I wanted to share a little technique that I’ve been using to give myself perspective. It’s quite simple: I have a small brown paper bag pinned to the wall above my desk.
The bag is there to remind me that most of the things that are upsetting me or stressing me or just taking up headspace in the moment are transient issues that fit into that paper bag. The REST of my world remains outside that bag and unbothered by whatever is going on in there.
The trick for me is to not get sucked into that brown bag. When that happens, and it does, I’m suddenly whirling around with all the daily stressors and emergencies-of-now, and that’s all I see. My entire experience becomes those anxiety-provoking elements and my stress levels skyrocket.
It takes a lot more effort to fight my way back out of there than to stay outside in the first place.
At the same time, it’s so easy to follow all those stressors right into that bag. For me, that’s the path of least resistance, even a habit.
But when I lean back and take in the entire picture–the time-limited nature of what’s bothering me and the fact that in a couple of weeks it’ll be gone–my view broadens and I am reminded of what else is going around me right now, in this moment.
Right here, where I feel my feet planted on the ground. I smell the scent of lemon wafting up from my diffuser. I’m aware of sounds from the street below and sunshine coming in through my window.
Perspective. All of these things tumbling around inside the bag will pass. And, yes, perhaps more importantly, new ones will bubble up and take their place. I can’t stop that and I have to accept it. But I can take a deep breath and stay in the bright light of the day instead of darkness of that little bag.