The Power of Now - 08/05/2015
Many of us feel worry, stress or anxiety. What does this actually mean? What causes it and how can we learn to control it?
The Power of Now is a concept brought to life by Eckhart Tolle. If you haven’t heard of him or his work, but you do suffer from stress, worry or anxiety I would recommend it.
Worry, stress and anxiety come from thinking too much about events in the past that you can’t change or keep re-living over again in your mind, or from thinking about events that have not yet happened in the future. Take a moment to evaluate what it is you tend to think about with the negative undertone of worry stress or anxiety. It’s usually more weighted to past or future, but both can play a part at the same time. The Power of Now is a concept teaching you that in times of worry, stress or anxiety all that matters, or indeed all you have immediate control over, is right now. How would you like to feel?
Very happy people often live their life to the full in the present moment with little thought to past or future. To you, this may feel like a stretch too far, but the less you focus on past or future the happier you will feel. This doesn’t mean happy people don’t plan for their future, they know the actions they take now will shape their future. They believe and are confident that their actions will lead them to where they want to be and therefore don’t worry about the future.
Here is simple exercise your can use to help you focus in times of extreme worry, stress or anxiety, or even before an important meeting or interview, when you need to feel calm and confident. It’s a method of sensory grounding.
The name of this strategy is simply ‘5-4-3-2-1’.
The purpose of a sensory grounding exercise is to bring your attention into the present moment by using all of your senses.
Right now I want you to:
1. Look around the room and name five things you can see.
2. Move your focus into your body, and name four things you can feel.
3. Bring your attention to your hearing, and name three things you can hear.
4. Pay attention to your sense of smell, and name two things you can smell — or imagine two things you like the smell of.
5. Name one thing you can taste or that you like the taste of.
You may need to do it more than once, but by bringing your attention to the present moment, using your senses, you stop your mind from focusing on the worst case scenario.