Before I got out of bed this morning I was lying there setting my intention for the day ahead. I don’t know if you ever do that but if you don’t then you really must give it a try.
I was mentally planning my day, seeing everything I had to do go smoothly and intending that my day would run without any hitches or problems. A thought occurred to me that I was planning my destination (for the day ahead), just like you would do when planning a car journey.
In most cases you know where you want to go when you get into your car and start off. Of course there are those spontaneous days where you perhaps jump in the car and decide to figure it out along the way, but even then, you usually have an idea of where you would like to go.
You set off and you make choices along the way, turning left and right, being aware of what is around you and reading the road. If you come across a dead-end or a road-block you take a detour and continue on your journey.
It occurred to me that life is a bit like that. We go through our days making choices, taking action and occasionally coming up against obstacles or blocks.
By setting your intention for the day ahead it allows you to mentally see what lies ahead. You are setting your inner sat-nav to guide you through the day. It gives you space and room to breathe which in turn lowers any tension or stress that you are feeling.
If you don’t take time to do this each day it is like getting into your car with no idea where you are going. You may end up going round and round in circles and won’t get anywhere.
We all have the ability to choose how our days will pan out. Now I know that things crop up and unexpected events happen that make our best laid plans go awry but we still have a choice, even then.
We can choose how to respond to the situation. We can choose to take a deep breath and then ask ourselves “how can I best deal with this situation?”
When you take the time to set your intention and choose to respond calmly and from a place of inner stillness to the stressors in your day it gives you a sense of empowerment.
When you feel empowered you naturally feel less stressed and more in control. You then find that each time you are confronted with a stressful situation you dig deep into your inner resources and respond calmly and it becomes easier each time.
Why not try taking 5 minutes each morning to set your intention for the day ahead? See yourself easily handling all the things you have to do and having more than enough time to complete your tasks. Visualise yourself in control and smiling.
When you find yourself worrying or getting uptight ask yourself “What am I choosing to do right now?” Your answer will be “I am choosing to worry”. By asking the question you bring the choice into your consciousness.
If you then ask yourself “Why am I choosing to worry?”, you will find that there isn’t really a good answer for this. You may think “Oh I have to worry because my job is under threat” or “I am worrying because my child isn’t well”. These are valid issues but does worrying about them actually change anything or help you in any way? No, worrying doesn’t actually do anything other than make you feel powerless and contracted.
When you notice that you have chosen to worry take a deep breath and ask yourself “How would I like to feel right now?” Most likely you will want to feel happy, less stressed, peaceful … so choose it. You can choose to stop worrying. You can choose to smile and take a deep breath. You may need to do this every minute while you are going through a particularly difficult time but one minute will lead to two which will lead to three and before you know it a day will have passed without worry.
When you feel powerless about things or stuck then notice how you feel. Ask yourself about your choices and then do something. It may only be a choice to stop what you are doing and go outside for a moment to breathe. It may be “I am choosing to go and get a drink of water to re-hydrate myself”. “I am choosing to go and see a friend for a hug”.
Only you can make the choice to feel a certain way or act in a particular manner. Choose wisely and you will notice how much better your day will be.
If you would like help or advice about managing stress or choosing to live in a more balanced way then please contact me or visit my website. It is my mission in life to try and help people make healthier choices for themselves so they can live in a more empowered and inspired way.