Are you being robbed? Robbed of the present by worrying about the future?
It is common enough. We all do it. No need to beat yourself up at the pointlessness of it – instead explore it a bit more.
We live our lives in each moment we have – there is only ‘now’. And yet our minutes, hours and days are sometimes consumed not in the ‘now’ but worrying about what might be in the future. If we get into the habit of worrying, we are actually living not in the present moment but a fearful imagined future.
So what can we do when we find ourselves worrying? Firstly label it as such. ‘I am worrying about x’. Now instead of putting your energy into worrying, imagine a future that is wonderful – your fears are not realised and all is well. Got it? Now what could you do today – with all that energy you are not going to waste on worrying – to bring about that wonderful future? A simple action enabling you to live in the present – and help create a better future.
Here’s an example. It’s summer. Lots of us will have outdoor events planned. Our worry could be ‘it might rain and ruin everything’.
Step 1, label it: ‘I am worrying about rain ruining the day.’
Step 2, imagine a better outcome: ‘Even if it rains, it will still be fun if we are under cover.’
Step 3, do something about it today: call that friend and borrow that gazebo!
When you find yourself worrying, don’t let it drift. If you do, you are a willing conspirator in a plan to rob you of the present. And it is after all, all we ever have.
Join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness tonight, Monday 22 July, at 7.30 pm at the Oasis in Cheltenham. Our theme is living in the present moment while also helping to create the future. We will laugh and learn together – to book email firstname.lastname@example.org