There are times when life is really hard and out of control. You may have a sick relative, trouble at work, difficulties with your spouse, bill collectors that won’t stop calling, feel lonely, or any other sad circumstance in your life. During these times we may feel helpless and out of control, like life is happening to us. This is the feeling I hate the most. I felt a lot like this the other week when my mom was sick. I felt helpless and like I could not control anything. However, at some point I did have an epiphany. I realized that no matter what was going on in my life there are a few things that I have complete control of.
- What goes in your mouth. Emotional eating is a real thing. In general it is not a good thing and can lead to weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food. However, when things around you are making you feel like you have no say in anything in your life. Deciding to have that favorite treat can help. Or an even better option would be remembering that you can have complete control of the quality of the food you eat and choosing something that will not only make you feel good but be good for you.
- Your spiritual practice. There are no circumstances or situations in life that you cannot pray about. It does not cost you any money and very little time. You can multi-task even. I have prayed while walking, driving, eating, showering, etc… You can even ask other to pray with or for you. Prayer can give you a calming feeling and having other’s pray for you can help you remember that you are not alone. I find prayers thanking God for all of the good things that are happening helps me remember that not everything is bad because. For example when my mom was in the hospital I routinely thanked God for allowing me to be able to be there with her, that I lived so close to the hospital, and that my car was working to take me back and forth. Those gratitude remanded me that God was still working even during the difficult time.
- Your thoughts. This can be a hard one. I struggle to control my thoughts and keep them joyful. It is a struggle but it is possible and I am getting better at it. One method I use is when I have worrisome thoughts is to tell myself that it is not time to think about that yet and focus on something else. I may have to do it multiple times though but practice makes perfect. Another method I use is distraction. For me this comes in the form of Netflix, YouTube, candy crush, Sudoku, reading blogs, and doing anything that will take my mind off of stressful things.
- How you look. When thing are not going well it may feel silly or even shallow to focus on your appearance. But making sure your clothes and hair are neat and clean can go along way towards making you feel better. Add a little blush or putting on your favorite color can give you a bigger boost. It may sound shallow but there are times when being able to say at least I look cute may be the thing that keeps you going.