Let’s elaborate on building a compassionate attitude towards the present moment.
While anxious, so many sufferers have critical thoughts like, I’m supposed to be mindful right now. I should be using my skills. I’m not doing this right. It makes everything worse.
If this is you, try cueing yourself with My present moment is a gift I can offer myself right now, rather than a critical I must be mindful.
When I see you, I think that as long as you have your breath, your present moment is a gift. Your breath is always there with you. It’s yours to have and yours to hold. You just have to close your mouth. Even when it feels out of control, you can immediately bring it back into your control. If you’re willing to play, you can even hyperventilate on purpose. Your breath is your friend. It reminds you that you are alive.
The present moment is a gift even and especially when you feel anxious.
When I can’t fall asleep or I wake up too early, my present moment is a gift: The memories I’m having are not presently occurring. The content of my worries has not yet occurred and may not occur. My sheets are comfy and my bed is warm. My heart is racing. I have a strong heart. My mind is running. My mind is clever. My arms and legs are tired and I’m giving my body the gift of rest. If I stay conscious, rest is a gift. If I fall out of consciousness, rest is also a gift. This present moment is a gift I’m giving myself.
When I’m anticipating a social experience, a work stressor, a flight or a fight, my present moment is a gift: My mind is out in front of my experience right now and it sure feels like a prediction and a threat. Predictions are possibilities, not probabilities, and the possibilities are endless. I can redirect my attention to what’s happening now… which is nothing… and surrender into it. My surrender is an attitude, not an outcome. I don’t need to test my surrender to see if I’m doing it right. It’s okay if I still feel uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety. I can give myself the gift of the surrender attitude, which is allowing whatever it is that is happening now.
When I’m in an OCD loop, my present moment is a gift: My mind wants to replay, to check, to reassure, to figure it out. It’s okay for me to have that urge. It’s okay for me to bring my thoughts along and my urges along to whatever I was planning on doing today. I might be in OCD Land. I might not. This experience might go away. It might not. Given that I don’t like OCD Land, the Land of Real Life is a gift. I can teleport there in a single breath. I can bring all of my thoughts, feelings, and sensations with me to the Land of Real Life too.
When is the present moment a gift for you?For Community Time, think of an anxious moment and write out what you can say to yourself to remind yourself that the present is a gift.