How often do you find yourself worrying about some that *might* happen? "My daughter is sick so I *might* get sick" or "If I go to this party I *might not* have anyone to talk with" or any version of "I am not enjoying this present moment because of something that *might* happen in the future"...
Another way that this "future focused" worry shows up is with the phrase "What if...?". How many times a day to you find yourself questioning "What if...?" "What if...my car breaks down?" "What if....I forget to pick up my daughter from school?" "What if....no one shows up to my presentation?" "What if...I get hurt?" "What if....I fail?"
When we are "future focused" and feeling stressed about what *might* happen or asking the question "What if...?", we can be pretty darn sure that our Anxiety is in the driver's seat. This version of our Anxiety is called "Anticipatory Anxiety" and it is one of the most Annoying Versions of our Anxiety! It spends so much time and energy getting us to get our panties in a wad about what *might* happen that we are unable to simply *be* in the present moment. Guess what folks? The only place where we have any ability to actually live is....wait for it....IN THE PRESENT MOMENT! When Anxiety distracts us from the Actual Present Moment by encouraging us to Worry about the Future...it is stealing our lives, stealing joy, stealing our ability to live and simply *Be*. It is making our world smaller and smaller. It is like we are paying interest on a debt that we may never actually owe!
The other thing that Anticipatory Anxiety does to us is to distract us from knowing that if the dreaded thing that we worry *might* happen actually does happen WE WILL KNOW (OR FIGURE OUT) WHAT TO DO! Anticipatory Anxiety convinces us that we are stupid or incompetent when, in Reality (also known as The Present Moment) we are all Way More Competent than we give ourselves credit for!
Think about the last time something "bad" (I am using this term for simplicity....we may have a lesson on how I don't believe in "good" vs. "bad" very soon...) happened. Did you handle it? Deal with it? Come to a resolution? Yeah, I thought so! It was probably Uncomfortable for a moment or two (OK, maybe for even longer than that...) AND you dealt with it and it is over and behind you now. You are capable and competent and you dealt with whatever happened. Oh, and guess what? Any worrying that you did before that "bad" event....it is not what assisted you in dealing with the event....you did that on your own....in the Present Moment!
So how do we break our Worry Habit and learn to spend more time enjoying our lives in The Present Moment? Here are some ideas for you:
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor