No matter how much structure we create in our lives, no matter how many good habits we build, there will always be things we cannot control, and if we instead allow those things to control us, they can turn out to be a great source of anger, frustration, and stress. The solution is to learn to flow with the flow .

For example, let’s say you’ve created the perfect routine for a peaceful morning. You have structured your mornings with activities that bring you calm and happiness. But then a water pipe breaks in the bathroom and you spend your peaceful morning stressed out trying to clean up the mess and fix the plumbing.

You get angry. You are disappointed that you did not manage to carry out your morning routine. You are stressed out by all these setbacks and changes that are opposed to what you are used to doing. And now not only is your morning ruined because you will also spend the rest of the day frustrated.

This is certainly not the best way to handle things, is it? And yet, if we’re honest, most of us have problems like this, with situations that alter the way we like things to go, with people changing our routine, with life when it’s not going the way we do. we want you to go.

“Flow with the flow”

What does it mean to flow with the flow? It means learning to take the hits. To accept change without getting angry or frustrated. Taking what life gives you, rather than trying to shape life to be exactly how you want it to be.

Here are some tips that can help you go with the flow and have a more peaceful life.

1. Realize that you can’t control everything

We are probably all aware of this on some level, but the way we think, act and feel many times contradicts this basic truth. We don’t control the universe, and yet we seem to wish we could. All your illusions and desires will not make it happen. You can’t even control everything within your little sphere of influence, yes you can influence some things, but many others are simply out of your control.

Going back to the previous example, you can control much of your morning routine, but from time to time things will happen (someone getting sick, an accident, a 5 a.m. phone call interrupting your sleep, etc.) that will force you to break your routine. The first step is to realize that these things will always happen. Not that “maybe” could happen, but that they will for sure. There are things that we cannot control that will affect all aspects of our lives, and we must accept that, or we will constantly get frustrated. Meditate on this for a while.

2. Become aware

This step is extremely important. You cannot change things in your head if you are not aware of them. You have to become an observer of your thoughts, a self-examiner. Know when you are getting angry so that you can do something about it. Try to keep a count by putting a little mark in a notebook for a week: every time you get angry, add a mark. That’s it, just keep counting. And then, because of this little act, you will be more aware of your anger and frustration.

3. Breathe

When you feel angry or frustrated, take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale several times. This is an important step that will allow you to calm down and do the rest of the things on this list. Just practice this and you’ve already come a long way starting to flow with the flow .

4. Look from another perspective

This is always very helpful. When something unpleasant happens to you, like your car breaking down or your kids ruining the microwave, take a deep breath and step back.

Do you remember those moments in a movie where the camera zooms out and then you can see so much more of that world on the screen? How do you go from the foreground to a panoramic view that shows a new perspective on things? That is what happens in your mind when you are aware. You start to walk away, until you are quite far from things. So, whatever happens, the result doesn’t seem so important anymore. A week from now, a year from now, this little incident won’t matter at all. No one will care, not even you. So why get mad? Just let it go, and it won’t be a big deal soon.

5. Practice

It is important to realize that just like when you learn any skill, you are probably not good at this at first. Who’s good when he’s just learning to write, read, or drive? No one. Skills come with practice. Therefore, as long as you learn to go with the flow, you will be wrong several times . You will stumble and fall. Okay, it’s part of the process. Just keep practicing, and you will understand.

6. Baby steps

Along the same lines, take things in small steps. Don’t try to become a Zen Master overnight. Don’t try to take big strides – only take baby steps at first. So keep your first few attempts to go with the flow small – focus on the tally marks (mentioned above) before anything else. Then focus on the breath. Then try to get perspective after you breathe. And first you can try the easier situations: if your work problems are easier to accept than frustrations with your children, for example, start with work earlier.

7. Laugh

Seeing things fun rather than frustrating can go a long way. Your car broke down in traffic and you don’t have a cell phone or spare tire? Laugh at your own incompetence. Laugh at the absurdity of the situation. That requires a certain amount of detachment: you can laugh at the situation if you are above it, but not within it. And that detachment is a good thing. If you can learn to laugh at things, you’ve come a long way. Try to laugh even if you don’t think it is funny, it will most likely become funny.

8. Write a journal

This is actually one of the best uses for a journal. Once a day, try to remember why you put each mark on your mark counter, and then write about those situations. Why did you get angry? What were you trying to do? Did it work, and if not, why not? What can you do next time? This type of analysis and information gathering, after the fact, will help you learn from the process.

9. Meditate

If you’re not good at journaling, at least do a daily check in your head. Do some meditation, or take a bath or a cup of hot tea, and while you de-stress, review your day and review it. Don’t get frustrated, you are learning. Take a deep breath, and then review each situation, trying to see it as a detached observer. This type of meditation will help you improve the learning process.

10. Realize that you cannot control others

This is always one of the biggest challenges. We get frustrated with other people because they don’t act the way we want them to act. Maybe it’s our kids, maybe it’s our spouse or partner, maybe it’s our coworker or boss, maybe it’s our mother or our best friend. But we must realize that they are acting according to their personality, according to what they think is right, and that they are not going to do what we want all the time. And we have to accept that. Accept that you cannot control them, accept them for what they are, accept the things they do. It’s not easy, but again, it takes practice.

11. Accept change and imperfection

When things turn out our way, we generally don’t want them to change. But these will undoubtedly change. It is a fact of life. We cannot keep things the way we want forever … instead, it is better to learn to accept things as they are. Accept that the world is constantly changing and that we are part of that change. Furthermore, instead of wanting things to be “perfect” (and what is perfect anyway?), We must accept that they will never be perfect, and accept the good in them instead.

12. Enjoy life as a flow of change, chaos and beauty

Remember the question in the previous paragraph about what “perfection” is? It is actually a very interesting question. Does perfection mean an ideal life and world that only exists in our heads? Do we have an ideal that we try to make the world fit with? Because that will probably never happen. Instead, try to see the world as perfect as it is.

It’s messy, chaotic, painful, sad, dirty… and completely perfect. The world is beautiful, just the way it is. Life is not something static, but a flow of change, which never stays the same, always messier and more chaotic, always beautiful. There is beauty in everything that surrounds us, if we see it as perfect.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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