Posted on May 7th, 2006

We all go through periods in our lives when we feel like it is spinning out of control and we don’t know what to do about it. It may be because of an unexpected tragedy that rocks us to our core and causes us to re-evaluate what is most important to us. It could be because we are going through a more positive, yet stressful, experience by choice, like planning a wedding or moving to a new and exciting place. Or it could just be because we have a hard time saying no and have too many commitments. Whatever the case may be, we can all relate to the experience of feeling out of control. But how do we get that control back? The following are three sure-fire strategies that you can apply today to begin to get a sense of control and feel some peace of mind.

Take a few minutes to just stop and breathe. This is perhaps the most powerful way of gaining control in the moment that you can do. I even suggest that you sandwich your day with this practice. Before you get out of bed in the morning take just five minutes to breathe. Just focus on your breath. This technique is very calming. You are going to be tempted to start thinking about all you have to do that day or whatever worries are on your mind, but go back to your breath. You can think later, but for now, just breathe. A calm mind will be much more efficient than one that is hopping from thought to thought. Do it again before you go to sleep. Are you having trouble sleeping? This can help you calm your mind so you can get some rest and be more efficient the next day. Use this technique throughout the day whenever you start to feel that “pumped up” feeling. You will immediately begin to feel more in control and at peace.

Prioritize. You can prioritize for the day, for the week, for your life, or even for just the next moment. Sometimes that is all we can handle. Any level or depth of prioritizing will help you gain control. Prioritizing means choice. You choose what is most important to you at any given time. You always have the power to choose. Even when events happen to you that are out of your control, you can choose how you respond to them. In that moment you prioritize your thoughts and feelings. You may say that you can’t control your feelings, and this is true to a degree. You may not be able to control your initial reaction, but you can choose how you will think about a situation, which will eventually lead to how you feel about it. As you begin to feel as though you are gaining control, you can then begin to prioritize for the long term. The more you think about and decide what is most important to you, the more you will operate from a place of conscious choice. As you do this, you will have more feelings of control and peace.

Focus on doing one thing at a time. I know in this day and age of multi-tasking we think we can’t get enough done if we are not doing more than one thing at a time. But is this really true? Have you ever noticed that the things we do with only half our attention, we often have to do over? Generally, when we give our tasks the undivided attention they truly require, we can get more done more efficiently. Just try this for a day and see what you can get accomplished.

What are you willing to begin today? Commit to at least one strategy, notice the effects, and you will want to incorporate all three. Applying these strategies during stressful times will help you gain a sense of control in your life. If you also begin to practice them in your daily life any time, you will begin to discover what it feels like to be at peace. Isn’t this what most of us are ultimately striving for anyway? I guess the key is to stop striving and breathe, prioritize, and focus. I guarantee that over time, the accumulated effects of these changes will dramatically change your quality of life and give you peace.

Teri Thomas is a spiritual life coach who’s mission is to help you connect with spirit and design your life around your deepest priorites. Are you ready to find that "something more" you’ve been looking for? For more resources on helping you begin the journey of finding it go to http://www.livingspiritually.com

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