Lately, I’ve felt so consumed by events in my past as well as fixating on how those will subsequently affect my future, all the while missing out on things happening right now. I know that saying to live in the moment is much easier said than done, but I think that it’s important to focus on life right now, today and stop letting the past bring us down. Planning for the future is great, but it can get out of hand when you find the days whizzing by as if they never happened.
For me, the month of August took a turn for the worst and became one of the busiest and most stressful months of the year thus far. Rather than slowing down and enjoying each day as the summer became shorter, I was so hyper focused on figuring out situations I didn’t need to worry about just yet, and the month blew past me. I was at the beach yesterday and I was about to go through my emails, and I had to stop and realize that I don’t have many beach days left this summer, and I wanted to enjoy it. That’s when I kind of realized how I was a bit too focused on everything but right now, and that there’s peace in living in the moment.
We can’t change the past, what’s in the past stays there and we can’t do anything about it after the fact. The mistakes we have made will shape us and teach us to do better and approach things in a different way; no one walks through life without mistakes that they’ve learned from. That’s how I try to look at it, anyway. The things we can’t change and can’t control don’t deserve the time we spend worrying about them. There’s a rule I like to follow when it comes to worrying about things: will it matter in 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years? That usually determines how much time I will spend on something. If it won’t matter a few weeks from now, there’s no point wasting time on it right now.
Again, much easier said than done, so I’ve gathered some resources I think will help with feeling anxious or worried about past or future events. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one tool that I found to be incredibly helpful when it comes to worrying about things and how to deal with those thoughts and behaviours. You can access some CBT tools here:
In terms of fearing the future, I find that it’s a good practice to be prepared and plan ahead, but to leave the worrying for when those future things take place. Rather than spending time worrying and fearing the “what if” situations, be prepared for those of course but expect the best! I think that we take up too much of our own time either procrastinating or just thinking negatively about the future, and we can bring that negativity into our lives without meaning to. Have a plan and keep it within a few weeks ahead to avoid becoming overwhelmed and use tools to help you cross things off your to do list. One of my favourite tools for planning is Notion, you can check it out here:
Lastly, being present is much more than just sitting around and thinking about right now. It’s taking part in the things going on around you, having conversations with your friends and family and giving them your undivided attention. I think our phones and devices are a huge deterrent from us living in the present moment, because we are constantly consuming information and content from the past, present and future. Our devices and social media pull us away from the present and contribute to a lot of anxiety for people. I find that when I do take breaks from my phone and social media, I feel more connected to those around me and the things going on in my life.
Living in the present moment is so important when life is so short, we must be able to enjoy right now, and be ready and excited for everything that’s to come in our future. Try taking a break from your past and future and be present in the moment right now!