Learn to take control of your daily life
There are easy ways to iron out the frustrations of your daily life.
Most of us have probably wished at some point that we could change the world - or at least alter a decision we felt hasn’t gone our way.
Daydreaming about magical powers is quite normal and usually a healthy release of frustration or irritation. However, when chunks of our day are lost fretting over how to control our environment, it can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.
“If someone feels they are not influencing events in the way they feel comfortable with, that can lead to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction and sometimes real distress,” says life coach Andy Hammonds.
“Of course, most people recognise that things going wrong and that finding outcomes differ from expectations is all just part of the ups and downs of life.”
While feeling in control of our lives helps to give us confidence, raises our self-esteem and reduces stress and anxiety, he says, there is a big difference between being controlling and being heard, he explains. Hammonds shares his advice on some common problems to help you stay on top in all areas of your life...
In charge at work
I’m always overlooked for promotion and people treat me as a dumping ground for the small tasks they can’t be bothered with. What can I do to get back in control?
Hammonds says: “If you feel you’re being overlooked, make yourself stand out. Think about the reasons you’re being lumped with tasks. It can be hard to say no in a work environment for fear of seeming uncooperative but next time a colleague offers you something you’re not keen on, be assertive. This doesn’t mean ignoring their requests, just taking a different approach. Try - ‘The other project that you’re handling sounds really interesting. It’s something that I’d be really keen to get involved with, is there anything I can do to lend a hand?’.”
My partner takes me for granted, lets me do everything in the house even though we both work, and doesn’t even say thank you. What can I do to make him appreciate me more and get our relationship back on
Hammonds says: “This is the 21st century - relationships should be based on equality. Your man needs to realise you do what you do out of love not because it should be expected. Try talking to him about how you feel. He may be aware that you do a lot for him but is so used to it he doesn’t even notice it any more.
Why not suggest that you come up with a rota for doing things around the house? That way you can make sure he does his share and it will help him understand how much you do. This will put you on a level playing field and will also make him appreciate you more.”
Social queen bee
I’m always the last to know when friends are planning a night out. When we do go out, we end up in places they know I don’t like and moan when I leave early. How can I get my friends to listen to me, like they used to?
Hammonds says: “If you’re always the last to know about plans, try organising an event yourself. If you have to leave early on nights out because of work the next day, plan a daytime event at a weekend. As the person organising the event, you could suggest a venue that everyone likes. However, it’s also worth taking the time to think about why your friends aren’t listening to you anymore. If, when you go out, you’re likely to leave early and complain, then you might not be great company. When heading to places you’re not keen on, make the most of the situation and focus on having a good time, rather than how grotty the bar is.”
Parents rule - OK
My children walk all over me because they know I don’t carry through with punishments. How can I get them in line without being a horrible mum?
Hammonds says: “You don’t need to worry about being a horrible mum. Parenting is tricky and what’s best for your children isn’t always going to be what they want.
Children need to know where the boundaries are and will be much easier to handle if that’s made clear. They might not appreciate you being firm but in the long run, they’ll be grateful. One of the difficult things about parenting is that you have to be the bad guy every now and again. If you tell them they’re grounded, stick to it. Explain exactly what they did wrong and why it was wrong. If they can understand the problem, they are less likely to repeat the offence. In letting them see the situation from your perspective, they will be able to appreciate that you’re just doing what mums do best - looking out for them.”