Step 2: Create a list of your worries and stressors (for example, Worries and Stressors: deadlines at work, others opinions and expectations of me, wanting to spend more time with family). The purpose of this exercise is to truthfully evaluate what concerns can be dumped from your "worry wagon." After you have created your list, separate the stressors that are past worries — things that happened in the past that you can no longer do anything about. Then, separate from the list the stressors and worries about the future — the things to come of which you have very little or no control. Next, tally up what's left. The remainder of the list should be made up of stressors and worries that are constantly present in your mind — things that never seem to go away. Since you have consciously made yourself aware of your stress inventory, you must realistically let go of the stressors of the past and future. Be honest with yourself and recognize that they are not in your hands, so you have to mentally throw them away — you must learn to let them go. Now, take a good look at the list of stressors and worries that are left. You need to learn to accept them for what they are — the personalities of the people in your life, the deadlines — they are all simply must-have items. You can't control them, but, unlike the past and future worries, they are real. Accept them as the here and now, and deal with them individually as they come in and out of your life. By taking these steps you are starting down a pathway that allows you to be in control of you.
Congratulations! You have just completed a course in self-study. The way to continue to de-stress, to maintain your new awareness and to keep the worries in check is to practice disciplines that allow you to continue to discover, evaluate and improve your new self-awareness. Meditation is one method of practicing this self-maintenance.
Ready for phase two? Go to Meditative Discipline.