October 22, 2020

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What Is The Relationship Between Perceived Control and the Experience of Stress?

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Curious to find out what is the relationship between perceived control and the experience of stress? The road to success is not a straight path. We often face setbacks in our journey. But the thing that will keep leading us and help us achieve our goal is never to let the stress of setback or failure affect our emotional well-being.

Moreover, failure brings out motivation and creativity. Having a positive attitude in our life is a must thing. As Thomas Alva Edison said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Do we often think about what is the relationship between perceived control and the experience of stress? Well, the association is directly proportional to one another. Perceived control is called personal power. If we cannot cope with our emotions, the stress will significantly impact our mindset.

Perceived Control is connected to one’s emotional well-being. It means one can avoid negative emotions and gets positive outcomes. A mindfulness framework is needed in our life, which means we need to have the flexibility to respond to the environment demands.

Lack of perceived control is the view of the world as immutable. Perceived control refers to an individual’s belief about his or her capability of exerting influence on internal states and behaviors, as well as one’s external environment (Langer,1977; Lefcourt, 1966; Pearlin & Schooler,1978; Wallston, Wallston, Smith, & Dobbins,1987). 

Perceived Control and Psychological Well-being

Perceived control has been associated with psychological and physical health in a large body of research (Glass et al., 1969; Langer et al., 1975; Langer & Rodin, 1976; Rodin & Langer, 1977).  Having a perceived control will allow one’s body to pour out hormones that are not good for the body. This thing will result in medical conditions.

It is revealed that a sense of control is an essential factor in allowing one person to work to the best of their capabilities. Indeed, not being able to have personal authority in a rigid state will negatively affect our psychological well-being. Individual control is one of the key elements to good health throughout our lifespan.

Having a higher level of personal control will result in better cognitive functioning, including memory and processing speed.

Self-blame will result in more distress. Adopting a sense of control over mistakes is an important thing. We have to stop hypnotizing ourselves with self-blame. Stop interrogating ourselves like, what if I had planned differently, and things would have gone differently? What could I have done to prevent this?

Lack of Perceived Control Will Lead to Stress

When a person cannot have personal control over their emotions, they will have stress or anxiety. Stress is a perception; it will only affect us if we allow it. The event will harm us emotionally, spiritually, mentally if we have no personal control. However, we can avoid stress if we stop to criticize ourselves.

Lack of self-efficacy will lead to negative emotions in ourselves. Our self-control can be depleted, but we have to work on perceived control to gain our strength. People who use avoidant coping strategies will tend to have more stress than those who engage in active systems.

Lack of perceived control will often let us feel like we are imprisoned. Being able to think life is stable will lead us to have a sense of fatalism, which hinders the insight of control.

Mindfulness and Perceived Control

The perception of being in control is, in fact, a more critical factor. When people say to themselves they are not in control; their words will impact the perceived control. It will also lead them to self-criticism, and they will start feeling stressed. Having a mindfulness framework is an important attribute to cope up with the situation.

A coping skill is a behavior that allows us to meet the demand. People who learn this skill can solve the problem when they are aware that life is constant change. Therefore he or she can respond accordingly—being mindful means not to rely on previous categories to understand the present situation. It means to notice the life changes and adapt to these changes. Every moment is organizing a new opportunity.

As Barack Obama said, “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere”.

It’s on us whether we will have personal control in the situation or let lack of perceived control result in stress and self-criticism.

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So, letting ourselves know life is ever-changing will help us to attain perceived control. Having personal authority will make us strong in problematic situations in our life. We will be flexible enough to adapt to these changes. Therefore, we have to stop the negative stereotype in our minds, which will lead us to have stress. A belief of control over setback can guard us against stress.

Self-efficacy and perceived control are essential attributes to avoid stress. Undoubtedly, the first person who is going to hold you is you.

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