A sense of helplessness has been associated with feelings of anxiety; hopelessness with depression.
During the hardest times in our lives, we may feel overwhelmed and ineffectual. Though life can be unpredictable and unfair, our emotional well-being depends upon some sense of control.
At stressful times in our lives, it may be helpful to look at what aspects of our situation we can control. We have to accept what we can’t change, but we should recognize that which we can.
This is conveyed in Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer:
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.
When we appreciate and seize our capacity to control and shape at least some part of our lives, we can feel uplifted with a sense of empowerment. Sometimes, there is little we can change in our circumstances, but we can change our attitude and how we think about them.
Today, think about your choices. In which ways can you change your life in a positive way?