It is one thing to organize ourselves and another to be compulsively making plans all the time. We miss the only thing we have: the present moment.
We spend our days postponing situations, things we have to do or say. And, in parallel, we are making plans “for tomorrow”, or “for next week” or “for when this is over”; “For when I retire”, “for when I find a partner”, According to psychologist Constanza González, the more frustration we feel in the present, the more we take refuge in the future, a future that has never just arrived.
For Constanza González, from our feeling of immortality, we compulsively settle into plans, as if that future were the only incentive to continue in the present.
WHY IS THE FUTURE OBSESSED WITH US?
We cling to the illusion of controlling the future thinking, wrongly, that this way we will have a secure life. And that is, as the philosopher Alan Watts affirms, the main source of insecurity: “ life is a succession of uncertainties, and insecurity is inherent in all of them. Accepting it will allow us to live safely ”.
The sociologist Cristina Sánchez Miret, a professor at the University of Girona, tells us that we are socially afraid of the future. “Our parents and grandparents intuited what their life would be like, they had a clear perception of what would happen to them. Instead, there is more uncertainty today than ever. In insurance company policies we seek security against fear of what may happen to us. ”
But this fear, according to Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, is only a mental projection, a psychological fear away from a real and immediate danger: “it always refers to something that could happen, not something that is already happening. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future.
So, can we eliminate this psychological fear?
HOW TO FOCUS ON THE PRESENT: A SIMPLE EXERCISE
The writer and philosopher José Antonio Marina affirms that fear of the future, like most fears, is not only learned but can be unlearned.
The psychologist Constanza González gives us the clues. We can look at the body. The mind goes into the future, but the body and sensations are in the present.
If we realize that addiction to the future reduces our quality of life, we can carry out a daily exercise of mindfulness.
It is about telling us: ” just for today I will try to live in the present, I will inhabit my body in this situation, in this conversation, in this meal”.
With that mindfulness repeated in daily acts (although every day we say “just for today”), our perception of reality changes. And our mental software will stop projecting into the future compulsively.
Every time you observe that your mind worries about the future or begins to make plans in an almost obsessive way, connect with the present moment: feel your breath, the contact of the chair you are sitting in, the smell and sounds that you accompany.
We will return to our senses over and over again, when we eat, smell, touch, in the words of Dr. González, ” we will gently bring our mind home every time you leave.”