Time Is Killing Me

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There are times when I allow my visions and plans for the future determine my emotional state. This leads to anxiety when my current state is at odds with my plans. When I am in these states, relationships and work are often on my mind…one of the two usually dominating my attention – and eventually emotions.

Too much of this is not healthy.

This is probably what Buddha continuously felt that led to this revelation:

Do not dwell in the past, Do not dream of the future, Concentrate the mind on the present moment.

The best way to dig myself out of these destructive states is to be consciously aware of them. That means having the understanding of how my mind works, and breaking the negative cycle early on. Do not let your emotions control you. You have power over them if you choose. Often, it just takes finding an approach that works for you.

Like most things, easier said than done…

After a lot of trial and error, I have found a few tactics that have worked for me:

  1. Writing – I am so glad I have developed this habit. Writing down whatever is on my mind onto a piece of paper can be so relieving. Just let it come out. You’ll then notice a couple of things. (1) That whatever is going on in your head is often very trivial (2) That the emotional intensity you were feeling from this anxiety is greatly weakened.
  2. Sleep/Nap – Often these problems occur when you’re deficient of sleep.
  3. Meditation – There are so many forms of meditation you could practice. One that I just learned that works well anywhere is Box Breathing – 4 seconds in – hold for 4 – 4 seconds out – hold for 4 – Repeat.

You may notice that time is at the heart of these anxieties. It is often not the actual person or job that is causing the issues, but straying away from your internal plans or experiencing the feelings of losing precious time.

I’ll take a quote from Nietzsche:

Glance into the world just as though time were gone and everything crooked will become straight to you.

This simple – yet powerful – thought exercise can work extremely well too.

We must focus on what we can do now. Ask yourself if you can take immediate action on your current anxieties. If the answer is NO – then you must let it go at that moment. It is serving no purpose.

Many times I have resistance towards this process. But only a couple of minutes of this can do wonders by removing the thought(s) that are consuming my attention.

I encourage you to try this next time you’re stressed or feeling anxious. Write down you problems. See things differently. Rest. See what works for you.

We all have our problems…

But there is beauty in the ability to mitigate and eventually overcome them.

New Year’s Resolutions and Breaking Chains

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It’s a little over a week into the New Year. Many have just begun working towards their resolutions, while at the same time, many have already given up on theirs.

A few years ago I decided not to go down this route and strayed away from setting any more New Year’s Resolutions.

I would often decide on something that I assumed would make me feel better – going to the gym 4 times a week, quit drinking soda, etc. I then realized that I, like many, can be disciplined for a while, but then get off course and move on the next thing allowing that resolution drift off to no-man’s land.

So, I decided to set my own rules and began finding what works best for me.

If you’re in your 20’s, like me, this is a great time to begin to form healthy habits. These habits you develop end up controlling you. Decide now which habits you want those to be…

For the past year and a half, I have been using a system (borrowed from Buster Benson) that I may break down in another post. Very simply, I set certain themes/goals at the beginning of each month and I will then check back at the end of the month and see if I was satisfied with my efforts/results. If I missed my mark, I then find what, if anything, was tied to my failure. This allows me to adjust themes/goals throughout the year based on my circumstances. I find myself sticking to this system much more than any New Year’s Resolution in past years. **Feel free to ask me about my system anytime

At the end of the year, I had a little time to think about what areas I would like to focus my themes/goals on. So I started to do a personal inventory on different dynamics of my life that has some sort of control over me. These can be thoughts/substances/emotions tied to past events among other things. My goal with this exercise was to give myself an idea of various themes and goals I can set for myself in the next year.

This simple exercise was rewarding, so I wanted to share.

1 – Pay close attention to what controls you in your life. What is constantly on your mind? What is holding you back? Are you addicted to anything? List everything you can.

2 – Determine if they are healthy or unhealthy.

  • If healthy, you can choose to do nothing with them.
  • If unhealthy, you can evaluate if it is worth the time to improve on.

3 – Choose the top 3.

These can be used to shape your goals going forward.

I know this may sound pretty general, so I will give you some common examples I found for myself and noticed in others:

  • Unhealthy Relationships
  • Sugar (leading to more cravings)
  • Consumerism and Materialism
  • Money
  • Social Media
  • Past Traumas
  • Video Games
  • TV
  • Resistance to Change (and resistance to taking action)
  • Other various forms of fear

I have chosen my 3 for this year. I plan on keeping these in mind when setting my monthly goals and themes for the upcoming year. This will allow me to remember the important dynamics that are holding me back in various ways and work on gaining control of them instead of allowing them to control me.

There are obstacles we must overcome to improve our well-being. Some are obvious. Some need to be discovered.

And some of the chains need to be broken.