How to Use Time to Reduce Stress

reduce stress with this piece of the puzzleTime is your greatest asset – bar none!

Often a lack of time is blamed for the stress we feel but in actual fact, as an asset, the stress comes a foundational problem with how we use our time.  After all, time is a one-way street!

Why we use our time the way we do?

We’re raised to “do our duty”, to over-achieve or under-achieve, to follow or rebel against social norms and a host of other socially acceptable living standards depending on where you are raised.  However, within any context of how we are trained in leading our human lives, it never dawns on us to view time as our greatest asset because we are trained “to do” instead of think, plan and execute how we will use our time for our own satisfaction.

How Should We Be Using our Time?

Our own satisfaction – that’s at the crux of using time to reduce stress. There is nothing more to it than that simple concept but we resist it with all our might in order to fulfill the teachings of others who also were likely quite ineffective in using their time for their own satisfaction.

Instead, most people were taught to “perform their duty”,  sacrifice, obey, rebel, conform, etc.  For whom?  For others!  Why?  To comply to societal norms whatever that might be.  And the focus, therefore, is on the outside world.  It is the inside world which is far more important.

How Difficult Can that Be?

For most people, if they try to manage their time based on what they want, the process is very uncomfortable because the reason to do anything is based on what they want which means, of course, saying no to people and concepts which have ruled their lives to that point.  How often do you hear people saying, “It’s so hard to motivate myself for what I want”?  That’s how ingrained the notion that our time belongs to others.

As an example, if a woman is told that she must have a full-time job, run home to cook dinner for the family, clean up the household and care for the children, she will undertake that expectation, feel stress and think she is “defective” because she has trouble coping.  However, if that same woman decides one day to care for herself first and build her schedule around that new concept, the first thing she’ll need to do is refuse to “do it all”.  She’ll assign tasks to her children and her husband, hire help and take time for her own life rather than devote her life – her time – to the needs of others – job and family.  Big, big shift in thought process!  Emotions run high!

What are the Rewards?

If  you use your time for your own satisfaction first and foremost, you’ll be amazed how difficult it is at first and, yet if you persist, the rewards will be a richer, more fulfilled life with less stress, more health, more happiness and a great sense of self-satisfaction in achieving your dreams.  You’ll find greater success in every part of your life because the “winds of demands from others” are no longer your driving force!  Think about it . . . . you might just like it!

Lorraine Arams

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