“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Sometimes when you are faced with setbacks or hardship, you find yourself inevitably worrying about how things will “end up” in the future. Never has this been truer than in my case! On the one hand, it is a person’s natural instinct to be preoccupied with the future when it comes to achieving goals (especially when it comes to looming short-term deadlines), however, on the other hand, it can be needlessly stressful looking too far forwards when you are trying to get through a negative situation or are dealing with a rocky relationship.
I’ve found my mind has naturally been casting itself forwards with a lot of the ol’ “What if…?” questions which can lead to pressure e.g. “What if I run out of time?”, “What if I fail at this?”, “What if they don’t like me?” or “What if they let me down again?” etc.
It happens to everyone at one point or another – these kinds of thoughts all of a sudden popping into your brain. Automatic thoughts can be incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to prevent from occurring, however these worries can be controlled simply by your reaction to them.
I’ve found that the most helpful technique for combating my worries is by doing my best to live in the now and to keep hopeful whenever my mind switches to thoughts of the future. I won’t lie, this is hard to achieve in certain circumstances. Especially if you find yourself around people who like to remind you of your limitations and constantly nag you about “time running out”. These aren’t necessarily negative people who dislike you – I find a lot of the time the people who pressure me the most are actually the people who love me and wish me well, however they just haven’t quite mastered the difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement ha ha!
In any case, I’ve found that so long as I can rely on my own resolve and that voice inside of me which says, “You can do it, Marina!” then a real sense of inner peace washes over me. With positive affirmations to yourself, you can then close the door to whatever worrying thought about the future you had and start to concentrate on right now. Try to appreciate the small things, take stock of your surroundings and remind yourself of all of the things you should feel gratitude for. When you start to truly observe the beauty of the present, it really puts those worries (most of which usually never occur anyway) into perspective.
If you focus on today, this hour, this very moment, and make the effort to do what you know you should be doing – working towards what is important to you and treating your loved ones with the adoration and respect they deserve – then you come to the realisation that no matter what, you are going to have no regrets. If you have your priorities in the right place and make the effort to add positivity to your life and to those of the people around you then that, in my mind, is the true path of living in the now and finding your own happiness. 🙂