Ask any millennial woman if they’ve ever felt like life was out of control and if they craved stability, and just about everyone will answer, “Hell yea!” And that’s because life is just plain crazy, and things are always changing.
I just spent the last 9 months living in Atlanta, GA for no reason other than just wanting a change of scenery. I knew that it wasn’t going to be long-term, I just wanted to experience living in a new city. This was my attempt at living out the nomad life I wanted to live in my twenties. I’m happy I did it but it made me crave stability even more.
I desperately wanted to be settled.
And now that I’m back home, I still feel a bit unsettled. Fortunately for me, I’ve learned how to ground myself to keep from feeling out of control.
Unfortunately, you can never have stability 100 percent of the time, so you should just get comfortable with the lack of stability in life.
But don’t worry; all is not lost. In this post, you’ll learn more about how stability (and instability) affects you. I’m going to let you in on how you can bring more stability to your life and learn how to deal with the craziness and instability that life can bring.
What is the Definition of Stability in Life?
Stability essentially means things remain the same or unchanging. When you apply that to life, it usually refers to security and consistency, meaning there’s less upheaval and things are generally going as planned. A stable lifestyle often means that you are happy with your work, relationships, and routines.
While there are many different types of people, like those who are sporadic and people that are planners, most people crave security because, with stability, life is more predictable.
And that’s because people like to feel in control of their lives. Being able to control what goes on around them provides security and allows us to remain focused, making life more fulfilling. Instability often leaves us confused and overwhelmed, and those are never good feelings to have.
However, since life is rarely predictable, you never know what lies around the corner. So adaptability and flexibility are two key characteristics that help you navigate life in an unpredictable world.
Why is Stability So Important in Life?
An article in the Harvard Review explained that our brains are wired to predict things before they happen. Over time the brain evolved to recognize patterns and build habits.
But that also means that our brains do not like uncertainty and things that are less predictable, so the human brain wasn’t built for instability. That’s likely why most of us crave stability and security, especially as our world grows more uncertain and chaotic. Because today the feeling or sense of stability is getting harder and harder to find.
When you lack stability or are unsure of your future, it can affect all aspects of your life, and at some point, chronic stress is not sustainable. But it’s up to you to identify the problem and decide the actionable steps you need to take to bring stability and happiness into your life.
The Effect Physical and Emotional Instability Has On Life
Chronic instability in life can cause physical and mental health issues in life. Consider how stress can affect your physical and mental well-being. Stress comes in many forms and affects our lives differently. You may show mental, physical, and behavioral symptoms.
Emotional instability in life can lead to symptoms such as:
- Anxiousness, nervousness, or apprehension
- The inability to relax
- Memory issues
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Difficulty concentrating
- The inability to make decisions
- Feeling unhappy or even guilty
And if you have any underlying mental illness, like borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder, emotional instability can be debilitating. The good thing is that you can learn how to identify destructive patterns you deal with and shift them.
Plus, it’s often the emotions that affect relationships and friendships, so these can further erode what stable life you actually have.
Stress also affects us physically, causing symptoms such as:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Other stomach problems
- High blood pressure
- Rapid pulse rate
- Muscle pain and discomfort
- A lower sex drive
You may even see behavioral symptoms, including:
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Nervous habits such as tapping your foot, grinding your teeth, nail-biting, etc.
- Poor productivity or performance
- Undereating or overeating
- Social withdrawal
- Abuse of alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, or even other drugs
These effects can cause a myriad of problems. And they can affect any relationship you are in, depending on the stressors and your ability to deal with them as well as your support system. But this is just one example of how instability can affect you mentally and physically.
Tips for Combating Lack of Stability in Life
Now that you know more about how instability affects you, here are some ways to banish unstableness and control the things you can.
Practice Mindfulness Consistently
Practicing mindfulness is known to be so beneficial that healthcare leaders have rallied to bring it into the healthcare system. That’s because being in sync with what you’re going through and befriending it allows you to experience the true power of mindfulness.
That kind of awareness has immediate positive effects on your mental and physical well-being. It helps relieve stress, and it’s valuable to know that we are all a part of the universal flow of things.
