TLDR: Why worry? A message we can all take to heart
Worry and anxiety are two signs that affects most of us. Interestingly they are two sides of the same coin.
We worry about what happened in the past and how things could have gone differently. We wish to change the past, acted differently, done things differently, made better decisions. Be it how that meeting happened with your boss last week or the stock that you bought last week without which has corrected by 10%. We view the past using the hindsight bias that we now possess.
Anxiety is something we feel when we think about the future, which is the other side of the same coin. What will happen next? Will I get my promotion this year? Am I saving enough for retirement? Will my kids get into good colleges? etc. etc. This is the concern about our future that bothers us.
Learning to live in the present which is tiny sliver on which the coin stands between the past and the future is the real challenge.
Let us do a little experiment here. Stop reading, close your eyes. Imagine the flame of a candle with your eyes closed for 1 minute. Are you able to just imagine that candle flame for a minute without any other thought coming to you?
If you have tried your hand at vipassana or the misappropriated western equivalent “Mindfulness meditation”, it is almost impossible to keep your mind focused on the present and now. Your thoughts are constantly jumping back into the past or future. They are not necessarily a worry or an anxiety. But there are constant stream of thoughts that come to you which do not allow you to stay in present for very long.
One of my favourite and funny gurus on the internet uses this chart to explain why you should not have to worry.
So true. It is a short, minute long clip worth taking a look at.
How do you handle your worries and anxieties? Do you plan for it? Yoga / meditation to calm your mind? Leave your comments below.