Where to place your focus is a choice. A very important choice because what you focus on affects your life. Is it in the past, the present or the future? There is no right or wrong answer as it depends on the circumstances at the time.
That said, focusing purely on one to the detriment of the others is not ideal. Spending all your time focusing on the past and what you should have done differently will not improve your life. How is that going to help you move forward in the future? Sure, it may help you avoid a few mistakes. It doesn’t work to live by avoiding things and not actively seek out the things you do need address.
Anxiety comes from focusing too much on the future.
Likewise, living purely in the present will yield the same result. There are definitely times to live only in the present. You need to feel joy and fulfilment at times. Too much of this and instant gratification will become you default action. Again, not ideal.
Anxiety comes from focusing too much on the future. As a permanent traveller I have to think a few steps ahead quite often. Where am I going to visit? Where am I going to stay? How long can I stay there? Can I afford to stay there? At times I become consumed by all these decisions. I deal with it by making at least one decision based on the research done so far. It could be as simple as booking the flight or the accommodation. Then I know how to proceed. Until I commit to one, everything is unknown.
More recently with the global lockdown I faced increasing difficulty with getting back to the US. Flights were changing every few days, new quarantines were being put in place and restrictions on hotels and vacation rentals. Not too mention the health implications. Fortunately one of my options was to just stay put where I was staying. The feeling of relief was amazing once I made the decision to not fly back to the US. I knew it had been affecting me, I just didn’t realise how much.
I follow the Tony Robbins idea of:
- What am I focused on?
- What does it mean?
- What will I do?
In the above situation I was 100% focused on the getting to my home base. I didn’t realise it until I made the decision to stay. I was spending so much time analysing everything I lost sight of other things. I was no longer aware of how I was thinking. Just doing this for a few weeks was tiring. I can’t imagine what it is like for people who constantly live in that state of mind.
Think about where you are focussing
- If you have been overwhelmed before, how did you overcome it?
- Are you aware of your priorities and how you are going to focus on them?