I time travel every single day, I hate it.
I need to stop, but there is something so alluring about it. Sometimes I don’t even notice that I am doing it!
I’ll be sitting on the couch, and suddenly I will realize that I am back in high school. My best friend is yelling at me over the phone. “I’m going to kick your fucking ass, get out here Steven.”
He had just found out that I had been seeing his ex-girlfriend for a couple weeks. At this point we had been friends for years. Seven years, maybe eight, I don’t have a good memory. We were so close that people wouldn’t even say my name without his attached. Steve and Tony, Tony and Steve.
Time travel isn’t as hard as it sounds, you probably do it every day as well.
Most of my day I’m not in the present. I spend the bulk of it thinking about the past or future. That’s right, you can time travel to the future as well.
The only problem is that the future you travel to is a desolate wasteland. It is where all of your anxieties lie. Where your fears and worries roam free.
Maybe you are worried about a conversation you are going to have with your boss, maybe you are traveling much further ahead to a life where you have kids you can’t support.
That kind of fear can cripple you.
Don’t time travel too often, it will ruin your present.
When I am thinking about the past, I get this feeling in my stomach. It’s the same feeling every time. I feel as though my organs are trying to reorganize themselves. That is the only way I can describe it.
I haven’t done anything like that in quite a while, so why do I constantly ruin whole days replaying these thoughts in my head. Is it some sort of self inflicted karma? Am I reminding myself never to do it again?
Maybe I need a reminder that time traveling is bad. More reminders, more pain to stop future pain.
It doesn’t make sense.
This is how I stop myself from time traveling, feel free to try some of these out.
1) Let go of things you can’t change.
No matter what you have done in the past, you can’t change it. You may have done some horrible things, but if you continue to allow their shadow to surround your life you will always be unhappy. Unhappy people are more likely to do bad things, that is just the way it is.
You may have ruined your life in the past, that’s okay. It’s over, as long as you don’t let it affect your present.
2) Open your eyes, if the world isn’t crumbling around you be happy.
I know that is a pretty low standard for what you should expect in life but in this exact moment, isn’t it all that matters?
When I was younger I was very sick. Ever since then I have always been grateful just to be alive, but sometimes I lose sight of that. Every once and a while we need to step back from our lives and get some perspective. If you have a home to go to, internet to go on, food to eat and someone to talk to, then you are living a life that most of the world’s population can only dream about.
3) Use the cancel method.
This is something I learned a while ago that I have used hundreds of times. Whenever you are thinking about past regrets or future worries, start thinking the word “CANCEL” as loud as you can in your mind. Let it drown out everything else, do it for five minutes straight if need be.
Once you are done you might not even remember what you were worried about. Good, switch to a happy thought as fast as possible!
4) Count the people and things in your life that you are grateful for.
Try to make this a competition with yourself. Come up with twenty things you are grateful for, then fifty. Write a thank you note to someone. Go up to someone and tell them that the compliment they gave you last month made your day.
I wrote a very personal post recently, there were people who reached out to me and let me know that they feel for me. I appreciate each and every one of those people and I will continue to let them know that as often as possible. A few kind words can change your whole world.
5) Take deep breaths, focus your thoughts on your breathing, and smile.
This is my favorite technique, I use it when I am going deep into the dark places in my mind. Maybe I am the only person who does this often enough that I need this many techniques. Oh well, this one is the emergency brake in my mind.
When things are getting to be too much, no matter where you are, I want you to do this.
Stop everything. Your thoughts, your worries, your fear, your whole life. Use the cancel method if you have to.
Close your eyes, and breathe as deeply as you can. Focus your thoughts on the sound of your breath. Now, no matter how upset you are, I want you to smile. Even if the smile is completely fake and you are about to cry, I want you to put on the biggest smile you ever have in your whole life.
I guarantee if you close your eyes, breathe, smile, and shut out your thoughts you will be able to come back to a center point.
I don’t want you to think that time traveling is always a bad thing.
It can allow you to reminisce about the good times in your life. It can allow you to imagine a future so bright that you are propelled towards it in your present. Today I spent a bit of time in a future where I am knighted by the Queen of England. I was “Sir Farquharson” for real.
Sometimes it is even good to time travel to the bad moments and reflect, but it’s harmful if you spend all day there. Always remember that the present moment is the only thing you have control over.
In an hour I’ll be at work, but for now I am writing this. I feel calm, it’s been a peaceful morning.
I think I’ll stick around to enjoy it this time.