Anxiety: Living for the Future

· October 19, 2015

When something important is about to happen to us (or we want something to happen), we often get overtaken by feelings of anxiety. How can we put a stop to this feeling or reaction? With positive thoughts! Do not let anxiety affect your daily life. Continue enjoying your day. Especially the present which, as its name implies, is a gift.

“Live as if you will die tomorrow and learn as if you’ll live forever.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Anxiety, the urge to travel to the future

If we had a machine that traveled to the future, we’d spare a lot of our nerves! It’s true, but it’s also true that we wouldn’t enjoy anything because aside from reaching our goal, the time traveled is what really counts.

Imagine any goal (a wedding, graduation, the birth of a child) as the chosen destination for our vacation. We’ve just gotten on our means of transportation to get to our destination (a marriage proposal, beginning to study, getting pregnant), and we already want to set foot on the beach, the mountains or wherever we’ve decided to go.


What about the journey by plane, train or car? We want it to go as quickly as possible (especially if it takes a long time to get there)! But the trip is also part of the vacation.

Therefore, the wedding planning, studying for the exams or the child’s growth in the womb are beautiful moments worth enjoying because afterwards they won’t happen the same way again. Of course we can re-marry, study something else or have a second baby, but it won’t be the same.

If we learn to master anxiety, all of our trips will be beautiful, entertaining and we’ll enjoy them to the fullest. When we are anxious and nervous it’s because we have an “excess” of desire for the future because we think that the present, today, is not important, but rather the means of getting to that other destination.

anxiety2-420x281

 

But actually, happiness disappears from our lives when we constantly put it before the present.

I’ll be happy when I get married, when I graduate, when the baby comes. Why not be happy now while organizing the guest list, reading notes or while getting an ultrasound?

Anxiety is the unconscious mechanism we have to warn us of something that is threatening us. Excessive anxiety can develop into a chronic condition; we become anxious all the time over anything. Nail biting, smoking more, wiping out the food in the refrigerator, being unable to sleep, having trouble concentrating at work or with studying, not paying attention to what we’re being told or what’s right in front of us, hair loss, dark circles, tachycardia. These can all be symptoms of an anxiety problem.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that by 2020, both anxiety, depression and stress will be the three essential factors to understanding how diseases develop. They alone will be the reason for the high level of frequency and risk of cardiovascular problems.

Remember that anxiety itself is not negative, the problem is when it is very intense or when it remains over time. Doctors indicate that not all anxiety is bad, but that it’s important to know how to regulate the dosage. However, even low levels of anxiety takes us away from the present moment, and prevents us from fully enjoying the here and now.

So, how do we manage our anxiety levels? First, by understanding that the future will come sooner or later. Second, remembering that what we do today helps us to be at that place tomorrow. The third aspect is related to enjoying every moment of each day.

Don’t forget that lost time cannot be returned. What good is it to think about tomorrow if you haven’t enjoyed today yet?