“Breathe in the future, breathe out the past”
This quote reminds me to be present. In the moment. To let go of the worry and regret that often plague us as we consider our future and lament our past. I’ve read (from many sources) that anxiety is thought to be the result of a conflict when thinking about your future; and depression is the result of conflict when thinking about your past.
As a psychotherapist, I don’t believe that the manifestation of anxiety and depression are so simply. And I don’t believe that just being present will completely resolve those conflicts for people. However, our lack of presence as a society many be correlated to the higher incidences of anxiety and depression than seen in other countries.
So what can we do about it? Everyone experiences thousands of thoughts running through minds daily. Some thoughts come and go quickly. Others stay with us a little bit longer. Others elicit an emotional response which may make us angry, anxious, or sad. What if we were just an observer to our thoughts? All of thoughts. Whether happy or sad. What if we breathed our thought in, paused, and breathed it right out? How might that change our thought trajectories throughout the day. How might it impact the emotions or reactions we would have had? How might it make more room for the present if we were to let go of the anxiety and depression we held on to from the past and the future?
Mediation is an admittedly difficult practice. I struggle every time! It only takes a matter of seconds before I start dreaming of cupcakes and my to-do list. But we can simply remind ourselves to be and observer of our thoughts and push ‘reset’. And then do that again. And again. Until we can gradually lengthen the time in between our ‘resets’. Below is a link to more helpful tips on starting your meditation practice. Tell us how you did in our comments sections below!
Sending presence your way,