How to Live in the Present Moment: Let Go of the Past and Future [Letting Go Series Part 1]

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.

Life is always unfolding in the present moment.

…In each breath you take… each memory you create… each moment you experience…

Yet, we often forget this. You move through time without realizing the precious minutes passing. You forget to observe all that is around you. So many valuable moments go unseized.

Why is it so hard to live in the moment? 

The answer often has to do with which time frame you’re living in. Instead of living day by day, you’re stuck in the past. And present circumstances have you feeling worried and anxious about the uncertain future.

But the past has already happened. And the future is yet to come. It’s time to shift your focus and learn how to live in the present moment. 

“Time is a precious commodity,” wrote Dr. Elyssa Barbash in Psychology Today. “Don’t mentally rush through it or wish it away. Savor the moments”. Here are a few tips to help you cherish the fleeting, but beautiful moments you live every day.

Ease Your Worry and Anxiety and Learn How to Live in the Present Moment With These 5 Tips

#1 Let Go of the Past

How can you turn the page when you’re flipping through the previous chapters? Click To Tweet

How can you turn the page when you’re flipping through the previous chapters? 

When you’re stuck on what has already passed, you deny yourself of the possibilities in this present moment.

If there’s a memory you’re holding onto, let go.

If you’re holding onto resentment because of an unhappy childhood, let go.

If you’re holding onto anger because a close friend wronged you, let go.

If you’re holding onto fear because you made a terrible mistake, let go.

If you’re holding onto doubt because you tried and failed, let go.

Letting go is key to accepting what has passed so that your focus can arrive at the present moment.

#2 Choose to Forgive

If you feel that someone has hurt you, forgiveness can seem nearly impossible. How can you forgive when you’re experiencing deep hurt, anger, and even resentment? And you have every right to feel this way.

Yet, remember that holding onto the past might lead you to miss incredible opportunities in the present moment. Opportunities that could manifest more beauty and love and compassion in your life today.

But how do you do it? How do you forgive somebody when the memory feels fresh and your heart still aches?

Try this.

With a pen and paper, find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. In this safe space, write a letter to the person who hurt you.  Share your emotions. Explain how they hurt you and why you feel this way. Don’t hold back. At the end of the letter, write “I forgive you.”

Once you’ve finished, you can make the choice to send the letter or not.

Whether you send the letter doesn’t matter because forgiveness does not have to involve the other person. Forgiveness is a decision you make.

And you may not feel like you’ve moved on the first time; you may need to write another letter. Forgiveness is a process. Yet, each letter you write permits negative emotions to flow out of your heart and to ink on paper.

Eventually, you release yourself from the overwhelm of those negative emotions. You liberate yourself, so you can appreciate what is happening in the here and now.

#3 Plan for the Future, But Live Day by Day

No matter how well you prepare, the future is never guaranteed. Especially in these present times, much of the future holds uncertainty. This realization might leave you feeling helpless… hopeless, even.

But constant worrying about the future can blind you from the countless blessings touching your life today. Right now, you’re still breathing. You still have your loved ones. And you can still cultivate a sanctuary of love and compassion within yourself.

The future is yet to come. However, these things are within your power at this very moment. 

So, plan for the future. And also practice daily habits that keep you grounded in the present. 

For example, you can create long-term goals that stretch months or even years into the future. Yet, there are rituals you can practice each day that will shift your attention back to the present:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Enjoying a hobby
  • Strolling outside in the sunshine

These small, daily habits are a reminder that the present is unfolding now — don’t let these moments go uncherished.

#4 Treasure Your Relationships

You’re born, and then you die. In the middle is where the magic happens. In the middle, you and your loved ones forge powerful bonds and create unforgettable memories. These memories remind you of the beauty and temporal nature of life. 

Show gratitude for the support systems you’ve cultivated by sharing your time. Especially now with physical distancing, a video call where you can see each other’s faces and hear each other’s laughter can feel like you’re in the same room. Having your loved ones with you is a blessing. Treasure them and they will keep you grounded in the beauty of the present moment.

#5 Fully Immerse Yourself in Creative Flow

One of the best ways to root yourself in the present moment is tapping into your creative flow.

Think about it.

Have you ever thrown yourself into a passion project, looked up, and it’s already dark outside? You lost track of time because you were so immersed in your endeavor.

Your mind was neither stuck in the past nor projected into the future. You were focused entirely on the here and now.

If you find yourself revisiting the past or worrying about the future, nurture a hobby. Expressing your creativity may be what you need to help you live in the moment.

What is something you practice in your life to help you feel more present? Share it in the comments below.

Shift Your Attention to the Here and Now

When you shift your attention to the present, beautiful things happen.

You begin to appreciate the moment fully. You can pause, take stock of your life, and realize the number of blessings that touch your life every day.

You have your health. You have your loved ones. And you have a beautiful voice inside you proclaiming  how strong, wise, and powerful you are.

