At some point in your life, you’ve no doubt had to deal with a situation that was out of your control. Whether it’s a car accident, financial difficulties, or other challenge, these events cause stress and frustration, which negatively impact your health and mental outlook on life.

Learning how to cope with events you can’t control will help keep you in a positive frame of mind and alleviate your stress.

Consider the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr:

“God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

The words of this prayer exemplify the solution to a problem that plagues all of us. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you can control only your own actions (and reactions), you can begin to find peace of mind.

What Can You Control?

Worrying about the people or events in your life that you can’t control can cause all kinds of health problems, such as angina, high blood pressure, and sleeping difficulties.

If you need to feel more in control of your life, focus on those things that you can physically change.

Who you decide to accept as your friends and spend your time with is something you can control. It may not be easy to meet new friends, but the opportunities are plentiful if you look for them.

  • Being around negative people can drag your attitude down, since you adopt the mood of people around you.
  • If you have people in your life who aren’t encouraging you to fulfill your potential, find other people to surround yourself with.
  • Having the support of people who believe in you will propel you toward reaching your lifelong goals. 

Live One Day at a Time

When you intentionally consider each day a gift, your struggles don’t seem as dire. While life does deal some bad hands, such as death, divorce, and financial challenges, how you cope during these hardships can make you stronger or break you. 

  • When you purposely feel gratitude for the good moments within each day, you can genuinely start to accept your struggles as a path to a new beginning.

Coping with Financial Difficulties

One of the most stressful situations is coping with financial difficulties. Loss of a job often means having to give up things you’ve worked hard to acquire. 

  • If you’re having a difficult time accepting that you have to cut expenses and give up the comfortable things in life, even temporarily, it helps to remember that it could be worse.
  • Be grateful for having your home and your health because there are many people in the world who have neither.

  • Once you know you can be happy with less, you can focus again on achieving your goals.

By accepting that you can’t change some things, you’ll become more powerful in changing the things that you do have control over. You’ll free yourself from the negative thoughts and emotions that can stifle you into sad complacence.

Use these tips to help you cope with things out of your control. When you do this, you’ll find peace, joy, and the passion to persevere through all challenges.