Quick Tip – Will It Matter in Five Years Time?

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When we are stressed, the hunter-gatherer section of our brains has this wonderful habit of telling us that we are somehow in danger, so then when we have to deal with a modern-day situation it can seem like a much bigger issue than it actually is. This article, by the rather wholesome blog Return to Now, explains that Stephen Ildari (a professor of clinical psychology) thinks that this reaction can actually lead to depression:

‘The brain’s “runaway stress response” – as he calls it – is similar to the fight or flight response, which evolved to help our ancestors when they faced predators or other physical dangers. The runaway stress response required intense physical activity for a few seconds, a few minutes, or – in extreme cases – a few hours.

The problem is for many people throughout the Western world, the stress response goes on for weeks, months and even years at a time, and when it does that, it’s incredibly toxic,” Ildari said.’

Luckily, there are ways to rearrange your thinking in an effort to reduce the amount of time you feel stressed. Odds are there is a decision coming up in your life soon that is causing you to feel at least a small level of stress; whether it’s deciding whether to go to an event, choosing when to make a phone call you don’t really want to make, or sometimes even just the idea of having to pick which food to cook.

The trick is to ask yourself: “Will this decision matter in 5 years time?” More often than not, the answer is no. I find this can have a pretty dramatic effect on your immediate stress levels and can help you gain a sense of perspective which you can then use to rationally deal with the decision.

Now this isn’t to say that you should just ignore any problem that you don’t think will matter down the road, as it might still require some time and thought from you (although it may not). This technique is simply a helpful reminder to level the emotional playing field, enabling you to make a well-informed, less stressed decision.

It can be tricky making your way around the emotional playing field…

Did reading this make you think a thought? If it did, I’d love to hear it. Comments are in the place they usually are.

Fancy another quick tip? Head over here to find out about setting intentions.






6 responses to “Quick Tip – Will It Matter in Five Years Time?”

  1. Collin McCreamy avatar

    Such a valuable one, really got a lot from this. Certainly a lot of runaway stress response in and around my world, at least. A worthy mantra.

    Pretty experimental goalpost placement on the right of the emotional playing field though eh?

    1. Craig avatar

      Thanks Mr McCreamy, appreciate it. I agree, not quite sure what’s going on there with the goalpost. I didn’t realise until I’d uploaded it.

  2. Marie B avatar
    Marie B

    What really stresses me out is when people keep moving the emotional goal posts 😉 When it comes to blog posts however, you are da best!

    1. Craig avatar

      Thanks Marie! *Wordplay five*

  3. […] but there’s no way of telling what will happen as a result of that, whether 5 minutes, or 5 years down the […]

  4. […] Today’s throwback is all about perspective. […]

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