Healthy Habits: Control + Emotional Wellness

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Never in my life have I needed a quote and the ability to truly understand it and apply it to my life so badly as during the past year+. Control is this idea that we are the boss of all the things. It’s almost laughable, because there are so many things in this world that are outside of our control.

It’s something I have personally struggled with immensely in the past in more ways than one. Looking back, I truly think that control, and my obsession with trying to be in control of every single thing in my life, was the root cause of my eating disorder. For years, I tried to control things outside of my control, and it was the number one cause of any unhappiness and discontent.

Let go + let it flow

I’ve adopted this saying lately, “Let go and let flow.” It’s a reminder to me of the power of believing and trusting in something bigger than myself. The universe. A higher power. God. The world. It’s about knowing that there is a plan for my life, and that even if I have the best intentions, I may not be the one driving the bus. Knowing that there is a plan already set—a path for my journey—has helped me to let go and let flow more often. It’s helped me get through my divorce which, honestly, was such a pit in the mess of a year that was already 2020. Going through that divorce was so difficult for me because I didn’t allow myself to see the truth of the situation. I felt that if I could just take control of what was going on, the mess would go away. I thought that I knew what was best—for me, for my family, and for Chris. But guys, I didn’t know what was best. I couldn’t control the outcome, and I certainly couldn’t control the situation. And in trying to do so, I felt like my emotions and my mind were spiraling out of control.

Related: Click here to learn more about why boundaries are another important healthy habit →

It wasn’t until I was able to take a step back and realize all of this that I discovered I didn’t have the right to control the situation. As much as I may not have wanted the divorce initially, it wasn’t my right to say what was best for Chris.

Sometimes, we have to allow ourselves to let go of the idea in our head of how our life is supposed to be.

When we can do that, when we can learn to let go and have faith that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, then we can finally allow true freedom and true beauty to shine through. It’s a feeling of liberation unlike anything you will ever experience.

When we are too busy trying to control situations that are really outside of our control, we are not showing up for ourselves. We are too busy obsessing and being codependent, and our emotions get too tied to the idea of this thing we so desperately want to change that we forget to show up for what matters most. We try too hard to change the thing that cannot be changed rather than accepting it and moving on. And in doing so, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.

How to narrow down what you cannot control

If you have been tied down with worry because of your current situation, or because of the world, or your job, or your health, or whatever it is that is bothering you and causing you to obsess over something you so desperately want to change, then I encourage you to do this:

  • Make a list of all those things on your mind. All the things you’re worried about. All the things you’d like to change. All the things causing those overwhelming feelings.
  • Next, cross off everything on that list that you have no control over.
  • Then pick one thing you can do today to take action on those remaining things.

Photos by Erica & Jon

From here on out, celebrate every action you take. I promise you, when you cross off all those things you can’t control, and then take one small action towards the things you can control, you’ll feel like a huge weight has been taken off your shoulders, and you’ll also feel empowered to take even more actions on the things you can control. Action conquers fear (and worry, and overwhelm), after all!


Related reading:

Emotional Eating: How To Take Control + What You Can Do to Stop Stress Eating
How to Find Strength in Our Struggles
Life Lessons Learned | Developing Integrity, Learning to Love Yourself, and Setting Boundaries
11 Tips for Stress Management
Healthy Habits: Setting Emotional Boundaries

5 Responses

  1. Yes! Thank you so much for this! Thank you for being transparent in your journey! It is so healing to hear and follow your story!

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