"The days are getting longer and spring is right around the corner and the world will begin teaming with life and yet, we are still challenged with navigating a pandemic. For a lot of us the social isolation, financial stress of it all along with forced letting go of the old ways we kept it together i.e., going to the gym, meeting friends for drinks, taking in movies and even walks along the promenade have ceased.
This isolation has us low spirited, distressed and feeling new levels of sorrow and worry. During these past several months we"ve all coped in a myriad of ways some old and some new, all the while thinking to ourselves as soon as this is over things will get better. We find solace in saying as soon as things look and feel more normal, then I"ll be ok. But...what if you need relief from stress, or pain, or illness today? Not tomorrow but as soon as possible, not this summer or next year. The reality is, what we long for and value most; peace of mind, healing, love, insight, relaxation, joy as well as a sense of balance and control in our life, is available here and now. As in right here in this very present moment. It"s not next week after pay day or this summer when perhaps we can all go about our lives without masks and settle into the new normal. It"s always and only available in the present moment, which when we slow down enough to really pay attention it is the only time we truly have.
Often when we find ourselves thinking about the future, we worry. The mind runs ahead into projections and mirages filled with anxious planning, speculating and catastrophizing. Similarly, when we think about the past, we feel sad or morose. When the mind is caught up dwelling in the past often it"s busy clinging to positive memories or ruminating over regretful and negative memories. In both cases resulting in a dim outlook. Of course this isn"t the case all of the time, for we must plan our lives and go to work creating our future self. We must recall the past to learn and grow and enjoy life"s precious moments. Rather, what happens to most of us especially during times of stress is we tend to spend more time worrying about the future and dwelling in the past, therefore accounting for a sizable portion of our mental and emotional bandwidth. As we become more overrun and identified with these effects of stress we notice the toll that is taken on our relationships, sleep, digestion as well as on our general health and well-being. Consequently, we look for solutions. Usually we attempt to comfort ourselves, to ease the worries or to lift our spirits, with food, drink, TV or shopping. These seemingly work for a while until one day life happens and we are forced to see they have simply suppressed our feelings of worry and distress. Sometimes only to resurface with greater impact."
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