What do I do when I am stressed or overcome with anxiety about the future? What about a terrible decision I feel like I’ve made or some failure?

I’ve found regular mindfulness sessions to be extremely helpful in easing my ‘always-overthinking’ brain.

Related: how can we be more digitally mindful?

Self-guided Mindfulness

I’ve tried guided meditations like the ones on YouTube and Headspace and such but find they don’t work super well for me. I really like being intentional with what I want out of the meditation session and I find it helps me focus and stay present. Here is the process I find works best for me:

  1. Start with focusing on breathing and bodily sensations. Are you comfortable? Is your head clear? Is your breath and heartbeat regular and relaxed?
  2. Ask an additional level of ‘why’s if anything feels out of the ordinary. Reflect on life situation + most current feelings.

Then, if I am feeling stressed/anxious about anything in particular:

  1. Perspective and timescales. How will current events play out a month from now? A year? A decade?
  2. What doors can this open? We can choose to believe everything happens for a reason when looking back on it. Everything will play out regardless of what failures happens your way. The best I can do is make the most of my hand and make that the best possible future.

Or if things are going well:

  1. What is going well right now?
  2. Who am I grateful for?
  3. What was beautiful today?

Designing for busy-by-default

Source: Fools and their time metaphors by Aaron Z. Lewis

“The subjective quality of time—how it feels from the inside—is missing entirely. If the idea of a “subjective calendar” sounds too far-out, consider the alternative maps made by creative cartographers. They add new meaning by distorting conventional representations of geography. Why can’t our calendars follow suit?”

See also: desire paths