Living in the present moment lets you practice daily gratitude and love yourself as you are.

In these uncertain times, it’s understandable to feel fear and anxiety. If you need additional support guiding your focus back to the present moment, then claim my gift of an “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session. 

In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
  • Tap into greater energy and inspiration 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to sign up for a Complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session.

 

Your Anxiety Could Be A Sign Of Burnout (Plus A Bonus: Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety)

You wake up with your heart pounding out of your chest. You’re shaky and feel like you’re going to jump out of your skin. Constantly on edge, you can’t settle yourself. You’re a nervous wreck, overwhelmed with all the commitments you’ve made, and the most annoying thing is that the anxiety is preventing you from fulfilling upon your promises.

Each day there’s another blast of anxiety. It’s become as much a part of your life as shallow breathing. And the only way you know how to stop the nerve-wracking jumpiness is to take a Xanax. After all, wasn’t that what it was prescribed for? But you really don’t like taking medication and each day you resist until you can no longer function without it.

I get it! This was what my anxiety looked like… and it wasn’t pretty.

And here’s the important point: my anxiety was a symptom of burnout, and I didn’t know this until it was too late… until I hit full-blown burnout. Burnout is a serious condition which has the potential to wreck your health and well-being. Don’t let this happen to you!

The Link Between Anxiety And Burnout

Anxiety, if you don’t tend to it, can lead to burnout because it weakens your body’s ability to function as well as its designed to. Burnout can trigger or amplify anxiety. Before burnout, I occasionally felt a low level of anxiety. Very rarely would I have a medium level of anxiety (when I went to the dentist). When I was in burnout, my ability to handle stress was compromised and this triggered high levels of anxiety.

How To Identify Serious Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety is a very normal – and usually temporary – response to stressful life events like moving, changing jobs, or having financial troubles. However, sometimes anxiety runs amok and starts to take over your life.

Early on, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and edginess. These symptoms are easy to dismiss as nothing serious.

But if you continue to ignore them, you can move closer to burnout and your anxiety may become so serious that it interferes with your ability to get your work done. Anxiety may also cause problems in your personal life.

Signs of serious anxiety include:

Excessive worry: one of the most common symptoms of prolonged anxiety disorder is excessive worry that’s way out of proportion to the events that trigger it.

Feeling agitated: when you feel anxious, part of your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and kicks off a cascade of effects throughout your body. This is when you experience your pulse racing, your palms sweating, and your hands shaking. Your brain believes you’re in danger, and it’s preparing your body to react to the threat.

Tense muscles: muscle tension is strongly linked to anxiety, but the exact nature of the relationship is not well understood. However, treating muscle tension has been shown to help reduce symptoms of worry.

Panic attacks: panic attacks produce an intense, overwhelming sensation of fear that can debilitate you. Your extreme fear is usually accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea and fear of dying or losing control.

Here’s the bottom line:

When you’re experiencing anxiety, caring for yourself isn’t an option; it’s a necessity. Particularly if you know you’re close to or in full burnout.

So let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce your anxiety.

4 Ways To Reduce Anxiety Naturally

Fortunately, there are a variety of natural ways to nurture yourself and help reduce your anxiety.

Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT or tapping: Tapping is a set of techniques that use your body’s energy meridian points. You stimulate these points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power. 
  2. Meditation: Mindfulness meditation strengthens your ability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats, in direct contrast to anxiety which is when your responses run out of control.
  3. Exercise: Exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that act as natural painkillers. It takes only about five minutes of aerobic exercise to start stimulating the anti-anxiety effects.
  4. Essential Oils: Essential oils are scented liquids that are derived from plants, flowers, and fruits. Research suggests that aromatherapy using essential oils may help promote relaxation and relieve anxiety. Bergamot orange, chamomile, and lavender are particularly good for anxiety.

These are just a few examples of natural ways to reduce your anxiety. You can get more helpful tips about burnout when you sign up for my email list.

It’s Time To Show Your Anxiety The Door

Serious anxiety and burnout are health conditions to be taken seriously.

If your anxiety has progressed far enough that you believe you’re suffering from burnout, or are teetering on the edge of full-blown burnout, it’s time to stop it in its tracks.

Fundamentally, anxiety and burnout are injuries to your health. As with most injuries, continuing the same patterns that caused them to occur in the first place will only make them worse, just like an athlete who continues to race through a hairline fracture. So if you’ve been pushing through your symptoms, let’s get you back on the path of well-being.

In addition to the techniques I’ve given you in this post, get my complimentary gift “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

This practice has been shown to:

    • Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
    • Increase your ability to concentrate
    • Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
    • Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
    • Reduce or even stop worrying

This may sound too simple – how can 10 minutes a day change your anxiety? Yet it can…. one daily practice, for a few minutes, could change your life.

I’m here to support you in reducing your anxiety and breaking free from burnout. Your next step is to: >> Click here and download my free gift, “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”

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