Most of us living in the modern world have many choices from day to day, hour to hour as to where we will focus our attention. Shall I grab the lap-top and work on my upcoming presentation? Shall I join my family in watching a movie or playing a game? What about getting some exercise or planning a menu so we can all eat healthier this week? All these choices can feel overwhelming and when we have many hats to wear it can feel like nothing is ever done “well.”
Attending to your to-do list is not necessarily the cause of your anxiety. The cause of your anxiety may be a quest for perfection.
When you find your thoughts racing in this way and your attention scattered, it can help to ask yourself two simple questions. The first addresses anxiety directly. “What is my fear?” Is it that your presentation won’t dazzle your co-workers? That your family’s health will suffer if you don’t plan a perfect menu? Sometimes the answers to these questions are yes! I do need to put more time into that presentation and I do need to take care of my family. Attending to your to-do list is not necessarily the cause of your anxiety. The cause of your anxiety may be a quest for perfection.
The second magic question can cut through the self-doubt and perfection-seeking and bring you back to the present moment. Ask yourself, “What is the best thing to do in this moment?” If after asking the question, you still feel torn between several choices, give yourself a few minutes to practice mindful breathing, then ask the question again. These magic questions represent a powerful meditation practice. Take a few days to work with the questions and let us know if they help with your anxiety level.
We wish you ten minutes of contentment today!