Life is stressful. And uncontrollable at times.
Which is a great excuse to let ourselves make make poor choices about our health, our relationships, our happiness and ultimately our success. However, by focusing on the best outcomes for the things that we can control, we can reduce stress, increase productivity, strengthen positive relationships and improve overall wellbeing. By practising positive behaviours long enough they become good habits. These can be powerful drivers of positive outcomes. However, it works both ways.
Sometimes, making the better decision can seem like harder work. Cooking a nutritious meal at the end of a long day. Getting up early to go for a walk. Saying no to that high maintenance friend when they are placing pressure on you. Starting a new business or completing continued education. Approaching a new networking opportunity… and the list goes on. But ultimately, making the better choice will make you feel empowered. And it will lead to living a far healthier, more balances life where you will feel in control, rather than overwhelmed.
Whilst there are not many things that you can control, here are 5 simple controllables for you to practise mastering.
- Your internal dialogue. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do something, and start to tell yourself that you can. Stop thinking that every one else is seeing the negatives in you and start to see the positives in yourself.
- Your perception. How full does that glass look? Much of how we perceive life is based on our perception. By actively changing the way we see situations, we can change our worlds.
- Your health habits. For the majority of our time, we choose what to eat. When to go to bed. How much exercise that we are going to do. Whether we are going to floss. Take control of your health habits and you will see improvements in your energy levels, concentration and self confidence.
- Your presentation. This is not just about how you look, although this is important too. Develop a personal style. Dress for your body shape in a way that makes you feel confident. Watch your body language. Shoulders back, eyes up, smile. You will be amazed at how these little things will make you look and feel more confident.
- Your focus. Whether this be on your breath, the task that you are working on, the people that you want to spend time with or the information that you want to learn. You choose what you focus on. Choose this wisely.
Look at the things in your life that are causing you stress. Write them down if that helps. Then sort them into groups based on what you cannot control and what you can, so you can start to focus on the latter. You might not be able to control the reactions of others, but you can control your own. Whilst you can’t control the weather, you can definitely pack an umbrella.
When you start to control the controllable the possibilities in all aspects of your life will be limitless.