There are many reasons why your life may not feel entirely under your own control right now. And feeling this way is often a sign that you are not controlling your emotions but instead are letting the outside world control you.
It can be challenging to be really aware that this is what is happening in your life. If you are not sure what is driving your out-of-sorts feelings these days, then look for these five warning signs that you may be feeling like your life is out of control.
#1 You have to be in control of everything.
This may seem counterintuitive, but one way to know that you lack a feeling of control in your life is when you find yourself obsessively trying to control everything. If you find yourself obsessing over what to make for dinner three Thursdays from now, researching weather in places your family members are visiting, or telling everyone in your life how to run their lives, then you are seeking control in any way you can find it. Trying to overly control your life, even those things that are ultimately wholly out of your control is a sure sign you feel like things just are not right in your life.
#2 You avoid your feelings.
By ignoring how you are feeling about your lack of control, you can pretend, if only for a brief time, that it is simply not true. Avoiding your feelings and pressing on, regardless of how your emotions are making you feel, is a classic sign that you seek to control but do not know how to find it. Whether it is burying yourself in a project, changing the subject when others notice that something is bothering you, or finding other reasons to justify your emotions, avoidance is a widespread problem when you feel like nothing you do is helping.
#3. Your reactions are out of proportion to the situation.
If you want to know if your world is spinning out of control, look at how you are reacting to simple problems or new information in your life. When you feel in control, your responses to good and bad news are proportional to this information. When you lack control, you may blow things out of proportion or completely ignore this input. The 'punishment or reaction does not "fit the crime" so to speak. Look carefully at how you are responding to life’s ups and downs. Do these reactions feel proportional to you? If not, what does this say?
#4. Life feels joyless.
When things have felt beyond your control for some time, it can suck the fun right out of your life. When was the last time you genuinely smiled or did something fun? How often do you feel like you are just going through the motions? Feeling out of control is emotionally draining, leaving little emotion for truly joyful events or opportunities in your life. If you find yourself wondering when life will be fun again, it may be a sign you are lacking control over your own choices.
#5. You are neglecting your own health.
When you feel as though you lack control over your life, you may start to neglect your own basic needs. Things like eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and spending time on things you enjoy become less critical when you are overwhelmed and anxious. It can become easier to try to lose your negative emotions in a drink or two or gaming all day or in junk tv. You forget how important it is to relax and unwind in a healthy fashion. When your health becomes low on your priority list, ask yourself what is really driving this shift.
There are many other ways that feeling out of control can manifest itself thorugh your behaviors. When you notice changes in your actions or thoughts, ask yourself why? Then ask yourself why again and peel back the layers like an onion. Get to the root of your emotions if you really want to find a lasting solution that helps you regain control over your life.
Until next time, many blessings & much peace!