Have you ever felt like everything is out of your control? Have you ever wanted the world to stop for a moment to let you catch your breath and energy? We’ve all had times when we thought we couldn’t do it anymore and were on the verge of losing control. Daily stress and routine hinder states of calm and tranquility .
When we feel that the situation we are experiencing is too much for us, we end up feeling frustrated and experiencing an unpleasant feeling of fear, which can sometimes come to disguise itself as anger and despair. All of this contributes to a fog of thoughts that make it difficult to find the right way to deal with what is happening.
In this scenario, it is important to stop and understand what happens before taking action. Maybe you just need to breathe and carefully analyze how we are. Let’s see what steps to take when we are about to lose control.
How fear works
Fear is an emotion that suddenly invades us when we face situations that the brain considers potentially dangerous for our well-being . In reality, its goal is not to intimidate us, but to prepare us to take action, be it attack or flight. In other words, its purpose is to protect us.
The mechanism that triggers fear on a biological level is found in the reptilian brain, which regulates the actions essential for survival, and in the limbic system, which regulates emotions and conservation functions. The latter also contains the amygdala, the brain structure responsible for triggering feelings of fear and anxiety.
On the other hand, on a psychological level, fear is an emotional state that helps us adapt to the environment and protect ourselves. However, this state sometimes responds disproportionately to the situations we find ourselves in. It can paralyze us or make us feel numb, preventing us from responding adequately.
The fear can also make its appearance disguised as anger, sadness and even unbridled joy. It doesn’t matter which mask it shows up with. What matters is that in order to be able to respond assertively when you are about to lose control, you must first accept that you are afraid and start managing it.
To lose control
When we become victims of fear and feel that everything is escaping us, that we are on the verge of losing control and that we can not do anything to resolve the situation, it is absolutely normal to feel frustration and helplessness. The problem is that if fear imprisons us, we will continue to think that everything that presents itself to us is chaotic and that we will never be able to do anything.
If we combine the fear and the feeling of loss of control, the situation translates into the perfect formula to make us want the world to stop and bring us down. The bad news is that the world cannot be stopped, circumstances cannot change on command, and neither can people. So what can be done?
Good news: we can be the ones to stop for a moment. In fact, pausing to reflect is very important and will help us resolve the situation, because it allows us to observe everything from another point of view, to seek a different and much more effective approach.
This proposal is based on the so-called circles of influence or control, a practice widely used by humanist psychologists, but which has a special relationship with the theoretical development of Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist.
What are circles of influence or control?
Circles of control are a way of looking at our environment on a topographical level, of seeing the influence we have on it and it exerts on us. Three main circles need to be developed:
- Circle of attention : it is the one over which we have the most control and concerns our thoughts and actions.
- Circle of influence : it is the one over which we have partial control. It is about our interpersonal, family, working relationships and the way we manage them.
- Circle of concern : it is the one that we have no influence over, but that could have it over us. The weather, the traffic, the thoughts of others …
If you feel you have lost control and you need to stop the world to get off, if you feel that you can no longer support and manage the situation, stop for a moment and think about these circles. Try to differentiate and delimit them and then mark a realistic course of action.
All the energy you invest in trying to control circles you have no influence over is a waste and a safe encounter with fear and frustration.
What are circles of influence for?
When you start to differentiate or specify the circles and what depends on your actions, the situation starts to get a little less chaotic. Automatically, the paralysis caused by the fear of losing control also begins to subside.
The most important thing is to remember that there are some situations in which we can perhaps exert some influence, but the final result may not depend on us anyway.
Our closest circle, the one over which we have the most control, concerns us. To get rid of unnecessary burdens, we must invest all the forces and energies on our actions. If we feel satisfied with the result, even if circumstances don’t go our way, we will be much less affected.
Before asking the world to stop, let’s stop ourselves and find the right focus. After all, the most important thing is to feel at peace with what we have done. If we honestly feel that we have given our best, the end result will come by itself.
The circumstances in which we may find ourselves largely depend on our desire to change them. We have no control over them, but we have absolute control over how we allow ourselves to be influenced by them. Our thoughts and feelings are largely influenced by the environment, but most of the control over them is ours. Here’s what we should focus on. c