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Kevin Stacey on Stress Management: What Can I Control? What Can I Not Control?




KEVIN STACEY will speak at this year’s SMART Jewelry Show as part of this year’s focus on helping jewelers feel healthier and more energetic, both physically and mentally. We’ll be publishing blogs from him regularly in the run up to the show. (See video of Kevin.) To register to attend The SMART Jewelry Show, go here.

If you want to live with peace of mind, ask yourself this question repeatedly, especially when you’re sweating over something. So much of our stress revolves around wanting things to be different from how they actually are. Frustration occurs when there is an incongruence between our expectations and reality. But the question is: do we have the power to influence or change this situation?

Do you know people that are overly controlling? For lack of a better term, we call these people “control freaks.” Do they have any peace of mind?

Our degree of mental health and happiness is determined by the extent of control we feel we have over our lives. People with low levels of mental heath feel as though they are controlled by outer circumstances. But it may be that they feel out of control because they are trying to control things that they simply cannot. When we try to control things that we can’t, they end up controlling us and making us feel crazy on the inside.

What are some things that we can’t control? For starters, other people. The sooner you figure this out, the better off you’ll be. I know it’s hard since people can just do outrageous, ridiculous, unbelievable things, can’t they? It’s normal to want the best for others, but we just can’t make these things happen. When we think we know what is best for others and expend our energy trying to get others to conform to ours desires, we run into problems.

We also can’t control places or things. We can’t control our companies, the policies they introduce or the leaders they promote. We can’t control the things that happen to us in life.


The only things we can truly control are what happens inside of us, how we respond to things, what we choose to dwell on and our actions.

What can we do with the things we can’t control? Let them go. When the feelings and thoughts arise, gently remind yourself that you need to let go of them and that you’re powerless. Letting go means permitting life to be as it is without resistance. It is the ultimate act of trust.

How to use this newsletter:

Write out a list of 5 situations in your life that you feel the need to control. List the advantages and disadvantages of feeling this way. You have the right to feel any way you want to feel, but ask yourself, “Is this how I’d like to feel?” Ask yourself what it costs you when you spend your time and energy hoping this event or that person will turn out the way you desire. How does this interfere with your spontaneity, creativity and sense of joy in life

About the Author 

Kevin Stacey helps companies and professionals achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness through stress management and time management training.  He is available to speak on these topics.  For more information visit or call 1-800-603-7168.




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