“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened,” renowned American author Mark Twain once said.
It's one thing to think about your future, and another to think about it so much that you fill yourself with worry over something you haven't even experienced yet. Fear of the future is a very real struggle for many of us, but it doesn't have to be. By limiting the power you lend to that little voice inside your head, you can turn that anxiety about the unknown into a distant memory.
One of the five main personality traits that humans have -- and one of the biggest contributors to this compulsion -- is neuroticism. And when untamed, it leaves us feeling unnecessarily anxious and unmoored. But practicing mindfulness daily can be one of the best ways to harness the power of this often subconscious behavior and transform it into something positive and inspiring. By reconnecting with your true self, letting this rumination come and go, and finding strength in what is certain in the present moment, you just might find a new ability to trust in that whatever will happen will happen, and simply let it be.
But it takes work to find that comfort in discomfort. As women's health advocate and author Pamela Madsen puts it, life's biggest moments that drive us forward expand and contract our lives simultaneously, wedding pleasure and pain together in way that, while uncomfortable, allows us to engage in each aspect of the experience.
"It makes sense that if you are in a journey of self discovery, you will be riding a lot of emotional waves," she wrote for Psychology Today. "Try to make friends with those feelings. Know that you are the earth, and all of the emotions and uncomfortable feelings are simply passing weather. Take some shelter, but don't run away. Be in it and see what happens."
Rather than letting your emotions get the best of you when you're feeling anxious about the future, take a moment to breathe deeply and consider the following mantras on letting go of those fears. Instead of worrying about what will happen days, weeks or months from now, revel in the unknown. Learn to cherish it and appreciate it as another opportunity for an adventure.
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.