Continuing on from yesterday’s post, my second theory about time, formulated just last year, is called the Blip Theory. I appreciate that’s not nearly as sexy sounding as “Slowing Time Down”.
I came up with the Blip Theory as part of a series of strategies to start seriously combatting stress.
Over the last few years, it’s become very apparent to me that my body manifests any stress I’m feeling in very annoying and painful – albeit sometimes creative – ways. Eczema, migraines, mouth ulcers, cold sores. You name it, I’ll get it.
Seeing anything in perspective is bound to help you understand and deal with it better, so I saw that as a key strategy: find a way to see my problems or issues in perspective.
People will often tell you the best way to do this is to compare your own problems to the much worse problems of others.
For example, are you stressing about your work? At least you don’t have a terminal illness! Do you have a terminal illness? At least you don’t have a terminal illness in a war-torn country in which there’s no proper healthcare! That sort of thing.
I’ve always found that kind of advice unhelpful. Not having someone else’s problems is not a consolation because I’m not that other person. I’m not living their life. I’m living my own. And my own life stresses me out.
So I came up with my own perspective measure. I started imagining my entire life – from birth to death (in the far, far, distant future!) – as a simple timeline about 30 centimetres in length, each centimetre covering about three years. Then I’d think about where the particular issue that I was stressing about, whether big or small, would appear on the timeline in relation to the rest of my life.
That would then lead to the realisation that most things that I stress about are just little blips in my life that really, in the scheme of things, don’t bear worrying about and certainly don’t warrant getting sick over.
I call that the Blip Realisation, and it leads to the Blip Theory: Time is the measure of perspective by which we should judge all events in our life in order to reduce stress.
When you apply the Blip Theory to the majority of issues that stress you out, you’ll realise that they’re so miniscule in the scheme of your own life that they’re actually not worth stressing over.
I have to confess that sometimes I’m so caught up in the day to day minutiae of my life that I forget to apply it right away. An issue gets the better of me, I start stressing, and my eczema starts flaring up.
Then I remember the Blip Theory, think about my timeline, see the issue in perspective and the eczema, or whatever else has manifested, goes away. The stress dissipates.
It seriously works. Every single time.
PS 1 If you really want to take the Blip Theory to an extreme that will blow your mind, take a look at this fantastic post on wait but why about putting time into perspective. (Thanks to my friend TC for the share via Twitter.)
PS 2 There have been some interesting posts on stress on The Six Element recently that you may like to check out.