Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Almost everyone of us has suffered at some point this feeling of anxiety, in our best scenarios we felt it due to an eager anticipation of something good that we know is going to happen, however the sad face of this now common feeling is the anticipation of something bad happening to us or to someone we care about. As you can see both scenarios have the word “anticipation” meaning both of them have to do with a future result we want to generate in our lives or a negative future, that by ourselves, we are creating in our mind.
The root cause of every anxious thought that we might experience is a construct of our mind and whether is positive or negative the outcome there shouldn’t be any rush to obtain whatever result you desire, because if we are very objective and practical once you obtain “that thing” you anxiously want the expectation is going to wear off very quickly, however if we allow ourselves to come back to our true nature which living and enjoying our present moment, then the expectation will dissipate as water running through your hands, there will be no belief support to maintain it and additionally you will obtain more satisfaction from all the steps, struggles, and hardship that is leading to the end result. This will allow you to celebrate each step, each single stone that you’re setting to build your castle.
Sounds so easy when we see it from that angle, doesn’t it? But why is so damn difficult to avoid expectation, anticipation?
Well, it all comes down to our primitive nature, as primates (after all that’s our evolution start point) we had to be careful of every threat in our outside environment, we also had to be expectant or certain that we were going to find food to feed our tribe, as we started to move on through the ladder of evolution all the fast speed growth that every type of society ask us was always based on an expectation and the anticipation of having something better, of achieving something bigger, of being able to surpass what had been already set by others in order to be seen as someone “successful” and this of course is also imprinted by a society that many times lack self-reflection and was eagerly looking outside to find the tranquilizers for their emotions, the validation for their actions, after all we have always been sold the idea that our value is what others think of us!!.
There were some divine gifted or awaken “personages” during many past times, such as the great Greek Philosophers (Plato, Socrates, Descartes, etc.), the most known Religious and Spiritual God’s (Buddha, Jesus, Jehovah, etc.), some Famous Scientist/Inventors and Artists (Galileo, Da Vinci, Picasso, Newton, Einstein, Franklin, etc) that we are able to isolate from the others, from their outside conditions, from the collective thinking, and they were able to find what we all share a divine spot, a divine source of energy, of creation, of peace, love compassion, surrendering, gratitude, that in the end was the group of assets that we all can use to create a perfect balance with the universe, with the energy we are all made of and literally be able to stop time to allow presence in ourselves and eradicate every kind of thought, emotion or feeling that make us feel attached to what other people want, to the collective program that wants to be installed in everyone to be able to manipulate us easier, to create disease and of course to create profit out of your emotional state.
Therefore, the silver lining of these reflections bring us back to cultivate a peaceful state of mind, to develop a habit of catching up with our thoughts and being able to identify and letting go the kind of thoughts that are no longer needed inside of us, being able to break the neural pathways that keep us coming back for more addictive chemicals, that will just reinforce a victim state where we are no longer free, we are slaves of those substances, we also become slaves of that train of thoughts which has in its wagons, negative emotions such as self-pity, comparison, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anger, sadness, and many more that is even pointless to complete the list.
How to be master of time, to forget it at will?
One way to free oneself from time lies in controlling the inner self, in a form of spirituality, rather than in the attempt to control external time. People who regularly practice mindfulness meditation do in- deed report some changes in their relationship to the passage of time, which they experience as being slowed (1).
The practice of mindfulness-related techniques would reduce anxiety and nervousness and this, in turn, would improve self-control, i.e., the ability to voluntarily focus attention on the processing of ongoing information, that is to say of temporal information in our study (1).
Reflecting on these data presented in the studies mentioned above, as well as all the information available on different types of meditation, we can assure that the key to allowing ourselves to control the pace, the type or the impact that our thoughts can have will only be alleviated if we are more aware that we need to stop our busy, hectic schedules, the number of tasks were trying to achieve and probably the number of commitments we are also accumulating in our tight agendas.
And this doesn’t mean at all that you need to stop working, studying or doing what you are or abruptly change your lifestyle, is it just a matter of priorities, of slowing down, creating a self-critical map of the things that are more relevant for you, the ones that are moving the needle in the arena you want to strive, creating blocks of time, creating schedules that allow yourself to be more in control of your time, so you can open a space exclusively dedicated to your emotional peace, to your spiritual and of course mental health.
No one is coming after you, no one is really going to grade you or categorize you into anything, the only one that wants to be believe in that society imposed model ..is you !! We all have unique abilities and traits that will allow to move ourselves through our endeavors and goals, but it can be at your rhythm, it can be at a pace that complies with your own peace of mind.
In addition to that new pace that you’re going to design, you can also be more aware of when, how and what type of scenarios prime you to feel anxious, you can also use the time you have already set up for your own reflection to be more analytical and find out where do they come from ..your parents/caregivers, your family circle, your social environment, your job, usually many of the triggers that we have developed through time to activate a toxic thought or behavior comes from our past even when anxiety by itself has to do with future thoughts, its foundation is also on previous events.
Everyone knows the difference between imagining a thing and believing in its existence, between supposing a proposition and acquiescing in its truth (2).
