The above quotation is one of several that I use to help me live with depression.
Previously, two of my biggest problems were dwelling too much on the past and worrying too much about the future. As a result, the present often suffered and initially problems seemed overwhelming.
Since undergoing therapy, however, I have learned to embrace the present, narrow my focus, and improve my life.
The past is important, because it has helped to shape what I have become, but I can’t go back and change any of it – it’s done and gone forever.
The future is also important, because that’s where I’m heading, but worrying what may or may not happen is counter-productive – especially as it had convinced me many times not to take action and therefore stay in a current comfort zone or rut because it was ‘safer’ to do so.
The most important part of my life, however, is the present – and that is where I have learned (and continue to learn) to focus most of my effort and energy.
Firstly, I have found it is best to focus on one day at a time. Of course, it never hurts to have some ideas for the days ahead, and recall lessons and mistakes learned from days past – but each day when I wake up, the most important day to devote almost all my energies to should be that day. Not tomorrow, which may indeed never come, or yesterday, which is gone forever – but today.
Secondly, a day can still be a long time, so with any large task it helps to break it down into smaller and more manageable units. For me, an hour makes a good unit – it’s a reasonable amount of time in which to focus on something (and preferably just one thing) and get it done (or as much as possible of it done). This has helped me tremendously at work with completing large assignments, working on several projects at once, and getting through intense or long days.
Adopting this strategy has improved my life considerably. Each day is more enjoyable because it becomes the most important day of my life, and living that day hour-by-hour makes it more manageable, varied and (most of all) rewarding.
As I mentioned above, I developed this strategy thanks to therapy. Part of it was from talking with my psychiatrist, and part of it was from reading a particular book that he recommended me.
That book will be the subject of my next thread. Until then, stay well and take care 🙂