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Sometimes, life just doesn’t go your way. The situation might not be detrimental to your life, but for most people, the first instinct might be to think a lot about it and try to understand what happened. However, in reality, if the issue is out of your control, it’s best to let it go and move on. That’s not easy, though, is it? While everyone could be telling you not to worry and that everything’s going to be alright, if you’re like me and live for structure, that can be a hard thing to deal with. What do you do when you just need to relax and let it be? I’ve been reading a book (which is coming out as a movie next month) called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and it deals a lot with just freeing your mind and accepting your life as it is. A line from the book best summarizes what I’m trying to say: “Try dropping it…sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens.” Letting your mind wander when the going gets tough can be hard, but what if regaining control means releasing your hold on the negative? Here are five steps to helping with that process:

1. Reorganizing your thoughts. It can be hard to see things the way they really are if your mind is focused on the “what ifs” and “should haves.” Letting go of the negative energy and focusing on what the upside of the situation is can really be a strong asset to your mind. Only you can take control of who you are, what you do, and what you think. So, keep your optimism up and shuck the negative, as focusing on something you can’t control just relinquishes your hold on life. Worrying doesn’t change a thing – so why not take control of your thoughts?

2. Staying on schedule. Getting back into your daily routine can help you regain some of the control you have lost. If you’ve been feeling like everything has been changing, keep yourself in check by going about life as normal. It might just give you the confidence you need to move forward!

3. Giving yourself a positive mantra. Maybe you have a favorite song that you find uplifting or there’s a quote that just gets to you. All you need sometimes is a positive reinforcement of the good things in your life to keep you going. A cliche line that I’ve heard thousands of times that never changes is “Life goes on.” Remembering that line or anything else that seems to ring true with you – it’s important to make sure you’re always keeping the faith.

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4. Surrounding yourself with positive influences. If there are some people who are not being understanding of what you’re going through, they’re not worth it! There are a ton of others who will listen or help you regain your hold on life. Life is too short to let others bring you down or keep the negative in your life. You’re never alone, so embrace who and what you have – it’s never too late to ask for help!

5. Being yourself. Never forget who you are and where you came from. If being in control of yourself has always been your mantra and stronghold, get yourself back to where you came from with the past four steps. It’s important to see yourself for who you are than to think that the one in control isn’t you. You’re always in control of your own destiny, so sister, keep it up!

Retaking control of your life can be a process, but it’s not hard if you have a positive attitude and strong people around you to help – keep the faith and never let yourself go! You only have one life, so don’t waste it worrying or keeping your feelings inside. Take control of what you have and ask for help if you need it. The first step may be the hardest, but also the most fulfilling – don’t ever give up and the power is yours!

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