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Control: the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.
For some reason this week the word control has been echoing in my head. It got me thinking… What is a healthy level of control? When does it become unhealthy?
I began trying to answer these questions by looking at the control in my life, at present and in my past. I then split the two into columns and wrote underneath the bad vs. the good control:
The Bad: After living through traumatic events as a child, I lost all control around me. That was the main reason for me to start controlling my food and plunging into a dark world of eating disorders. The history of control in my life continues with the fact that I was in an abusive relationship not too long ago in which my ex controlled what I ate, wore, and did. My strict upbringing also forced several walls around me that did not allow me to be myself; in a sense, the walls controlled what I became.
The Good: The first that comes to mind is the control of bad habits; I, for instance, struggle daily to control my compulsiveness to shop online and spend money I definitely do not have! Other good forms of control are making sure you are healthy, staying in shape (health-focused not appearance-focused, of course!), managing stress, etc…
By listing all of the unhealthy and healthy levels of control in my life, it clarified my situation and the environment I am living in. It also allowed me to realize that control does have the ability to lead to abuse. Everything in our lives that we control or that others control can be easily tipped towards the unhealthy as easily as it can towards the healthy. The one thing I learned from doing this list is that it allowed me to recognize the unhealthy and the healthy.
I challenge you to sit-down and make an unhealthy vs. healthy control list. When there are more things on your unhealthy side, take steps to reduce the control or ask for help in doing so. And, for all the things that can be called ‘healthy control’, keep yourself accountable so that they will not fall into the unhealthy zone.
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Control's totally been on my mind this week, this was a really good way of stretching out what we know as 'control' and how to manage healthy limits 🙂