Saturday, August 13, 2011

Staying in the Present

I have often heard about anxiety a lot of times being about the future or the past but not usually about the present. I saw this quote today:


and I like it because its a reminder to try to stay in the present. Sure it's not that easy to read that and say "Ok I will stop worrying now!" but its still something to think about. My good friend told me when he feels panic coming on he gets out a jar of lemons and smells them because he is trying to associate the smell as something comforting and it helps bring him back to the present. Not sure if that would work for everyone, I've never tried it, but it sounds like an interesting idea. What are some ways you try to stay in the present instead of worrying about your past or the future?


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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 4 square breathing method (inhale to the count of 4, hold it to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4).

Elizabeth-

Miss Wendy said...

The smelling lemons, or really smelling anything familiar would probably work wonders. I'm going to try that next time.

I try and stay in the present by writing. I write what I'm feeling, thinking, worrying about, all while it's happening.

Birdie said...

I spray lavender at night before bed and it does help. My problem is mostly panic in the mornings so maybe I should try this. Thanks for the tip.

I do try to stay in the present and I am getting better at it but right now my mom is dying and I don' want to be dealing with the present. It is really, really hard.

Anonymous said...

I also enjoy the scent of lavender. When I need it, I spray it on a piece of cloth and carry it around with me.

Richard said...

Turning my attention fully to everything that's right in front of me has helped me tremendously when I'm feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. From noticing the smell of my immediate surroundings to the feel of the air on my skin, I try to engage all my senses. I highly recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Full Catastrophe Living" and "Wherever You Go, There You Are" for additional information on mindfulness-based practice.

Vic said...

I spend 20 minutes out of each day to be completely present. I try to notice what is going on around me right now. Noticing your breathing is helpful. You can also admire the nature that is around you if your outside. The idea is to control your attention span. If you can do this, you are good to go. Brain training games also help.

amy said...

I've really enjoyed your posts recently...thank YOU!!

I wish I had more time to write..but I wanted to pop in and reiterate what you said in your previous post. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains...this is a verse out of the bible, just don't know it off hand. This is what gets me through each and every day, and keeps me in the moment. My hope lies in Him always, knowing that to get to the mountain of God, we must first go through the valleys! Please remember that, it's not always easy.

I'll be praying for you, and I admire your strength and courage :)

The Blue Morpho said...

I second the emphasis on mindfulness. A challenging practice, but worth the effort. As for smelling lemons, well, I'd probably just start associating that smell with anxiety, and panic whenever I drank lemonade :)
Adventures in Anxiety Land

Todd said...

From time to time I've tried focusing on an object I'm wearing or keep with me to refocus my attention. It might be a class ring or a bracelet with an inspirational quote.

Mixed results, but that is probably due to: 1) needing more practice and 2) perhaps not having that one item to carry that has extra special meaning.

Jill said...

One of the best tricks I know to stay present is a wonderful ‘feeling’ exercise. The goal is to feel the inner body.

To do, I close my eyes and just try to feel the aliveness in my hands. By this I mean try to notice the subtle sensations within my hands, their aliveness, if you will.

I continue 'feeling' other body part, arms, shoulders, neck, face, head, etc. This inner body awareness helps keep me in the present. By focusing on feeling, it stops racing thoughts and is a real antidote to anxiety and panic.

ANON said...

I find burning lavender oil in an oil burner helps me when I'm anxious.
I've set up a blog today, blogging my progress of my anxiety. Hopefully blogging my feelings will overcome this.
www.anxietyanon.blogspot.com/

Yonka said...

It is very important to find all situations in the present, as if we think in present then we can solve all our all problem.

*Whitney* said...

I have loved reading your blog. And I am extremely interested in the online anxiety group. I have tried smelling a calming scent before bed, and it has really helped (for me it vanilla or lavender) I also have heard, that trying to think of exactly what is going on at that moment helps you to stay in the present :)

Sam Jordan said...

I really like your blog and especially like the quote about worry.
Keep doing what you are doing. Hopefully someday I will have a blog with half as much good content. I have so much I want to say and most of it stems around my own anxieties =)

http://www.dreadhead.org/

Thanks for sharing!

Jane said...

I'm a big fan of not worrying about things you can't change or do something with there and then. Problems should be handled when they arise and you actually can do something with them.

Ricardo Guerra said...

Many times, anxiety can be related to many other mental disorders. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety is a great part of my life because of it. An excellent source of information is the following website: www.ocdmesh.com. You should definitely check it out. It is on a great road to become a great and informative site.

kevin said...

Its really hard to stay in the present because anxiety is usually always caused by "what if this happens" etc...looking into the future. The only time "now" becomes an issue is in the midst of an attack.

helen @ change comes from within said...

I stroke the table and think about how the wood and grains feel, it brings me away from the crazy, racing thoughts and back to present.

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