You’re anticipating it happening. That date or event in your future that’s occupying so much space and energy in your mind.
There’s something exciting, or nerve racking, about it, and it’s causing you to worry.
Will it go well?
Are you prepared?
Is it going to be as great, or as horrible, as you’re imagining it to be?
The challenge with giving so much energy to some future date or experience is that you miss what’s happening right in front of you. From the mundane to the magnificent, things are happening right now and they’re equally as deserving of your attention.
When you’re used to worrying, spending more time in your thoughts than you are experiencing the physical space you’re actually existing in, you may need some practice to retrain your mind to focus on what matters most to you right now.
So if you don’t know where to start, here’s how to stop worrying about the future in a few practical steps.
1. Focus on what you can control
When you’re worried about what will happen in your future, you have to remember that there are millions of things that could take place. And there’s no way that you can think through, or worry about, all of them.
The one thing you can do is focus on what you can control. How do you want to show up for this day or experience? Have you prepared so that you’ll feel confident when the time actually arrives? Do you need to communicate with others who can help you now or during the day or event you’re worried about?
Being intentional about spending time here, focusing on what you can control will help you show up well for whatever will take place in the future.
2. Be in the present moment
You have enough distractions in your daily life. You don’t need to sabotage yourself by remaining in a continuous worried state.
When you’re fully present, you get to actively participate in your life instead of remaining reactive to the things that take place. Because without your engagement in this moment, every thing is startling, unexpected or unpleasant. You’re not making conscious decisions that guide you toward where you want to go. You’re passively engaging with a state of being or existence that hasn’t even taken place yet. And you miss the opportunity to experience a deep sense of gratitude for what is, as you prepare for what’s to come.
3. Write down all of your thoughts
Sometimes those worries just need a place to go. After you’ve got all of those worries out, ask yourself what’s the absolute worst thing that could happen regarding this particular day or event. Then remind yourself that you’ll still be loved, have the opportunity to try again and learn from the experience regardless of the outcome.
Failing, experiencing unexpected outcomes or having things turn out differently than what you imagined simply adds more context to your story. But in no way do they define you or your worth.
Writing out your worries help you feel a sense of relief or get to the root of what you’re really worrying about so you can heal it.
So give yourself some breathing room as you focus on what you can control, practice being present in the moment and write down your worried thoughts.
The future will come with it’s own set of attention requiring details, so center your thoughts, energy and attention to the life unfolding before you right now.
Do you worry often? How does worrying make you feel? Tell me in the comments below.