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Stress Management Challenge Day 1 – Accept what you cannot control

🎯 Today’s Mission:

To successfully complete today’s mission:

  • Complete the 5-step areas of control exercise.
  • [OPTIONAL] Share your list with us in the Stress Management Support Group if it is not too personal.
  • Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.

💡 More Info:

❓ How to complete the mission

Grab some paper or your journal and complete these 5 steps:

  1. In one column write the heading “Things I can control (Change)” and in the other “Things I cannot control (Accept)”.
  2. List your fears, concerns, problems and place them in the appropriate column.
  3. Take 5 mins to note down some reasonable actions you can take to make progress in the areas you can control.
  4. Now take a deep breath and read out aloud the items that you have no control over and cannot change. Acknowledge, accept and surrender to them. Your energy is needed elsewhere. Let them be.
  5. Refer back to this list and repeat as often as necessary.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

A powerful message worth repeating when it feels like you are spiralling into the depths of despair in times of crisis.

In moments of fear and anxiety the things that we dread are out of our control and often based in the future. 

We waste precious time and energy worrying ourselves sick about the outcomes of things we cannot influence. As though we are gods. Our ego tricks us into believing that we can. 

We must learn to differentiate between what we can change and what we can’t. What we have influence over and what we do not. 

Traffic jams happen. Being angry, frustrated and cursing about it will change nothing. No amount of wishing will make you taller or shorter or born in a different country. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone like you. You cannot change your parents. You will lose loved ones and die one day. 

If you want to sell your house for a good price, you can renovate it and give it a fresh coat of paint. But you can’t control the real estate market.

If you want to have a nice picnic, you can pack a basket and blanket and plan your route to the park. But you can’t control the weather.

If you want to lose weight, you can eat well and stay active. But you can’t control your fat cells.

We cannot control the past or the future. 

What can we control? 

How you react to others. How honest you are. How you eat. What time you go to bed. Your mindset. What actions you take. 

Return to this question of control daily—in each and every trying situation. Reflect on it constantly. 

If you can focus on making clear what parts of your day are within your control and what parts are not, you will not only be happier, you will have a distinct advantage over other people who fail to realize they are fighting an unwinnable battle.

Most of the things that we worry about in our lives seldom come true. I am sure you can think of many examples of where this has happened to you. Pause to think about examples for a second. 

🧠 Maintain perspective

It is entirely normal to have fear. Our job is to find the tools to help us manage those emotions so that we may enjoy the life we have while still here.

You will find yourself returning to stressing about what you cannot control. That is human nature. In those cases revisit your lists as a reminder.

Remember that how you respond to them emotionally IS in your power.

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own.” – Stoic Philosopher Epictetus on the Dichotomy Of Control


✅ Mission Accomplished?

Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.

Which day of the challenge have you completed?
Name(Required)
Used to automatically email you a copy of your mission submission so that you can keep track of which missions you have completed.
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