When I read this short research paper I felt it was somewhat of a no-brainer.
Although the paper focuses on women, it has been shown many times the people who feel more in control over their lives feel happier. Being happier is a great way of increasing our resilience and ability to bounce back and leaves us less susceptible to problems like anxiety disorder, depression, and a list of other problems.
What is the real challenge, is figuring out how to get more control in your own life.
If you’re one of the many who could well be working one or even two full on jobs. Supporting a family, maybe an elderly relative, financial demands in a property that is too small. Then how on earth you get control when it seems nothing in your life is under control.
There is no magic trick, it takes time to learn to get control of what you can have control of.
It might just start when somebody makes a request of you, you choose when to do it.
A famous quote says “Just say NO”. Sounds great but, it’s very difficult. It feels wrong, and we tend to get pushed back from those around us especially if they used to us running around after them. Firstly, it’s going to take time to become comfortable saying no and secondly it needs to be said in a way that those making requests get it. You’ll need to figure out ways of saying no which would generally take the form no because…
Sometimes the place to start is getting more control of your environment. One person I worked with who lived in an overcrowded chaotic home decided to have one small drawer for just themselves. There was nothing special or hidden in it they just had control over it, people were not allowed to go in it or leave their stuff there. Now taking control of the draw is not going to sort out the whole of life but it’s a start to learning how to take control.
Generally, when somebody starts to realise they do have control, and they can expect to have control even over the smallest things, then what happens is they find it easier to identify other areas where they can have more control.
The article linked to below is a little technical.
Sense of control helps protect women from anxiety
Remes O, et al.
Healio.com, April 30, 2018
Mental health research: A strong sense of coherence associated with reduced risk of anxiety disorder among women in disadvantaged circumstances: British population study by Olivia Remes, Nicholas W J Wainwright, Paul Surtees, Louise Lafortune, Kay-Tee Khaw, Carol Brayne.