Ever felt like things are spinning out of control? It must have been an unpleasant experience to say the least… We as humans have a deep need for a sense of control. When we feel out of control, we experience a range of powerful and very uncomfortable emotions, including tension, feeling powerless, of being unable to do anything about it. In reality, we do not actually have to be in control of things all the time; what we really seek is a sense of control. For example, when our parents controlled us when we were younger, we perhaps felt content because we trusted them to provide us the control we were seeking in our lives. Once we leave the nest, we continue to seek some sense of control by looking for advice from professionals, experts, and people in authority. When we experience a sense of control, we experience a sense of certainty, an understanding how things work, we are able to predict what will happen next, we are able to complete things, and hold on to the belief that people are consistent in their action.
Control is embedded in most of what we do. Think about rituals. Not only they are everywhere but they are intended to reassure us that everything is as it is and provide familiar framework for our daily lives. In addition to that, social norms and values tell us what to do, how to do things, what is right and wrong, what is good and what is bad. When everyone in a group follows the same norms and values as you do, you feel a sense of control. When you feel the sense of control, not only do you feel better, you feel happier.
I value the importance of having a sense of control because it has been linked with physical and mental health. People who feel in control of their lives report to feel happier, have better health, experience less physical aches and pains, recover faster from illness, and live longer. In conclusion, it is very important for us to feel in control even if we are not. Therefore I want you to ask yourself: “What I am in control of?” and “What are the things that are outside of my control?”
All the best,