How to Stop Worrying About What You Can't Control
Worry is a prayer for chaos.
As sensitives we are tuned into the pains and all the emotions of the world. Because we can feel so deeply what others are experiencing, it is our natural inclination to want to help and to fix and to comfort. We are naturally nurturing and helpful people. The problem, however, is we end up spending a lot of time worrying and fixated on things we can’t control. We feel a responsibility to fix because we have this ability to feel and pick up on what others don't notice. We feel a sense of relief when we can do something to help someone. But fixating on everyone’s problems comes with a price. It adds to our anxiety and because of our tendency to feel responsible for these people’s problems, we start to feel not good enough or as if we’ve failed them when we can’t seem to do anything to fix or help. Furthermore, all this attention on other people’s stuff serves as a distraction for us to not have to look at our own problems. To not have to deal with the overwhelm that builds up in us. We focus on other’s problems as a way to feel needed, to have some control, and to divert from our own pain. Usually, there is not much you can do to fix other people’s problems. They have to figure it out on their own. It is not your job to fix someone else, nor is it your responsibility to take away their pain. They are on their own journey. This doesn’t mean you can’t be a loving support system or hold space for them in what they are experiencing- but you can’t take on their problems as if they were your own.
So how do you let go of worrying about things you can’t control??
The first step is awareness. You have to start paying attention to when you’re doing it. It's so easy to go a whole day not even consciously noticing that you've been obsessing on something. Start paying attention to where your thoughts are going and start looking for when you are worrying.
The next step is acceptance. Sitting with the pain that is accepting you really can’t do anything about it. Feeling that. Feeling the frustration and the sadness it brings up. Write it out. And then release it. You may have to do this step continually.
Then recognize what you might be avoiding in your own life by spinning your wheels on this thing you can’t control? What needs to be done, felt, looked at now? Write it out. Commit to one action step daily to do, deal with, hold space for that goal, thing or problem.
Next, focus on what you CAN do about the problem. Stop obsessing on the thing you can’t control and start brainstorming what you CAN do. If it is a friend who has something going on, maybe you can’t fix it for them, but you can reach out and offer an ear or a hug. Maybe you can send them flowers or a card. If it’s a problem in your life, or something happened at work and it’s not something you can control, what can you do to take care of yourself in that moment? To express your feelings? To make a change or take an action that IS within your control, no matter how small.
Finally, you can pray. Whatever that looks like for you. Whatever your higher power is. Give it up to that power. Say “_____ is happening and I can’t seem to let go of it. Please help me to stop obsessing on this thing/situation. Please give me peace around this. Help me to see what I can control in this situation and what the best next action is for me. And please bless (person, situation, thing).” You can also use visualization to see problem/person/thing having the best possible outcome. When you find your mind drifting back into worry, take a few moments and do your visualizing.
Say it with me:
It is not my job to fix anyone or any problem they may be having.
I lovingly release worrying about anything that I can’t control.