Knowing that you’re not in control, isn’t a very good feeling, is it?
You get angry, you get frustrated, and disappointed. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, sometimes things just don’t go your way, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Change isn’t always about you aiming to change your habits. Occasionally, it means knowing how to roll with the punches, how to flow with life and take what it gives you, without letting the anger and frustration take over.
Learning to flow with life means having a little more trust and faith. Faith in yourself, faith in knowing that there isn’t anything you can’t handle, even if you can’t always control the outcome of or the things that happen to you.
5 WAYS TO STOP RESISTING + LEARN TO FLOW WITH LIFE
YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU
Practicing to flow with life and learning to stop resisting is a process. It takes daily practice. There are so many things you can’t control in life, as much as you’d like to. Too many to count. That is at times hard to accept. One of the biggest challenges and things to accept, I think, is the fact that we also cannot control other people or their behavior- this often seems to be a huge source of frustration to many of us.
The key to our happiness and peace of mind in large part depends on how we react to things we cannot control. Why focus on those things that are beyond our control? Why allow them to be a source of anger? The first step is to realize that you cannot control everything that happens to you.
CREATE EMOTIONAL DISTANCE
Looking at your own life or current circumstances from a different perspective isn’t always simple. In fact, it’s almost never easy. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though.
We get upset over so many small, insignificant things, and we allow those negative emotions to take over. So things didn’t go your way; your car breaks down, you’re having problems in your relationship, your kid ruins a new couch, you suddenly have to cancel your weekend plans and come in to work on a Saturday and it just might seem like you can never catch a break. This is where you have to learn to create some distance and try to look at things from a new perspective. You are not what happens to you, but how you react to it. A year from now, will it matter if you had to come in to work that one weekend? Try to look at those situations from a distance.
As soon as you feel yourself become angry, frustrated, nervous or helpless- take a few, deep breaths. Deep breathing is the fastest way to calm yourself down and a lot of us underestimate the power of a good, deep breath. Over the last year or so, I’ve been through countless situations where I felt extremely upset or nervous and focusing on my slow, controlled breath, has helped me avoid a complete freakout. It’s been also one of those things that every single nurse and doctor would tell me during my treatment and different procedures: take a deep breath.
This works for every other upsetting situation you find yourself in life- whether it be a breakup, a failed exam, a job interview that didn’t go well- the first thing you need to do, is to take a long, deep breath.
The rest? You will figure that out later.
This is what flowing with life is all about out- instead of resisting every single little thing and situation, you accept them for what they are, and you adjust your plans accordingly.
OPEN YOUR ARMS TO CHANGE + IMPERFECTIONS
Change doesn’t always happen at our request; sometimes we’re forced into it. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept the fact that things didn’t go our way or that our expectations weren’t met. Change is a part of life.
Things change, circumstances change, and people change, too.
Life is all about change and imperfections, it’s all about those messy situations that sometimes bring us to tears, and sometimes make us burst out laughing. The “bad” makes us feel grateful for the good, but it also teaches us invaluable lessons. It makes us stronger, tougher, and wiser. Things might never be perfect– and just think for a second, how boring would life be if they were? Embrace those messy parts and don’t take yourself too seriously. There are times in life, when things take a turn, while you insist on going straight. From my experience, embracing those life turns is much easier than resisting the change. I always say that if something didn’t work out the way I planned to, it must be because something even better is right around the corner.
FOCUS ON THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL
While we can’t always control things that happen to us, we can control how we respond to those situations. Generally, you have two choices: you can either let the things that upset you control you, or you can accept that the only thing you can control, is how you respond to and deal with the problem or situation. You can let it overwhelm you, or you can say to yourself “okay, this is what’s happening, there’s nothing I can do about it now, let’s focus on what I can control.”
Two weeks ago, my car randomly died while I was getting groceries. Thankfully, this happened right next to the place where I change my oil, so I asked the guy to take a look at it. He literally took a hammer, struck my steering column a few times, the car started, and then he told me I need to have a dealer take a look at it. The following day I took it to another mechanic, who spent an entire day looking at my car and told me the same thing. I dropped my car off at the dealership, I got a loaner and haven’t heard from them for three days. I was getting so upset and frustrated, thinking there must be a serious issue with my car that will probably be expensive to fix, I thought how with everything else going on at this moment, this is literally the last thing I need, how big of a headache it will be, picking up the car, not knowing how long it will take for it to be fixed, maybe having to buy a new one, etc. Then, I told myself “there is nothing I can do about it right now, worrying about things I cannot control will not help, all I can do is wait. I’ll worry about it once I know what’s wrong.”
Three days later I get a call, saying that even though the car wouldn’t start, the issue was so minor, the dealership wasn’t even going to charge me for fixing it, or for running diagnostics. See this is just a prime example of how we let those things take over, how we allow them to control our emotions before we even know the outcome of certain situations. Things are never as bad as we make them out to be in our mind. When certain situations evoke negative emotions, the first thing we want to do is resist. Learn to flow with life, and things will become simpler, easier to deal with.
Thirteen Thoughts- this blog’s name is a reflection of many things, one of them being my anxious mind, racing thoughts always running through my head. Learning to stop resisting, to flow with life, has probably been one of the most difficult things for me to master throughout my personal growth journey.
I’m an Aries, so, naturally, I’m quite stubborn. I want things to go my way. I am a control freak and haven’t always dealt well with stress. Over the last couple of years, I’ve realized that things are almost never as bad as we make them out to be. I’ve realized that I cannot waste my time and energy worrying about the things that I can do nothing about, things I have no control over. Once you accept that, flowing with life becomes easier, almost effortless. And, as my mom always says, remember that there exists a solution to every problem, so don’t sweat the small stuff.