Thursday, May 13, 2010

Live in the Moment...it changes worry and stress

Today
We all sure worry, don't we? We worry about what is going to happen tomorrow (future). We worry about what happened yesterday (past).  I've have been talking to people lately  about anxiety and fear and and most of them seem to be conditioned into the art of worry, too.  We are certainly not alone in that leaking boat.   

Recently I have been thinking about the importance of "living in the moment"; what that concept really means and how it could impact the worry habit.  Here is the deal about living in the moment...you don't get to drag anything from the past or imagine any future bad stuff into the present moment -- it simply is impossible.  To live in THIS moment is to have only what you are experiencing NOW in it.  What is that?  Right now.  Can you really pay off those student loans right now?  Can you save that important relationship right now?  Can you lose that extra 10 lbs. right now?  Can you pay off your mortage right now?  Can you make up for all the crappy stuff you might have done, right now?  I am here to tell you the answer to that is No, nope, uh uh.  The "I should have..." and "what ifs" don't fit into the present reality of right now.  

So, you might ask, what can I do right now, in THIS moment.  You can be still and focus on the good in your life.  This is the "feeling the sunshine on your face" moment, or the "wow, that poppy is a fabulous color of orange" moment, or the "he/she has the most beautiful smile " moment.  If we don't focus on the right now, we might miss the fullness and depth of beauty, grace, friendship, prosperity, love, generosity, and yes, dare I say it...joy held in this one moment.  And, the joy of THIS moment isn't always about other people or things.  It can be about you.  It can be as simple as "I love my hair today" or as moving as the thought, "I am totally in a great place and I know everything will be fine" to "I am so loved and that makes me happy."  

Flip the script, folks...Recognize as you are folding the clothes -- "I am taking care of my family".  Recognize as you are paying bills (ouch) -- "I paid for my phone this month".  Recognize as you are driving to work -- "I have a car".  Recognize as you are preparing your project for presentation -- "I have been given this to do and I can do it well".  Recognize as you are sitting on the patio enjoying the breeze and beverage and beautiful evening -- "this is nice".  Do you see how past events or things that might happen tomorrow don't really fit into this present moment?

So much of the "stuff" we stress about isn't even events or people in our lives... it is about how we think about it that creates the worry.   

Definitions of worry from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
(I kinda relate all of these definitions to what we do to ourselves when we worry...)

1 dialect British : choke, strangle (we are strangling our happiness)
2 a : to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat b : to shake or pull at with the teeth c : to touch or disturb something repeatedly d : to change the position of or adjust by repeated pushing or hauling (we are biting and snapping at ourselves; constantly revisiting the problem or hauling that mental rock up the hill at every opportunity)
3 a : to assail with rough or aggressive attack or treatment : torment b : to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort (we are beating ourselves up)
4 : to afflict with mental distress or agitation : make anxious
 
How can you live in the moment?  Insist on changing the worrying moments into now moments.  Let the past go (what can really you do about it anyway?) and the future unfold, as it inevitably will. 
 
Here are some ideas that may be blocking you from living in and enjoying the moment:
assumptions (thinking you know how something will turn out or why someone said or did something); continually creating drama (take a breath and give the other person(s) a break); taking it all personally (me, me, me, mine, mine, mine -- reminds me of the seagulls and the little NEMO fish); living (rolling around in and wallowing -- oooh, but the mud feels so cool) in the negative; ruminating on the should have, could have, would have, scenarios (two months or one year from now, you won't even remember most of the things that are currently looming so large in your life); pity party -- poor, poor me (aren't you sick of your own misery, yet?  Everyone else is...).  Interesting list, eh?
 
Let's go back to the positive.  Be alert to focus on the good, the happy, the sweet, the things that touch you deeply, the beauty and order of the leaves on the trees.  Good surrounds us and we often run right by it in our rushing thoughts to solve the problem. Oh, and one more thing I have found to be so useful...ask yourself this question..."What am I thankful for?"
 
Oh gosh, wishing you happy, peaceful, satisfying NOW moments.  This is one of them.
 
With respect,
DCR

Thank you to Rice Agency for the photo!
 
   
     

4 comments:

  1. Stillness is as stillness does. People I respect know exactly where their feet are at any given moment. The "now" you describe is where feet are planted. Their comfort comes from hope, awareness and conviction to causes they feel. That comfort seems to translate well into the now. The moments I share with people in the now are greatly respected.

    Very helpful reminder of where to nurture growth. Thank you, DCR!

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  2. Thank you for your comment, TLR. Living in the now is recognizing the ability and capacity to do it. I think most of us have to work at it -- there is so much info available to us and so many people/companies willing to tell us how to think, act, be, buy, respond. Making the choice to live in the moment is also where you learn what YOU think. I love that.

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  3. When they said STOP and smell the flowers, perhaps stop was in regard to stop worrying. :)
    Immediately the John Lennon quote, "Life is what happens while other people are making plans" comes to mind, as that is so true. If we focused more on I'm right where I need to be, instead of How will I ever get there, the journey would be a much more positive one.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Living in the moment is a constantly changing space, which is a fascinating concept. If one ponders it more, no day is ever the same. Good days, bad days, tomorrow is always right around the corner, so soaking up the sunshine sounds beautiful to me. :)
    Thank you, again for your fabulous post! I'm off to water poppies. ;)

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  4. Thanks so much for your comment, ShesAFreeBird. Watering poppies is a fantastic living in the moment activity -- most of us don't even take the time to plant them! Right now is where we make the decisions that bring our tomorrows -- live love, nuture joy, appreciate all the good --we have to work at happiness to bring it into our experience. Here's to you and poppies! DCR

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