Worry is a common struggle in 2020. This year has been strange, hard, and sometimes chaotic. Things are uncertain for many people. Employment can be uncertain and many worry about their health and their livelihoods. Worry is a common stress response. A great way to overcome worry is to stay in the present.
If you focus your thoughts on the “here and now” it is much easier to combat worry. Why? Well what do we typically worry about? Things that have not yet happened. For example, we worry about paying a bill that is due next month.
Or we worry about a friend who pissed us off and now we are filled with anger and resentment. We worry about the past and all our regrets.
We worry about tomorrow and what may or may not happen.
All of this keeps us from the present moment and what is happening in the here and now. This means we miss on opportunities for joy and happiness. Peace and contentment.
Many times, if you observe yourself doing this you will find that you wasted precious minutes, days on something that never happens anyway, meanwhile you missed opportunities in those moments you spent worrying.
“There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.” – Leo Tolstoy
What Is Being Present
Being present means that we are aware and, paying attention to what is happening at this very moment. We are not distracted by the technology, priorities, people, the past, or the future.
Staying in the present takes practice. Being present in the moment you are living in right now can help you feel less worried or anxious.
Some Benefits Of Being Present
Having a richer life experience by turning off “autopilot.”
Less stress and anxiety
Improved focus and attention
Ways To Stay In The Present
Visualize What You Desire For Your Day
Take time each morning to visualize your day. Basically, by focusing on what you want to accomplish, manifest, or create in your day you are by default focusing on the present. Worry is often future based. Attending to what you have going on now in a positive way is a great way to combat worry.
Listen To Your Body
Some people call it a body scan. Basically, tune in to the signals that your body sends you. Do this in the morning. This can be a routine and ritualistic way to help you get your day off to a positive start and reduce worry by being tuned in to your physical self.
While sitting or lying down take slow deep breaths. Note the way your breath enters and exits your lungs. Feel the air intake into your lungs and feel your chest expand.
Do a mental scan from head to toe. This is your chance to check in with yourself, your feelings, and the sensations that you feel.
If your mind starts to wander (and it probably will) bring yourself back to your breathing. It is common that mindfulness, breathing, or meditative activities are a challenge because most of us live busy lives filled with multi-tasking.
This exercise is a good method for entering the present moment mentally. This exercise also teaches you to notice when your body is feeling different than normal. Being attuned to the sensations in your body is great for your health. It is a facet of self-awareness as well.
Write It Out
Journaling can help you clear worries, clarify your thoughts, and focus on one thing at a time. You can use journaling to start your day or to end it in a mindful manner. Take a few minutes of intentional time that you plan in your schedule to write about whatever needs to be expressed on the page. Writing is a great activity to allow you to be present to moments in your life and it’s also a relaxing and therapeutic habit.
If a particular worry is bothering you write about it when journaling. Ask yourself if this worry is reasonable or logical. Is it present based or future based? Think about what would make the worry go away, or somehow make the situation better. After that, leave the worry in the journaling until it’s time to handle the situation.
“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein
Being mindful and present is a great way to combat worry! Remember that it takes work and practice to form the habit of mindfulness. It is worth it to add in the practice of presence in your life. You will live a richer fuller life. You will be calmer and have more peace. Start overcoming worry by being present moment.