Ep 6: Manage stress by living in the present

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So many of our anxious and depressive thoughts stem from focusing on some ambiguous future moment that will make us happy. The future always seems out there, and we feel anxious about how it’s all going to come together.

What are some practical ways to appreciate the present moment you have right now? Here are a couple of ways to do that.

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Full transcript 👇

Ep 6: Manage stress by living in the present

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

We live in the present, but we’re not necessarily always present.

This is where stress gets us.

Our 21st century world is almost exclusively forward focused.

We’re always thinking about what’s to come.

  • Create your own future!
  • Prepare for retirement!
  • Get ahead at work!
  • Develop a life plan!
  • Be happy!
  • Change the world!

No pressure!

We scoot around trying to take advantage of it all. We’re so anxious to “get there.”

But once we get there, how do we appreciate who we are in that moment?

So many of our anxious and depressive thoughts stem from this constant focus on some ambiguous future moment that will make us happy.

Our future feels like it’s always “out there” because it is.

And even if you achieve all that you want, guess what? That future moment will — one day — become your present moment.

So how can you appreciate the present moment?

Here a couple of things that might help.

First, create a done list.

You probably have a to do list for sure. But do you have a list of what you’ve already done?

Don’t just look at the checkmarks on your list or the things you drew a line through. Separate them and give them their own list. They deserve it!

Those are the things you got done!

The present moments that you engaged.

Mark that!

Second, focus on how to master today.

Today is already here, and you’re apparently already awake and moving around. Nice job!

What are the things you can do today that will move you toward those future goals?

Focus on just those things, and shove the rest aside for now.

Direct your energy and focus toward just today’s present moments and see where it goes.

Don’t let the future steps, which don’t really matter right now, encroach on your present.

Third, stop moving.

This may sounds simple, but in order to focus on the present, you may have to stop moving for a minute.

  • Do you have to go right on to that next thing?
  • Or can you take a minute to enjoy a little self-imposed buffer zone?

I like to daydream in these moments. It gives my brain a break from all that analyzing and planning, which is my default mode.

Stop moving when you feel like it’s an inconvenient time and you feel like you just can’t spare the time.

These are probably the moments you need to connect with where you are right now.

Enjoying the present isn’t hard but it does require intention.

There will always, always be something in the future calling you out of it.

Learn to engage the present on your terms to change how you feel about your future.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at Lorimiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

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