THE BLOG

5 Ways to Peace for Control Freaks

04/20/2015 03:57 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2015

Control freaks are lacking peace in their lives. They are always being told to "chill out" and must deal with mounting stress because they try too hard. It is unrealistic to expect to control everything that happens to us in our day and the days to come, yet so many of us feel extreme anxiety over getting every detail just right and defining an outcome.

Control is a reaction to fear. Fear of what will happen if we don't get the result we are pushing so hard for, while exhausting our selves and the people around us. The problem arises when we get caught up in over thinking, and focusing on what will go wrong without weighing what could go right. As Roosevelt so perfectly explained, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Here are five ways to getting more peace in our life no matter how much we need to be in control. These apply to the most mundane decisions we make as well as the major life changers.

1. Rethink

Studies have shown that the stress response can be triggered by the "perception" of a threat, even when there is no reality of danger. If it is really all in our minds, then there is hope for the over controllers because a thought can be changed.

Every thought we think is creating our future, and life will follow that thought to flow towards a positive or a negative experience. As Dr. Wayne Dyer likes to put it, "Hostile people live in a hostile world, and loving people live in a loving world." It is all in how we look at it, so the choice is ours. If we want to be optimistic and live in a happy, friendly world, we must stop controlling and micro-managing every minute detail.

Next time we feel that we are losing control of a situation because fighting to change the outer circumstances isn't working, we can choose to experience the same situation, only... differently. Observing it from another perspective is something we can control. Instead of blaming something or someone outside of us, we can think about how to put the situation in a more positive light.

When we change the way we look at things, the things themselves can begin to change too. We can choose to shift our reality from worry and fear to peace and love. William Blake, 18th century mystical poet, wrote: "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite"

2. Be Flexible

Change is good and necessary for spiritual growth. Author Napoleon Hill wrote, "Through the law of change, man is forced to keep on growing." He believed that we must have flexible personalities in order to grow. Next time someone offers to go to a restaurant we previously refused to go to, or offers to drive instead, or picks the movie for the night, we need to just go with it and relax to prove that the outcome will work out for the best without our constant input.

3. Be Grateful

An attitude of gratitude slows down the impulse to alter and control a situation. Studies of participants keeping a gratitude journal report an increase in alertness, enthusiasm, energy, and goal attainment. They felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the coming week. Even without a journal, just recalling one different reason a day we can be grateful for, will make us less fearful of the future, making it easier to relinquish control.

4. Let Go

Deepak Chopra's sixth spiritual law of success is the Law of Detachment. He advises us to let go of rigid ideas on how things "should be" and remain open for new opportunities. Otherwise, we are just limiting our own future. How do we really know what is going to be best out of all the amazing possibilities the world has to offer? We need to get out of our own way. Let go and open our selves to the natural flow of the universe.

5. Meditate

Meditation is not only a method of stress relief, but also the great shifter of perception. The Dalai Lama suggests:

Through training our minds, with constant effort, we can change our mental perceptions or mental attitudes. This can make a real difference in our lives. If we have a positive mental attitude, then even when surrounded by hostility, we shall not lack inner peace.

Meditation can literally alter our brains and therefore our state of awareness for the better. Meditation can calm our emotions and bring the endless churning of thoughts to rest, so we can discover that peace is always there, waiting inside of us. Meditation opens us up to an unobstructed and realistic view of the world without the ego triggers.

There are different meditation methods that all lead to the same place of peace. Recovering control freaks love meditation since there is very little to control. It can be done under any circumstances and fits into any routine. There are even mobile apps for the phone available with guided meditation, mindfulness and relaxation music, to allow us the convenience to go within anytime we need it.

Relax, peace is possible, even for control freaks.