Practicing mindfulness provides you with clarity that is different than relaxation. You see, our internal dialogue can get in the way because our brain is wired to protect us. But it can also hinder our progress because, as I mentioned earlier, our brains weren’t built to deal with disruption and unpredictability.
Mindfulness allows you to get past the challenges you’re facing and be at one with everything going on to see the best way through the fog of uncertainty to find balance.
Identify the Things That Ground You
Sometimes sis, when all else fails, try to remember a period in your life when you felt stable and grounded. Consider what made you feel secure. Maybe it was a time before a major life event like the death of a friend or family member, career transition, or marriage.
Who supported you? Did you live somewhere else? Did you have a trusted counselor you could talk to? Think of the things that grounded you then and try to use them as anchors now.
Even if your situation has drastically changed, you can often find things in the present that will connect you to stability and ground you. You may even find answers and solutions to help you navigate this time of uncertainty.
Ask Yourself What Would Make You Satisfied With Your Life
We only get one life to live. It’s very important that you learn what makes you happy and helps you feel satisfied so you can bring more of that into your life. Ask yourself what would make you happy and what you could do to bring more stability to your world.
Then figure out ways you could attain it. Do you want to make more money or spend time with family and friends more often? Are you in a toxic relationship that you need to let go of and find a better person to be with so you actually feel safe?
Or maybe your constant stress is centered around your income, and you need to make more money to support your family.
Once you define what will make you happy, create goals that align with the stability you want. If you’re stressed about money, consider ways you could make more money, like picking up part-time work or even switching jobs.
Break down those goals into actionable steps you can take each day or week to meet your goals. It may be browsing for new jobs each day or applying to at least one new job a day or week.
When you set goals and make a plan to achieve them, you’ll see you have more hope for your future. And that can make a world of difference in times of uncertainty.
Create a Daily Routine
Okay, this one may seem simple, but you’d be surprised at how much stability a routine can bring to you. When you have a routine, no matter what happens around you, you’ve created your own stability.
A routine helps you stay grounded and stable even in times of uncertainty. Well, that’s not to say you won’t see some craziness still, but it helps anchor you in the storm. Get out of bed, eat lunch, and go to the gym at the same time each day, and you’ll be amazed at how powerful a routine can be.
Read this post to learn how to plan a productive week. It has some smart hacks to get more done each day, and it can help with your routine.
Spend Time in Nature
Have you ever been out on a hike or camping in nature and wondered about the peace and quiet surrounding you? That’s because the oceans, mountains, trees, rivers, and lakes are free from technology and the interruptions of daily life (for the most part).
So take some time out from life and spend time in nature. Even if that’s just having a picnic lunch with friends or family or sitting on a park bench for a short break from the busyness of everyday life. Take a family trip to a secluded beach or camp under the stars.
Sis, you’d be amazed at how just taking a break from the world can ground you.
Learn to Control What You Can and Let the Rest Go
Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, there are just some things you can’t control. Understanding that you can’t control everything is half the battle.
It’s human nature to want to control something that is really important to you because we fear the unknown, and we often associate control with security and stability.
The crazier your life becomes, the more you fight to manage or guide everything you can. And that can negatively impact everyone around you, from friends to kids to the relationship with your significant other.
The best thing you can do is learn to accept the things you can’t control and figure out how to deal with them. You’ll see that this acceptance gives you a more positive attitude, less stress, and worry, and increases your gratitude and ability to embrace change.
Here are some tips to help you learn how to deal with change and accept it.
- Let go of the past
- Lower your expectations
- Learn coping skills
- Set new goals
- Consider adopting a spiritual outlook
- Stop worrying about things out of your hands
- Focus on the things you can control
Final Thoughts on Lack of Stability in Life
If you’re dealing with feelings of instability in life right now, just simply let go of the past and how you came to be where you are. Focus on the future and introduce more security to your world.
Becoming more stable is a process for many people, so you can’t expect immediate results. But each change to your environment and each step you take helps you increase your confidence and let go of the anxiety instability can cause.
To lead a creative life of joy that brings happiness, you need to focus on healthy relationships and friends that support you on your journey. A solid support system goes a long way toward building a stable life because no matter what happens, you have people who care and support you.
Sometimes you just need a friend in your corner to see success in life and level up as a woman.