Trying to manage life right now seems so hard. But if you can remember back to “before Covid” you may realize that trying to manage all of life at once has always been too much to handle. So, I want to share something that works for me.
For the last couple of years, I have found it helpful to imagine the current year as one chapter in my “book of life.” This helps me to focus on what I can do to make the best of my circumstances and opportunities today and avoid distractions from the past or the future.
As we navigate through life it is so easy to get caught up in things that happened long ago. We may ruminate on “past chapters” and feel sadness, regret or grief and dwell on “if only” scenarios that can keep us stuck.
It is just as tempting to worry about what lies ahead. Obsessing about chapters that have not been written yet can keep you focused on “what if” scenarios and trying to predict what might occur in the future. This will cause you to feel increased worry and fear, imagining worst-case scenarios, and feeling anxious about experiences that may never actually happen.
When you are tempted to fret about the past or future, remind yourself that you can’t go back and change previous chapters and the future chapters are still blank - but you are the one who is holding the pen to write the chapter about the present. By your attitudes, choices and actions, you can influence your present chapter. You can learn from your past situations, work hard to incorporate positive change, and begin writing a chapter that shows strength, perseverance, faith, willingness, and determination.
Here are two ways you can begin to do that:
Research shows that when we focus on gratitude our brain releases both dopamine and serotonin that makes us feel “good.” This can enhance our mood and allow us to feel happiness within. So, every morning when you wake up or every evening before bed make a mental list of 3 things you are grateful for and meditate on each of them.
2. Adjust your focus
You give power to what you focus on, so if you mostly think about problems, disappointments or failures, you will be writing a chapter that doesn’t have a happy ending. But, if you make a conscious effort to focus on achievements, successes, healthy relationships, creative pursuits, goals, and rational thoughts your newest chapter can be filled with adventure, joy and satisfaction.
While every life has “plot twists” we can’t control, you have the power today to decide where to direct your time, attention and focus. You can write your current chapter to bring you joy, satisfaction, and peace for today and hope for the future.
Live, Work and Relate Well!