Here is an exercise that I have been utilizing recently, whenever I deal with any kind of anxiety or worry about the future.
Usually, we worry about the future, based on the assumption that we can predict exactly what it is going to be like. But what we often end up finding out, is that the thing we were ruminating about was not that bad when it finally happened. Other times we realize that we aren’t able to predict the events that we really should be worried about.
We make our plans, and god laughs.
So this is were mindfulness and paying attention to the present moment comes into play.
The following thought experiment, is what I perform in moments of worry in my own life:
- Stop and notice this current moment
- Pay attention to every little detail about this moment you can (sounds, your breathing, the sensations in your body)
- What is good about this moment? What is not happening right now, that you might worry about will happen later on?
- Now think about what is going to happen next. What is the next moment you’ll notice going to be like? How is it going to be different from this current moment?
- If you visualize your future as a long long series of moments that sit like pearls on a string – what are they going to be like? How likely is it, that they will be pretty similar to this moment, which you are grateful for?
If you believe in the power of mindfulness, the lesson here should be, that there is plenty about this current moment that you can find gratefulness in, and that the same is probably true for the next future moment that you will notice.
By extension, your future will most likely be relatively similar to this present moment, if you just take it for what it actually is.