I often talk to my clients about the importance of taking things one step at a time. Whenever people are feeling very overwhelmed or anxious for example, I ask them to slow things right down and focus on the day ahead. That can mean for example trying to achieve one or two small things in the day, or it can mean slowing things right down and taking them hour by hour. However, we formulate it the focus remains on the concept of ‘Just for today’.
So often as human beings we are caught up in what’s coming next. We focus so much on the days, weeks or even months ahead. And while it is good to have goals and things to look forward too, it can be very anxiety provoking to live in a state of ‘what’s coming next’. It can cause a lot of worry and a lot of concern and leave people feeling very fragile and on edge at times.
Think about it for a moment – if you’re always focusing on what you need to do tomorrow, then your never fully present in today. If you’re always focusing on the week ahead and all that you are aiming to achieve in it, then you will never be able to enjoy where you are at right now. If you find yourself worrying about the months ahead, then it proves impossible to feel calm and grounded in the day that you’re experiencing.
Life can often be so fast paced. Questions about the future can often feel daunting and the pressure can be immense. If we focus on what’s coming and we worry about what’s head, then we miss what’s right in front of us.
Think about that for a moment. If you pressed pause right now. If you slowed down and looked around you, what would you see? What would you appreciate? What would you value and enjoy? What would mean a lot to you? What would make you smile? Can you see the difference engaging in the here and now makes? You are likely to feel so much more relaxed, so much more at ease and so much calmer.
Now that’s such a different feeling to thinking about the things that you must do tomorrow, or the next day, or the one after that. That feels so different to thinking ahead and planning what life might look like In a few months and then in a few years. That’s overwhelming and that’s all consuming. But when you slow down, when you sit with there here and now and engage fully in the present moment – things start to feel very different.
The concept of ‘just for today’ is such an important one. I always emphasise the need to focus on the moment. The here and now. How are you today? How are you right now? How are things around you at this present moment? Remind yourself that you are ok, that you have got this. Reassure yourself that just for today, things are ok, they are settled, they are grounded, and they are calm. As a result, the rest will follow.
Don’t spend your time setting goals or focusing permanently on what lies ahead, or on what you need to do going forward. That doesn’t mean that goals aren’t healthy – they do have their place. But there is always time for slowing down, there is always time for saying its ok, I have got this, and I am ok. There is always time for switching off from what comes next, and for focusing instead on what’s happening right now.