How often do you find yourself asking: “I wish I hadn’t done that?”, “What will they think of me?”, “What if it all goes wrong?”. These are the common questions that I asked myself when I fell into the common trap of investing time in considering things that are completely out of my control. Let me share how to relieve stress with one simple question.
It occurred to me that I could significantly relieve my stress levels by learning how to live in the moment. In the book ‘The Power of Now’ Eckhart Tolle explains that only the present moment is important, and both an individual’s past and future are created by their thoughts.
Most people however spend their time thinking about the past. Whether it was what they had for breakfast, what they should have said in the meeting or living in the future worrying about an upcoming presentation or winning a competition. In any case, it’s clear that we cannot control those things that have happened already. Or may happen in the future unless we consider the now.
By spending our time in the past and future not only leaves us feeling extremely stressed, but it leaves most of us feeling out of control. Therefore we go spiralling into negative thoughts, our emotions take over and we feel isolated.
What I have shared when working with clients is to be aware this is happening. Usually, it’s that tight feeling in the chest or the knot in the stomach that are early signs that we are not present.
I ask them this 1 simple question: “What do I need to do now?”.
By answering this you are able to feel empowered and take back control of what needs to be done. In order to shape the future you want. The great thing is, if something goes a different way than expected, there is still no need to feel bad. It usually means a new piece of information was found along the way that you didn’t have at the start of asking yourself the question. However, this feeling of control leads to improved well-being, increased confidence in decision making and most of all less stress!
So, what do you need to do now about your current dilemma?