Those in control of their anxious thoughts understand one thing well: Now is all there is.
The past is a crooked memory. The future is a trustless dreamland.
Now is real as f*ck.
Yet most of us would rather work anxiously to adjust our yesterday and forecast our tomorrow. And we wind up totally incognizant of today.
We need more mindfulness!
And I get it. With a maxed out schedule, kids to feed, businesses to grow, and a perpetual blinking light in the palms of our hands, it’s not easy to find time to practice this mindfulness…
But sometimes all you need is a slight tweak in consciousness—or an insight—for your entire world to transform.
Below is my ever-evolving list of insights to help you free your mind from the bullshit anxiety of modern life. You ready?
You are a f*ckin’ miracle
Congratulations. You’ve won the biggest and best lottery the universe offers.
Dr. Ali Binazir crunched the numbers, the odds of you existing are 1 in 102,650,000.
As a comparison, the number of atoms in the known universe is estimated to be between 1079 and 1081.
Ponder that for a second…
I suppose it’s safe to say you are rare. And with such rarity, comes tremendous value.
None that came before, none alive today, and none that come later can think and behave exactly like you.
So there is no need to fear your differences. Your uniqueness is an asset. Why not proclaim it?
If you only appreciate your miracle existence and put it to constructive use, you will have unlimited potential to live a fulfilling life meaningful to you.
Life is not a problem to be solved
We spend way too much time and energy trying to solve life’s “problems”, only to find out that the real problem was our lack of awareness of what is really going on.
Not only is taking things too seriously boring, it’s ineffective.
When you revert to the enthusiasm, lightheartedness, and imagination you once expressed as a child—before you were conditioned to “get serious” and “face reality”—you will rediscover your innate capacity to handle everything life throws at you, without getting bent out of shape.
Remember, life is a celebration. It’s a mystery to be lived, not solved. When you treat it as such, “problems” lose their dominance.
Security is not a real thing
The universe’s very nature is fluidity. Nothing can last indefinitely.
Life is in flux. Wanting perfect security and safety is wanting to be separate from life. And separating yourself from life is paradoxically where our insecurity stems from.
Security is nothing more than a hollow desire. Change is undeniable.
If security is what you crave, you are causing yourself pain the more you try to pursue it. The only stability you will achieve is your consistent anxiety and fear of what makes life real.
To be completely “secure”, is to not truly be alive.
You are defined by your attitude toward gratitude
It’s a shame many people choose not to see the innumerable blessings present in their everyday lives. As a result, they turn to self-pity, complaining, and making excuses for everything.
Little do they know, at any given moment, they are choosing gratitude for what they have, or misery about the things and experiences they have not been given—but never both.
It is impossible to be thankful and anxious at the same time.
It allows you to give challenges the respect they deserve. You are better able to see that difficult circumstances are not always bad news and problems. Sometimes they are a wake-up call, or a lesson to be learned, or an opportunity to be realized.
A healthy attitude toward gratitude helps you recognize that good has been given to you whether you asked for it or not.
You only know what is happening right now
There is no understanding of anything without complete awareness of it. And since you can only be aware of this moment, prejudices of past and predicted experiences will only distort your perception of your current experience.
You can never really know what has happened or will happen.
Your human experience can only be realized by inspecting your sensations, thoughts, and feelings of this moment as if you’ve never seen them before. And that’s how you live fully in the now.
Memory is a present experience
Memories are great for thinking about what has past. But as you remember, what is physically happening?
It’s not like the events of your memory miraculously take place again. So you can’t influence any physical part of it.
Memory is not time travel. No shit. Yet many people with anxiety still react as though it is.
The reality is, you are not viewing the actual past. Instead, you are viewing a present idea about the past.
And since you can only know what is happening right now, past events are nothing more than present speculations. Truly being aware of the past is impossible.
The present experience is not memory
As we know, memories are abstract—an idea about things rather than of things. They can never succeed in grasping reality.
Yet we love to compare our present experiences with memories of other experiences. In doing so, we inaccurately interpret the present moment as though it was a fixed past—or a dead moment.
