Living in fast forward

Unnecessary, restless, and agitated energy; difficulty sitting still, feeling a constant need to be “on the go”, fixing things, running around and trying to keep everyone happy- anxiety sometimes gets us to act in a way that perpetuates more distress. Sometimes people feel as if they are not doing something, then things would fall apart. Or maybe they would fall apart. Perhaps, if they were to slow down, they would not feel worthwhile. Thus frenetic action is about trying to feel better. Or different. Or not feel at all.  So slowing down is avoided at all costs.

While taking action can bring about a desired result (thus serving an important function), sometimes anxiety loses its usefulness as an emotion. It is too much. It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t help people accomplish goals, it manufactures more chaos, and it leaves people in a dizzy tizzy.  Life is lived in fast forward.

Mindfulness is about pausing living one’s life in the here and now. In just this moment. Sometimes when people start to pay attention to this moment, they start to get in touch with all that busy business they are trying to avoid. The slowing down, the feelings within their body, the unpleasant sensations that accompany worries about being valued, being worthwhile, living up to expectations, and failing. And sometimes it hits hard: the tears, the pain, the realization of change or loss.

Yeah, that stuff.

Overwhelming, perhaps at first. But if you take it taken moment by moment, then you can be mindful of what is right in front of you instead of all that is beyond you. And if you take care of the present moment, you will be taking care of the future.