Stella Goddard

BA (Hons) Counselling, Registered MBACP (Accred)
Registered AMemACC Registered MNCS (Acc)

Does life feel out of control?

As we look at the world today and are bombarded with stories about the state of the world, this can lead to high levels of anxiety and distress. Only this week someone told me they felt petrified about Brexit. Strong words indeed. They then told me all the things that they thought were going to happen. It was only after a cup of coffee and reflecting on their thoughts, feelings and response that they were able to see that they were expecting things that it is not possible to predict. Dealing with ‘What if…’ can sometimes take people to what they think is the worst case scenario because they don’t feel safe. It can feel as though there is nothing you can do and that you are powerless. It is true that you can’t control Brexit but you can control your response to it. When the state of the world collides with your personal world it can lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed.

Whilst in some ways it is reasonable to feel some anxiety, if you are finding that you are feeling low and struggling to think clearly and manage your day to day lives, it might help to find a professional who can support you.
This is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength and courage. Taking the time to stop for a while and process your concerns can help you get a sense of where you are in reality and then empower you to do the things that you can do even in the midst of uncertainty.

As a Counsellor I would say that it is important to acknowledge your feelings rather than deny or suppress them. These may include shock, disbelief, sadness, anger or rage, anxiety. Trying to block these feelings may lead to looking for comfort in risk taking behaviours such as drugs or alcohol.

Feeling highly stressed and anxious may lead to being short-tempered and getting irritated with relatively minor issues. This can cause profound damage to yourself and to personal and professional relationships.

Mental and physical health are inextricably intertwined. It is important to look after yourself and have a regular routine, eat well and get good quality sleep. Not doing so can cause problems with gut health as well as other physical problems.

There are many reasons for life to change direction in ways that are unwanted and unplanned for. This could be caused by a relationship breakdown, a job loss, health issues, financial problems, death of a loved one. Clearly this list is not exhaustive. This can feel as though you have landed in a strange place without any sense of where you are and how you will find your way out of it. It can be very frightening to feel lost and stuck. Sometimes you may wonder when you will feel ‘normal’ again and when ‘life will go back to normal.’

If you are feeling that life is out of control it can be helpful to think about how you have managed in the past when things have been challenging. What strategies did you use then that you might use now? Have you got a good support network of family or friends that you can share with?

Don’t struggle alone – Don’t bottle things up – It might help to start with contacting your GP