So much of our lives can be spent re-living the past, or in the mists of the future that we don’t really enjoy where we are. As children, we long to be more grown-up, and then we think things will be better once we’ve finished all that study and all those exams, when we have a life-partner, when we get that promotion, that different job, when we have children, when the children are grown up…when we retire. Suddenly we’re old, spending large portions of time in nostalgic reverie and…wishing we were younger!
We could do with remembering the words of Alice Morse Earle: “yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”
If we do, not only will we get vastly more enjoyment out of lives, but it will go a long way to reducing any habit of worrying. Living life in day-size chunks is a great way to contain worry. If we concern ourselves with only what needs to be done today, most things can be endured. And, if we do not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fears of, say, the past repeating itself at some time in the future, we will likely find each of our days being a great deal more productive; paralysing anxieties will dissipate. We do not want to get to the end of our lives, and be able to say the same as Michel de Montaigne: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.”
When we dwell on the past, we are much more likely to create similar situations over and over again: our brains work hard to fulfill our expectations. We get more of whatever it is that we focus on. Usually our worries about the future our drawn from our experiences in the past. If we allow ourselves to focus on those, again we are condemning ourselves to repeating that past. To free ourselves, we need to imagine new possibilities, and then consciously let go and focus on the present, on what needs to be done now as a first step towards that newly-imagined possibility.
To find out how Sarah can further help you to combat anxiety, please contact Sarah.