The Relief of Not Being in Complete Control

The Relief of Not Being in Complete Control

We have all at some point or another come across someone who constantly worries about other people. Those other people feel absolutely convinced that they can help everyone around them fix one or two things with their help, and this behavior often stems from a truly endearing character or the desire to instill compassion and empathy in others. However, you may wish that such people would simply leave you alone.

This illustration epitomizes a chronic controller1. Out of concern and worry (which may or may not be legitimate), such people can come to feel an inordinate need to control any and all happenings to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Other people have such fear and doubt that they want to control situations so that everyone will be better off. Unfortunately, such people often become discouraged when they find that they cannot manage all problems. In such cases, friends and family members may feel inclined to let those people think they have a say while actually keeping them far from any real proceedings.

These issues all boil down to stress, a natural and useful bodily function when it operates within certain limits. However, when an inordinate sense of anxiety spurs on constant stress, then a problem can form. The good news is that chronic worry need not persist: with some proper help, people can form healthy and more optimistic outlooks on life. To correct this problem, develop the art of letting go of control.

Common Causes of Unwarranted Worry

Sleepless nights rob opportunities for good rest and lead to yet another shaky day. If someone performs poorly at work as a result, then she may have another sleepless night, and perhaps even more worry the next day. As this cycle continues, many people want be free from unwarranted worry, so why aren’t they? Well, many people cling to the belief that worrying helps them. They think that worrying helps them make good choices, give great advice to others and solve problems.

On the other hand, some people worry about the fact that they worry. They think they have a mental health problem, so they seek medical attention to stop the problem that they only caused by worrying in the first place. Compulsive worrying is indeed associated with certain brain issues, so professional help is often necessary to treat anxiety disorders. People must learn to stop worrying about their worry, but they may need help to do so.

Surrender Control – Decide When to Worry

If you try not to think about something, then you will only reinforce your brain to think about it more often. Therefore, instead of banning all of your anxious concerns, set a specific time to deal with those thoughts. In this way, you can accept your worries while also teaching yourself to handle them at appropriate times. You can accomplish this task in any of the following ways:

  • Make a list of anxious concerns
  • Determine what time each day you will consider these problems
  • Analyze the list and then save it for the next worry session

In short, you can address your anxiety if you learn appropriate ways to do so.

Give up Control – Decide Not to Worry

Temporarily worrying about something actually lessens anxiety, because the brain will recognize that focusing on problems is the problem, not the solution. However, when people ignore situations, then anxiety can return even stronger than before. This issue highlights that worrying and problem-solving each have a unique mental and emotional toll. Therefore, if you are presented with a situation that requires more than reasoning, then try to avoid dwelling on the worst case scenario. No payoff comes from for worrying, so redirect your attention by answering the following questions:

  • Is this a real and current problem or an imagined one?
  • Does it concern me to know about it or could I leave it to the ones it truly involves?
  • If this is a genuine and personal concern, then is it out of my control?

If the answer to one or more of the above questions is yes, then let the issue pass for the time being. Even successful companies are more likely to thrive when management frees their employees to make decisions rather than micro-managing their creative actions2. And, if this strategy works on a scale of commercial health, then it is likely to work individually as well.

You cannot control so much in the world that embracing that fact is necessary to daily function. Would common airplane passengers insist upon examining the engines before flight? Certainly not! So, why is it more reasonable to worry about a delay in departure? The same concerns underpin both situations, but you cannot improve either one with worry. Get a healthy outlook on life by seeking wise counsel—call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now for help addressing your worries. With professional help, you can learn to control this issue rather than letting it control you.


1 http://www.inc.com/shelley-prevost/8-signs-youre-a-control-freak.html. Inc. Magazine; Wellness. “8 Signs You’re a Control Freak.” By Shelley Prevost. Published December 17, 2012. Retrieved 1/12/16.

2 Harvard Business Review “Managing People- Stop Trying to Control People or Make them Happy.” By Yves Morieux and Peter Trollman. Published April 03, 2014. Retrieved 1/12/16.