Managing Stress

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Managing Stress Through Control


There is an infinite list of things in life that will be “out of our control.” 


Typically it’s the things that are out of our control that bring us the most stress. Whether it’s things in our professional lives, our personal lives or our internal self. It’s hard not to let our brains run wild about the uncertainty of those things, which in turn can cause us stress and anxiety. 


When we make an effort to focus on the things we can control it makes us more present and it allows us to focus our minds on intentional actions that can improve our lives. 


Before we can focus on what we can control, we need to understand what it is that we actually can and cannot control. 


Things we have full control over: 

  • Our mindset
  • The effort we put into things
  • Our values and beliefs 


Things we have some control over: 

  • Our schedules/how we use our time
  • Our environment
  • The people who we surround ourselves with 


Things we have little to no control over:

  • How much time we have to live
  • Other people’s thoughts or actions
  • Past actions
  • Present circumstances or situations we find ourselves in


To help manage or prevent stress, let’s focus on what we can control. This will preoccupy our minds from running wild with the things out of our control.


Next time you find yourself experiencing some stress, take a moment to pause to think about the situation at hand. Take out a piece of paper and write out what’s causing you stress in that moment. Is it a person, a situation you are in, or something else? 


For everything you write out about what is causing you stress, think about what in that moment you can control about that situation, and write it out. How can you adjust your mindset in that situation in a way that makes you feel better? Is there any action that you can take in that situation to resolve it or move past it? 


As we mentioned, you often can’t change the situations themselves, but you can change your perceptions of them through your mindset. You can write and reflect on them in a way that allows you to move through them. You can learn from them and develop resiliency through that growth. 


Practice is the key to growth in any area of your life. If you want to stress less, practice focusing on the things you can control and try to let go of the things you cannot. 


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