You’re never going to make enough money.
The time you are spending in the office is time you’ll never get back.
You are just running in circles.
Stress…. Do you feel it? The ever-so-often feeling of uncertainty, complex sensations, and high levels of overwhelm in a fast-moving world. Can you keep up?
You are trying to. But what if I told you, keeping up isn’t the answer?
Life is stressful especially if you spend your time worrying about insignificant mishaps.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”― Lao Tzu
Close Your Eyes
Think about your dream life for a second. Whatever it is you are trying to create right at this very moment.
Close your eyes and envision it
You’re there, you did it!
And as you are experiencing this sensation of what it’s like to accomplish your dreams, think about the process that was required to get there. As if you’re making conversation with a friend, exchanging stories over a coffee. Does it stress you out or make you smile? Did you enjoy it or live in a closet? Are you happy with the way you spent your time during the process of “making it”?
I hope so. Life is to be enjoyed. All of it. Not just after you reach your destination.
If not then you need to grab ahold of stress and transform it into strength and peace.
“Stress and confusion come from being busy. Peace and clarity come from slowing down and stilling your waters.” — Maxime Lagacé
Stress Defined: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
When you allow stress to accumulate you forgo control. The ancient stoic philosophers do a masterful job and keeping what’s important at the forefront of their thoughts, emotions, and decisions. The two questions they sought to answer are:
- How can we live a life of fulfillment and happiness?
- How can we become better human beings?
Seeking and accomplishing these two questions lead to the inner peace that we think our dream life will provide.
The beautiful part about it is you are in control. And you need to remain in control as often as possible.
Stress clouds your judgment with a false reality. The art of overcoming these fake realities is to be more conscious about what is real; being present.
Presentness is a skill the Stoics believed is the key to controlling stress. And they were right.
If you truly understand how short life is and how precious time is you will spend more quality time laughing & loving, and less time complaining & stressing.
You think you understand that time is a finite resource yet you still allow
- A driver ruin your day
- Your coworker to upset you
- The fact that what you “need” from Amazon doesn’t have prime 2-day shipping irritate you.
You don’t have time to worry about what-ifs and everything that you can’t control.
All that matters is now.
All that is significant is now.
All that is real is now; take a deep breath, be present.
Become More Present: 3 Stoic Principles
- Adversity is a part of life. Challenges come and go. Understanding this before they arrive is key to controlling our response.
- Do not waste energy trying to control that which cannot be controlled. Life is too short and time is too precious to waste. Control what you can control.
- Express gratitude. Always.
These principles are simple. But they are real. The better you understand this, the more control you have, and the less you’ll allow some random news headline steal your precious time from you and ruin your day. Your time is more valuable than that.
Put It Into Practice
Breathwork: 2–5 minutes of focused breathing. Sitting up or lying down, focus on nothing but your deep breath coming and going just like life’s challenges.
Gratitude: Write 3 things you are grateful for. Get creative and don’t repeat on back-to-back days and soon you’ll see how much there is to be grateful for.
Journaling: Set a timer for 2 minutes are write non-stop. Write your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and goals. Putting pen-to-paper helps you get to know yourself and your thoughts better.
Exercise: Untangle your stressful thoughts and begin thinking clearly with 30–60 minutes of exercise.
Default Mode: Have a default strategy to help throughout the day when a stressful event arises unexpectedly. Execute the default mode before responding. Breathwork is an easy one that I have used for a long time. Remember that between stimulus and response is a choice. Take a few minutes to calmly focus on your breathing before making a decision. And then move on with your day.
Take your time back. It’s yours, own it.
Remove stress and find peace by owning the day and focusing on what you can control with a smile on your face. Owning each day begins in the morning. If you don’t begin now one day you will wish you had.
- Keeping up isn’t the answer.
- Begin with a vision.
- Focus on what’s important; happiness, fulfillment, and being a better human being.
- Time is too precious to let meaningless events irritate you and ruin your day.
- Be more present by understanding that challenges occur, not wasting energy on what you cannot control, and expressing gratitude.
- Put it into practice by creating a morning routine to begin your day with a productive mindset.
If you enjoyed this article you’ll love How to Be More Present: 5 Steps