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How to let go of fears
“When you are depressed, you are living in the past. When you are afraid, you live in the future. When you are at peace, you live in the present. ”- Lao Tzu
The sensation of fear or concern is actually very useful. It reflects the body responding to a stimulus and draws attention to where it belongs. However, these sensations are meant to be learned from and responded to, not lingering in them.
Our outer life and our inner life
Each of us has two lives. During our entire existence we experience both at the same time. Sometimes both lives are in harmony. At other times they are worlds apart.
Our external life reflects our psyche: we sit at a desk in front of a computer, walk down a path or eat dinner at home. A quick look is enough to recognize the current state of your external life.
However, our inner life is where our thoughts, pains, and desires exist. While we might be at work or spending time with family, our thoughts are elsewhere. We might be fixated on a traumatic event or worry about an undesirable fate.
Thinking about the past or worrying about the future are normal activities. In some cases this can also be helpful in making a decision. But when our thoughts are so distant from our actions that we cannot enjoy the present, it is time to change the way we think. To learn how to escape the spiral of thought, read Derick Howell, "Conquering Anxiety Effectively." 42 Effective Techniques for Overcoming Anxiety. This is how you can finally find your inner peace ”.
Bringing our outer and inner life into harmony
As humans, we are naturally made to think. We anticipate. We plan. We develop strategies. These beneficial tendencies protect us from potential danger and allow us to seize opportunities.
However, when thinking and worrying get out of hand, we quickly end up in an “overthinking” that keeps us trapped. Not only does this prevent us from enjoying life, but it can also manifest itself through physical or mental health problems.
In order to fully experience the present, we need to align our outer and inner life. This includes knowing when to focus on our thoughts and how to get our thoughts to help us rather than hinder us.
When trying to focus on the present, we often resort to excluding bad memories or fears about upcoming events. Let's say you're worried about an upcoming interview. Even if you enjoy the sunshine while lying on the lawn of a park, you just can't stop thinking about it. What if the interviewer asks an unexpected question that you can't answer? What if the company doesn't renew an offer?
Your first reaction is likely not to think about it. You're telling yourself to forget about the interview for now. But if you do that, you have the opposite effect: The same thought that you want to push away just keeps getting louder.If you are actively trying to forget something, it will only reinforce its presence. It's like telling yourself not to think of a pink elephant.
Instead of trying to rule out thoughts, replace them with positive thoughts. Focus on your surroundings, e.g. an evergreen tree in the distance or a picturesque poster on the wall. Read a book that is nearby. When you observe and note down certain objects around you, they start to take over your thoughts instead.
Of course, living in the present is not always a pleasant experience. You may be under a lot of stress or in pain that you wish would go away, such as being berated for something you did wrong or waiting for medical intervention.
In cases where the pain is beyond your control, focusing on a pleasant memory can help until the pain subsides. When you are in control of a stressful situation, go through it and remind yourself that you have been through similar situations before.
But in many other cases, we unnecessarily inflict pain on ourselves by repeatedly evoking painful memories. We hold on to a past regret while we ceaselessly worry about an unknown future. Even when there is nothing we can do, we find it difficult to get rid of these agonizing thoughts.
We often talk about letting go, about letting go of bad memories in order to get rid of our burdens. In order to achieve a state of contentment, we deal with the people and events that have hurt us. We strive to make peace with the past. But what about making peace with the future?
Making peace with the future means developing a sense of serenity no matter what outcome we get. It means understanding that we cannot dictate how things turn out, despite our desire to shape the future as we wish. It means finding peace in uncertainty and knowing that sometimes you cannot control the outcome.
Whatever our intentions, things will go wrong. You're backfiring. They are not developing the way we expect. Acceptance can be painful.
Instead of dwelling on things that are out of your control, you should focus your efforts on what you can control. The first step to enjoying the present is becoming aware of your needs. Watch as your thoughts drift into painful regret or troubling possibility. Then gradually shift your focus back to where you are right now, seeing what exactly is in front of you.
Be conscious of the present
Getting your thoughts where you are right now is not an easy task. When your thoughts are constantly floating around, neglecting the present becomes an impulse at first. It becomes so ingrained that we don't even realize what we're doing. It becomes a habit.
Recognizing this impulse is the linchpin. Then you can practice focusing on the present. After a while, the practice becomes a habit. And when you make a habit of living in the moment, you feel at peace.
Take a few breaths.
Stop torturing yourself.
Focus on the present.
You are going to get through this! Enjoy being in your midst.
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