Gary's Guidance: Here and Now

August 2011

I assume that most of us have heard the phrase:  “live in the moment,” but living in the moment is actually hard to do.  That is because we often worry about something that will occur in the future or we are thinking about things that have happened in the past and no longer have any control of.  Most people spend a lot of time projecting outcomes that are negative in some way.  We often find out later that the negative things we were thinking of never came true!  What a waste of mental and emotional energy!  How can we escape from our own thinking that causes self-inflicted stress?   Coping with problems or dealing with issues can be daunting at times.  Perhaps we can “live in the moment” as a means to combat worrying and getting bogged down with a negative mindset.  What I do is to say to myself:  “It is bad enough that this bad thing just happened to me so stop thinking about it.  I am not going to let this situation spoil another minute for the rest of my day.”

Here are other forms of self-talk that can be used in the here and now to fight worry:  1) It is what it is; 2) I am not going to worry about what I have no control of; 3) I don’t worry; 4) I choose solutions over worry; 5) Stop worrying…finding a solution to the problem will move me forward to personal growth; 6) My mind is in sync with being positive, not negative; 7) I am in control of my own thinking and I do not worry.

In closing, to quote the title of Bobby McFerrin’s upbeat song:  “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” 

Gary Kozick, LCSW

Originally appeared in the Arbor Terrace: A Senior Living Residence monthly newsletter, August 2011)