Control What You Can: How to Act When Life Spins Out of Control

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While unexpected pregnancy can send life spinning out of control, you still have control over how you respond.We all like to think we are in control of our lives. And, to some extent, we are.

But sometimes life hits us like an enormous wave, throwing us in a direction we never intended to go. An unexpected pregnancy, for instance, can drag us into a whirlpool, spinning out of control. Panic ensues.

That’s when you and I need something solid to grab onto, something that reminds us where the shore is. Something that reminds us there are things about this situation we can control.

What are those things again?

You Can Control Your Breathing

Maybe it sounds simple, but you can choose to take deep, calming breaths right in the middle of the stress. Sometimes just giving your brain more oxygen can help you feel less anxious, more relaxed. Your mind will be ready to think more clearly too. So remember to breathe, deeply and slowly.

You Can Control Your Response

Your response is how you choose to follow up on what you feel. Your feelings are natural reactions, and they simply are what they are. Maybe you reacted to this unexpected pregnancy by feeling afraid, angry, or anxious. Okay. Fine. Now, what you choose to do about those feelings is under your control.

Start by looking at your feelings. Try to figure out why you reacted that way. For example:

  • Are you afraid of losing something important?
  • Are you angry at yourself or others for putting you into a situation you didn’t want?
  • Are you anxious about how this will impact your future?

In other words, what triggered your emotions?

Once you identify the triggers, you have found the parts you can respond to. If you are dealing with the triggers above, you might choose to respond by:

  • Exploring ways to keep from losing that important something. Or consider reaching for something that’s even more important now.
  • Identifying the personal or relational choices you now regret. Choose what you will do differently moving forward. Work on forgiveness.
  • Enlist a helper who can talk you through a variety of options for your future. There may be more possibilities than you have imagined.

So, controlling your response involves recognizing the feelings you have, identifying the cause of those feelings, and then dealing purposefully with that cause.

Ready for the next thing you control? This one will shape the “purposefulness” of your decisions.

You Can Control How Well You Honor Your Values

When life feels out of control, you risk reacting in ways that dishonor your deepest values. Fear can drive you to make split-second decisions that you spend years regretting. Take time to find the most hopeful way into the future you deserve.

"Quick fixes to quiet fear rarely honor what you hold dear."

You hold the values you do because they matter to you. Let’s say you have always valued defending those who can’t defend themselves. Now here you are, facing a pregnancy you didn’t plan on. A little life has begun, silently, privately, defenselessly. What will you do about it?

This is a hard call. The strength of your convictions is being tested. You are deciding what you value most.

No one can make this call for you. No one should.

To feel confident in making that call, you will be wise to get all the best, most complete information you can about all your options. Knowing the truth, you can make your decisions based on how each option lines up with what you value most.

So, how you let your values shape your decision is yours to control.

And one more thing…

You Control Whether You ask for Help

Will you tough this out alone? Or will you choose to find wise and caring helpers? Who do you know who can be honest, unselfish, and nonjudgmental in working through all your options with you?

Having a trustworthy friend to walk with you through the crashing waves can help you confidently act wisely on the things you can control.

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If you are looking for someone objective, compassionate, and possessing all the information you want,
talk to the team at Choices Pregnancy Center.
We have years of experience helping women
find positive solutions in challenging pregnancy situations.

Come gain the confidence you need to make the best decision for your unique life.

At Choices, all our services are free.
So come talk with us as often as you need to,
to help you through your pregnancy choices and beyond.