Many times in life I find myself anxious. The anxiousness usually has to do with my future. In those times I often see that the reason behind my feeling is that I am not doing what I am supposed to do right now in order to secure the future I want.
One practice that has helped me think with simplicity and clarity on this has been the practice of detachment.
One thing I find to be true is that I know what I am supposed to do. I know I should wake up early in the morning and workout and in order to do this, I also know that I should go to sleep at an appropriate time. I know that I should write at a certain time instead of spending another 20-30 minutes on the internet which usually bleeds into being an hour or more. I know I should be reading when I am not. I know I should be studying instead of killing time doing something that will bring almost zero benefits to my future but does bring this instant pleasure. I know the vegetables are there when I’m eating chocolate or that water is waiting for me as I drink more soda.
For these reasons, I’ve found detachment to be helpful. The purpose of detachment is to take a step back from yourself and view yourself and your actions from an outside point of view. To see yourself wasting time, procrastinating, feeding into the bad habits, those habits which you are reinforcing and make it only harder for yourself to get better. When you are detached, it is almost like a reset button. You see yourself being something you should not be and you call yourself out on it. You pause and see your actions for what they are, hurtful, and you change, right at that moment and do what you need to do. Detachment is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. So one has to spend time developing the muscle, working it out, practicing it so eventually, it becomes second nature, like breathing.
Essentially, everyone needs that friend, a good friend, who is willing to call you out on your flaws and bad habits in order to see you improve as a human being. That is what a good friend is. However, this friend does not have to be a person outside of you. The idea is that you become your own good friend. What that does is it awakens trust in your own judgment, in your gut, in your actions for you know that if you are doing something wrong, there will be a voice in your head checking your actions and if you trust this voice, it will better you. You can then rely on yourself. You can have confidence in yourself that if things are not going as you wish them to go then you can implement a change in behavior or habit that moment and start working on the positive things.
Of all the advice I have come by, this one keeps coming back to me. I often need reminders for the current age we live in, it is easy to forget and be distracted. Before I would need to go through books or videos trying to find someone, some word or something that would put me on the right path. But now, it is simple. I can sit down and make a list of thing I should do and a list of things I should not do. Detaching from the current situation it is easy to come up with the good and bad. Easy to make up what my ideal day looks like. After that, it is just a matter of discipline to stick with the good for as long as you can.
That anxious feeling goes away when I have mostly good days, productive days. Every now and then when I do slip up and perhaps have a few consecutive days of nothingness, it has become easier to stop myself.
That is what it comes down to. Having more better days than bad ones. It’s a simple concept. Detachment has been essential in limiting those bad days.
Every day there is probably a new person telling someone what to do and what the proper way to live life is. They might be right or they might be wrong. For me, it is about finding what you mesh with, what attracts you, something that you can do with as little resistance as possible for that is human nature. If something is too difficult we easily fail to adapt it. Detachment has not been difficult, in fact, it has been the opposite, a simple exercise to bring order in life.