Limit Negative Thoughts by Focusing on the NOW
When you feel anxious or worried, what do you find yourself picturing?
More often than not, it’s a problem or source of stress that has not even happened. We spend huge amounts of time worrying about what’s to come… but that only gives the stress/worry power over us.
Having to “wait and see” is really hard for many of us to do, which is why I always recommend spending as much time as possible in the present! By grounding ourselves and bringing ourselves back to the present, we can play a more active role in our own lives.
Take control with these tips on how to alleviate stress by focusing on the here and now.
Ground Yourself in the Now
If you feel yourself getting wrapped up in the future too much, the first step is to ground yourself. This doesn’t just have to be a reactive effort - being proactive can help your days stay far more focused.
Starting your day with ten minutes of meditation or spending time on mantras for yourself can help you feel much more focused and present. By making it part of your daily routine, you ensure you always stay grounded.
For the times when you might need some extra help, carrying out grounding exercises like “counting everything you can see that starts with the first letter of your name” can help you to come back to the present. This is especially helpful if you find yourself struggling with anxiety.
Plan With Purpose
Staying grounded in the present doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the future. It only means you should think about the future in a purposeful way.
For example, staying up late at night worrying about a meeting or event happening next week doesn’t serve you. However, carving out an extra hour in your day to practice your speech or chat with a trusted friend about your nerves could alleviate the stress.
It’s all about putting your energy into something productive, rather than wasting it on worrying that won’t help.
Another fantastic way to be present in the here and now is to actively be thankful for what we have. Gratitude lists are an excellent way to do this and another tip you can add to your daily routine.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in future plans and stresses, that we forget to value what’s right in front of us. Small things like having a roof over your head, family around you, and food to put on the table are absolute necessities that we can easily take for granted.
You can even start today by letting me know what you’re thankful for in the comments!
For now, I’ll leave with you a quote that I myself try to live by.
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” - Roy T. Bennett