Many of the anxieties that we have come from worrying about the future and despair over our past. Two remedies that can solve these issues are letting go of the past and living in the moment. Much easier said than done, however, once committed to these ideas, life will be almost stress-less.
I was king of reliving the past, whether it was at home or in school or work. I would replay the situation except instead of what actually happened, I would go through different scenarios and imagine a different result that would have me better off. The worst part was the additional stress that reliving these situations would produce, much so that I would have an anxiety attack. The past was once present, and once it is no longer present, it is there to teach you right from wrong. You learn from it and then you move on, nothing can be changed by reliving it in your mind and there is no such thing as a time machine.
When mistakes are made, it’s understandable for us to say “coulda, woulda, shoulda”, but learning to let go means, that you made your choice at that time, you commit to the consequences, whether good or bad, and then you live on. Many of us are addicted to living in the past, so it takes a while to break that habit, but sincere effort will have you on your way. My method was to allow the thoughts pass through my mind. See them, but don’t engage them, let them run wild in there looking for someone to play with. Once the thought realizes that it’s alone, then it dissipates. Mediation is huge in relieving this because it allows your mind to rest, after most likely a grueling day. Slowly over time, the thoughts let go because you’ve become stronger in your mind, focused on living in the present moment, comfortable with what you’ve done, right or wrong.
That brings us to the other end of the spectrum, which is our worry about the future. Humans have a fear of the unknown, it scares the shit out of people to not know what their next job might be or who they’ll be sleeping next to the rest of their lives. It’s a lot of the reason why we stay in awful job situations or dysfunctional relationships, better off with the life I know, than the life I don’t.
What people fail to do is question the unknown; why is it considered to be negative? What happens if it’s better than what I currently have or do now? We have this pessimistic view that if we jump off the cliff we’re gonna fall to our deaths, but what happens if we take off and soar? If that was the case, why would birds bother flying?
Living in the present allows us to focus on being the best right now. I found that success occurs when we have a successful day, when that happens and continues, then we have successful weeks, then months, then years, and then a great life. The present takes care of the future, not the other way around.