7 Practical Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life Right Now

By Krista


Last Updated: March 30, 2022

When life throws you a curveball, it’s easy to feel like everything is out of control. And in today’s culture of constant productivity and hustling, it can also easily feel like you can’t keep up and you’ve got no say when it comes to your life and its direction.

In truth, being in a constant state of panic can lead to paralysis. You feel frozen and unable to move. Yet, there are various ways to work around this feeling and gain back control. So, let’s steer your focus away from the panic and overwhelm and turn it towards seven ways you can start feeling more in control of your life right now.


1. Routine

Creating and sticking to a routine can have many positive effects. Once you have a routine down pat, it helps you become more productive. You don’t have to waste time deciding what you should do, and it can save you a ton of mental energy. 

All in all, a solid routine can help reduce your stress levels, improve your sleep, and improve wellness. Simply put, you take the uncertainty out of your day when you have a routine. 

Yet, it’s important to take your time creating your routine, as it will take some trial and error to decide what works best for you. Be patient with yourself during this process. 

A common routine that can help you gain back control (and improve your health!) is a proper sleep and bedtime regime. For example, you might go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Maybe you have a few rules around your bedtime, such as no screens an hour or two before bed.

You might also get things ready for the morning and perform a relaxing activity, such as reading or taking a warm bath, before heading to sleep.

In contrast, starting your day off right sets the tone for the rest of your day. For instance, if you’ve missed your alarm, you may feel rushed or overwhelmed for hours afterward. Thus, maybe your routine involves getting up right when your alarm goes off.

Not every routine works for everyone but creating a plan works. It provides anchors throughout your day, guiding you and saving mental energy by limiting the decisions you need to make.


2. Become a Planner

According to a recent study, those who plan ahead feel more in control of their lives. Similar to routines, this provides a plan and a guide for how your day or activity will pan out.

In turn, it reduces the chaos associated with an unplanned day or activity. And yet again, it limits the choices you have to make throughout your day because you’ve already made them; you’ve set a plan. 

A great way to become a better planner is by using your calendar and sticking to it. This way you have blocks of your day allocated to certain tasks, activities, or projects, keeping your time within your control.


3. Manage Your Environment

Many individuals spend endless hours online scrolling social media apps or chatting with friends or family. Sometimes you might not even realize how many hours have passed. Five minutes turns into an hour or more.

And our devices' impact on our ability to focus is more than you think. Consequently, this can turn into feelings of being out of control.

Even having a device near you can reduce your capacity to focus. “Brain Drain” is a real thing, and not combating it can lead to a lot of stress and overwhelm. It’s undeniable that in today’s society, overstimulation is easy to come by.

However, controlling how much stimulation you receive in your day-to-day is entirely within your control. 

For instance, when working, you can put your phone across the room and out of reach. You can even download applications, such as Social Fever, to help limit your social media or screen time. 

Other ways you can manage your environment further include getting outside and enjoying nature. Or going to a co-working space instead of working from home. There are tons of options here to gain back control!

Related Article: 10 Ways Your Environment Affects Your Mental Health & How You Can Improve It


4. Exercise

The benefits of exercise are enormous, especially for improved mental well-being. By adding exercise into a routine with good sleep and nutritious foods, you’re setting yourself up for success.

In many ways, exercise brings the mind back into balance. When you’re feeling overstimulated and overwhelmed, a little activity will go a long way. 

For example, if you’re feeling the most stressed and anxious at work, try setting a timer or reminder to get up and move once an hour. It can help reset your mind and reduce stress.

Exercise has the wonderful capacity to increase endorphins in the body, which help relieve stress and pain and make you feel good. This can help you obtain feelings of empowerment and control, as your worries melt away and you feel more confident in the choices you make.


5. Surround Yourself with the Right People

Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 

In many ways, we feed off the energies of the people around us. We learn their habits and behaviors and reflect them back. And unfortunately, some people just aren’t good for our goals, lives, and overall being. If you’ve ever spent time with someone who is extremely negative, you’ll be well aware of the mental drain this takes.

As your energy gets drained by others, you might feel less in control of your own life. Thus, choose who you hang out with wisely! Surround yourself with positive individuals that feed your energy and don’t take it away.

These positive social interactions can reduce stress and overwhelm while ensuring the control of your life remains in your hands.


6. Manage Your Emotions

Sometimes, managing your emotions can be extremely challenging, especially when these emotions involve other people. But the truth is YOU are the person solely in control of your feelings and emotions.

In multiple ways, your thoughts create your feelings. Simply by changing your thoughts (which is completely within your power!), you can change how you feel about something. This all comes down to focusing on what is within your control. And yes, your emotions absolutely are!

If you feel hurt by something someone did, it’s important to look inward.

  • Why would this hurt you?
  • Why does it bother you so much?
  • What can you internalize here?

Once you do that, in many circumstances, you don’t even need an apology to move forward (Although, we can all agree that’d be nice! But relying on others sometimes, simply, isn’t possible.).

Undeniably, there are boundaries and other factors at play in relationships. But knowing your feelings, actions, and behaviors are up to you can place a ton of power back into your hands and help you feel more in control.

Related Article: The Victor and Victim Mindset & How to Flip the Script to Take Back Control


7. Expand Your Knowledge and Creativity

Those who feel most in control of their lives are constantly learning, actively open-minded, and trying to expand their mind. Nurturing your creativity, working with your hands, learning new skills, and expanding your world will help increase your level of agency. 

Knowing that you’re always a work in progress can be a challenging and overwhelming mindset to have, but it can also be freeing. Releasing your fear of judgment or failure can help you feel more in control and less anxious about trying new things. 

In a way, it’s about accepting yourself where you are at and moving forward, gaining the knowledge you need to get to where you want to be.

Plus, knowledge is power! In other words, you’ll feel empowered by learning something new or through creation. It’s also known to help calm the mind, contributing to less stress.


Take Back Control of Your Life

Life can feel overwhelming. At times, we all feel out of control. Yet, there is always something that you can do about it and do to feel more in control, such as using the tips above!

Plus, if you don’t take the reins of your life, someone else will. By actively seeking out areas of your life that you can control, you ensure you achieve your goals and live a fulfilling and happy life. 

Read Next: How To Be Patient When Things Aren’t In Your Control

Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash


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