I have a flip calendar by Dr. Wayne Dyer on my desk at work. I usually get caught up with my day and forget to flip the page to the current date, but today I decided to turn it over. This is what I found.
Try squeezing a handful of water, and see how quickly it disappears. But relax and let your hand flow in the same water, and you have the experience of the water as long as you like… Everyday Wisdom Flip Calendar by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
When you hold onto things too tightly you run a big risk of losing exactly what it is you want to keep. Whether it be people and relationships, or other, more abstract things like control of circumstances. The tighter the hold, the greater the risk. When you can loosen the hold a little and allow some room to move, you create more flexibility and opportunity for movement.
Recognising when you are holding on too tight
Do you ever feel like you are out of control? You try SO hard to make everything right and nothing seems to work. No matter what you do, something happens to put a spanner in the works. You end up feeling like you can’t do anything right.
You might end up yelling at the kids because they aren’t doing what you want them to do. You might make all kinds of mistakes with whatever it is that you are working on. Your emotions may be right at the surface all day and the tiniest thing could set you off.
These kinds of scenarios can be a big clue that you may be holding on to something too tightly.
What you could try
In no particular order (apart from number 1, which is always helpful as a first step):
- When you recognise that you feel like you are losing it, STOP! Literally. Stop in your tracks. Take at least 3 long, slow, deep breaths. More if you think you need it. Keep breathing until you feel like you have some semblance of control.
- Remind yourself that you are human, and human beings don’t always have to be PERFECT.
- Remind yourself that perfection is an illusion. It doesn’t exist and because it doesn’t exist, it is impossible to reach.
- If at all possible, allow yourself some time and space to regroup. If you need to, walk away from what it is you are doing. Come back to it later, because often some time and distance will help.
- Seek support. Talk to a trusted friend or professional (such as a counsellor) about what is going on. Sometimes someone else can provide a more objective opinion of the circumstances and can help you gain some clarity about your next step.
- If you feel like it, allow yourself to cry. This can be a good way to release and relieve some of the tension you are holding onto.
- Acknowledge that you are human. Emotions are a normal part of the human experience, and as such you are allowed to feel them. You are NORMAL! You are not going NUTS! Allow yourself to feel. Sometimes holding those emotions in can do you more harm than good.
- If there is one thing that is certain in this world, it is that everything changes. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. For example, children are people too and have their own minds. Sometimes they don’t do what we want them to. Try giving them a couple of choices (with consequences that you are prepared to carry out) and giving them a little room to move. They might surprise you.
- Ask yourself the question: Will this (whatever it is you are trying to do/control) matter in 5 years? If the answer is “no”, then decide whether it is worth letting it go.
- Ask yourself this question. If you best friend were going through exactly what you are, what would you say to help them? Would you allow them to be imperfect and show them some compassion? Whatever your answer, apply it to yourself. You deserve just as much respect, kindness and compassion as your best friend.
- Be kind to yourself and look after yourself. Try to focus on the basics of self care. Nutritious, healthy meals and exercise. As easy as it is to forget this, both you and your body will cope better if you give it what it needs for energy.
I hope these tips are helpful. If any of you have any more that you think might help other people, please feel free to post them in the comments 🙂