It's so easy, and usual, for our minds to be occupied with things of the past and the future. We are often writing stories in our minds without even realizing it. Grave reports during these COVID19 days speak of the increase of mental health disorders. (which were on the rise before COVID 19).
Why? People are not present in their minds. Some scary story spins out, and fear and anxiety take hold. An anti-anxiety medication is prescribed and the side-effect of depression compounds the original feelings. And so the downward spiral starts.
According to Neuroscientist, Dr. Caroline Leaf, and others, the human brain was designed to thrive and be in health well into old age. That belief alone supports mental health.
Here's what happens:
We drag the memory of some past event with us for far too long sometimes; grief, resentment, some remembered wrong. We dwell on that past injustice, ruminate over wrongs, and this creates a negative dissonance - leading to negative thinking and poor mental health.
Likewise, we become preoccupied with the future, the next moment. We write a story of 'what if' about the future as we grapple with the unknown, changing world. Needless hours of worry and lost sleep about future, unpredictable events create negative dissonance leading to anxiety, fear, negative thinking, and affects mental health.
BE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. It is the only moment you and I really have. We become present and aware through the practice of specific techniques. Coming soon: practices for healthy thinking and guided meditation here on my new website. (Thank you Jan for my wonderful new website)!