Are Things Spiraling Out of Control? Relax!

In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded (very clearly) that when things are spiraling out of control, the very best thing we can do is simply relax.

I’ve always been a very healthy person without any major health concerns or diseases. The same is true for my kids and my husband.  However, in the last few weeks, illness and injury in my family started to become a central theme in my household.

It began with one small ear infection, and then suddenly health issue after health issue began to fall into my lap.  With each additional problem, I became more and more upset. 

My behavior became a bit obsessive.  I started washing laundry more frequently to keep germs from spreading.  I followed everyone around in my home with hand soap and antibacterial gel.  I looked up symptoms and treatments online and discussed them with my husband, friends and parents.

Now, I know better than to approach life’s problems like this, but for some reason I convinced myself otherwise.  I fell back into the “control mode” that often dominated my life when I was younger.  I told myself I could fix and prevent illness and injury by being vigilant and extra careful.  Boy was I wrong!

Collectively, over this brief period of time, we ended up taking five trips to visit doctors and specialists (thankfully nothing serious, just annoying little problems!).  As soon as one issue was resolved, another would pop up.  I felt stuck in a vicious cycle.

Fortunately, three days ago I had a moment of clarity.  I was flossing before bed and out popped a filling on one of my molars, leaving a sizable hole in the tooth.

When the filling popped out, my initial reaction was “Really?! Another appointment? Another copay? Another problem?”

At this point, though, it had become too obvious to ignore what was really going on.  My attitude was what was creating all of these small medical problems in my life.  Why else would the health of a healthy family suddenly begin to spiral out of control all at once? Why, out of all of the days of my life, would a filling pop off of my tooth now? 

In that moment, I fully realized I had let my thoughts get away from me.  My attention and distress was creating more and more illness and injury, and it became clear what I had to do next. 

In that moment, I firmly decided to let go of control.  I told myself I had to surrender to these issues and allow them to take me wherever they needed to take me.  Then, I crawled into bed and made it my intention to spend the next day calm and relaxed.

When I woke up in the morning, I reminded myself of my intention to relax.  I took a deep breath and started to move calmly through my day.

Wouldn’t you know it, the entire day ran smoothly and beautifully.  The health concerns that had been driving me insane for two weeks suddenly became the small, insignificant issues they really were, and life felt brighter again.

Since that decision several days ago, things are looking up.  All of the issues seem to have disappeared.  Even better, my distress has evaporated!

As a side note, there was a new dentist was at my dental office.  He was super nice and he did a fantastic job on my tooth. 

The silver filling that was once on my molar has now been replaced with a tooth-colored one that matches the rest of my teeth-and for a lot less money than I anticipated. Nice “silver lining” huh?

Beyond that, I was in and out of the office in only 45 minutes-not bad!

The moral of the story here?  Worrying and trying to control outcomes only makes problems worse. When things are spiraling out of control, it’s time to stop obsessing and overthinking.


When the rain turns into a pour, the very best thing we can do is make the choice to let go and relax. In fact, it’s very likely the only thing we can do that will have a positive effect on the situation.

So have you ever had the experience of one bad thing leading to the next?  Have you ever made the choice to surrender when things were spiraling out of control?  Comment below and share your story!

All the best,

Andrea

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9 Comments

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    ashley sherland
    Posted July 17, 2015 12:35 pm 0Likes

    I’m so happy to see this today usually my whole life runs smoothly but I’ve been in this same situation this last week and my thoughts have made it worse I was thinking earlier this morning I need to stop thinking and relax this was perfect for me right now thank you

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    Ann
    Posted July 17, 2015 5:53 pm 0Likes

    “Spiraling out of control”!!!!!
    One day, a Friday the 13th, many years ago, woke up and plugged the toaster in, it started on fire and smoking. Pulled the plug out. Then plugged the tea kettle in, same thing – it smoked and caught on fire. An hour later I got out the older vacuum cleaner to clean the carpet. It also caught on fire. Stink. Wow. An hour later I turned on my brand new TV. Cripes!!!! Fire, smoke, burning rubber, Stink, Really Scared.
    Then about 4 hours later it is ladies afternoon out. I only had one drink. Fell down as we were crossing the road and broke my knee. They wanted to amputate a week later – gangrene. Leg turned black. Praying saved my leg. Still took 2.5 years to heal. My body lost 11 pounds in 8 days from internal bleeding. Could have died.
    There was NOTHING WRONG with the wiring in my apartment (as some people suggested). There was nothing wrong with my mind to cause all those fires. The toaster, the tea kettle, the vacuum cleaner were just at the end of their life and chose that day to all catch on fire. The brand new TV was defective. Those fumes could have seriously hurt my lungs. Maybe they did.
    Breaking my knee – there was a pot hole in the road and I stumbled into it is how I broke my knee.
    Since then I DO NOT LIKE FRIDAY THE 13th.
    Oh yes, there have been a few more days similar to that in my life, but not as serious as that day. Crap happens sometimes.
    (from a Canadian)

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    Sunny
    Posted July 17, 2015 6:49 pm 0Likes

    so true, love this article and thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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    Andrea Schulman
    Posted July 18, 2015 8:44 am 0Likes

    Hi Ashley! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this article. I appreciate your comment! 🙂 I hope this next week is calmer than the last for you (and me! lol).

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    Andrea Schulman
    Posted July 18, 2015 8:46 am 0Likes

    Hi Ann! WOW you just made my crappy week seem a whole lot better with that story. LOL. That was crazy. Thank you for sharing:) -Andrea

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    Andrea Schulman
    Posted July 18, 2015 8:47 am 0Likes

    Thanks Sunny! 🙂 🙂 -Andrea

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    Bobby
    Posted July 21, 2015 10:17 pm 0Likes

    Aside from meditation what are some things you personally enjoy doing to feel better when in these ruts?

    I also agree that worrying just makes things worse. You have one thought that leads to another of worry and then next thing I know I’m laying in bed trying to sleep the anxiety off. I just try to watch funny things and make mental list of gratitude.

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    Bobby
    Posted July 21, 2015 10:17 pm 0Likes

    Glad the family and you are also doing well now by the way!!!!

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    Andrea Schulman
    Posted July 22, 2015 7:29 am 0Likes

    Hi Bobby- I’ve found that meditation and yoga have worked really well for me in times like these. They’re great for calming down and finding perspective. Like you said, watching funny shows and lists of gratitude are also great ways to deal with these kind of ruts.

    And yes, I am also very glad things here are doing well 🙂 Thanks!

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