5 Tips to Let Go of Control & Create More Harmony in Your Life
Holding on to control is a habit many of us have that causes unnecessary anxiety and distress. When we attempt to control events and circumstances, we spiritually dissociate ourselves from the natural flow of the universe. As a result, we run into more problems and create more chaos in our lives.
Holding on to control causes problems because we simply aren’t able to control everything! It would be impossible to do everything we have to do in life and also be in charge of things like the weather, traffic and other people’s thoughts and actions. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
Trying to control the uncontrollable only sets us up for failure, coupled with frustration.
In contrast, when we let go of control and “go with the flow,” life unfolds naturally and seamlessly. Be giving up control, we create more harmony in our own lives. We allow the universe to handle the details, while we release ourselves from unnecessary (and unachievable!) responsibilities.
So, if you’d like to get back into the flow of the universe, here are few ideas on how to let go of control. Try them out the next time you feel yourself holding on a little too tight!
1. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a very easy way to release tension and let go of control when you get annoyed at work, with your kids, in traffic or during other stressful situations.
Deep breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm you after periods of stress and anxiety. This part of your nervous system lowers your blood pressure and relaxes tension in your muscles.
In moments frustration, activate your parasympathetic nervous system with some simple deep breathing. It’s an easy way to physically relax and let go at any time!
2. Allow others to have their own opinions.
Many of us try to control how other people think and feel by arguing and over-explaining.
In the midst of a disagreement, we may feel that we need to justify ourselves. Instead of allowing the other person to feel the way he feels, we build a case for why we are “right” and he is “wrong.”
However, arguing with this person will probably not change his mind. We are unable to control how other people think and feel, and especially so when we are irritated and in a bad mood. This is why arguing can be very frustrating. It’s completely counterproductive!
So if someone isn’t hearing your side of things, feel free to let go of the argument. You won’t change his mind anyway, so you might as well save your breath and skip the frustration. Simply say “ok,” or “let’s just move on.”
Let him have his own opinion and leave it at that.
When we allow others to see things the way they want to see them, we let go of our need to control how other people think and feel. This creates greater harmony in our relationships and more peace in our lives.
3. Stop and take a break.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you run into problem after problem?
For instance, maybe you are out running errands and you get stuck in traffic, and when you finally get to the store you run into several rude people. As you continue shopping, you struggle to find the items you need, and then you get stuck in a ridiculously long line.
When a succession of problems like these start to occur, it is a sign you are holding on too tight. Instead of going with the flow, you are trying to swim upstream-and this makes everything more difficult!
So instead of plowing ahead with whatever task you’re working on, take a break! Sit down for a minute and take a quick “time out.”
Allow yourself to calm down, and go back to whatever you were doing when you are relaxed. By taking a break, you let go of control and step back into the present moment.
You’ll also tune back into the flow of the universe. By the time you return to your original task, things will be running much smoother.
4. Let people fight their own battles.
Another way many of us hold on to control is through our belief that we can “save” others or fix their problems for them.
For example, when two of your friends are fighting, you may feel called to mediate and become the peacemaker. While this is done with the best of intentions, it’s actually just another way of attempting to control outcomes. It happens because we feel we have the power to control other peoples’ behavior.
Unfortunately, if you become deeply involved in trying to resolve your friends’ fight, you will actually create more distress and disharmony in your own life. You will likely become “stuck in the middle,” and find yourself unable to make either one of your friends happy.
Though it’s always nice to help those in need, it is also very important to remember that ultimately, each one of us has to fight our own battles.
So, make sure you aren’t getting over-involved in other people’s problems. It’s not your job to bury the hatchet for your friends. It’s also not your job to cure a neighbor’s illness, or overcome a relative’s drug addiction.
You simply aren’t equipped to solve these kinds of problems for other people. Trying to be another person’s savior is only a path to more distress in your own life.
You can still care about the people you love and try to help where you can, but it’s important to know when you are taking on other peoples’ problems as your own. If you are getting very frustrated or overwhelmed with the situation, it’s time to let go a little and allow the other person to fight his or her own battle.
5. Slow down.
Rushing around in order to “get everything done” is another way many of us attempt to control the uncontrollable. Though rushing is done with the intention of being more productive, it often has the unintended side effect of causing more accidents, mistakes and stress.
When you feel yourself rushing, simply slow down, and find a more comfortable pace. Walk a little slower, take your foot off the gas pedal or speak a little more deliberately. With a small amount of initial effort, your pace can quickly adjust to a calmer, more relaxed mode.
Everything will still get done, just with fewer problems and less tension.
By slowing down, we guide ourselves back into the natural flow of things. Then, we are able to go along for the ride, allowing the universe to handle the navigation and timing. As Lao Tzu once famously said:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
Remember, holding on to control is a recipe for disappointment and failure. When we try to control uncontrollable events and circumstances we become more frustrated and create more chaos in our own lives.
So practice deep breathing, allow people to feel and act the way they want to, take breaks and slow down. Let these actions bring you back into the flow in moments of irritation and annoyance.
The only thing we really have control over in our lives are our own choices. Chose to let go, and allow the universe to handle the rest.
Do you have any other tips on letting go of control? Comment below and share them!
All the best,
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I began my journey with the LOA as an opiate addict and a bulimic. Through learning how to consciously apply the LOA my life has become a waking dream-healthy, fulfilling and prosperous. It is my joy to pass this knowledge along to you.