Seven Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life - Deepstash

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Seven Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_feel_more_in_control_of_your_life

greatergood.berkeley.edu

Seven Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life
Leslie and Josh came to therapy to talk about their son's problems in school. But it soon became apparent that they had a different problem altogether-one common to working parents. Their daily routine included a dizzying array of activities and responsibilities that kept them constantly stressed.

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Control stimuli

Control stimuli

Acting independently begins with what you let into your mind—meaning what comes in from your environment. If you are lacking agency, it’s likely your attention is being hijacked and you need to figure out how to restore it.

To help you increase your control, practice going to quiet and screen-free spaces to escape overstimulation.

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Associate selectively

Associate selectively

It’s impossible not to be affected by those around us—it’s easy to “catch” their emotions and our brains tend to synch up when we associate with other people. 

We should set boundaries with difficult people, disentangle yourself from negative online interactions, and be more conscious of how you might be vulnerable to “groupthink”—pressures to behave or think in ways that are contrary to your values.

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Move

Move

Physical movement can lead to greater self-control—the ability to defer gratification.

If you’re in deep at work, set a timer to go off every hour and remind yourself to take a moment to assess your mood. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, get up and move. And, if you’re having any issues at work, discussing them in a walking meeting (instead of a sitting meeting) may help mitigate conflicts.

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Position yourself as a learner

Position yourself as a learner

This requires nurturing your curiosity and allowing yourself to explore new ideas, skills, and people.

This isn’t always easy. Practicing a growth mindset—where you recognize that you are a work in progress, capable of learning and changing—can help combat the fear of failure or judgment that often come with learning new things

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Manage your emotions and beliefs

Manage your emotions and beliefs

Increasing your awareness of how your emotions and beliefs drive your thinking, influence your behavior, and affect your judgment will help you navigate life with greater confidence.

While uncovering these inner thoughts and emotions may take effort, being more self-reflective helps you keep yourself grounded by slowing down your thinking process.

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Check your intuition

Check your intuition

Think of intuition as deep inner knowledge that is comprised of millions of data points that our brains have observed over the course of our lives. 

When used wisely, it can be a tremendous boost to our creativity and help us make important decisions.

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Deliberate, then act

Deliberate, then act
When making an important decision, it’s helpful to stop and deliberate first:
  • Focus on the issue at hand enough to clarify your primary objective and what is at stake. 
  • Generate lots of options at first, making sure that any strong emotions or biases aren’t driving your thoughts.
  • Draft a plan for yourself based on those options, putting your thoughts and decisions into writing.
  • Set your plan aside and come back a while later to reassess it, making changes as necessary.

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Reduce impulse buying

Before purchasing non-essential items ask yourself:
  • Can I live without this item?
  • Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?
  • Will I actually use it? Do I have space for it?
  • How did I come across it in the first place? (Did I come across it after wandering into a gift shop out of boredom?)
  • What is my emotional state in general today? (Calm? Stressed?)
  • How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? Excited? Indifferent?)
  • How long will this feeling last?

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Personal needs

Personal needs

Working parents tend to focus all their energy on work or family and put their own needs on hold. With the current crisis, parents have even less time for their own needs while they juggle work and...

Know what you need

Take two minutes right now and list what would most benefit you. It could be taking 15 minutes to decompress after work. Or to have a few hours a week to read a book. Or even guitar lessons.

Highlight what sticks out to you the most on your list. Then decide what top few choices are suitable for your available time and finances.

Communicate your needs

To have a successful and productive conversation with your partner about your needs and desires:

  • Timing is everything. Set a time aside together that is free of distractions, relatively peaceful, and not when you are overtired.
  • Remember, you're on the same team. Handle the conversation with gentleness and without criticism.
  • Actively listen. To encourage understanding, don't just listen to respond. Truly try to understand how your partner feels.
  • It's about giving and taking. Relationships are about mutual understanding, compassion, and sacrifice.
  • Do regular relationship checkups to foster connection and open communication.

Controlling your emotions

The ability to recognize, own, and shape your own emotions is the master skill for deepening intimacy with loved ones, magnifying influence in the workplace, and amplifying our ability to turn idea...

Own the emotion

You can’t change an emotion you don’t own.

Accept responsibility for its existence.  Because an external event always precedes your experience of an emotion, it’s easy to assume that the event caused it. But as long as you believe it was externally caused, you are going to be a victim to your emotions.

Name the story

Emotions are the result of both what happens, and of the story you tell yourself about what happened.

  • A victim story: it absolves you of your responsibility for what happened.
  • A villain story: it exaggerates the faults of others and makes them responsible for what happened.
  • A helpless story: it convinces you that any course of action is pointless.