Picture the older and still remarkably beautiful version of yourself. Consider and trust in the wisdom the future you can offer. She is now your guide to getting through the light kinks and heavy issues that surface in everyday life. Believe me, I know this is unorthodox, sci-fi kind of thinking. But if you can’t rely on your future self to now act as your guide, who can you?
Thinking About Your Past, Present, Future
We all know that it is important to stay in the here and now. I mean, who hasn’t read countless inspirational quotes that say so? After all, looking forward or looking back can cause a lot of anxiety, especially since there is nothing that we can do to rewind or fast-forward. Life goes on and Adam Sandler is never going to come to our rescue with that Click remote. (Please, tell me you’ve seen this movie!) Instead, your guide will be there to help.
Unfortunately, being Zen and “in the moment” is not as easy as all those self-help books make it out to be. And the art of “YOLO” is definitely not as simple as the acronym itself. It is hard not to cringe at past regrets or to sigh when you think about everything that has to be done in the days ahead. Just writing that last sentence made me sigh more than I care to admit.
If you’re like me, it is even harder to live in the present when the recurring theme of your dreams (and nightmares, too) is the past and the future. Once I fall asleep, there is no “here and now” to be found. And since I have not yet mastered lucid dreaming, there is no way for me to control my brain on sleep-mode.
Since I religiously try my best to find positives in every situation (a classic case of attempting to practice what I preach), I have thought a lot about the dreams that stay with me long after I wake up. What I can learn from my dreams? How can I apply my findings to cope with everyday anxiety?
Be Your Guide With These Simple Phrases
If It Will Bring You out of Your Comfort Zone, Just Say ‘Yes.’
A majority of my dreams focus on all of the times that I used the word “no.” I wonder if things would have turned out differently, had I said the opposite. Maybe I would have learned an important lesson. Maybe I would have gone out on a date with the love of my life. Maybe, just maybe. Sigh.
The word “maybe” is definitely a red flag word for those of us that suffer with anxiety. So, instead of thinking in “maybes,” make room for change. Instead of saying “no” to something that may be scary or awkward, say “yes” with the intention to try new things and live without regrets. That way, the future you can have nothing but sweet dreams.
I’ve always heard that you should do one thing, every day, that scares you. Give it a try.
You Made it Through Once, You Can Do It Again.
Sometimes, we forget just how strong we are. We forget that we have overcome illnesses, have aced tests, and made it through some pretty bumpy rides.
When I dream about terrible things that have happened to me in the past, I think to myself, “Wow. I made it through that.”
Whenever you freak out about some major, or minor, thing happening- try to picture your future self acting as your guide traveling back in time, putting a comforting arm around your shoulder then saying, “You can make it through this, too.”
It’s all about finding your inner lion and running with it as you traverse through the unknown. Let your guide encourage you to roar.
Relax. No, seriously.
Since relaxing does not come naturally for a lot of us, you have to learn how to relax. Gosh, I wish there was a Relaxing 101 seminar in sight. This means that you have to use all of your mental energy wisely during times of stress (so, basically, at all times).
Making a conscious effort to go to therapy, to meditate, to listen to music, to do yoga, and to find the beauty in my surroundings will help immensely. These things will make your guide happy. Doing these stress-free activities will help you realize that it is so important to find a balance in your life. And yes, it is even possible for the Queen or King of Stress to do so.
As your guide, your future self will thank you for taking the time to unwind because they will have so much less to worry about.
Slow down and Do What Is Right for You
Do you feel like you’re doing what others want you to, but not what you want? Are you moving at a pace that is bound to burn you out? Eventually you will reach a point where it will be too much and you’ll be left with no other choice but to follow your own intuition. In other words, you will hit rock bottom and have no other option but to climb back up on your own terms.
Okay, yes. Mom, you were right all along.
Instead of getting up in the morning and immediately reaching for your phone to answer e-mails and check Twitter (guilty), spend time thinking about how lucky you am to be alive and fully able to get up to take care of yourself. Do not touch your phone or computer until you am taken care of and until you feel mentally prepared for the day.
Always looking back is hard and uncomfortable, especially when you are constantly thinking (or dreaming) of past mistakes and mishaps. And if you find yourself doing this often, something must be done. This is when your guide takes you by the shoulders and tells you so. Being physically in the present and mentally in the past is no way to live.
Rather than constantly wallowing in the negative events from a previous day or what seemingly negative events could come, remember that there is much to be learned from your experiences. If you don’t believe me, try imagining what your future self, your guide for the present day, would say to you if she or he could. Use the more experienced, thoughtful you as your guide for making decisions, finding solutions, and forgiving past mistakes. If you’re not sure about how a situation will turn out, ask that future you, “Is this a good idea? Am I doing what’s best for me? How and can I overcome this?”