Six Steps to Zen When You Need Control


“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Recently, I was running an errand on a late Sunday afternoon. I was feeling frustrated that the errand I had wanted to do hours ago was only now getting done. So many other things had taken place during the weekend. I was thinking, “Here I am once again running out the door at 4 pm! Every weekend it’s the same thing. I’m always running out at the last minute Sunday to do something that I wanted to get done earlier in the weekend.” 

And then something dawned on me. Rather than feeling frustrated and fighting this pattern, I decided to accept it. This is the pattern of our family. I’m going to have to learn to accept our pattern.

Here are six tips to help you learn more about releasing control and learning to surrender. If you’d like to learn more about how you can learn to relinquish control and find your inner Zen, contact me today. Let’s work together to find your strengths so that you can thrive.

  1. Recognize your situation. Becoming aware and understanding that things are beyond your control is the first step towards peace of mind. Become aware of your state of mind and admit why you are frustrated. By being mindful of your situation, you can then take steps to control how you react to it.
  2. Release control. Learning that you can’t control your surroundings and especially other people, is a key step in learning how to accept what you cannot change. We want things the way that we want them. But the universe has other plans. Things will change. People will be who they are and do the things they do. Accept that people will do things that we don’t want or like. Your girlfriend may unexpectedly break up with you, you may lose your job, your kids break up with you. Ask yourself, Is this something that I can control?  If the answer is no, then ask the next question: Will the situation be better if I accept it and choose a peaceful state of mind?
  3. Find the Fear. Control is often rooted in fear. If we lose control, then something bad might happen. If we hold onto control then the object of our fear won’t materialize. This is delusional thinking. If you find yourself wanting to control a situation or a person, try to get to what you are fearing. Question the foundation of this fear. By understanding what you fear, you will understand why you want control.
  4. Breathe. While in those moments of stress, anger, or frustration, our body subconsciously begins to change. Our breathing becomes shallow, our muscles tense.
  5. Meditate. I promote meditation repeatedly in many of my blogs. This simple act of quieting the mind and focusing on the breath is helpful in so many ways. From easing anxiety to reducing stress, meditation’s benefits are countless.
  6. Accept chaos and enjoy the beauty in imperfections. Look at what happens to you through a positive frame of mind. Practice the skill of finding the joy in disorder. Looking at the situation in a negative way causes frustration and aggravation. If it is a situation that one day six months from now you won’t even remember, then choose not to become irritated about it. And sometimes, something that seems like a negative at the moment later turns out to actually be a blessing in disguise. Choose to stay in your state of peace.  Perhaps the universe is trying to teach you a lesson or it is showing you a painful situation to serve a purpose. By choosing this frame of mind, it is easier to accept something we can’t control.

To learn more about acceptance, check out some additional resources. You can read Deepok Chopra’s book, The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success. Many of Buddha’s teachings are centered around accepting things and refraining from judgement. Surrendering is an art unto itself. Contact me today to see how I can help you find the peace you’re seeking to allow you to be your best.