My whole life, up until around eight years ago, I was living in a constant, never ending state of fear and anxiety. I had so much on my mind on a perpetual basis, that I was always living in the future. I thought that if I worried about the next thing that could potentially go wrong, then I would be able to have a preemptive strike against it. I kept my walls up, fists ready to fight, and I was always ready for the worst possible scenario. I was convinced that not thinking about the “maybe’s” was leaving me vulnerable and unprepared. There were feelings of worry rapidly pumping through my body at all times. That is, until one day, when I felt like I was about to crack open…and I don’t mean in an Enlightened, “the purpose of my life has been found” kind of way! My body was humming with so much fear due to situations with our businesses, what our next steps were, and focusing on how I could change things or make things “better.” I felt helpless and like I couldn’t get out of the vicious cycle that had a hold on me. It went like this: think fearful thought, live in fear, create a horrible outcome in my mind, repeat. I wanted to jump out of my skin all of the time. Sound familiar?
One day, in an attempt to rid myself of the feeling of drowning in negative thoughts, I decided to try a self-hypnosis video on YouTube. Hmm…it had done a good job ridding me of the anxiety and fear, even if it was only for the short period of time while I was watching the video. Still progress, I thought. The next day I tried another one. This time the calming results lasted for even longer. I was impressed. What I began to see was that my thoughts became distracted with what I was supposed to be focusing on in the hypnosis and NOT on my fearful thoughts about the future. I thought, if I can do it for the 10 minutes, they’re walking me through, then I can do this with the thoughts that I want to change. I chose to dedicate time each day towards changing my thoughts, rather than wallowing in them.
From that point on, when I began to feel anxious or worried, I raised my awareness to the fact that I was living in the future. I reminded myself to re-center mentally, and come back to the present. A technique that helped me do this was to take three breaths, look around the room I was in and touch things I saw, to remind myself that I was present and that the thoughts running through my mind were not my reality. Then, I would visualize that I was holding a fearful thought in my left hand, fist clenched tight, so it could not escape. I would then create a thought of an opposite, more positive, outcome that I actually wanted to happen and envision that thought clenched tight in my opposite, right hand fist. I would then look at both hands and tell myself I have a choice. I reminded myself that I am in control. I can think this anxious, fearful thought and create something I don’t want, or I can think the thought that I truly want to create, which is being cradled in my right-hand palm. Practicing this technique often showed me how I am in complete control of what I manifest. I would envision thoughts passing in front of my eyes through the air. The negative ones I let roll on by, like wispy clouds on a blue-sky day. The positive ones, which felt true to my identity and the reality I wanted to create, I would snatch out of the sky and plant in my mental garden.
In doing this, I realized that I always have a choice. Of course, it all starts with awareness. You have to be aware of what you are thinking about. If you aren’t feeling positive, happy, vibrant, alive and ready to live, then where are you? Probably not in the present moment. The truth is, there is no time except the present moment. The past has already happened. The future hasn’t happened yet and all we have is the moment we are in. And even when we are sitting in the present, we must remind ourselves that we do not have full control. We can direct our destiny, but ultimately, the Universe is steering the ship. LET GO.
Think about it this way…if you are battling depression, then look at the thoughts you are thinking about the past, because that is what you are re-living over and over. Replaying traumatic moments over and over again can have us living from a place of sadness, despair and negativity. On the other hand, if you have anxiety, then you are living in the future and only thinking about the could be’s, maybe’s, possibly’s and what if’s. You must remember: your thoughts are energy. In fact, we are all energy and when we spend so much time in fearful or anxious thoughts, we have a tendency to keep create the very things we are trying so hard to put a stop to.
If I can leave you with one final thought, it’s this: every decision we make is temporary. We are never stuck in any situation nor are we stuck with the thoughts in our head. It can all be changed. So, when you’re faced with the choice of “do I want to keep thinking these thoughts that make me sad, mad, depressed, or do I want to choose a better feeling thought,” always choose the better feeling thought.