Do This if You Feel Like You are Losing Control

There are days where I feel like I am totally out of control of my emotions and my feelings. Feeling like you are out of control can happen for plenty of reasons. It is important that you know what you need to do when you start to feel this way. 


Often times when people feel like they are out of control of their life they start to self medicate with drugs, alcohol or food. I remember when I was in college and newly married, I decided that I would start drinking wine because I knew that so many women would decompress after a long day with a glass of wine. So I tried it. I cared too much about my health to drink anything other than red wine, so I went to the liquor store and asked for a good red wine that was in my college student/newlywed budget. I went home and tried to drink a glass of it. Hated it. Forced myself to drink it because I needed something and drinking was worth a shot. It was sick, but I forced it down. After drinking it, I didn’t feel better. For me it was always food. It was the thing that I reached for when I was stressed or sad. There is nothing like a good TV show and chicken alfredo to make you feel okay for a bit. 


What I realized was that I was not using good coping skills to deal with my anxiety and stress. Soon after that, I had an anxiety attack at the University of Arkansas. I will never forget it. I thought I was having a heart attack. It scared me so bad. I didn’t tell anyone about it for a while. Then my husband suggested I go to the doctor. I went and the older man that I seen was very blunt and clear with me about my health and coping skills. 


I didn’t have a heart attack that day. I had an anxiety attack which felt similar in my body. The doctor said he could put me on a medication to help with the anxiety, but he didn’t want to yet. He told me to start exercising, eat healthy foods and find something that made me feel better. That something to make me feel better was massage.  Massages were not in my tiny budget but I book my first massage with a lady who today is one of my best friends and mentors.  


So I have told you all that to tell you this.. If you start to have anxiety and feel like you are out of control do this! 


  1. Get out your journal make a plan that will help you feel better. Why are you feeling the way you do right now? Let’s say you feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Go read my post on time management. It is gold and it is important you know how to manage your time before this happens. Schedule the time that it is going to take to do all the things. Put in in your schedule or your calendar so that you can see when you can get everything done. If it is not physically possible to everything, look and see what can be moved to the next week and move it. If it is not something that has to be done (i.e. a party for your cousin, your attendance for an extra credit assignment, an outing with your friends) cancel it! For the time being, do what you have to. Nothing else. 
  2. Take a shower. Wash off your makeup. Wash your hair. Put on some comfortable clothes. This process helps you to rejuvenate and relax. 
  3. Get active. A walk in nature is the best thing that you can do. Take a walk and notice what is beautiful. Trees. Animals. Clouds. Grass. Recognize the beauty in what you see. 
  4. Ask yourself what is true. A lot of times when we are in this state we are separated from reality. We think things that are not true. So reviewing what is true might sound something like this. I have a body. I am able to breathe. I am here. I have a friend. I have access to food and water. Whatever it is that you know to be true say it. It may also be something like, the trees are green. The air is cool. My shoes are red. This helps us to bring attention back to the things we know are true and real and it distracts us from the things that are getting us worked up. 
  5. Eat something that is going to make you feel good. Not pasta. Eat a well balanced meal like a chick salad. Think protein, veggies, a small amount of healthy carbs. Under no circumstance should you drink caffeine when you are feeling this way. It is like pouring kerosene on your problems. 

Other things to keep in mind… 


Our hormones can affect the way we feel. I suggest tracking your cycle so that you can know your body better. This is what I do. On the monthly view of your calendar mark the day that you start your period. If you experience high anxiety one day mark that day on your calendar and just right “high anxiety.” If you have a day where you want to eat everything in the house. Mark it on the calendar. If you are sad- mark it. If you are really tired-- mark it. Anytime you feel like you are not your normal self, mark it down so that you can have a record. Most likely this pattern is going to repeat itself. Once you have a couple months of records you will be able to anticipate the changes in feelings and emotions and plan accordingly. For example; if you now that you are super tired on the 16th day of your cycle then you will know to schedule a day off then or at least arrange time for a nap. 


What you eat and drink are most likely causing you to feel the way you do. If you are having major emotion swings, I suggest keeping a food/mood journal. Pay special attention to the way you feel after you have caffeine, carbs and sugar. These are often triggery foods. 


Have you been working out regularly? If not, this is most likely contributing to your emotional state. When I was in the doctor's office that day, I decided I would start working out. I have worked out regularly every since that day. Sometimes a relaxing walk is enough. Sometimes you need to sweat and stress your muscles. I have found that a hard core work out 5 days a week and a short walk a couple times a week is the perfect combination for me. Because we are all different, you have to be the one that figures out where the sweet spot is. 


I really hope this helps you. These are things I have been practicing and working on through trial and error for the past 10 years. Give it a try! 


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