How to Let Go of What You Can’t Control and Focus on Finding Daily Joy

How to Let Go of What You Can’t Control and Focus on Finding Daily Joy

How to Let Go of What You Can’t Control and Focus on Finding Daily Joy

Life can feel overwhelming at times. There are many things that are out of our control. However, by letting go of what we can’t control and focusing on finding daily joy, we can live a more fulfilling life. Here are some tips on how to let go and focus on joy:

Recognize What You Can’t Control

The first step is identifying the things that are beyond your control. This includes things like:

  • Other people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • Situations that have already happened
  • Natural events and disasters
  • The past and the future

While you can influence some of these things, you ultimately can’t completely control them. The key is to identify when you’re spending time and energy on things that are outside of your circle of control.

Reframe Worries into Productive Action

Once you know what you can’t control, reframe worried thoughts into productive action steps. For example, if you’re worried about a friend going through a hard time, you can’t control how they feel. But you can control reaching out to support them.

Ask yourself:

  • What action can I take regarding this situation?
  • How can I adapt to or prepare for this?
  • What resources or support can help me navigate this?

Turning worries into actions returns a sense of control and purpose.

Practice Acceptance

Radical acceptance of uncontrollable situations or events can be very freeing. Acceptance means acknowledging reality for what it is, not what you wish it was. This allows you to let go of the draining struggle to control what you can’t.

Try techniques like mindfulness meditation, prayer, or journaling to work on acceptance. When challenging thoughts about a situation come up, pause and tell yourself:

  • “This is what it is. I accept it.”
  • “I don’t like it, but I can’t control it. It’s out of my hands for now.”

Acceptance brings peace and frees up energy to focus elsewhere.

Limit News and Social Media

The 24/7 news cycle and constant social media updates can make the world feel even more overwhelming. Limit your intake of news and social media, especially before bed. Set boundaries on when and how much you consume.

Stick to trusted news sources and fact check sensational stories. Avoid doomscrolling endlessly. Too much negative news can feed into a feeling of helplessness.

Focus on What You Can Control

Redirect your focus to what is within your control. Dedicate time and energy to:

  • Your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • How you treat yourself and others
  • Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Achievable goals and daily tasks
  • Finding joy, meaning, and purpose through your hobbies, work, relationships, spirituality, etc.

Make a list of things in your control and refer back to it when you catch yourself worrying. The more you practice controlling your inner state, the less external chaos will destabilize you.

Find Daily Joys

Look for and create small moments of joy in your everyday life. Things like:

  • Taking 5 minutes to sip your coffee mindfully
  • Playing with your pet or talking to a loved one
  • Noticing the sunshine, birds chirping, or other beauties of nature
  • Listening to uplifting music or a funny podcast
  • Taking a bubble bath or eating a favorite treat
  • Snuggling under a cozy blanket with a good book

Schedule pleasant activities in your calendar. Tell loved ones how they can support you. Share joy and laughter often. Making joy a daily priority will nourish you from the inside-out.

Stay Present

Anxiety about the future and regrets over the past drain your joy. Practice bringing yourself back to the present moment throughout the day. Focus on sights, sounds, smells, tastes. Engage fully in whatever activity or conversation you’re having. Appreciate the simple gifts of right now.

As Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said: “The past is gone. The future is not yet here. Only the present moment contains life.” Fully immersing yourself in the present liberates you from futile worries.

The path to letting go is an ongoing practice. Be gentle with yourself. With consistency over time, acceptance, inner peace, and daily joy will come more naturally.