How to Make Feeling Inspired a Priority
As I was reading the UCLA Fall 2022 magazine, I came across an article titled High Anxiety by Dan Gordon that caught my interest. I assumed it was another discussion on how real post-covid/high inflation anxiety (PCHIA) is, with perhaps some new suggestions on how to handle the anxiety. It begins:
“With its persistent grip, COVID-19 has exacted an unimaginable toll on all of us. It’s taken lives and livelihoods, canceled celebrations, isolated us from family, friends, and co-workers. Coupled with a news cycle dominated by ceaseless reports of global war, mass shootings and a nation seemingly hopelessly divided, we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re all dealing with increasing amounts of crippling anxiety.”
The author included familiar suggestions that are good to remember:
- Remember You Have Choices
- Face Things
- Deep Breaths
- Exert Some Control
- Keep it Routine
- Get Outside
- Flip the Script
I wanted to further pursue these suggestions to see if I could discover new techniques to help tamp down the anxiety. I encountered several validating statistics from the American Psychological Association that mentioned that among the (PCHIA) symptoms are “forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, and difficulty making decisions.”
So I felt a bit relieved that I’m not losing my cognitive abilities, but still wanted to learn more about how to handle this anxiety. This led to a study of Future Tripping. This, in turn, leads us back to Mindfulness. Wikipedia’s definition of mindfulness is:
“the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to the present-moment experience without evaluation.”
My interpretation is that inherent in this definition is the concept of Future Tripping. Future Tripping is also called anticipatory anxiety. It’s part of the human condition of looking into the imagined future and anticipating the outcome. The practice of future tripping increases anxiety, however, and when we’re anxious, chances are we’ll anticipate the worst possible outcome. So future tripping is a good thing to avoid. We can do that by practicing mindfullness.
In my pursuit of more help on this subject, I discovered a fascinating concept that I had not heard of before: Searching not just for serenity, or peace, but more importantly, for inspiration.
In Gabby Bernsteinʻs blog article “Beware of Future Tripping” she reiterates the idea that the fastest way to release an outcome and the pressure of expectations is to reconnect with the present. Part of her suggestion to do “one small thing each day” she mentions that the purpose is not only to focus on now, but to pursue inspiration. When we change our expectation of “what will happen when I do this,” to “what can I do to feel inspired,” the one small thing each day opens up endless opportunities for positive, surprising, and self-caring outcomes.
I could go on, this concept facinates me so much. But instead, I’ll suggest that you check out her website for a four-step framework for making feeling inspired a priority.
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