Better Mental Health: How to Let Go of Things You Can’t Control

Prolonged stressful situations will eventually affect you both physically and emotionally. That’s why you have to figure out a way to deal with the situation that’s stressing you out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some stressful situations are beyond your control, so the best thing for you to do is to let go. This article tells you how to let go of things you can’t control.

Three Things You Can’t Control

Cant Control

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With everything that’s happening around the world today, you’re not immune to stressful situations, some of which are beyond your control. So, it’s important for you to be able to recognize what you can control and what you can’t so that you don’t end up holding on to stressful situations that are beyond your control. Here are some of the possible stressful situations that could be out of your control.

1. Other People’s Thoughts

You can’t control what other people think. In fact, there’s no way you can know what the other person is thinking about unless they communicate it to you. It becomes even more difficult when the other person decides to lie or avoid divulging important details.

Stressing yourself over someone’s thoughts will only take you down the dark road of physical and emotional anguish. You can’t even force them to share their thoughts with you. In this case, the best thing to do is to let go and mind your own business.

You also need to understand the fact that you can’t change someone’s thoughts and beliefs. The best that you can do is to convince them to change their mind. Unfortunately, some people will never change their minds no matter how ridiculous or illogical they sound.

Therefore, holding on to the hope that they’ll eventually change will only stress you more. Just do what you need to do to make them understand why they need to change their thinking and leave it to them to decide. You can only control your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

So, instead of stressing yourself trying to figure out what the other person is thinking about, you should just guard your heart and mind by letting go. You also need to set boundaries on what is acceptable and what’s not.

2. Bygones

It’s human nature to regret things and situations you’ve been through. However, psychologists advise you not to dwell so much on the past. Warren W. Wiersbe once said, “You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rearview mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.”

So, don’t let your painful past keep holding you back. No matter how painful the situation was, it’ll only continue to hurt you the more you hold on to it. Let bygones be bygones.

Even if you manage to correct the mistake that occurred in the past, you can’t overturn it because it has already occurred. So, allowing it to continue to bother you will only make things worse for you. The best thing to do is to let it go and focus on your future.

You should use the past situation as an inspiration to be better today and in the future. That’s why you need to forgive yourself for past mistakes and use them to shape your future.

3. What-Ifs

According to Carl von Clausewitz, even though the human intellect desires clarity and certainty, our nature usually finds uncertainty fascinating. We always want to ask ourselves, what if? This kind of uncertainty can prevent you from enjoying your life and achieving your desires.

Many people have missed great opportunities in life because they asked too many questions. You need to understand that you can’t always control every aspect of your life, especially unforeseen situations. So, sometimes you have to take the leap of faith, hoping that everything will work out.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stress you out and prevent you from achieving your desires. In any case, accidents happen, even when you think you have everything figured out. Your best friends and family members can disappoint you.

So, always don’t think about the bad things that are likely to happen. Instead, focus on the aspects that you can comfortably control like communicating and taking action. Leave the rest to God or whatever higher power you believe in.

Wasting time trying to figure out what is going to happen to you will only create a sense of anxiety, which will eventually cause you to stop what you’re trying to do. So, just start with what you can control and let everything fall into place as you go.

How to Let Go of Things You Can’t Control

Let Go of Things

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Although it’s hard to accept that there’s nothing you can do about an important situation that’s stressing you, sometimes the best thing is to let go. But how do you do that? Here are some effective tips on how to let go of things you can’t control.

1. Change of Perspective

Since you can’t change other people’s thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives, the best thing to do is to change your perspective. Instead of wasting your time and energy trying to convince other people to change their thoughts, focus on working on your thoughts, outlooks, and the value you attach to situations.

You can also control your expectations, opinions, and the outcomes of situations in your life. Expecting too much from people might end up hurting you because you can’t control their perspectives and actions. So, manage your expectations by changing your outlook.

2. Analyze Your Actions

Oftentimes, we want to find scapegoats for our inadequacies. We hardly take time to analyze our actions and take responsibility for them. But the best and easiest way to find a lasting solution to problems is to bear responsibility for your contributions to the problems.

So, before you blame other people for the stressful situation you’re going through, look inward. You may see yourself as an upright human being who’s a role model for others, but in reality, you’re setting the wrong examples. That’s why you have to constantly evaluate your actions and the things you value.

Remember that just because you love jogging or traveling doesn’t mean that everyone else around should find it interesting. Also, analyze your actions to ensure that you’re not judging people harshly based on your personal beliefs and perspectives. When something bad happens to you, start by asking yourself questions that’ll help you look inward.

For instance, find out why the situation makes you feel stressed and why you feel the need to defend yourself or others. The answers will help you determine if you’re responsible for the situation or if others are. Understand that it’s your responsibility to face the consequences of your actions.

Sometimes taking responsibility means accepting that the damage is already done and letting go of the situation. After all, your peace of mind is more important than whatever you’re trying to rectify. Your mental and physical health and well-being should come first.

3. Monitor Your Feelings and Triggers

You can only deal with a stressful situation if you understand its cause. So, always monitor and analyze your feelings to know what triggers your anger, anxiety, happiness, and other feelings. This way, you can keep your feelings in check when you’re faced with different situations.

This will also help you to understand your feelings better instead of suppressing them. Suppressing strong feelings for a long time will result in serious physical and emotional effects. Monitoring and analyzing your feelings will help you to figure out why you feel the way you feel.

You may realize that you’re feeling stressed because of illogical assumptions. Sometimes thoughts and impressions can mislead you to draw the wrong conclusions. So, tracking your feelings will help you identify the types of cognitive misrepresentations that lead you to make illogical conclusions.

4. Practice Letting Things Go

Letting things go is a skill that requires regular practice. You can acquire this skill through dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), which involves learning to accept the things and situations you can’t change through an elaborate cognitive process.

When you’re practicing radical acceptance, remind yourself that you’re dealing with reality and an unchangeable situation. You also need to convince yourself that the situation. Understand that there’s a cause for the situation you’re facing, which you may or may not control.

Practicing acceptance also means using positive mindfulness and self-talk to convince yourself that the factors contributing to the stressful situation are out of your control. Figure out the most appropriate actions you can take when you fully let go of the problem.

Imagine how stress-free and happy you would be when you accept the situation. Then start behaving this way, even when you feel the urge to reject acceptance, and go back to trying to fix the situation.  As noted above, don’t try to suppress the pain you’re feeling.

Let the hurt, anger, grief, anxiety, sorrow, and any other emotion run freely. This will allow you to feel the emotions and begin the healing and acceptance process as soon as possible. Always remind yourself that life is for the living, even if you’re feeling sad and depressed right now.

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