Posted by: Dr. Jennifer Fee | October 23, 2010

Anti-Anxiety Method Bar None: The Here and Now

Do you remember that the definition of anxiety is the anticipation of danger that might happen in the future?  Since that’s the case, one of the most effective ways to combat anxiety is to stay in the present.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of it’s own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34, RSV)

  How can you stay in the present?  Grounding yourself is one way to bring yourself back into the present moment.  Abdominal breathing can also help you focus on present awareness.   However, I think the verse above gives us another method for staying in the present, which is to focus only on “today’s trouble.”

The common advice for tackling an overwhelming task is to break it down into small, manageable steps.  The same advice applies to focussing only on “today’s trouble.”   Do you write down your schedule for the day?  If you don’t, that’s a great starting point.  A schedule is a helpful aide for staying on one task/issue/event at a time.

It’s normal for  thoughts or worries enter our minds about other things when we’re trying to focus on something.  The best way to stay here and now focussed is to talk back to those thoughts.  A statement like, “I’m not dealing with the problem yet, I need to finish this task,” is a good way to push the thought aside.  Notice that you are not dismissing the thought, problem or worry, you are merely postponing it until it’s time to deal with it.  The goal is to address one thing at a time–whatever is in the present moment.

Thanks for reading!  –Dr. Jennifer Fee



  1. […] Yes, I know I talk about this a lot, that an essential key to managing anxiety is to live in the here and now.  It is true for handling change as well. Many changes occur gradually or are upcoming in the […]

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