How To Make Peace With Something You Cannot Control

Posted on June 9, 2016

When the world disappoints your expectations, your brain releases cortisol and it feels like an emergency (because you seem to have lost control of the happenings around you). You can re-wire your brain to feel safe when you’re not in control. That doesn’t mean being out of control or giving up. It means building a new neural pathway to replace that old cortisol circuit.

Your brain will build a new pathway if you repeat a new thought or behavior for forty-five days. So give up control of something for the next six weeks and you will like the results! Notice your usual strategy for feeling “on top of things,” and do the opposite.

For example, if you are a person who tries to bake the perfect soufflé, spend forty-five days cooking without recipes. It might feel awful on Day One, but forty-four days later it will feel curiously safe.

Your mammal brain feels good about things it can control. Some people break traffic laws to enjoy a sense of control, while others feel their power by scolding those who break traffic laws. Whatever gives you a sense of power won’t work all the time, however. You will end up feeling weak and unimportant some of the time. That triggers cortisol, but you can learn to feel safe when you are not in control.

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Category(s):Happiness, Stress Management

Source material from Psychology Today

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