How To Stay Mindful When You Don’t Have Control

Feeling like we have control over our lives has a powerful calming effect and many of us will go to lengths to keep this control in tact.

But what do we do when we feel like we don’t have control over a situation, which is something we all will encounter in our lives, probably many times?

Whether your fears are over bad weather, health issues, or other people’s decisions, we need to be mindful of the fact that there are some things in life we simply cannot control and that’s just part of being human.

This is universally true for everyone.

Here are 5 quick and simple tips on how to stay mindful when we are facing situations where we have limited or zero control over the outcome:

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1 – Surrender.

The concept of surrendering to a situation where we have no control was introduced to me in Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. Surrendering yourself to a situation is instantly liberating and brings about inner peace.

“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” -Eckart Tolle

2 – Stay in the present moment.

This tip seems so simple and obvious but it is incredibly easy to lose sight of the importance of staying in the present moment ESPECIALLY when we have no control over the future. When you find yourself worrying and the spiraling thoughts overwhelm you, bring your attention back to the present moment.

Notice your surroundings, pay attention to bodily sensations, and find joy in the mundane. Remind yourself that the present moment is all you ever really have and it’s ever-changing.

“Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.” -Catherynne M. Valente

3 – Build upon your relationships.

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One of the biggest pillars of a peaceful life is relationship building and a sense of community. Find others who are in similar uncontrollable situations and lean on each other for support. Help each other to surrender and stay in the present moment for a more joyful life. Building upon a sense of community will help you keep perspective and remain optimistic.

“The mark of community is not he absence of conflict. It’s the presence of a reconciling spirit.” -Bill Hybels

4 – Use humor.

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Humor is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given and I believe it was to help us during tough times, especially times where we have limited control over outcomes. Not only does laughter relax our bodies, but it can boost our immune system, release endorphins, and it lightens our load.

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” -Mark Twain

5 – Control what you CAN (that is good for you).

When faced with a situation over which you have no control, it’s a good time to take stalk of what you CAN control to help your overall well being. Prioritize sleep, eat nutritious food, and keep moving. Read more on the Mindfulness CAN Method.

“Research says getting regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to cope with stress. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, staying away from drugs and excess alcohol and doing relaxing things every day even if it feels like you don’t have the time are all ways you can prevent yourself from becoming stressed.” -Chris Meno

We all fear losing control over various aspects of our lives, but the sheer fact that we all go through this should be viewed as a source of power.

We are not alone and we are going through so many similar situations. It’s in our best interest to always strive towards mindful living through surrender, living in the now, laughing, relationship building, and taking care of ourselves to the best of our ability.

What other tips do you have to help yourself find peace during situations where you have little to no control?

Good luck out there and HAPPY MINDING!

Photo by Edu Carvalho on

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