I think we all like to have some control in our lives. Some people want to have control of the entire world, others are happy with control of their own world, and still others really don’t care one way or the other; it’s really just a matter of degree.
Therein lies the kicker – the higher degree of control you require, the higher your stress level. Imagine how stressful it would be if you wanted, NEEDED, to be in control of world politics. YIKES! How frustrating would that be? Unbearable, I imagine, if you truly felt you had to have that control.
How about the weather? Fugeddaboudit!
Okay, these examples are ridiculous, but that’s the point. If you are wired such that you are stressed about needing control over things you cannot control, it’s time to consider re-wiring a bit.
We live in the mountains adjacent to a section of National Forest. There are beautiful hiking trails right outside our property complete with wildlife, a natural pond, stunning wild flowers, etc. The road in front of our home dead-ends at a locked gate that leads into this area, and there are several signs that say “No motorcycles” or “No motorized vehicles beyond this point” etc. Yet people still ride their motorcycles past the gate and people park beyond “that point” all the time.
There was a time when we would rush out there when we heard a motorcycle go into the forest to try to stop them. One night we heard a couple of ATV’s go into the forest at midnight and we jumped out of bed, called 911, and drove our car up to the street to try to catch them as they left the area. Do you think all of that is stressful?? You bet it is!
The frustration when we couldn’t stop them was incredibly stressful. When we did catch them, it became downright dangerous. My wife once confronted a man and his son who were racing through the forest on dirt bikes. The father got off his bike, physically lifted her up by the shoulders and moved her off of the trail as if she had been a log blocking their path, and they continued on. When the ATV’s came out of the forest during that midnight ride I just mentioned, one of them sideswiped our car causing $1,200 in damage.