Do you ever feel like you are about to lose it if one more thing is added to your to-do list?

I like my to-do list, but it can produce a lot of anxiety and make me doubt my ability to achieve my goals. I feel overwhelmed and chaotic when I don’t have internal control. I feel I don’t have enough time to accomplish everything I need to accomplish.

Recognize that feeling?

When I feel out of control, the sense of purpose and meaning behind what I am doing tends to get cloudy. In those moments my tasks feel mundane and ordinary. On the contrary, when I feel calm and collected, even washing the dishes, doing laundry, or cooking dinner is filled with purpose.  It is then that things just seem easy and effortless.

It is through mindfulness and meditation that I gain back this control. I have to remind myself that it flows from within, not from trying to control the external or checking off items on the to-do list. It is being in the moment that provides the clarity on purpose and meaning. It doesn’t come from searching the internet or flipping through the books. While both of these help you to gain knowledge and to educate yourself about different schools of thought and philosophy, they are not helpful in a moment of stress.  The moment when you really want to control overwhelming thoughts about how much there is to do.  Or when you are feeling the panic of not having enough time to do it all or that everything should have been done yesterday. Looking for an answer outside of you in that moment is not going to give you the type of peace you need. It can only come from within. Let me tell you what helps me.

Centre yourself by finding a quiet place, closing your eyes, breathing deeply, relaxing your body, and fully embracing this moment.

Whatever panic, pain, guilt, or shame you are feeling in the moment, feel it in every tissue of your body. Live through the moment! Be with it!

And then be very gentle and kind to yourself. Be very empathic towards yourself. Show unconditional positive regard. And accept yourself—just who and what you are in the moment.

Tell yourself, “I LOVE you just the way you are. I am PROUD of you. Checking off another task on your to-do list is not going to make you a better person. I love you now and will still love you if you didn’t accomplish whatever you are ought to achieve.” And yes, I have had this dialogue with myself many times 🙂

Give this method a shot and I can assure you that you will feel much calmer and peaceful by the end of it. Please let me know your thoughts.

I don’t have to be doing the extraordinary task to feel in control and purposeful, both at the same time. I could be brushing my teeth and feel purposeful, which actually has happened and does happen. Anyone else?