• 17th March, 2022
  • by Valencia

Our Sense of Control

“I can’t control anything anymore”.

“I feel things are getting out of my control”.

“There’s nothing I can control”.

These are statements that might be familiar to some of us – this sense of a loss of control. A feeling of things slipping away from us, that perhaps we thought we had a sense of control over.

But what is this control? Do we really have a sense of control over the things going on in our lives?

A part of mental health is the ability to cope with the normal stresses of life. It is normal and inevitable that we face stresses in life that can challenge us.
We all go through stresses in life. Some of these are not within our scope of control, such as the recent global challenges we’re facing – the Covid-19 pandemic, the conflict in Europe – that can have a profound impact on us, whether it’s a direct or an indirect impact. Other challenges may not be under our control either, such as uncertainties at work or some personal challenges that we face. Many of our worries tend to stem from areas that we cannot control in our lives.

It is important to realise for ourselves what we have control over and what we don’t, so we can manage our expectations better, and our mental health. It can help to alter our perceptions of the situations we are in, in order to cope accordingly.

An exercise like this can help us to differentiate between things we have control over, versus things we do not:

You might be asking then, what we can have a sense of control over? This is different for everyone, but some things which come to mind are…

Is there anything else that you can think of for yourself that might be within your control?

Recognising what we are in control over versus what we are not can help us to manage our feelings of stress or anxiety when they arise.

Do not use this website if you are in a life-threatening situation. Call your emergency services.