"If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” - Lao Tzu
How do we live in the present moment? Lao Tzu expresses this phenomenon quite beautifully. Reliving something from yesterday brings us a state of depression as we sit and muddle in what we should, could or would have done differently. We cannot change what happened yesterday, what we can do is accept ourselves exactly as we are, and be mindful on where we are right NOW. Worries about tomorrow bring us anxiety. Thoughts such as what if he doesn't like me, what if I don't get the promotion keep us from experiencing what is happening in this moment.
Ask yourself, what Power do you have in making all the results from these circumstances happen? Can we make people like us? Can we ensure that technology is going work, can we make our boss like us? Generally not. This creates a fight or flight response created by ourselves. A zebra is calm, collected and just doing his thing in the safari, he doesn't live in constant fear that he will be chased by the lion, UNTIL the lion is presently chasing him. We unlike the zebra tend to live in this fight or flight response all throughout our day. The common result is constant stress which brings on disease and illness and imprisons our minds to insanity. There is hope! Although we cannot change people, places and things, we do have the capacity to change how we react to them. With a quick change in perception -we can change our entire view of the world.
So how do we do this? We control how we respond, we change our perspective, we do the next right thing. We breathe. By bringing ourselves back to the moment, we can let our mind rest or pause thus giving us the space to take action mindfully. Taking 3 deep belly breaths can instantaneously stop the negative thoughts that get us nowhere. This takes practice - constant practice - over and over again. Whenever these thoughts come up, we immediately turn them around with a positive thought.
"Change your thoughts, and you can change your world" - Norman Vincent Peale