There’s almost 90% uncertainty in anything big we do in life, but the other 10% make it all worth it.
Once we forget the fact that life’s nature is uncertain, though, the daily round may become a struggle.
Take me, for instance. Although I’ve written a lot about letting go of past and future, freeing yourself from doubt, negativism and stress, simplifying life, slowing down, and more, I still had a hard time coping with the worries and anxiety around what I’m doing with my life right now.
I’m literally getting out of my comfort zone, and finally making things happen in terms of some pretty big goals.
And even though I’m mentally prepared for all the obstacles, am sure I’m on the right path and know exactly what step to take next, when uncertainty hits, things aren’t easy.
This morning, for example, I had shortness of breath. I could tell exactly where in the body there was a lot of pressure due to the pain in my chest. Of course, that’s a result of all the overthinking, travel issues, imagining what might go wrong, managing money and making plans, investing resources in all this, and not knowing how it will turn out a month or so from now.
So aside from having to stop every now and then, take a deep breath and tell myself that everything’s fine and even the worse scenario in my head isn’t something that can’t be fixed, I needed to do something to relax my mind and body. I wanted to be productive today and over the next few days, to enjoy the preparation process, and to be able to take some decisions and think clearly.
Leaving All Tension Behind
First, I removed some not so important tasks for the day. Having too many things to do is yet another thing that feels like a burden, and in this case I needed to simplify a lot.
It’s Sunday, I’m traveling the next day, but planned to do some work in the first hours of the day. I didn’t need a day off or anything, I enjoy every part of being a freelancer, but I needed to be in the right state of mind too.
So I lay in bed, telling myself I can take a nap now and do everything else later on.
Many people try to get rid of the pressure and stress, but that has the opposite effect. Because you’re being aggressive towards it, you’re evoking negative emotions and making things worse.
Instead, I acknowledged the anxiety and tension within. I knew it was there and accepted this fact. After making peace with it, I was ready to let it go so that I can continue the day in a good mood.
Because I was able to identify the pain in my body, I decided to try a quick exercise to reduce the stress.
The goal was to be able to finally take a deep breath, and get some oxygen to my brain and chest.
So I began breathing, and imagining how each breath reaches the part in my chest that was tensed. Then, when exhaling, I was picturing how there was a stress ball there (it felt like one), but how each time I inhaled it was getting smaller and smaller, until it eventually disappears.
Repeat that around 10 times, until you are free to take a deep breath that gets to your chest. Then, really take a nap if you want to.
Here are some more tips Leo shares in The Joy of Letting Go of Stress:
“Try relaxing this tense part of your body. Then relax the tense part of your mind around the feeling.
In this more relaxed place, open up some space, like a wide open field, inside your mind and body.
In this space, allow yourself to see the basic goodness in yourself, that’s there in every moment.
In this space, allow yourself to see the basic goodness of this very moment, always available to us if we’re willing to see it.
Find the joy of the rediscovery of this goodness in yourself and this moment.
This is the practice of letting go of the struggle, and accepting this moment as it is, and yourself as you are.”
After that, take it easy during the day. Ignore other people’s problems, know that uncertainty is the only certainty there is, remind yourself of why you’re making this life change, and feel good about it.
Hope this helps.
How do you deal with the pressure when making a big move in life?