A couple of weeks ago, I took my daughter’s dog Zoe down to the beach for a walk. She was bouncing with energy while I felt stressed and weary. I was thinking about my move to a new town and worrying about what could go wrong. A walk on the beach was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits and clear my head!
Zoe raced ahead, playing chase with other dogs, leaping in and out of the waves and sniffing at everything in her path. An hour later, I was putting her on her leash to leave the beach when I realized I’d been so wrapped up in my thoughts I hadn’t been present on that beach. I hadn’t even noticed what whether the tide was high or low.
There was no time left to do our walk again. The best I could do was to stop for a minute at the edge of the beach and try to absorb what I’d missed. The sky was cloudless and the sun was shining. The cool wind that has made sitting on the beach unpleasant this year, had finally stilled and metre-high waves were rolling in one after another. It was the type of day that should have given me so much pleasure and filled me with thankfulness at being alive, but instead, because I had not been present, I was leaving the beach with a churning stomach and a head fuzzy with angst.
I suddenly understood what Leo Buscaglia meant when he said:
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Worrying about what could go wrong is unlikely to make a difference to the future, but it can destroy your experience of today.
So how can you manage your worries? How can you stop your worries from stealing your present? You can:
So how do you deal with your worries? What do you do when your head is filled with anxiety?
I’d love to hear from you if you have other ideas for living in the present and keeping those worries under control.
Image by Jon Rawlinson