It goes without saying that, with the continuing coronavirus situation, many of us will be feeling powerless and frustrated, not knowing what will happen next or where this will all go. At other points in your life, you’ve no doubt had to deal with a situation that was out of your control. Whether it was a family crisis, job loss, financial hardship or another challenge, these things all cause stress and feelings of frustration, which have a negative impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Learning how to cope with things you cannot control will help keep you in a more positive frame of mind and reduce stress.
Think about the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“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.”
The words of this prayer exemplify the solution to a problem that plagues us all. Once you have come to terms with the fact that you can control only your own actions (and reactions), you can begin to find peace of mind.
Use these tips to help you cope with things out of your control, and you will find peace, fulfilment, and the passion to persevere through all your challenges:
What Can You Control?
Worrying about the people or things in your life that you cannot control can cause all kinds of stress-related health problems, such as angina, high blood pressure, and sleeping difficulties.
When you need to feel more in control of your life, focus on those things that you can physically change.
You can definitely control who you decide to accept as your friend and spend your time with. It may not be easy to meet new friends, but, even in our present circumstances, the opportunities are there if you look for them.
- Being around negative people can drag you, and your attitude, down since you absorb the energy and mood of people around you.
- If you have people in your life who are not encouraging you to fulfil your potential, find other people to surround yourself with.
- Having the support of people who believe in you will propel you toward reaching your lifelong goals.
Live One Day at a Time
When you intentionally think of each day as a gift, your struggles do not seem so bad. While life does deal some bad hands, such as bereavement, divorce, and financial hardships, how you cope during these difficulties can either make you stronger or break you.
- When you intentionally feel gratitude for all the good moments in each day, you can really begin to accept your hardships as being a part of your path towards a new beginning.
Coping with Financial Hardships
One of the most stressful situations to deal with is when we are coping with financial hardships. Loss of a job often means having to give up things you have worked hard to acquire.
- If you are having a difficult time accepting that you must cut expenses and give up the comfortable things in life, even temporarily, it helps to remember that it could be worse.
- Be grateful for having your home and your health if you have both of these things, as there are many people in the world who have neither.
- Once you know you can be happy with less, you can focus again on achieving your goals.
It is time to free yourself from the negative thought patterns and emotions that stifle you into sad complacence. By accepting that there are some things you cannot change, you will become much more powerful in changing the things in your life that you do have control over.
In these times, I keep the Serenity Prayer handy, as a reminder.