Anxiety has a tendency to create an uncomfortable, unsettling feeling about the future. Those with anxiety tend to focus on what could happen, or what might happen, causing them to feel as though something bad – specific or not – is lurking right around the corner.
It’s not uncommon to find yourself perpetuating your own anxiety by telling stories in your mind about what might happen to you or someone you care about, and those stories almost always have a negative outcome.
Grounding Yourself to Reduce Anxiety
Since much of this physical and emotional discomfort comes from focusing on an uncertain future (one that also feels like it will have a negative outcome), one of the solutions is to help teach yourself how to stay grounded in the present. One of the strategies we use here in therapy is learning to be in touch with what is currently happening at this very moment, taking your mind off of what “could” happen in the future.
We can do this by:
- Checking In On Yourself – Every once in a while, it helps to “check in” on yourself to make yourself more aware of your present. Ask yourself what is currently happening, how you feel about it, what is around you, and more. Reminding yourself to take your mind off the future and examine the present may be a simple action, but it is one that can snap you back into the moment.
- Refocus Your Energy – If your mind was wandering off on other thoughts, learning to be present in the moment helps you refocus your energy on what you’re doing. It’s helpful for staying focused on work and keeping you on your tasks at hand, thus improving the opportunities for a positive outcome.
- Talking Down Your Anxiety – Finally, if you are feeling anxious, you can pay better attention to it in the present and talk yourself down from it and take hold of your emotions again. Anxiety is such a constant condition that some people do not even realize they’re anxious until they are forced back into the present.
The more “in the present” you are, the easier it will be to avoid the pitfalls of worrying about the future.
Learn Mindfulness Through Therapy
The action of learning to be more in touch with yourself is called “mindfulness,” and bringing yourself back to the present is one of the ways that mindfulness can help reduce anxiety. Combined with other mindfulness techniques, it is possible to teach yourself to be more in touch with your thoughts and emotions, and possibly in better control of them over time. Call us today to learn more.