Exercise: Prevent Stress

by Rachel Miller

September 30, 2022

ABOVE : Philipp Thelen

Some days start off great. You feel happy and energized, and as you go throughout the day, these little things that you need to do start adding up in your mind. The next thing you know, all you can think about is what you have to do later, that thing tomorrow, or planning for the next week.

Consider:

  • Notice exactly when that first thought of some future or past thing arises: when it’s subtle. When it’s quietly lingering in the back of your mind. Pause.

  • Choose a time to think about these things later:
    • Tell yourself when you will think about it: After lunch, I will confirm the plan for the weekend.
    • You won’t want to wait; you will think: It will just take a second; I’ll just send that text quickly. Don’t. Keep doing what you’re doing; don’t stop to send that email or look up that question on your mind.

  • Each time that thought enters your mind, remind yourself of the scheduled time, you can think about that at 10:30, then focus back on the task before you.

  • Remember, stress can only exist when you’re not focused on the present. Strictly keep an eye on wondering thoughts, remind yourself when you can think those thoughts, and then quickly bring your attention back to what is before you.

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