“I’m really going to miss this place.” She said, whether to herself or me I never found out.
As she was looking down at the ground in sadness I looked out beyond the horizon and marveled at what I consider to be God’s most wonderful creation: the ocean. When I observed her obvious worrying, I wondered if she saw what I saw, but I too had fallen victim to what she was experiencing: worrying about the future and not enjoying the here and now.
This was something I used to suffer from, and learned how to deal with only about a year before this incident.
Here are a few ways I try to focus on being in the present. These practices have helped me find my center and bring balance back to my life.
Figure it out what it is that you are truly worried about
Do you fear failure, rejection, or loneliness? Whatever the cause of the fear is, once you can identify it, you can face that fear accordingly. For example, if you are afraid of moving to a new place out of fear of being alone, produce a benefits list of accomplishments you can do while you are living in solitude.
Exercise forces you to be in the now because you cannot reach your desired result until you leap over a few hurdles. This mindset is in literally every exercise whether it is cardio, weightlifting, yoga, martial arts, or some type of outdoors activity. Chances are high that when you are done exercising, your body will release so many endorphins that you won’t even remember what you were worried about in the first place.
Meditating is similar to exercising in that it forces you to be in the now, but different in the way your brain responds. While you meditate, whether it is for five minutes or twenty, you are called to empty your mind of all worry and stress, and to focus on your present state of being. Personally, I have had many experiences where I have been stressed out from a specific task, combat this stress by meditating for a mere ten minutes, and come back to finish the task in an efficient manner.
Think about where you a year ago today
Whenever I worry about the future, I think about where I was a year ago from where I am today. As I mentioned earlier, I was planning on moving out of the country, and was worried about so many things that would prevent me from moving, but I ended up choosing not to leave! And remember my friend who was worried about leaving California? She also stayed! Many things we worry about don’t come into existence, and if they do it is usually from circumstances that are beyond our control.
If we worry about the future, we miss out on living in the present. So prepare for the future, learn from the past, but live in the present.