Some people look toward the future with hope and optimism. They only see all of the great things that could happen. For many people, however, looking toward the future is intimidating and even frightening. There are so many what-if scenarios that can result in severe anxiety. This may be anxiety that keeps you up at night and that leaves you feeling irritable. Anxiety can impact your career and your personal relationships. It may even manifest in physical symptoms, such as an ulcer or tension headaches. Regardless of your current situation, you can alleviate your intense anxiety about what the future holds by applying these important tips.
Visualize a Pleasant Future
At first glance, visualization seems like a waste of time, but it actually has a powerful impact on your mind. When you constantly think about all of the bad things that could happen, your mood is altered, and you begin preparing for every worst-case scenario. On the other hand, if you visualize a pleasant, happy future, you may begin to feel more relaxed and at ease. More than that, you may develop a plan for achieving the future that you have in mind. It can take time to train your brain to visualize pleasant outcomes, but this effort will be well-rewarded.
Create a Plan for the Future
One of the most significant things preventing you from achieving the pleasant future that you have envisions is a plan. A plan essentially gives you detailed instructions for how you will get from this point in your life to a future point that you desire. For example, a retirement plan helps you to plan financially for the type of lifestyle that you have envisioned enjoying after you stop working. Most people will not be able to retire comfortably without careful planning and sticking to a strict retirement plan. Planning can also help you to buy your first home, start a new business and achieve other major life goals. Define your short-term and long-term goals. Then, think through each step that is required to reach those goals.
Focus on the Present
Some people spend so much time worrying about the future that they fail to enjoy the present. Preparing and planning for the future is important, but it is equally important to learn about mindfulness and to practice being mindful of the present. For a few minutes every day, sit quietly and observe everything around you. Do not think about anything that has happened or that may happen. Instead, simply note the temperature in the room or how the sun feels on your face. Pay attention to sounds and smells. Avoid tying emotions to these things, and simply observe them as they are. Doing this a few minutes each day will help you to gain appreciation for the world around you today and may ease some of the tension that you feel about uncertainty in the future.
Improve Your Physical Health
Anxiety can lead to depression, insomnia, overeating or undereating and many other physical health issues. These are unfortunately things that can also cause anxiety to worsen, and you may find that you are caught in a vicious and unhealthy circle. You may be able to break the anxiety cycle by shaking up your routine. Go to bed an hour earlier at night, and get in the habit of walking your dog around the block once or twice a day for exercise. Plan your meals with nutrition in mind, and take pleasure in preparing them.
If you suffer from severe anxiety, it may take many weeks or even months for your symptoms to improve. However, by applying these tips, you may notice gradual alleviation in your symptoms. More than that, you may set the wheels in motion for a healthier, happier future while learning to appreciate the present on a deeper level.