How often do you find yourself creating more stress in your life by worrying about the future and the things to come? What you need to get done to meet your project deadline, if you are raising your children to become good members of society, or if you are living the type of life that you want to live. There is an infinite list of stressors in our life, and too often people hold themselves back by over-thinking to the point of experiencing anxiety. Today I would like to offer a solution to this problem. Self-reflection.
Simply taking the time to stop and see how far you have come. You are not the same person you were in the past. You have grown in many aspects of your life and that needs to be realized. Now, I know what you might be thinking, "Yes, that sounds great and all, but how do I find the time to reflect during the day with my busy schedule?" Well, I will give you 3 ways to help find the time to self-evaluate.
First, take 5 minutes out of every day to list 3 things that you have accomplished in the past week. We all have 5 minutes. Whether that is in the shower, on the way to work, or during one of your meals. This will allow you to know that you are moving forward and growing in the short term.
Next, schedule 30 minutes with someone at least every quarter to discuss your growth and gain feedback based on previous discussions. The person can be anyone from your spouse to your parents, a friend, or maybe even a colleague. This will help give you an accountability partner to assure you that you are on the right path or help you adjust as needed. Partaking in this exercise lets you paint a deeper picture of your growth looking back to a monthly or quarterly timeframe.
Lastly, whenever you are getting those overwhelming feelings, stop, take 5 deep breaths, and tell yourself 5 ways that you have grown over the past 5 years. Seeing this growth is helpful to manage your feelings that you cannot jump whatever hurdle lies ahead of you. Knowing that you have achieved things in the past that you never would have imagined gives you the confidence to go out with a new determination to succeed. The feelings of anxiety will soon leave whenever you have the wherewithal to stop, take a step back, and breathe.
I will have to tell you that this approach to life does not work for everyone. These steps are just the tools that I use when I am stuck in the rut from the pressures of a world that is constantly telling you to look forward. If you take nothing from this piece, I would like to leave you with this piece of advice. Deep breaths and counting to ten go a long way to relieve the pressures of anxiety.