Learn how to become less anxious and more productive so that you can be more successful. You can be calmer, more in charge, happier, and more present by learning how to be present.
The present is all that we have. Every precious second and every nanosecond of it is ours to use as we wish. But that is only possible if we can stay in the present mentally and have control over our thoughts.
It’s a great deal to be more present. This helps reduce anxiety and increases pleasure. This is how to feel less anxious and freer.
How To Live In The Present
1. Keep In Touch With Yourself Regularly
You can ask yourself this question several times throughout the day, no matter what is happening.
This inquiry is meant to help you stay grounded in the present. I suspect that you will find yourself asking this question a lot. Instead of worrying about the future or past, worry about the present. Or ruminate about the fight you had with your partner or the fender-bender that occurred last week.
Truth is, most of the time we do okay emotionally. While life isn’t always exciting or glamorous, it’s not boring.
We can still find ways to feel happier even when we are doing unpleasant tasks or feeling unwell. This is done by paying attention to the good things about us.
Although the date or presentation may not go according to plan, it is possible to make things work out for now. Your life may be impacted by last week’s car accident or your argument with your partner, but for now, it’s likely to run smoothly.
2. Recognize The Purpose Behind Anxiety
Anxiety stems from the perception of an emotional or physical threat to oneself. Perception is the keyword. You will feel different about going to a party that you have been wanting to go to for years than if you are being dragged by your partner to the same party you’ve been anxiously awaiting for months.
Anxiety is an evolutionary inner experience that allows us to survive. It serves no other purpose. It keeps us alive and thrives when it functions optimally. It pushes us into the future, and out of our physical presence, when it fails.
Fear is different from anxiety. Fear is an automatic physiological response that you have to danger. You run toward the door of the Safari bus as a Safari lion attack you. At 2 a.m., your house alarm sounded and your heart began to beat wildly.
While you might experience physical sensations and anxiety, it is not the same thing as fear. Anxiety is not caused by actual imminent harm, but thoughts about the future that cause discomfort.
It is important to know the difference between anxiety and fear so you can stay present. You can be sure that fear will take control if you are in a truly frightening situation.
3. Anxiety Is Futile
If we are sufficiently worried, we believe we can make the future work for us. This magical idea of time travel is based on the following: If I am able to think about it enough now, then when it happens, everything will be fine.
It is important to plan ahead for everything that might go wrong, whether it be on your wedding day, your new job, your annual bash for employees, a date with someone you love, or driving to another state to visit your friend.
We know we cannot control our lives and we end up relying on worry to help us achieve success. We give worry power that isn’t due, we believe our thoughts can change our destiny, and give them a life of theirs.
It feels better to worry than do nothing, feel helpless, despair, or experience futility. To combat the dreadful feeling that things won’t or can’t go our way, we worry. We worry because it has become a routine and we don’t realize it’s harmful, unnecessary and waste our time.
4. Worrying Is Not A Solution
Worrying is an ill-advised attempt to be less anxious. It occurs in a closed-loop mental loop that generally produces more anxiety. It is an internal process and an intra-psychic phenomenon.
Thoughts race around like a dog following its tail. Although we can imagine many outcomes and scenarios, our agita persists so we keep trying to find better or more effective solutions.
It’s like trying to predict the weather when you’re indoors. You can’t. To find out, you need to go outside.
Problem-solving happens outside of your mind, in the real world. You can solve problems by planning, developing coping skills, and preparing yourself with many Plan Bs.
But, it is impossible to know if your strategies will work (and reduce anxiety) until they are tested where problems are occurring, that’s, out in public. You can only determine if your ideas work by taking your show to the streets.
5. Mindfulness Can Increase Attention To The Now By Increasing Mindfulness
Physically, there is no other place than the present. Our minds can drift to the past, or unintentionally catapult into future, and we lose touch with the present moment.
This dynamic can be stopped by paying attention to what you are doing. Pay attention to the details around you and remain present.
Keep your mind clear of future events when you are completing a task. Take each moment and experience life as it comes. Chronic anxiety can lead to chronic anxiety. We are not always present at the moment, no matter how far we travel in the future.
We are anticipating the future and trying to control it. Being mindful allows us to live life to the fullest, moment by moment.
6. To Stay Present, Focus On Your Senses
To be less anxious and connect to the now, you can focus on your senses: smell, sight, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. Grounding ourselves sensorially allows us to shift our focus away from trying to control the past to be present in the moment.
To that end, ask these five questions when you feel anxious to help you stay present.
What do you see? Look around at the world. You are not stuck in time. Describe what you see and call it by its name. Make a mental sketch. A client might say to me, “I see you in the brown chair, the woody picture above your desk, and your ceiling fan.”
What sounds do you hear? Pay attention to the sounds around you. Do not settle for the first sounds you hear. Instead, try to find background noises like distant voices, cars passing by, or the whirring of an air conditioner. Relax and enjoy the moment if you don’t sense any danger.
What can I smell? You can ground yourself in the moment by taking a deep, sighful breath or sniffing the air. It will surprise you at the scents that linger in the air: perspiration, perfumes, and auto exhaust. Relaxation can also be achieved by taking deep breaths (in clean air).
What do I feel through touch? Consider the sensations you feel through touch. You can imagine being attached to the present and the earth. You have your feet planted on the ground. How do your feet feel? What textures do you feel? Are they rough or smooth, hot or cold? Soft or hard?
What am I tasting? Mindful eating is key to staying in touch with our appetite cues. It allows us to eat what we love and need. Anxiety can lead to a craving for food. When you feel anxious eating, shift your attention to the taste, texture and feeling of food. Don’t confuse hunger with anxiety if you don’t feel hungry. You can find other ways to calm your anxiety.
What Steps Can You Take To Be Less Anxious?
To be more present and less anxious, you need to adopt a two-pronged approach. You can do this by noticing and not attaching to your “what if” thoughts or distracting yourself with more positive thoughts.
This involves focusing your mental energy away from the future and the thoughts that are going on in your head and becoming completely absorbed in the moment. You’ll be able to do both with practice.
What steps are you taking in order to be less anxious? Let me know in the comments section below.