Many people often feel like they are living for others and for the future, and as a result they are unable to live contentedly and in the moment. I have felt this feeling many times as well, and I know of the difficulty that this poses to your overall well being, relating both your mental and physical health. However, I have strove long and hard to try to bring my self back to reality and the present moment whenever I feel caught up in such a stirring of worrisome thought using a few strategies that work very successfully for me, and for many people who I have asked to try and implement as well.
1. Consciously Remind Yourself to Think in the Present
This may be one of the quickest and most easiest methods of bringing yourself back to present thought and ridding persistent worry. Whenever you find yourself contemplating about the future and possibilities for too long, and in a non-constructive manner that is seemingly harmful, just remind yourself that it is no matter, and to concentrate on things right in front of you. Whether that means to stare at the details on the walls, or read a book, or talk to some people or even yourself, do what it takes to try to remember your best self is that in the very present moment. This method will often help you if your anxiety is not too bad or engrossing, and is often what most people need on a daily basis to help them get through their day. If your anxiety is not going away after trying this for a while, read on.
This is one of the best methods for removing those constant negative thoughts that seem to just not go away. This method will require a bit of time and patience, but guaranteed, this will help 90% of those with difficult anxiety to feel some relief. There are many guides to proper meditation, however I will outline a simple method that will grant you most of the benefits of meditation with little pre-planning and practice. The most important rule of meditation that I have observed is to put myself in either a place or position where I will not be disturbed and/or I will be forced to concentrate on my meditation. This can mean visiting a sauna or steam room, if you have access, as such an environment is very conducive to still thought due to the very high temperatures that allow your mind to sit still. If you do not have access to such a facility, find a quiet room, turn on a fan or some other source of gentle, repetitive noise, that will allow you to clear your mind.
Following putting yourself in a suitable environment, sit down, crossing your legs if possible, and sitting up with your back erect as possible with a strong arch forming in your back. Now, that you are in a totally optimal position, close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply, inhaling through your nose for 3 seconds, and exhaling through your mouth in a gentle blowing motion for 3 seconds. Continue to breathe in this pattern, paying close attention to the air going in through your nostrils, and the cool air leaving your lips. By doing this for a while, you will begin to notice that you are completely in tune with your breathing, and that is all your mind is thinking about.
If this is your first time, try to do this for 5 minutes straight, setting a timer beforehand, and allowing yourself to not worry or concentrate on anything else but your breathing for that 5 minutes. If you continue to do this, you can increase the positive effects by concentrating your energy and focus on the region between your eyebrows while your eyes remain closed. If your anxiety does not go away, try to do 3 sessions of 5 minute meditations or a 10 minute session, taking careful aim to concentrate on your breathing and the region between your eye brows.
A classic method that is tried and tested by many, a simple walk to a full on sprint for any given amount of time is a no-frills way to exhaust yourself and your thoughts in the process. I personally like to spend time exercising outside if possible, and just absorb the nature and settings around me, and just appreciate the beauty that is ever present in our daily lives. By concentrating on just the positives, you allow yourself to feel warm and thankful for all that you have, and spending a few minutes outside really allows us to engross ourselves in those feelings, and really letting those constricting thoughts that many of us have to just escape our minds.
People often ask if listening to music is suitable, and I say it is up to you, but preferably keep the volume low and the music positive so that you can fill yourself with good vibes and a capability to listen and feel the nature and environment around you as you exercise.
4. Eat Food
Eating food might seem like a weird way of coping with difficult thoughts, but I have found that eating rich, wholesome food that I truly enjoy, allows me to delve my energies into the tasteful explosions going on in my mind, rather than thinking about the past or future. In addition, food provides a good dopamine boost, which is always a good deal when it comes to depressive or worrisome thinking.
5. Watch Comedy
One of the biggest tips that psychiatrists and therapists give to those struggling with severe anxiety is to involve themselves in comedy, either telling jokes, or watching and listening to comedy. I personally love to watch some good, light-hearted comedy, usually some satire or stand-up, avoiding overly crude and/or difficult comedy, as it can often mess with your thoughts, given that they are not in the best mood.
Great comedy can be found all over the internet, as well as on Television, with great works available on YouTube and Comedy Central.
Overall, do what it takes to try to bring yourself to present consciousness, and please let me know via the comments section how these strategies fared for you, and if you have any good suggestions for others struggling with such issues.
And don’t forget: take it easy, because in the end, everything’s good.