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Do You Control Your Life or Does Your Life Control You?

Take Back Control of Your Life

Traffic jams! A lot of people get upset and stressed out in traffic jams, but when I saw this picture, I couldn't resist - a camel traffic jam! It made me laugh....which is GOOD! You see, when I was in my teens, my dad did archaeological work in the Jerusalem area, so I saw plenty of this type of traffic jam. We were at the whim of the camels!  Hope you enjoy it as well! : )

Anyway, to the point of this post...

Do things keep happening to you that make you feel out of control of your life? 

Picture life happening from you instead of coming to you or at you. When I picture life happening to me, it is like an accident waiting to happen!
Over the years, the one thing I've really, really learned is that while it feels like life just keeps coming at us to the point it feels like an attack, it's the choices we make when that happens that change things! That is until we take the action that will get it under control.

Your Response to Events Can Make the Difference

Take Control of Your healthWhen bad things happen to you, how you respond to those bad situations is what will make a difference in how things turn out.
The day I went to the hospital back in October 2009 was a day that I had received a very dated, yet new bill from a nursing home my parents had been in almost two years earlier.
 My reaction was…well, let's just say I spazzed out.
In addition to ranting about "What on earth?! How could they bill me 19 months later?!" 
I ate two bowls of tomato soup with Ritz crackers & melting cheese.
That's what sticks in my mind, but there was probably more. 
Between dwelling on how angry I was and downing all that sodium (tomato soup alone has 480 mg of sodium per serving, which happens to be only 1/2 cup! Do you ever just have 1/2 cup of soup?)
 I paid for it dearly that night. I would have been much better off by making a phone call to the nursing home and just taking care of it.
Take control of your life

It's Just Not That Important!

 Even little things can make a difference in feeling out of control. 
For instance, in the Phoenix area, sometimes people driving on the roadways can do pretty irritating things! Ever get irritated over someone going 30 MPH in a 45 MPH zone? 
Or someone cuts you off; how do you react? It's not unheard of around here to hear on the news that someone pulled a gun! 
That actually happened to me when my family was in the car several years ago!
That's a bit out of control! 
My old reaction used to be to get all stressed out about it, maybe zip into another lane, all the while saying in no uncertain terms (if you get my drift) what a bad driver that person was!

Make the Decision Ahead of Time Not to Get Upset

I felt so much more at peace and calm throughout the day by choosing ahead of time that I would not get mad when that happens.
The key was deciding AHEAD of time that it just wasn't that important.
Sure, there are lots of other things that can make you feel like you have no control over what happens in your life. The key is to look for actions you can take to fix things.

Issues with a Company? Here's What to Do

Sometimes life happens and no matter how hard you try to say “It’s ok,” the only way you can really lessen the stress is to find a better way to deal with the situation.
One thing you can do when dealing with a frustrating issue where either the company messed up or you did (within reason) is doing this: call customer service, and make sure you get the person's name and write it down AS they say it.  
Take Control of Your LifeThen, if you get no satisfaction through customer service, find out who the CEO of the company is, possibly the person in charge of public relations, and the headquarters address. 
Sometimes when I write, I even throw in the head of investor relations.
Address a letter to the CEO (Google the headquarters address) with the others' names as cc at the bottom of the letter. In my opinion, that lets the CEO know that others are getting this also, so… don't blow me off.
Write a letter describing in detail what happened (be truthful & don't exaggerate), how you are not getting satisfaction with customer service. 
Starting the letter off by telling the CEO how much you have liked the company in the past probably will put that person more in the mind to help you.
Don't make it mean and negative. Honey catches more bees than vinegar, AND you won't be getting all riled up while you're writing the letter.
Mail the letter, then forget about it and get it out of your mind. You've done all you can do.
The reason I recommend doing this is because otherwise you just end up stewing over the issue and raising your blood pressure. 
It's kind of like the "Set it and forget it" commercial, only it's with your life. And, the company usually ends up keeping the customer!
I've done this with the CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, Papa John's Pizza, and many other places over the years.  
One advantage the company has when we do this is it makes the people at the helm seem to care when we get a response, especially over the phone.
One time I wrote to LifeTime Fitness because I had canceled my son's membership because of medical reasons. 
They still billed me. I wrote a letter, and not only did they refund the money, but he sent me a $40 gift card to use in their hair salon/spa. Not bad!
All but one or two times, I got a phone call (I always include a phone number so there is no excuse for them not to reply) within a couple weeks of writing the letter and it was almost always to my satisfaction.
Take Responsibility for Your Results
Basically, these are ways to overcome the little things in your life that can leave you feeling out of control. 

When it comes to bigger things like your job or your relationship, change the question you ask.
 Instead of "Why is this happening to me?" ask yourself "What can I do to make it better?"
Take 100% of the responsibility for what happens to you, even if you feel others were involved. Then take action.

This can include looking for a new job, getting training, starting to work from home for additional income, or just talking with someone about a relationship and/or deciding to get counseling.
When it comes to your health, it goes without saying that if you aren't happy with or aren't sure about something the doctor wants you to do, you have every right to confirm what your doctor said is right for you by getting a second opinion. If nothing else,  it will give you peace of mind.

Start Your Day Off Right

Take some time at the beginning of every day for an "hour of power," as Tony Robbins calls it. Here's a link to a free 12-minute clip of Tony Robbins talking about making decisions and also a free download on the "Hour of Power."

This power hour is your time to meditate/pray, read, and do some exercise.  If you need to get up early to do it, it is so worth doing. 
In the end, it's all about asking the right questions so you can make the best choices and get good results.
 Hope this helps and gives you some ideas on lowering your stress level by taking control of your life.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhoto.net.