What happens when you're not "present"?
Updated: Jan 4
For me, I lived years and years (~13) of my life in high stress, thinking about and planning the future, sad about the past and how it wasn't what I thought my life should've been like.
I created a timeline of how my life should've panned out at 13 years old. Married by 25, 2 kids (boy and girl) by 28, living happily ever after. Everything was supposed to be p e r f e c t.
Perfect? Yup. I held on tightly to that for the longest time.
Unfortunately, living through traumatic events in a high stress environment with a "life has to be perfect" mentality, only hurt me in the long run.
Holding onto a timeline I created for myself at a young age (as well as living through traumatic events), in my opinion, increased my chances of developing anxiety and depression. I didn't understand that life is supposed to be fun yet challenging; hard times happen for me and not to me.
I was constantly wanting to reach the next level in life...
Lose weight and look good ✔
Graduate high school ✔
Lose weight and be happier ✔
Graduate college and hopefully meet my future hubby ✔
Get married and have kids ✔
I was hardly present. Until now. I am more present and grateful for life than ever before. It's not easy and it's not, by any means, perfect. I don't want to be perfect anymore. I have no intention of striving for perfection. It's stressful and exhausting, to be honest.
Do you strive for perfection? Plan your every move to "reach the next level in life"? Tip toe around because you're feeling high anxiety something bad is going to happen if you don't plan ahead?
If this is you, I feel you! I hear you! I've been there and still have days like that.
The first step is always recognizing this isn't living in the present moment. When you can acknowledge this way of thinking, that's when you can...
Pause and take a deep breathe Tell yourself "Planning X isn't helping me right now. I am ______ (what activity are you doing? Ex. reading, working, shopping.) not ______ (Ex. planning out a conversation you want to have with a friend, figuring out your next social media post, reliving a mistake you made at work last month)" Continue to breath
Did you find this post helpful? Do you do something different to help you stay present? I'd love to hear from you.
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