If you feel a rush of anxiety from a situation where things are out of your control, utilizing a self-care plan can help you get through the situation. Here is a blog post with some quick tips on finding activities to practice self-care.
If you really want to dive DEEP into creating your own self-care plan, check out the Supportive Father’s self-care course and 30-Day challenge. These offerings will provide comprehensive self-care tips, enable you to reflect, journal, and apply what you learn to your life.
5. Talk With a Trusted Person
Bottling up your emotions and keeping them to yourself does not usually result in good things. Finding a trusted person to confide in can help alleviate the rush of emotions you are feeling. Share with them the concerns you have about things that are out of your control.
Often times, these people will help you process your thoughts and feelings about it all. They may reassure you that you are strong enough to persevere and that you can overcome your situation.
It is scary to put yourself in a vulnerable state but you do not need to carry the burden of your thoughts and feelings to yourself. Share them with a trusted person whether it is a friend, colleague, therapist, or family member.
Being riddled with anxiety from a situation you cannot control can be a sobering experience. You may be faced with going down the rabbit hole of “what if” questions that isn’t fun for anyone.
When this happens, employing strategies to minimize the impact anxiety will have on your life can help you conquer your circumstances. It is paramount that you do this so you can get back to living your best life.
What are some strategies that you use to help yourself when this happens? Comment down below and let’s learn from one another.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.