One Day At A Time

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed then you’re almost certainly looking towards the future with a sense of dread, wondering how on earth you’re going to make it through. Your best chance of finding success and diminishing your anxiety is to adopt a mindful attitude, bringing all of your attention to the moment.

Existing fully in the present moment and anxiety are incompatible as long as as your present poses no immediate danger. Anxiety presupposes a threat, something that hasn’t come to pass, meaning this threat exists in the future not in the present. In this sense you’re safe in the present, even if the threat you are facing is very real, even if whatever it is that is overwhelming you will take a lot of work, skill, and luck to overcome.

Regardless, when a job seems too big it becomes unmanageable, a colossus, and the temptation is to sink into despair, to give up. The mindful attitude lets you take it one day at at time, to focus all your energy on the now rather than expending some of this precious energy on worrying about tomorrow.

And really the only thing that is guaranteed to any of us is the present. Why allow your present to be infected with your concerns about the future? Whatever is overwhelming you may come to pass, but it hasn’t happened yet, at this moment you’re safe, which means that you can cultivate well-being now if you put all of your attention into right now. Your purposeful actions in the present can still be designed to overcome what is overwhelming you, but the difference is that the job won’t seem as daunting because you’ll only be focused on what you can manage, on what’s in front of you. Take it one day at a time and just keep chipping away.