Yes, you do.

I’ve caught myself whispering this in my own ears frequently during the last few days. And it worked. It worked because it is true, despite how everything seems to indicate just the opposite. Let me explain.

I am currently in the process of moving and it is amazing to see what little, seemingly unimportant things can trigger stress. In retrospect, they seem silly and ridiculous. The common cause of them, however, is everything but. The cause is that I feel hurried to finish so I am finally able to settle down.

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 deem 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?

The more we worry about time, the more time is lost to worrying.

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 a full belly 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 hurry, ’cause you’ve got plenty of time!”