Woman looking at the sunset

Taking Charge of Your Health: The Importance of Realistic Control

Do you ever experience feeling disempowered over your own physical, mental or emotional health?

Or maybe you live on the other side of the spectrum where you overestimate how much is within your control around your health. 

I have experienced both!

What is Empowered Health and Wellbeing?

This entails understanding what is within our control and what is not. But it doesn’t stop there, we then dedicate most of our time, energy, and focus to what we can control. For example, I cannot control the fact that I have high blood pressure, instead I can control how I manage my blood pressure by taking medication, exercising, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. It might sound obvious, but you will be surprised how often we all forget about the things that are within our control and how much time we all spend on the things that really are outside of our control.

Want to apply this to your own life?

Great, then taking out a pen and paper and draw 2 circles. One circle is what’s in your control and the second is what’s outside your control and write down what’s applicable to you as I’m go through some suggestions.

 

What’s outside my Control?

Begin with what other adults choose to do. Here we can project our responsibility for our own health onto someone else and we make it their responsibility.

For instance, if we planned to play golf with a friend, but they cancel, we might use that as an excuse to avoid exercising altogether that day. Likewise, when attempting to persuade our family to eat healthier meals with us, we may blame them when they choose not to, and then it’s their fault we didn’t eat a healthier dinner. Additionally, if our partner or housemate prefers to stay up late, we may hold them accountable for our own lack of sleep, when we stay up late watching TV with them instead of choosing to go to bed earlier.

Another example is around the weather, that is outside our control. We can’t do anything about it. But what we tend to do is, say things like, Okay, it’s raining today. So that means I can’t exercise. But actually, they’re two separate things. One is within my control, and one isn’t. The weather is not in my control. But whether I choose to exercise or not, is within my control. So we don’t want to push the responsibility of exercise on to an unknown factor or something that’s outside of our control. Here we can decide to still get outside in the rain or have alternative backup plans ready for indoor exercising.

So looking at what is applicable for you in terms of what’s outside your control, you might think of other things that I didn’t mention that might apply to you. Writing them down now in your circle.

What's Outside my Control image
 
 

What’s within my Control?

Let’s explore some proactive steps we can take to improve our health and wellbeing. We can choose to prioritise our health more (by the way it doesn’t mean we stop prioritising other things like our kids for example, it isn’t an either or scenario). Instead its taking responsibility for our own well-being, such as choosing to exercise or not today or how we exercise.

Maybe it’s getting enough sleep by establishing a consistent bedtime. We can also choose to consume a certain amount of water each day or a certain amount of fruit and veg to ensure we receive sufficient nutrition to refuel us. Or it could even be adopting stress-reducing habits such as breathwork, meditation, etc… to help us feel grounded and calm.

Asking for help is another obvious thing within our control. Do you allow support from other people? Or do you try to power on and do everything yourself? If you are not used to asking for help this can feel very difficult, so start with something small, and see what happens.

We have the power to refuse requests from others, even though it can be challenging. Particularly if we struggle with saying no and have never done so before. I often advise my clients to respond with “Let me think about it.” instead of saying no. This provides you with some breathing room to contemplate the request instead of feeling pressured to say yes immediately, as many people tend to do without considering the request.

So writing down what you need to be reminded of is within your control.

What's within our control

 

Summary

We often believe we have less or more control over our health than we actually do in reality. I hope the above exercise begins to open your awareness to this so that you can choose a more empowered route to your own health and wellbeing.

Interested in some support in going deeper into this topic?

 

Why not consider a no-pressure, complimentary 15min chat with me?

Disclaimer

Please note the date of this blog. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or qualified health professional.

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