4 Ways to Be OK with Letting Go of Things You Can't Control

Recently, your life has become so busy and chaotic that the new normal is all about embracing the lack of control. If only it felt easy to let someone else take the reins. Le sigh. Here, how to take a deep breath and—in the words of Elsa from Frozen—let it go.

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1. First, Assess What’s Actually Bothering You

You’re stuck at work and—ugh—you need to ask your neighbor to pick up the kids from school. Rock and a hard place, there’s nothing you can do. As you sit there, stressed to the core and micromanaging via text, it’s worth asking yourself: Where are those feelings coming from? Is it trust issues from a previous incident where someone botched the job? Or are you beating yourself up that you failed to do what you said you would? Getting a grip on the source of the pressure can help you understand why it irks you to let someone else pick up the slack once in a while.

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2. Next, Consider The Worst Case Scenarios Of Letting Go

Two things can happen: Your neighbor nails the pick-up and you walk in the door to find the kids sitting at the table, doing homework. Or things go awry: She runs late, the school closes early, your kids are stranded and scared. Yes, the worst can happen, but letting your fears run rampant doesn’t give you any more control. It’s worth thinking through the validity of your fears instead—and remember that if something does come up, your neighbor is perfectly capable of problem solving any hiccups on her own. Leave it in her hands.

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3. Stop Playing The ‘what If Game’

Truth: You can’t anticipate everything. But it’s likely your control issues are stemming from a desire to try. Sure, it can be gratifying to lead your life with everything buttoned up, but you need to simultaneously train yourself to live in the moment and expect the unexpected. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself spending every waking minute trying to micromanage hypothetical situations and the people connected to them. A safer strategy? Focus on the present. Have faith in yourself, superwoman. If something comes up, you can troubleshoot as needed.

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4. Celebrate The Things You Can Control

It sounds cheesy, but your attitude should be at the top of that list. For example, you can’t control a traffic jam. But you can control the way you feel during that traffic jam. Another example: You can’t control a best friend making a poor decision (in your opinion, at least). But you can control how much emotional energy you choose to use up thinking about her poor decision. You are responsible for you. That’s it. As for the people—and crazy world—around you, practice this mantra: Thou shalt not stress.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...