Excessive Need for Control and Anxiety

Do you want to have everything in life predictable? This is the opposite of letting go and trusting the process of life.

Often this is connected to a traumatic history and putting on your defenses in response to any situation that’s challenges your security. Overcoming this need for control takes time and persistence.

Different coping strategies entail, exercise, healthy diet, relaxation exercises, proper sleep, taking time to yourself, positive self-talk, acceptance, distraction, social support, assertiveness, humor, self-care, having goals and a positive view on life.

Acceptance involves living with unpredictability and changes on a small scale. You will not always be prepared so having coping mechanisms are helpful. This is about having a willingness to take life as it comes. “Go with the flow.” You can do this by letting go of perfection and allowing yourself to make mistakes. Relaxation exercises are also very important. The more you relax your body the more you will be able to think clearly. Having a sense of humor can also help you to let the things that are chaotic not feel so intense. It can help you to establish a lighter perspective. This can allow you to cope more effectively. Affirmations can also help with this. “I am learning to take life as it comes.”

Cultivating patience- you cannot necessarily have all of this figured out immediately, yet it can be worked on immediately. Solutions often come gradually with time. Developing patience will help you to let answers emerge.

Trusting that most problems work out- this can be closely connected to cultivating patience. If you need to see how things will work out ahead of time this can develop anxiety. Developing trust mean believing that things will work out in the end. You can either find a solution or alter your attitude if the problem cannot be changed externally so that coping becomes easier. When you look back at the problems in your life, in the end the problem usually works out.

Developing a spiritual approach to life- this can mean different things to different people. This can help you to reduce your need to control if you believe that there is a larger purpose in life. Events that may seem meaningless may have meaning. As Oprah states, “The greatest lessons come from the most pain.”

Referenced by: The Anxiety and Phobia workbook by Edmund Bourne

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