We all do it: envision the worst possible situation in the world and then obsess over it. This is called future tripping. One small thing can snowball into a cataclysmic event.
Your boss gives you constructive criticism and the next thing you know, you see yourself getting fired and becoming homeless. Your boyfriend says he needs to talk; you instantly think he’s going to end things and start to plan out your life as a cat lady. The worst is health related issues—let’s just say, never WebMD. You’ll come away convinced you have the black plague.
So, we work ourselves up, stress ourselves out, and make our hearts tick and our minds race. And, guess what? None of it really exists.
It’s all happening in your mind; it hasn’t even happened yet! And, chances are it probably never will. How do we stop this tripping? It’s easy to say ‘be present.’ But, the physical act of being present is a totally different story.
Read below for three fun and fast easy ways to bring yourself back from the future (and no, it doesn’t involve a time machine).
1. Journal and reflect
Just vent it out. You don’t need to give it a physical voice, but venting in a journal can be cathartic. As you write about what you’re worried about you, you can begin to lighten your mind. When you’re finished writing about whatever future trip you’re on, read over it. When you read it over and reflect, you can instantly see that the tragedy your mind has spun is ridiculous and not real. You’ll feel a weight off your chest and can then concentrate on what’s in front of you. You can begin to concentrate on what you have the capability of changing instead of thinking about things in the future that haven’t taken place yet.
2. Hop in the shower
People underestimate the effects of a long, hot shower. When you future trip, many times you just want to curl up in bed and numb out in sweatpants. But, taking a shower can pull you right out of whatever tailspin of a thought you’re having. In a bath you soak and relax, take deep breaths, and sip some tea; you have so much free time in a bath for your mind to wander. In a shower, the pressure of the water hitting your head gives a little massage and takes the tension away. You immediately begin your shower routine, which will transform your thoughts of the future into thoughts of shampooing and exfoliating.
3. Practice your balance
Have you ever tried to balance on one foot while your eyes move from one spot to another and in your peripheral, someone else is moving? It’s hard to balance when our focus isn’t directly in one spot. An easy way to snap out of future tripping is to balance. Instantly, your eyes find a drishti (gazing point). Your mind has to focus on spot and you’ll find yourself thinking about not falling and sucking in your core rather than a situation in the future that doesn’t even exist.
Jordan Nicholson graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied innovative coaching methods, over 100 dietary theories, and practical lifestyle management techniques. She also is a certified yoga instructor (200 hr RYT) and has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from University of Iowa.