The human mind has the remarkable ability to momentarily disengage from the immediate environment in order to simulate possible futures, which plays a fundamental role in guiding our decisions and actions. Over the past decade, important progress has been made in understanding how such future-oriented thoughts are constructed and elaborated. Research has shown, in particular, that episodic memory plays a critical role in the ability to simulate the future (2).
What makes one believe that an imagined event refers to something that might happen in one’s personal future rather than, say, a mere fantasy?
This subjective sense may not be an intrinsic property of imagined events, but may instead arise from attributions that we make about our mental experiences. For example, event simulations may be perceived as belong- ing to our personal future because they are consistent with our expectations and knowledge about ourselves and our life (2).
As mentioned above by research and in other articles that you can refer to (How Do You Let Go...Your Past?, Are you in Full Presence in Your Life?, Is Free Will Really Yours?) our mind has been conditioned to be looking outside for something, to eagerly obtain a reward, approval or attention, otherwise society has made its solely purpose to train you that if something on the outside doesn’t validate your effort, your person then you are not successful, you’re not worthy, or nowadays more dangerously promoted you don’t exist for the world!!
The current trend in social media, discover supposedly by a marketing strategist, popularized by a student of Harvard, and now taken up by some psychologists that just want to create more dependency of drugs or therapy, invented a new term named “FOMO” Fear of Missing Out, which is exactly the peak of the iceberg to harness more anxiety on people, of course this new “illness” which is marketing invented is born to trigger people to commit to more, to be able to “stand out” from others, to be able to “make an impact” in whatever they’re pursuing or doing, the main idea of this term is that you have to be missed and people should be able to see that you are not present otherwise you might tun the risk of not “existing”.
If we analyze more this toxic trend, the underlining message is so powerful that has created a series of social media spread which os actually raising the anxiety levels of people because they are now more afraid of “missing” an event, “missing” the opportunity to participate in social media, the opportunity to acquire more followers, likes or any kind of reward mostly on any social platform..which creates a chain reaction of toxic thoughts and chemicals inside of you which trigger more your anxious behavior, which turn on your future scenarios towards a negative outcome and which make you an easy prey for any kind of advertisement that wants to cure your “disease” that has been empowered by your own mental confusion that clouds your thinking.
Why is your mental capacity reduced by these trending thoughts or society imposed illnesses?
Let’s begin with that simple “trending” thought of FOMO.. This label as soon as so hear it, as soon as you make it your own by “tagging” yourself you are already releasing a pretty high amount of adrenaline, cortisol, noradrenaline in addition to other stressful chemical messages that provoke fear inside of you, followed by a sad feeling that you are no longer required in certain event, place or gathering or that you’re not noticed, validated or rewarded in a social platform.
These states, continuously grow inside you and if we replicate them through days, you will quickly experience several episodes of anxiety, that come with a side dressing of depression that will completely validate the popular belief that you are missing, that you are stopping to exist, but that is not a consequence of anyone noticing you, that is a consequence that you are self-producing, self-empowering and each day that you keep reinforcing it you make it grow even bigger to the extent that probably in just a few months you have created a now real, serious depression that unfortunately might require first some drug treatment, followed by a year long therapy just because you let the small snow ball into what marketing wants …you are now a perfect candidate for a “treatment” and also you’re no longer confident that you can self-repair this “illness”.
Every time we are exposed to a threat, every time we allow ourselves to create a state of fear we shut down pretty much every other function (essential) in our body, leaving us in a state of victim which is the main objective of marketing and drug industries.
How do I break these cycles and how do I recover my own power?
It’s not as difficult as it may seem, is not as bad as media wants you to believe. Every step you have to follow is pretty much discussed above, but to make it more practical and simpler, apply these healing train of actions:
Identify what makes you anxious, an event, a person, a result, etc?
Is it real? What is a real pessimistic scenario and what would a positive real result that you want? Focus on the positive but download the negative.
List 3 possible outcomes, and list 5 steps to achieve it and how can you reward in between these steps.
Schedule a breathing, meditation session everyday for a minimum of 5-10 minutes.
As much as you can walk or do any type of physical activity that allows you wear off the toxic chemicals, minimum 25-30 minutes 4 times per week.
Every time you start feeling that an anxiety episode is coming, sit down, breathe and write down 5 grateful sentences where you enlist and clearly appreciate some abilities of yourself.
To sum up, no one outside of yourself has the capacity to prime you to feel anything if you don’t allow the thought they want to impose in you, you are able to control every thought you have and of course you’re more than capable of transforming a negative thought into a positive one, you’re also in control of your inner state, your inner emotions and feelings you just have to begin to recognize your divine power within you, you are a CREATOR of your life, you are not a puppet of any kind of marketing trend or greedy people that want to harness and diminish your own power. Be a rebel to every negative thought, be a compassionate being of everyone’s will or actions but don’t be a victim of their own reflections!!
Droit-Volet, S., & Heros, J. (2017). Time judgments as a function of mindfulness meditation, anxiety, and mindfulness awareness. Mindfulness, 8(2), 266-275
Ernst, A., & D’Argembeau, A. (2017). Make it real: Belief in occurrence within episodic future thought. Memory & Cognition, 45(6), 1045–1061.