THE PAST. If your feeling of stress is one of depression, your thoughts are in the PAST. We all have things in our past that we would like to change. Things we may not be proud of. Something we did or said that upset someone resulting in pain to them. Or it was something we did that was embarrassing. Dwelling on these past situations is what causes you to be depressed.
THE FUTURE. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the future. If your stress is a feeling of being nervous and anxious, your thoughts are in the FUTURE. When you think too much about the future, instead of motivating you, it causes anxiety and discontentment with what you are doing today. You have goals, but they seem so vague and unreachable. There are so many obstacles and so much time standing in the way they seem impossible to reach.
MENTAL CLARITY. Thoughts of the past and future are taking up valuable space in your mind. These thoughts are like a fog that make it difficult to navigate through today's affairs. The result is a lack of concentration and mental clarity causing you to operate at half-throttle.
CHANGE. There is a cure. You must make a choice to change your circumstances. If you make a DECISION to change your situation and firmly decide what steps you are going to take, you will immediately solve the problem by removing the cause of your stress.
ACCEPTANCE. On the other hand, if you make a DECISION to accept your circumstances, you will also solve the problem. All you have to do is say to yourself, "I am here because I chose to be here. It IS what it IS, and I will deal with it". Regardless of which decision you make, you can now begin to feel like you are in control.
ENGAGE. Your job is not to try and see what lies dimly in the distance, or to keep drudging up the past, but TO DO WHAT LIES CLEARLY AT HAND. To give 100 percent ATTENTION to what you are doing, NOW. Paying attention means being ENGAGED AND FOCUSED. When you are focused on what you are doing, you block out the past and the future. You are fully engaged in what you are doing. You are not wasting today's energy trying to redo what you did in the past, or spending today's energy trying to solve future problems. You are ENGAGED IN THE TASK AT HAND.
FUTURE GOALS. Successfully setting and reaching your FUTURE goals without causing stress depends on your EXPECTATIONS. To accomplish your goals without creating stress you must know exactly what you want, expect to get it, and visualize a successful outcome. The common denominator of all successful people is the same. THEY EXPECT TO REACH THEIR GOALS. The common denominator of all unsuccessful people is also the same. Deep down inside – THEY DO NOT EXPECT TO REACH THEIR GOALS.
EXPECTATIONS. To set goals without causing stress certain things must be in harmony. Your expectations and goals must be equal. If your goals are too high or unrealistic, you won’t expect to reach them and you will see to it that you don’t. Your goals must be clearly defined, realistic, reachable and most importantly APPROACHED WITH THE POSITIVE EXPECTATION OF SUCCESS. If your goals are causing stress, lower the goal or break it down into smaller goals until you can honestly say you expect to reach it. Or, adjust your EXPECTATIONS until you believe that reaching your goal is possible.