Present Moment Living
The conscious mind loves to live in the future or in the past.
The reality is, the future hasn’t happened, and the past is already done, we can’t do anything to change it, we can only learn from it and navigate differently.
Many of us live in fear and worry about the future, creating what if scenarios in our mind that never actually come true.
85% of the what if scenarios that our mind creates never comes to fruition.
Therefore, we spend 80% of our day worrying about a future that is never going to happen.
This expends our energy and wastes internal resources by spending time ruminating about events that will never come true.
So why then do we do this?
Why is it that our mind wants to obsess over the stories it tells itself about a doom and gloom future that will never actually come to reality?
Why do we instead not sit and daydream about an amazing bright future of all the infinite possibilities that are available to us, why do we spend our time in fear and worry rather than in bliss?
The answer to this is programming. The way we have been programmed since inception, governs our life even into adulthood. The more fearful we are, the more quickly we become programmed.
Our brain also plays an important role in dealing with fear and worry.
In the back of our brain, we have this pea sized part of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala’s responsibility is to analyze information coming in from our external environment and make a decision on whether we are safe or in danger.
The amygdala is designed to decide from the information collected in a split second. It is built for speed not accuracy.
The amygdala is also designed to crave fear and worry.
The more the amygdala is fed fear throughout our life, the more it craves it therefore becoming overactive. An overactive amygdala leads to increased obsessive thinking about what if scenarios that are based in fear, thus creating more anxiety and overwhelm. Once you get on the fear wheel, the amygdala goes wild craving more and more, and it becomes challenging to get off. Before you know it, you are afraid of everything and no longer living because you fear everything – fearing success, fearing traveling, fearing the foods you eat, fearing other people, fearing failure, living in scarcity.
Right now, in today’s society, we are being programmed to constantly live in fear, because when people are in fear they can be controlled.
Meditation is a tool that calms an overactive amygdala and reduces obsessive thinking about what if scenarios. Meditation is a mental exercise that trains the brain to think, process, and react differently.
Present moment awareness is another tool that works to calm an overactive mind.
When the conscious mind becomes stuck in a loop about the future, again a future that hasn’t happened yet, bringing yourself into the present moment is the best way to release the fear of future based thinking. Most of the time the present moment is not as bad as the story the mind has created about the future, so by bringing yourself into the present moment – stating the facts of what is really happening in the present moment, fear, worry and anxiety can be calmed.
This will also work for ruminating over the past and going through all of the should have, could haves and would haves’ scenarios.
When you find yourself worried about the future that hasn’t happened or feeling guilty about the past or just stuck in obsessive thinking, use this statement to bring yourself into the present:
In this present moment ___________________. And then state the facts about the present moment.
Stating factual statements about the present moment, even if it is I am alive and breathing as the fact, calms the mind from getting stuck in the future or the past.
Factual statements rather than a story about what the situation, brings us into the present moment and takes us out of the “story”, the fear, the worry.
Living in the present moment can be a challenging reprogram for the mind, because we are so conditioned to living in the future or staying stuck in past scenarios playing them over and over again in the mind.
Updating this program takes time, patience, and consistency. The more you consistently and diligently bring yourself into the present moment during times when the mind wants to be in the future or the past – you are training the mind muscle to become stronger. Each time you do this you are taking steps toward reprogramming this pattern. Over time this muscle develops, and you will find that you are able to live more in the present and less in the future or past.