The collective anxiety of humanity has people so engrossed in the media, so hypnotized by the news of possible horrible outcomes that we are missing the present moment, which might not be so bad. The truth is, if something bad happens, we’ll have no choice but to deal with it. Until then, stop envisioning the worst. Cease watching the same negative scenarios on your screen, stop listening to the daily fear report. Be vigilant about what you put into your mind. The old adage is true, worrying is like praying for the worst outcome.
A line I often repeat when I catch myself imagining the worst is, “I could choose peace instead of this.” I’m not advocating positive thinking -that can be stressful. Trying too hard to be positive creates tension. Instead try to have a quiet mind. Catch yourself when you start the habitual ruminating negative thoughts.
The average person has about 48. 6 thoughts per minute, according to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. That means we have a different thought every 1.2 second. That adds up to a total of approximately 60,000- 70,000 thoughts per day. In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article stating that of those thoughts, 80% are negative, and 95% are repetitive. Trying to turn off these thoughts is almost impossible, but you can turn them down. When you catch yourself, pivot into presence.
The present moment is usually simple, yet can be spectacular. The sun rising, spring arriving, possibly a snowfall happening. Behind the chaotic events is still some normalcy.
If there was ever a time for practicing presence, it’s now.