The Upside Of Losing Control

As someone who passes her time writing about feelings on the interwebs and also writing an advice column, I tend to be a listening ear for many of my friends. I guess it seems, despite reality, like I have my life together. Whether it’s relationship woes, problems at work or just encountering random jerks in public, it seems that nearly any problem that is thrown at me can be solved by releasing responsibility—and more important, intentionally losing control—of the situation.

It’s kind of a weird concept because I know I want to micromanage everything and constantly have a million different things and scenarios running through my brain at all times; it’s human nature. It’s natural to want to control and have a hand in everything that goes on in your life, but this can be the very thing that is slowing you down in life. For me, even the stupid decisions of dim-witted characters in movies can cause me stress and anxiety.

This may seem like a reckless and seemingly irresponsible way to deal with problems, but it makes a lot more sense than a lot of ways that people deal with problems. As humans, and especially for those of us who tend to be more anxious and high strung than others, letting go can be way easier said than done. But, simply realizing that we have absolutely no control over 95 percent of the shitty things that happen to us can give a sense of calm rarely felt.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can run through life being totally passive, but it does mean that it is important to sit back and not sweat the small stuff. Realizing that you can’t control anyone but yourself allows for people to have a better outlook on the crappy things that happen—and take some of the blame off of yourself. Maybe that customer at work yelling at you really didn’t have anything to do with you, she may have just had a terrible day. You sitting and worrying about how your boyfriend is feeling isn’t going to change anything; and it lulls us into a false sense that we are doing something to help the situation. The truth is, you aren’t.

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photo of a man carrying his partner

How does one let go of control? Well, that’s the question I guess. For me, I just try to keep myself busy, because there a million things in my immediate face that need my attention. Trying to maintain control over everything in your life is just unnecessary and a recipe for disaster. And guess what, it probably won’t change a thing. So, just take it step by step, little by little and I guarantee it can make a big change.

So the next time you find yourself internally willing someone to feel a certain way, begging the universe for something or cursing someone’s poor decision, heed these words. Then walk away, grab a coffee and move the hell on. Your brain will thank you for it.

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