MOVING AND CHANGING: HOW LOOKING FORWARD REDUCES ANXIETY

 

Normally I recommend staying in the present moment to relieve anxiety: you know, one-day-at-a-time and all that. And I do truly believe in most circumstances it is an excellent way to avoid stress. Under some circumstances, however, looking forward can actually be more of an anxiety reducer.

WHICH CIRCUMSTANCES CALL FOR LOOKING FORWARD?

First and foremost, I have to say, that if looking forward causes worry, anxiety or fear, then it’s not an anxiety-reducer. I have been in the high anxiety situation where all I was doing was worrying about the future. In that situation, the anxiety-reducing technique to employ is definitely “staying-in-the-moment.”

On the other hand, when the present is causing stress and anxiety and the future holds positive change (or the opportunity for positive change), then looking forward can be a true panacea. In my present circumstances I am finding that looking forward is really helping relieve my anxiety.

As I talked about in previous “Moving & Changing” blogs my family is relocating from San Diego, California to Charleston, South Carolina. This is a huge change for us! BUT… It’s one we are very excited about. That said, saying goodbye to our friends, family and community has been causing us a lot of sadness and anxiety. In fact, there have been several days when I have felt truly depressed. The kids are also displaying sadness and anxiety. Actually, the only person who doesn’t seem to be depressed at all is my husband!

Actually, my husband’s excitement about the future and our adventure of moving to Charleston is helping the rest of us keep our spirits up. He helps remind us about how pretty it is there and how many fun things there are to do there. Taking his lead, I have started making lists of all the wonderful things our future in Charleston holds for us:

  • A lower cost of living!!!
  • A beautiful place
  • Lots of really fun outdoor activities
  • The very family-friendly neighborhood we’re moving into.
  • The great schools!
  • A much slower pace-of-life
  • Really friendly people

I remind myself of all of these things and more every time I start to get sad. They bring happy feelings of excitement and the anticipation of good things to come.

ENJOYING THE PRESENT WHILE LOOKING FORWARD

I have not completely let go of the present though. That wouldn’t be very productive for one thing! J On a deeper level, I am really treasuring the time I do have left with my friends and family. I am spending as much one-on-one time with people as possible and making sure I see as many people as I can. I’m also making sure that I’m letting people know how much they mean to me and how much I treasure their friendships!

So there you have it – I’m finding that staying in the present moment in a place of love and gratitude, mixed with looking forward to an exciting future, is helping keep me in a place of peace and serenity!

What are some circumstances in which looking forward has kept your anxiety down?

Can you look to the future with positivity and peace?

If not, what are some things you might do to help change that mindset?

Post your comment, questions, and ideas so the Peaceful Living Community can benefit from your experience or help and support you if you need J

 

Love and Light,

 

Jen

stress management for women

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