“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ― Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher
Our interpretations and assumptions about events that occurred in the past often lead to guilt, regret, disappointment or anger.
When contemplating the future, we can get stuck worrying about what might happen.
But when we consciously focus on the present, with an emphasis on accepting the past and preparing for the future, those negative thoughts and emotions melt away and consequently we feel less stress.
So how do you practice mindfulness, the mental state of being present?
One effective strategy is called “box breathing”:
- inhale through your nose for the count of four
- hold your breath for four
- exhale through your mouth for four
- hold for four
- repeat this sequence three more times
Another popular technique is to intentionally concentrate on each of your five senses, first sequentially, then all at once.
An internet search will reveal countless others, so I invite you to explore and find one or more that resonate with you.
Make this a regular part of your daily routine, especially during times of high stress, and may you find peace and tranquility along the way.