Control the Chaos

Hello everyone,

My life is hectic right now, so I am not able to write consistently. But I miss you all! I hope everyone is doing good!

The hectic nature of my life recently made me think of something that some of tend to do, me included. We want to control things and when we cannot, we feel stressed. That is one major reason we get more stressed during chaotic times, in addition to the fact that we might have to do a lot of tasks (which might be physically and mentally tiring on its own). The extra stress we get makes us feel the urge to control things.

Sometimes, the reality is that we cannot. What happens then?

Sometimes, I try harder to control things and guess what. It does not fix anything. For example, recently, I had to talk to a lot of vendors and organizers. I wanted to get things done in my time frame, but it did not work out because the situation involves other people. I have to accept that when dealing with other people, my timeline may not be theirs. I cannot control their times. If I do not accept this fact, I end up beating myself up more.  

So, the main solution seems to lie in acceptance: accepting that we cannot control everything and accepting the fact that we might need to bend our rules at times. I am not entirely good at either, but I am working on it.

What do you think? Do you tend to control things more than you should too? How do you deal with the stress? If you are not like this, what makes you keep calm? Let’s discuss.


46 thoughts on “Control the Chaos

  1. When we have too much on our plates is easy to feel like we’re not doing enough. It’s important to remember we’re not human doers – we are human beings. We weren’t designed to take on as much as we possibly can. My biggest tip is to stick with your routine. Concentrate on your circle of control. You can’t control others. Simply do your best, forget the rest. Oh and don’t forget to rest. Burn yourself out and you’ll soon be doing a lot less than you planned. Great to hear from you Betul. Take it easy 🙏

  2. Hi, Betul! You know, I have never seen such stressful times as these, and unfortunately, I sometimes get angry with situations that seem unnecessarily chaotic. I end up ignoring the extra stress it’s causing me, until body physically intervenes and I get vertigo so bad that I just take a motion-sickness pill and stay in bed all day. The next day I’m rssted, and can see things more clearly. Don’t be like me! I am happy to see you are much more in touch with your limits regarding stress management. So much seems out of control now, so your posting is very timely. Thanks!

    1. I do try to stick to my limits, but I also get that dizziness sometimes. It is important to draw lines, otherwise, everything gets out of hand.

  3. What a great topic, Betul. My biggest control issue is with people. My boyfriend doesn’t always express his feelings the way I want him to. My best friend from grad school doesn’t return my texts as often as I’d like. I get stressed when I forget that I can’t control others’ behaviors or responses. Working on that.

  4. Jeffw is spot on. Neibuhr’s prayer in its original form:

    “Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”

    The prayer was written circa 1932-1933, around the time of Franklin Roosevelt’s first election to the Presidency. And remember, however weird things seem to be, we haven’t touched the levels of the Pandemic of 1918 or the Great Depression! (Just imagine if we had . . . .)

  5. Yes, I couldn’t agree more with your post. If I’m tired, I tend to get more stressed regarding things beyond my control, or if I’m grieving, and that might be true of other people as well. I know people who are calm a lot but then I haven’t seen them without sleep or suffering much, so I don’t know how they would respond in those situations.

  6. Look to the root of the reason for the need to control. I just received bad news from my doctor and am working very hard not to get over focused on the health issues. I’m actually going the opposite which isn’t any better. I have towork to come to term with the reality of my future and dcide how I will handle it.

    1. I hope you feel better soon! I also sometimes go to the other end, and I think generally, recently, I have stayed on that end a lot except for the past few weeks. Neither is good.

  7. I tend to control time instead of things, I feel the need to know what’s going to happen in the next hours, days, or months. You can imagine how hard it is now, with no ome knowing if they will be able to do the things they’ve programmed

  8. I think it’s a fine line between too much control and not enough control. Many of the teachers I’m working with now tend to advocate much less control than I’m comfortable with. Often times, I have to push myself. It’s too easy to do nothing when I just “go with the flow.” What you’ve said about working with others is wise. It’s not possible to control other people. You can only control yourself. And also, being impatient for outcomes doesn’t work either. Things will not always work out in the time frame I think they will, no matter how much effort I put in. I just have to pick myself up and keep trying, or try a different approach. It’s a fine line.

    1. I have gone to the other end in the name of ‘staying in the flow’. There is a fine balance, which I don’t think I found yet. But the extremes definitely do not help.

  9. It helps really when you manage to drop the concept of “control” and switch to “be in charge”. You can not control the outside world (except by brutal force): cannot control others, or the weather, or the stuff happening. Most of the time we can not even control ourselves. However, each of us can be in charge of how we see the situation in relation to…. and you can be in charge of how you feel about it.
    Other helpful thing is to drop the concept of “time management” and introduce “priority management”. First one you can not control, second one you are in charge… and so on….
    Hope it helps 🙂

  10. I suggest to people to take 5 minutes and just focus on what is stressing you. The other 55 minutes in the hour you can’t think about it. After a while it seems even the 5 minutes is too much time to spend on something you can’t change.
    1. Breath deep
    2. Control time you give it
    3. Try for manageable chaos
    4. Talk it out/over and through or journal
    5. Take some productive steps. Walk away (as often as you need to to really walk away)
    6. Stay away from negative people who reinforce your angst
    7. Give your imperfect self hugs and compassion

  11. Control the controllables. Wise words. I’m currently editing what I hope will become my first published book. I have written it, and now am working on editing my way through it. I can control how good *I* think the story is, but when I am happy with it and submit it to publishers I cannot control what they think of it or the time frame they will take to assess it.

    So, I keep writing and editing. This book and others. Short stories and poems too. And I keep working to improve my writing, to hopefully increase the chance of having something published.

    Control the contrallables. Thank you for the reminder. ❤

    1. That is a good way of looking at it, but a hard one to do. When we work on something that much, we want good results (good from our own perspective). But that is the perspective we need to establish.

      1. Yeah, I failed at it for the majority of the weekend just passed. But this is a new week, and there is opportunity to work at some more. 🧡

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