worried and anxious man with hands on head

When You Are Anxious About the Future

Whenever I find myself feeling anxious, I can almost guarantee you that my mind has traveled to some place in the future.

To a conversation with a boss that hasn’t happened yet.

To a fight with my spouse that has never occurred.

To potential crises or accidents outside of my control that could happen. Maybe.

My imagination can be a torture chamber.

“What if this or that happens? What would I do? I couldn’t handle it.”

Before you know it, I’ve worked myself into a tizzy.

How Worry Affects the Mind and Body

By allowing myself to “time travel” into an imaginary future, I allow worry to take hold of my thoughts.

Worry rushes in and takes over my thought life, triggering the release of adrenaline and all kinds of unpleasant physical symptoms like shortness of breath, racing heart, and tense shoulders.

Thinking about the future isn’t inherently a bad thing. It’s wonderful to be excited about future things. A friend’s wedding. A potential promotion. Your kids growing up into new life stages.

It’s when we dwell on dreaded and/or feared scenarios that haven’t happened yet, but we let ourselves predict the worst possible outcomes. That’s when worry and anxiety get a firm grip and squeeze tight.

Live in the Here and Now

Future thinking is best reserved for creating a vision for what we’d love and setting goals to move in that direction.

But the future is not where we are to live. The here and now is where we are.

That’s our reality. Right now.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

So release dreaded thoughts of the future. They most likely will never happen anyway.

And if they do, God will help you then. God will never leave you or forsake you in any circumstance. He is with you always. Immanuel. God with us.

Stop torturing yourself. Focus on NOW.

Exercises to Help You Focus on the Here and Now

If you find yourself worrying about the future, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s true at this moment?
  • What can I do now?
  • What are three good things in my immediate environment that I’m grateful for?
  • What can I choose to think about instead that gives me joy or peace?

Then say to yourself:

“God is faithful to be with me in all my moments. I don’t want to miss what’s happening right now.”

In every single moment of our conscious lives we have the power to choose what we will think about and focus upon. It’s our super power.

Why miss the good in the now? You can feel good right now!

Put your hand over your heart, breathe and let all the beauty in and around you in this very moment fill your mind with peace.

Look around you; don’t miss the gift of now. Think on these things!

If you struggle with worrying about the future and focusing on the present, I would love to help you through it. Schedule a free 15 minute call with me to see if one-on-one coaching would work well for you. I want you to be equipped to live the life you want to live, here and now, and live it abundantly.

May 6, 2022


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By Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson & Tom Ziglar