While comparing the present to the past has its uses, its application is overused. It becomes an obsession, an escape mechanism, a way to avoid the present.
Why not be aware of this moment as it is, forgetting the past and future, and appreciating your experience without judgment or association?
You have the power to create your patterns of thought
You know what that means?
Yup, you also have the power to change them.
Our patterns of thought—which have unconsciously formulated over the course of our lives—determine the quality of our lives. And while some empower us, many undermine us and trigger anxiety.
You are a conscious human being, which means you can hop in the driver’s seat whenever you want.
Realizing this enables you to take a more mindful look at the patterns that have formed. Then you can inspect them in the moment and make new choices if need be.
Belief and faith are not the same things
They may even be opposites.
Belief is limiting. It is a state of mind open to the truth—but only on the condition it aligns with the believer’s preconceived ideas and wishes.
Faith, on the other hand, opens the mind to the truth—whatever that truth may be.
Faith is a peaceful confidence in the grand scheme. That shit is going exactly the way it’s supposed to, even though it may not seem like it right now.
For whatever reason, we weren’t given the ability to discern why everything happens, either good and bad, the way it does. So wouldn’t it make sense to just have faith—instead of believing in a future you are in no position to understand, and pouting when it doesn’t materialize?
When you trust the unknown, your entire perspective on life expands. And as your perspective expands, your “problems” shrink.
The stars will align when your attention and intention align
Think about where you invest your attention the most. Because this will determine the people, resources, and circumstances that crop up in your life. Poor investments lead to poor returns.
When intention is not driving attention, we call this autopilot. This separates your mind from the present moment, and fixates it on the anxiety-laden past and future.
The practice of being intentional with your attention and paying attention to your intention is the key to making effective moment-by-moment decisions that will produce the reality you seek.
Drama is not required to feel alive
Why do we think we must be at the center of crisis after crisis to prove we exist in this world? This unconscious fixation on drama is one of the leading sources of anxiety. Let me explain.
Most of the time, no real drama exists in the present moment. But because we have such an obsession for drama, we feel compelled to create it.
We start in our minds—by forming stories about people and situations that haven’t even happened, and likely won’t ever happen.
We then project these stories onto real-life “actors”. Before we know it, we are trapped in yet another shitty experience. But interestingly enough, many of us take some perverse sense of satisfaction from it—because we can play the victim…
And the victim loves attention.
Creating drama is nothing more than a self-sabotaging sick gimmick to gain the attention of others. When you distance yourself from this tendency to create drama where drama does not exist, you discover the many other productive approaches to the attention you deserve.
Giving is living
So many people are nervous to give because they think they are losing something by doing so. This screams scarcity mindset and lack of inner wealth.
On the other hand, those who let things go from within them, prove they are trustworthy enough to receive the abundance of resources available out there.
When you circulate resources, kindness, compassion, and encouragement, as opposed to hoarding them for yourself, you earn more of these things to share with the world!
And not only will you tap into the flow of affluence, you become a beneficial presence on the planet.
Love is your greatest weapon
When you respond to others and yourself with love, hate and anger get their asses kicked.
Muscle, power, and violence can defend against and destroy life, but only the power of love can defend against and destroy adversity, discouragement, and hatred.
There is no greater gift than the capacity to see the good in the world—which is plentiful might I add—even when others are in denial of it.
Force could never break down the walls of cynicism and open the hearts and minds of others like encouragement, applause, and respect can.
The truth is we are all in this thing together. A small and bitter heart is of no utility to a fulfilling life. Besides, your time and energy are too precious to waste it on hate.
Now must you apply all of these insights in every moment of your life? Absolutely not. You will stress yourself out trying to be mindful. That’d be silly.
Simply know they are available to you whenever you need them—whenever you’d like to consciously use your mind, ease anxiety, and fully take part in your life.
To be continued…
This running list post will continue to be updated to provide the most simple yet transformative insights to ease our anxiety and live more mindfully. If you’ve ever had an insight that helped you, why not share it with us below so we can add it to the list!