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How to Stop Worrying About the Future

...and Live in the Present Moment

Worrying about the future is unavoidable. Sometimes, worrying can help us prepare for what may come. However, when worry becomes a persistent issue or an uncontrollable habit, it can impair our ability to function as we usually would and make us less happy overall. It also hurts our chances of success, because it prevents us from living in the present moment and focusing on remaining fully present.

Living in the moment, on the other hand, involves remaining fully aware and focused on what is happening around us at any given time. Living in the moment means we focus on the right-here and right-now, with little to no concern about the future or the past. We simply remain highly concentrated on the present.

That is a great art and challenging practice, but it results in a happier, more rewarding, and fulfilling life. Many people know how important it is to live in the moment - do you?

How can you stop worrying about the future and live in the moment?

1. Avoid trying to tell the future. Worrying about the future is often based on predicting what might happen. We fear a negative outcome, and then we worry about it. Instead, accept that you cannot predict the future.

  • Instead of worrying about what may happen, embrace the present moment and focus on enjoying every moment.

2. Ponder the risks of worrying too much. Worrying can have significant negative consequences. It can lower our self-esteem and make us feel awful about ourselves. It also makes us less motivated to act. Sometimes, it prevents us from working altogether.

  • Think about how much time you've wasted worrying about the future in the past month. Then, think about the good things you could have done with that time had you not spent it worrying.

3. Embrace your past. Many successful people were some of the most worry-ridden and anxious people in their younger days. What makes them successful now? It may be their ability to turn their past failures into more positive outcomes as they mature over the years.

  • Instead of worrying about the future, focus on building on your past and appreciating your life of today, right now.

  • Accept what was, and recognize the contributions past experiences - good or bad - have made to your life.

4. Consciously keep yourself from worrying about tomorrow. Worrying about the future is unnecessary. Planning is ok, but fretting and worrying are completely unproductive. Fortunately, we can stay in the present moment without worrying about the future. When we worry about the future, we automatically condemn ourselves to fear.

  • The present moment (or "Now") has no rules or limitations but is a generally blissful and very positive experience. However, worrying can be tempting if you are in a negative state of mind.

  • Instead of giving in to that temptation, try consciously holding yourself from overthinking about tomorrow and focus on being fully present today.

5. Adapt to changing trends. Worrying about the future can be made worse by factors in our current environment. For example, your employer may have laid off 30% of its workforce within the past three months.

  • You could have to apply for a new job right away or prepare to look for full-time employment elsewhere. A friend may have had a bad breakup with her boyfriend after many years of dating, had a baby out of wedlock, and is now struggling financially as well.

  • The point is that circumstances change, and so does our environment. Every situation we face is unique and has a different outcome based on what factors are in play at the time. The best thing we can do is be flexible and mentally adapt to these changing circumstances.

Living in the moment is a great skill that often takes time to master. But it can teach us how to be happier — without worrying about the future or the past.

Time is one of the most precious resources ever created. We can make every second count by embracing the present moment, living fully in it, and enjoying what is happening right now.

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