Procrastination, is a modern dilemma and stress some say is the modern disease?
I can’t imagine your ancestors procrastinating about leaving the cave on a sunny day to forage for berries and other food, I’m also sure they didn’t spend time worrying about whether the food looked well presented, or whether their caves were dusty, their decor colours and whether their clothes were in fashion! But knowing that doesn’t make your life less stressful or procrastination easy to beat.
Today your stress is so different to even just one hundred years ago, the changes in just the last fifty years are amazing and crazy yet your physiology hasn’t changed that much, the stress hormones your body pumps into your blood when you can’t find the shopping aisle with the stock cubes or your phone crashes are the same hormones released when your ancestors started to feel fear that a tiger may be nearby!
Then there’s the stress build up when you procrastinate, this can leave you feeling overwhelmed by quite small tasks that for some reason you just put off starting or finishing again and again.
I know I feel a little stress as I type this today, you might say so what, what rubbish!
Yes, you and I fear rejection too, that hasn’t changed, your cave ancestors needed the community to survive, then safety in numbers really was a serious consideration.
So what can you do when you feel things building up, jobs not done, things not started?
To start with gain perspective, what is the consequence of not doing something now?
Let’s look at a simple thing like clutter.
The clutter will still be there tomorrow and you won’t die because of piles of clutter on the shelves or tables and in cupboards and under the bed but you may be more disorganised. Clutter also causes stale energy in your environment but I don’t think it changes the air we breathe so having clutter may have minor consequences but generally clutter is not threatening your life like a tiger in the hallway would!
What is the prize for completion, sorting your clutter?
A tidy office or home, a decluttered room does make you feel much better and adds to being more organised, sorting it will give you a sense of achievement.
Break things down into small action steps, ten minutes sorting every Saturday morning or whichever day suits you will add up. Promise yourself a treat once the task is completed and if it’s a big task maybe smaller treats as a stage is completed.
Look at what makes you stressed, is the situation or thing being blown out of proportion? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed.
Whether yes or no writing it down, with pen and paper not typing, will get some of the related stress out of your body and can help you find clarity.
Learning to be mindful about when you feel stress in your body growing gives you the power to do something about it, all too often women are under so much stress they don’t even realise they are stressed, is this you?
Take a five minute break, drink more water and less caffeine so you’re more in touch with how your body is feeling, drinking several caffeinated drinks to help you keep going can make it harder to recognise your stress growing or maybe even increase it.
Go for a walk at lunchtime or anytime during your day, preferably in the park or in the countryside, ten minutes in nature even if man made makes a big difference.
Find ways you can relax which don’t pump more adrenaline into your bloodstream, give your adrenal glands a five minute break a few times a day.
Don’t over think, yes very easy for me to say that I’m not in your shoes!
A great simple book that can help is Stop Thinking Start Living by Richard Carlson. EFT also known as Tapping is great for breaking patterns of overthinking.
Read for fives minutes a day, stand outside and breath for five minutes, walk away from your phone for five minutes, turn the TV off, sit under a tree for five minutes, meditate for five minutes, get comfortable without constant noise.
Your health is worth taking a few five minute breaks to de-stress each day.
Witten by Yvonne Davey-Croft who is an Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner and host of Suffolk And Norfolk Therapists, find her listing here Stowmarket