One Step at a Time

Sometimes we reach points in which we are too stressed and don’t think we’ll get things done. When you feel like you have your fair share of struggling, something else comes about and puts you over the edge. These times can be challenging, because we all want to do our best. Whether it’s to make your parents happy, be equal with your peers, or your job depends on it, we all try to manage our stress. But how?

It’s important to think about where you are, what you have, and what’s around you. Instead of worrying about the deadline that has you up at night, think about what time you have in the present. Enjoy what’s around you. The things we worry about can make life so dense to where we aren’t aware of how lucky we are to have such situations. Even though a class or job may be dreadful, you won’t be in the same place in 5 years. Life moves on. Instead of focusing on getting to the future and escaping current misery, take a moment to picture yourself later in life, reflecting back to where you are now. A change of perspective can shape your current mindset, hopefully proving that your current misery is temporary for the time being.

Okay, I see that my current misery will be different in 5 years. How does that lower my stress? If every day can be taken one by one, and time can be lived in the moment, we can worry less about what’s to come. Instead of stressing about an upcoming deadline, scratch off a checklist and tackle tasks one by one. When we take things in small portions, large goals can be accomplished.

“My goals may seem impossibly far-fetched when really they’re not.  Break them down into steps and see how I accomplish great things.  I can easily reach from A to B.  I can manage from B to C. I can then make it from C to D.  And so eventually, I will find my way from A to Z.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year

In the end, we all face problems in our lives. Sometimes a single class can be overwhelming. Take a moment and realize how school won’t last forever, even if it feels like it. Your present life will become your history in which you reflect on. Making the most of your time makes your stress feel manageable as you chip away at the final goal.

Mark Owen describes his journey to become a Navy Seal, and how the overwhelming task to complete basic training can be broken down to each meal or day.

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