A useful tool when you find yourself stuck in either anxiety or upset is to locate yourself in time. Most upsets, perhaps all of them, have to do with the past. And, if you’re feeling upset, you are probably thinking about something that happened yesterday, a year ago, or ten years ago. On the other hand, all of our anxiety is future focused. Our thoughts like a movie projector are showing us all the things that could go wrong tomorrow, a week from now, and ten years from now. So, locate your thoughts in time. You are always right here, right now, but your thoughts can time travel.
Once you’ve realized how phenomenal a time travel device your mind can be, you’ll likely realize that you have more ability to operate the machine. Some of you might already have some experience with this. Simply noticing if your thoughts are in the past, future, or present is a powerful tool. What usually happens when you do this is that your thoughts come back to the present moment…even if just for a moment. And in that moment, however fleeting it might be, you feel a bit of relief. You can do this practice many times a day. Experiment with it for yourself.
A great tool for strengthening your ability to keep anxious and upsetting thoughts from running your day is meditation. If you have been on the fence about adding a daily meditation practice to your routine, join us on January 10th for an instructional session, and then weekly on Wednesdays. It is the perfect time to join our meditation group because we will be reading Pema Chodron’s book, The Wisdom of No Escape and discussing how to meet the challenges of the mind; including stress, fear, anger, grief, obsessive thought patterns and whatever else comes up.
To returning to this moment!