Stress is Solvable in the Moment, Not in the Future

At some point in your life you will feel overwhelmed. You will feel lost. You will feel confused. When this happens, I typically tell people to start looking for solutions, to problem solve. And while this is helpful most of the time, occasionally it is best to not look for solutions. Sometimes it’s best to look for emptiness.

Think of what being overwhelmed really is… it’s your mind focusing on all aspects of your life – past, present and future, all at the same time. Overwhelmed is a state of being, not a reality. It is a mental experience but not a real experience. And before you start overwhelming yourself with even more thoughts on how to fix the situation, perhaps it is best to step out of the situation. Breathe. Notice that the world, and yourself, are perfect in this exact moment.

An amazing friend once introduced me to the idea that right now, right here, I am okay. And in this moment I am okay. And in the next moment I am in right now, I am okay. It may be a simplistic way of looking at things, but in the end… simplicity is the best answer to being overwhelmed.

In this moment, your boss is not yelling at you. That happened yesterday. In this moment, your friend is not asking for more. That will happen tomorrow. In this moment, you are okay. And, to be okay is to not be overwhelmed. Stop taking on everything at once in your mind and allow your mind the space and clarity it needs. Begin to develop a process of pushing away past and future worrisome thinking. Give your mind a break.

Before you quit your job or de-friend someone on Facebook, find the silence. Step away from the experience and just be. When the stressful thoughts come in, let them roll right back out. Knit, run, cook, meditate, walk your dog. Distract your mind, stop allowing it to pile on more and more mental clutter, and remember where you are in this very exact moment in time. Because in this moment in time, you are okay.

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