Avoid Anxiety, Stress, and Depression by Being in the Present
A statement that I constantly tell my clients as a therapist and counselor is that “depression is dwelling about the past, anxiety is worrying about the future, and the only healthy and happy place to be in is the present”. Anxiety is the constant worry about what will come tomorrow with the expectation that it will be negative. A question like “what if” can quickly snow ball into excessive anxiety ridden thoughts and spiral out of control. Dreading what will happen tomorrow at work, at a social gathering, or at school can make you want to avoid what you need to do all together. Anxiety is a beast and can take a toll on anyone’s mental health and state of well being.
An important practice of cognitive behavioral therapy is to become more aware of our thoughts and patterns of thinking. We must become aware of them to change them for the better. I ask my clients in counseling often about their pattern of future thinking they engage in. I ask them to analyze how often these worst case scenario future outcomes actually happen. Most answer that the horrible scenarios they thought would happen never actually happen! I then ask how productive do you think it was to have spent all that time worrying about the future event. Of course they answer it wasn’t helpful at all and instead it made them feel anxiety and even sometimes depression when the negative future they were imagining was so bleak.
As a part of my cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, we instead focus on the present moment in order to improve mental health. Next time you find yourself worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow or next week or you catch yourself asking “what if,” stop and take a beat. Look at:
- what you have control over today and in this very moment
- what can you do right now to resolve the issue you are worrying about
If you cannot come up with an action plan then guess what: it’s out of your control! Practice deep breathing for relaxation and repeat to yourself a mantra about being in the present moment. An example could be “I let go and let things unfold” or “I am healthy and relaxed in the present moment” or “I release all things I lack control over”. Staying focused in the present moment will help you avoid feeling depression or anxiety. Of course this will take practice to do but the benefits to your mental health will be priceless.
ABOUT ESSENCE OF HEALING COUNSELING:
Roberta Alves is a therapist and counselor at the Essence of Healing Counseling downtown Ft. Lauderdale. She is a Certified Anxiety Specialist and uses a scientific and evidence based type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is proven to be extremely effective in treating anxiety. Roberta is truly passionate about the work she does and loves serving her clients in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding South Florida areas. If you want to learn the proven techniques to overcome your anxiety schedule an appointment today.