The decisions you make represent your behavior and how others perceive you. They often dictate success in personal and professional development. Having control is a key ingredient to success and ultimately to achieving wellness.

The value of having control is in having the ability to direct your actions and decisions in a way that produces the results you want.

In order to have control, one must have the drive and motivation to take it. Taking control is an active process that in many instances requires significant effort. Control is essential for meaningful change in mental functioning.

The process of taking control starts with establishing it and continues with maintaining it. Once sustained control is achieved, one can then begin the process of establishing greater control of their environment. We cannot control everything that happens in the world around us, but we can certainly impact it. Wellness is a result of having control of both our internal and external environments.

The most important element to establishing control is self awareness. Being self-aware means having the ability to acknowledge when something’s not right (when the cues from our bodies tell us something is wrong). This signal may come from changes to our sleep patterns, energy levels, appetite, interest in activities we normally enjoy, diminished drive and motivation or problems with concentration and focus.

Once we recognize this, we must then take action. This may initially involve performing a personal inventory. The solution may be as simple as changing your routine, improving your diet, increasing exercise and fitness standards or eliminating unwanted stressors. However, when these modifications and adjustments aren’t enough, self awareness will help you understand when the time has come to get help.

Maintaining control is learning how to go at your own pace that you are comfortable with, rather than one that is dictated by your environment. Going at your pace allows you to direct your attention on the things you want to focus on and allows you to filter out the things you don’t. It helps us maintain poise and stability and also regulate what we think, how we feel, and when, where, and how we respond to the challenges we are presented with. Control of our mental processes reduces anxiety and tension, and promotes clarity, which ultimately improves grief and depression.

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