Learn From the Past, Live For Now, Plan For Tomorrow
May 13, 2015 | Published by Dr. Eric Bakker
Learn From the Past
To err is human, even when it comes to our health. Even the most dedicated person will slip up. Maybe it’s giving in to comforting but toxic foods that make you feel worse afterward, or that sugary drink from the coffee shop that leaves you exhausted shortly after. Instead of letting these mistakes ruin your mood and add stress, learn from them and move on. It’s the only way to truly enjoy living in today.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with thinking of past events, especially positive events and people that brought you joy. The trouble comes when we focus on the past and use that as an indicator of how we feel today. Dwelling on past mistakes and regrets can bring anxiety about today, as well as weaken your self-confidence. Instead of thinking “I was so stupid for doing that,” reframe it to “I’ll do it differently next time.”
What’s in the past is done, and regardless of what happened there is nothing that can be done to change the outcome. Regret is a losing game, and will only add to your stress and frustration.
Live For Now
As trite as it may sound, there is some truth in the phrase “you’re only as happy as you want to be.” By “thinking” happy, you increase your chances of being happy. This happiness, even if you’re faking it til you make it, is contagious. People will feed off your vibe, perhaps even increasing their mood in the process. How do you feel in a conversation with a negative, draining person? You likely want to exit stage left!
But how do you put on a happy face when you have a raincloud overhead? There are tricks you can play on your mind to push through, or at least get moving to step one. When you wake up, tell yourself that today is going to be great. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed is an excuse and setup for a bad day. If you will it, so it shall be.
It’s also helpful to focus on the basic, raw feeling of being alive. You’re here another day to live, to make something happen. It may sound hokey, but every day has the chance to be one of the best. Some people never seem to enjoy today, instead putting off living until tomorrow. This is a vicious cycle that only leads to more regret and procrastination.
How well you can filter out the stresses of the past and future will affect your peace and happiness of today. Moreover, your stress response system functions better when unencumbered by imaginary stress. With adrenal fatigue you’re already at a disadvantage, so any added stress can be a big deal. Remember: today is the most important day of your life, because it’s the only one that matters now.
Plan for Tomorrow
Failing to plan almost certainly leads to planning to fail. This doesn’t mean you need to spend all of today worrying about and planning for the future, but some planning is good. Both too little and too much planning can be harmful. When planning brings anxiety and stress, it’s time to scale it back and think in smaller, more manageable terms. Planning doesn’t have be some grandiose scheme. It can be as simple as making a meal plan for the week, or making to-do lists in the morning to get organized for the day.
There will be challenges in the future, but don’t be fooled into worrying about them now. It won’t make you any more prepared. Believing a future event will be unsuccessful is another trap. You don’t know the future, so it’s fruitless to speculate. There’s no reason to not be optimistic. Never feel anxious about things that haven’t even happened!
It’s nearly impossible to live in and enjoy the moment when you’re anxious about the past or the future. Accepting this can be a big improvement in your health and well-being–both physical and emotional. It’s your life, and you’re the only one who can sit in the driver’s seat. Grab the steering wheel and accelerate forward, looking ahead and only glancing at what’s behind you.
Image Credits: Flickr user Asja Boroš
About the Author: Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 27 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida, psoriasis, as well as adrenal fatigue, thyroid and digestive disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. He has also written what may well be the most comprehensive Natural Psoriasis Treatment Program available. You can find more articles by Dr. Bakker on his blog at www.ericbakker.com
Categorised in: Self Improvement