“Don’t worry about the time, my friend, just be here now.”

“Relax, baby, it’s good enough.”

“Just dwell in the moment, no need to rush.”

I’ve caught myself whispering these mantras, and other variations on the same message, in my own ears frequently during the last few days.

It helped to stand still and appreciate the moment, to cool down my excessive thoughts and to realise that there was no need to feel hurried with the nagging idea of ‘running out of time‘.

These mantras stopped making me worry about time. Even despite how everything seems to indicate I had to hurry.

Please allow me to explain.

I am currently in the process of moving. You know, that thing people do when they move from one place to another which makes you realise you’ve been hoarding tons of stuff you don’t need, but still feel you will need all of it someday.

And having to arrange and adhere to tons of deadlines, it is amazing to see what little unimportant things can trigger stress.

In retrospect, they seem silly and ridiculous.

The common cause of them, however, is everything but. Language has truly prisoned us in time.

I want my new place to be finished as soon as possible. Add this to the fact that I am a perfectionist when it comes to things I find important, and this combination is like oil and water; they don’t mix, no matter how well I stir.

I don’t remember where I read this, or if I made it up myself, but it was something along the lines of ‘the common denominator of stress is the felt experience of not having enough time‘. Damn, isn’t that observation spot on?

Every single time I got annoyed that something wasn’t going as intended, the will I enforced upon the world seemed to be futile; I felt rushed and powerless. I didn’t allow myself enough space to try again in calmness, which perpetuated the feeling of constant hurry. I felt the friction of my own ego.

Why? Because I had the felt experience of not having enough time.

But, I did! And I still do! I’ve got plenty of time!

Yet, in the midst of this big task I selectively forgot that this was the case. Even worse, the possibility did not even occur to me.

So I started to direct my attention to the fact there was nothing that needed any acute action. There was no Lion chasing me, no child that needed any rescue. I was not freezing to death, nor was I starving. I had belly full of food and a roof over the top of my head.

In the whole scheme of things, I had plenty of time.

This perspective changed the way I felt immediately. When things didn’t go my way, I whispered in my own ear “Martijn, just relax buddy, no need to rush.”

So remind yourself, whenever you feel stressed, that there is no need to worry about time.

Savour it instead.