There are many things in our lives that we can not control, and the stress of everyday life can be a lot to handle, but the trick is to focus on what you can control.
When we focus on things that we can’t control, it’s easy to spiral out of control with our negative thoughts.
We begin worrying about all the bad things that might happen, our judgment becomes cloudy, and we begin to warp our reality.
We remain optimistic and productive on good days, but we begin worrying about our future and what it may hold on the bad days.
We imagine the negativity, begin living it, and feel helpless.
Our thoughts create our emotions and our reality. When we think negatively, we feel negative emotions.
Luckily, you can control so many more important things in life, and focusing on them gives you a more positive mindset.
Focusing On What You Can Control Takes Discipline
First, we need to realize that changing what you focus on takes practice and discipline.
Choosing to think differently and changing what you focus on doesn’t happen overnight.
You’ll have times that your focus is on negative situations; when this happens, acknowledge your thoughts, put them to rest, and move on to more healthy and positive things that you can control.
Over time, and as you practice, you’ll get better at it.
Make A Focus On What Your Can Control List
To start, focus on what you can control list where you’ll write down everything in your control.
A few ideas I came up with are:
- Your Breath – We breathe all day long without even thinking about it. Focusing on your breath and learning breathing techniques can help you lower stress and anxiety and help you feel in control.
- Diet and Exercise – Choosing what you eat and how physically active you are can help keep illness at bay. Eating a balanced diet and exercising takes discipline but will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
- Your Attitude – We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to the situation. Becoming angry and frustrated leads to us being stressed out. Take a deep breath, think for a minute, and respond calmly.
- Self-Care – Taking time for yourself will help your mental-wellbeing. Be sure to schedule time each week for yourself to unwind and de-stress.
These are a few things that you can focus on and control. Take a few minutes and create your own list, and you’ll be amazed at just how much you are in control of.
Now let’s dive a little deeper into a few more ways to focus on what you can control.
Change Your Mindset
Our mindset impacts our lives and our chances of success.
The Professor of Psychology at Stanford, Carol Dweck, studied two mindsets, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
People who have a growth mindset believe they have great potential and can accomplish anything through persistence and hard work.
People with a fixed mindset avoid situations where they might fail and avoid challenges because they believe they are born with a specified level of talent or intelligence and can’t be better than they are.
Putting your focus on growth, working hard, and being open-minded will set you up for success.
If you want to learn more, I urge you to check out her fantastic book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Mindfulness – Focus On The Present Moment
Practicing mindfulness has become very popular over the past few years, and it’s keeping your attention on the present moment.
Focusing on the present moment brings peace and calmness because you’re not worrying about the future or thinking about the past, which can distract you.
Being mindful and staying in the present moment brings you in tune with your current thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
Observe your surroundings, the sounds around you, and the smells in the air, and let the obsessing about what might happen or what could have been go.
Mindfulness allows you to re-gain control, re-focus on what you’re doing right now, and not be caught up in negative thoughts or emotions.
10 Exercises You can do are:
- Breathing Exercises
- Mindful Observation
- Mindful Awareness
- Mindful Listening
- Mindful Immersion
- Finger Breathing
- Mindful Journaling
Mindful Breathing to Focus On What You Can Control
One thing you can most certainly control is your breathing.
Our breath is powerful and controlling; it can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Practicing mindful breathing becomes easier the more you do it, but it takes discipline.
Here is one way you can practice breathing to help you focus on what you can control.
- Take one hand and put it on your chest. Now put your other hand on your belly.
- Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of five. Pay attention to your hand rising on your belly as you do this.
- Hold your breath for a count of two and exhale out your mouth slowly. Pay attention to your hand on your belly as you let the air out.
- Do this until you feel more relaxed, and remember that your breathing is one thing you can control.
Take Control Of Your Eating Habits
The way you eat is significant for a strong and healthy body, and eating healthy is something you can control, but again, it takes discipline.
Living a healthy lifestyle is pretty straight-forward:
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol
- Eat well
- Drink lots of water
If you need some help or reminders, I recommend checking out this fantastic company I found called Noom.
Noom is a weight loss app that uses a psychology-based approach to change your eating habits for the better.
According to its website, Noom uses technology to “help you change not just how you eat, but how you think.”
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Being mentally healthy is just as important as physical health, especially when life feels out of control.
Cultivating positivity, taking care of yourself emotionally, and your social well-being can help increase your quality of life.
If you focus on all the things you can’t control, you’ll constantly be stressed out and think negatively about everything.
To help you, check out my courses, where you’ll learn how to build your self-esteem, think more positively, and be happier. I want you to be all you can be in this life by changing how you think and feel about yourself.
Self-Care Focus On What You Can Control
Taking time out for self-care is very important because you need me time.
Having a self-care routine doesn’t have to take hours or a lot of time out of your busy schedule, but taking this time will do wonders for your mental health.
Even as little as twenty minutes a day, relaxing, unwinding, and doing what you want will help you de-stress and re-charge.
A few things you could do are:
- Take a bath
- Take a nap
- Celebrate and treat yourself
Whatever it is, make sure it’s fun and something you enjoy doing. Think about making a self-care kit, as this will have all the things you love in one place for your self-care time.
Focusing on what we can’t control takes our attention from what we can control.
It takes discipline and time to change your mindset, so be patient and do your best to focus on what you can control.
You’ll be less stressed, have a positive attitude, and look at the world differently.