Obsession for control: controlling the uncontrollable

People tend to control what surrounds us. It is normal that we like having things controlled, the feeling that everything is under control gives us security and tranquility. However, sometimes that longing for control, we can overflow and become a real obsession with control.

The search for security then becomes a barrier that limits us and generates anxiety and unrest, causing unrest and insecurity when we do not have control. Sometimes, you can not control the uncontrollable, the obsession for control instead of approaching the tranquility and security that we intend, moves us away from it.


The feeling of having everything under control

The world is a variable place, sometimes unexpected things happen and when this happens we do not always know how to react in the best possible way. If we knew what is going to happen at each moment we could move forward and have our reaction prepared. Before the world and its capricious chance, people develop a tendency to control and in this way we feel safe because we believe that we control the situation.

The feeling of having everything under control is a powerful feeling, because for a moment it makes us believe that we can overcome by chance, be smarter than coincidences and have everything under control, as well as be prepared for any eventuality.


Surely all have ever experienced unforeseen events and surely in those moments we will have experienced an unpleasant feeling, of insecurity for not knowing how to respond to the situation, even of shame. If we have experienced that feeling it is easy to understand the power of the feeling of having everything under control.

When the sensation becomes an obsession

The feeling of control is powerful and gives us security and well-being. But it can become a double-edged sword, as we can become obsessed and keep an extreme vigilance to everything around us to have it controlled.

The feeling of control acts like a powerful drug, and when we do not have it we can feel anguish, malaise, insecurity, even without the situation being unpleasant. And all our action is directed to the control and to the search for that sensation. However, we never achieve absolute control and we only achieve a state of high tension, a feeling of insecurity and discomfort.


Learning that you can not control the uncontrollable

The feeling of control is dangerous, because although it gives us security and is a powerful feeling, we can never control everything. The feeling of control leads us to always want more control, but having everything under control is impossible. It escapes us that we can not control what others do, nor can we control the phenomena that occur around us. Unforeseen events are part of everyday life, are something natural and instead of spending our energy to control the uncontrollable, we can change the perspective and learn to respond to unexpected events, and in some cases learn to enjoy them.

Let's see an example, we can try to control the climate and bring an umbrella every time we think it's going to rain. It is easy to control this if we pay attention to the weather forecasts every day. But what happens if one day the forecasts fail? What happens if we have not taken the umbrella and it turns out that it is raining? A person who is obsessed by having everything under control, will feel bad, will experience discomfort and will be angry for not having foreseen it. On the other hand, if we change the perspective, we will look for an alternative, such as buying another umbrella, changing our path and walking through places or cutlery, and even get to enjoy the rain.

5 tips to stop obsessing over control

1. Start to relax and stop controlling everything. It's not about changing suddenly, it starts with controlling small things.

2. Remember that you can only control what you do, but never what others do.

3. When an unforeseen event arises, even if you have it controlled think alternatives, think things you could have done. Imagine also what would have happened if you do not control it, you will see how the consequences are not so serious.

4. When the need to control things overcomes you, try some relaxation technique.

5. Try to do new things, change your way of doing things, in this way you will be the one who looks for the unforeseen.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Learn. Author of the collection Stimulate Reading and Writing Processes.

It may interest you:

- Parental control in social networks

- This is how parents control the online movements of their teenagers

- Mania or obsession: OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder

- Emotional insecurity: steps to stop being insecure

Video: HOW I GOT RID OF (Obsessive Anxious Thinking & Painful Rumination)


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