We predict, project, and fret and look into our crystal ball to try to see what’s ahead. There are even graphs and charts that show us predictions that scare us.
We don’t need to make up reasons to be anxious.
I remember struggling with staying in the present when Charles was using. My mind skipped forward like a smooth rock on a pond creating outlandishly dramatic future scenarios that made me worry. These did nothing to prepare me or bring me peace.
The truth is, things often don’t turn out as we imagine. It almost always takes an unexpected turn.
- Staying in the moment keeps us more grounded. Depression lives in the past. Anxiety lives in the future. Don’t let your mind steal your precious time. So let’s say you have lunch with a friend but you don’t enjoy it because you are focused on a deadline three days away. That steals your joy and doesn’t allow you to savor the moment you are in.
2. Staying present allows you to be more creative. You don’t second guess yourself, you just do. You explore more because your brain has more room because it’s not crowded and crammed with the past or things you have to do in the future.
3. Staying present allows our relationships to improve. When our minds are elsewhere, we miss what’s happening right in front of us. And when we are fully present, we detach from past experiences, let go of future worries and offer our undivided attention to those with whom we are interacting. They notice. And feel heard and appreciated.
4. Staying in the present helps us be more productive. We are less likely to become overwhelmed if we don’t let our brains lurch forward like a runaway train. Our minds can get tangled in a, “how am I going to get it all done?” mode which chips away at our confidence and sanity. Taking it one day at a time allows us to accomplish things.
What needs attention is where you are right now. The future will take care of itself. And you’ll find more happiness and less anxiety in the present.