Feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Anxious? It's as easy as A, B, C. Give yourself 10 minutes to complete this short and simple exercise and take back control.
Take a moment to calmly consider the list of things contributing to your worries and feelings of overwhelm. It could be worrying about running out of food, what's going to happen, the dentist appointment you cancelled but can't reschedule yet, worry about someone you care about, feeling tired, work issues, lack of work, feelings of guilt etc.
Write out each 'Worry Item' on your "Spheres of Influence".
You must assess each worry item and decide:
- Do you have complete CONTROL over the worried item (ie. you can resolve it on your own without needing anyone else's help or input).
- If so, write it down within the first circle labelled "WITHIN MY CONTROL" and move onto the next item.
2.If you have PARTIAL control / can INFLUENCE, the outcome of the worried item (ie. you can partly resolve the
worried item or influence the outcome through your actions or behavior)
- Write this item within the second circle labelled "I CAN INFLUENCE" and move onto your next worry on the list.
3.Finally, if the worried item is COMPLETELY OUTSIDE your control or influence (ie. there is nothing you can do or say that could directly impact this worry)
- Write this item OUTSIDE the circles in the area labelled "EVERYTHING ELSE…" and move onto your next worry.
Once you have written out all your 'Worry Items' in the relevant area, review your "Spheres of Influence".
- For the worry items, you have CONTROL over
- IDENTIFY AN ACTION (however small) for each action.
- TIP: It's helpful to action ONE of these today - or even RIGHT NOW - to instantly feel better.
2.For the items they have INFLUENCE / PARTIAL control over:
- Write down the steps you will take and exactly when you will do them - today or in the next few days.
3. Finally, (and most importantly)
- Now LET GO of EVERYTHING ELSE! You get to choose how you spend your energy. So, you can choose to focus on what is WITHIN your CONTROL and INFLUENCE. It's a complete waste of energy (and big stress increase) to worry about things you can do NOTHING about!
- Next physically STRIKE-THROUGH each of these "Everything Else" items on your" Spheres of Influence". After all, if you can't control or influence it, then it's a waste of your precious energy to even think about it.
- TIP: If you struggle with this idea (and even if not!) consider how it FEELS to let go of the things you have no control over.
- TIP: As well as striking out the "Everything Else" items, you could also cut out around the big circle, scrunching up the "Everything Else" items and putting them in the bin. This is a powerful way to "let go".