Why Taking Things One Day at a Time Reduces Stress

Posted: Apr 23 in Lifestyle by

People often flinch amid uncertainty. They prefer knowing what comes next and are perturbed when the future is not predictable. You can’t usually foresee events completely, anyway. But sometimes life steers you to shaky ground. You have far less of an idea about what might occur than normal.

These occasions might stem from unexpected events that shock you, like job loss, an unwanted change in health, fear that spreads in society, or any abrupt lifestyle change you wouldn’t have selected by choice had you the chance not to do so.

Unexpected change and uncertainty increase stress, but you can adapt to unfamiliar circumstances without anxiety if you take things one day at a time.


One day at a time

No doubt, you’ve heard people talk about how they’re “taking one day at a time” after a loss such as a bereavement, or another difficulty.

Their “one step in front of the other” approach helps them cope. Rather than panic, which is what happens if you think too far ahead during stressful events, the adoption of mindfully steering your course little-by-little will reduce fear of what might happen.


Moderate steadfastness

Set the pace with which you approach each day and your mind won’t race ahead and predict catastrophes that might never occur.

Your one day at a time tactic will provide a degree of control–an element lacking if the future is unclear.

Pressure to contemplate potential problems and ignite fight-or-flight decreases when you are mindful to stay present in the moment instead of second-guessing what could go wrong.


Time for gratitude

Slowing into the moment makes room for gratitude. Difficulties might lie behind and ahead of you, but at this precise moment, you’re all right. You are free to note what is right in your life rather than focus on what’s wrong.

Perhaps you have a comfortable home, your loved ones are safe by your side, or you enjoy your job. Maybe your garden, pets, or an enjoyable hobby bring you pleasure and respite. Make a mental list of the agreeable things in your life daily to ease stress.


Recognize small pleasures

Enjoy little pleasures, the kind you might otherwise ignore when you think about the future. The scent of fresh coffee, for instance, and mown grass.

The sound of birdsong or a stream as it trickles, and warm water on your skin when you shower: These pleasant experiences will help you remain present and introduce a feel-good factor during troublesome times.

Knowing you intend to walk in the countryside, sit in your garden, or watch the sun go down while listening to birds from your window can offer solace too.

Your one day at a time practice can also help you sleep. Before you turn out the light, recollect how all is well in the moment. You are all right, and have a safe bed in which to rest, comfy blankets, and nothing to do other than relax.


Uncertainty increases stress and may make you anxious. But you can carry out helpful measures to ease nervousness. Embrace a one day at a time perspective and you’ll manage difficulties with your well-being intact.

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