Nervous Nellie – The Personal Side
Anxiety is a thief. It steals your focus and thoughts and therefore your time.
I am not talking about anxiety disorders, though the same can be said about them. I am talking about the simplest form of anxiety—worry. I do not mean worry that causes chronic insomnia, ulcers, substance abuse or other major problems. I mean every day, annoying, eat at the edges of your life worry.
You know the kind. It has a way of creeping into your thoughts and interrupting your daily life. When you are supposed to be enjoying coffee in the morning with your partner or spouse before leaving the house, you are worrying about work. When you are playing with your two year old daughter in the afternoon, you find yourself feeling stressed thinking about how you will pay for her college—even though she will not attend until years from now.
It is the worry that erases the present because you are always living in the future and the “what ifs”. Years ago, during a particularly busy season of my life—a season that often threatened to induce anxiety and steal my “present”—I came up with the following saying: Be fully present in every moment in order to gain the most from every life experience. Saying this several times throughout the day reminded me to be present in every moment to see what beauty life would share with me.
As I have grown older, I realize that being present enough to see the beauty around me creates another opportunity—the opportunity to experience gratitude in new ways every day.
Here is what I mean. Instead of worrying about college while playing with your daughter, make a mental note to research ways to save for college and then simply enjoy the moment. Think of one or two reasons why you are thankful for that moment—maybe the weather is particularly beautiful or it is your first time outside in days because you have been sick. Try to do this at least two or three times each day. Being thankful keeps you in the present, elevates your mood and quiets anxiety.
If you are struggling with excessive worry or anxiety, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services of Orlando today at (407) 620-7855 to make an appointment to speak with a mental health therapist.