“Living in the moment is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”Fictional Ted Lasso on Apple TV
Much has been written about living in the moment to combat anxiety. A former martial arts instructor wisely used to advise us not to wish our lives away. How many of us can’t wait for the weekend, to get past Monday, or to get to hump day? If only we could get to summer, winter, spring, or fall. If we could get to our vacation or favorite holiday. The probably is, we can miss out on what’s happening now. The fictional Yoda warned Luke about always looking to the future.
The problem with thinking too much about the future is that most of us are terrible at predicting what will happen. It can be normal to try and rehearse every possible scenario so we can be prepared. The issue is that worry is like a rocking chair, and it will keep us busy but not get us anywhere. Studies show that the mind doesn’t know the difference between a worry and an event coming true. We can torture ourselves unnecessarily.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have retirement accounts and plans for after-death, retirement, etc. I’m just saying that most of us take worrying about the future to the extreme. Counseling offices are also full of people who lived just for the present and messed up their lives (alcohol, drugs, not saving money). It takes a healthy balance.
Dwelling on the past can also be problematic. Some trauma needs to be processed, but it should ideally be processed in a therapeutic environment. Eventually, we need to learn from the past and then move on.
So don’t wish your life away. Summer may be your favorite season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the spring. If your present is that bad, getting help with improving your mood may make sense.
|Have questions, call 614.327.1600 or contact us|