Past, Present Or Future?……..Where does your thinking lie?
We all have a past, and hopefully a future, and we are always in the present moment at any one time ….or are we? Indeed we are in the present, all of the time, when you think about it, but what about our minds? Our minds have the ability to flit back and forth which is an essential part of survival, after the past can help us avoid danger and help us not repeat certain mistakes in the future, however for some our minds can become a little stuck which causes us to live either too much in the past or future. This is where counselling can help you.
Where do your thoughts lie?
Many of those who access counselling find themselves trapped in the negative past, dwelling on what has happened and how they could have done things differently. You may hear them say ‘if only’ ‘I should never have’…..‘I wish I’d done things differently…..’ Others may be trapped in the negative future (the worriers) contemplating their fate. They can often be heard saying ‘what if’ ‘I can’t do this because……..’ Which leaves us with the present. Of course, past present and future are of equal importance because we need our memories, good and bad, to help us learn for the present as well as planning for the future, but the question is at what point does it become unhealthy?
The percentage guide
If you divide past, present and future by three it equates to just over 33%. With this in mind, how would you divide yours? It’s interesting to note that a high number of people will often spend a large percentage of their time in either past, future or both, with little emphasis in the present. How helpful do you think this is when attempting to problem solve or lessen anxiety for example?
Counselling can help you learn to acknowledge the present which can be a rewarding process that brings balance into the lives of sufferers. Let’s look at some examples. Perhaps someone has been treated unfairly.
Past dwellers might feel hurt and say ‘it’s not fair, this always happens to me’. They may spend a lot of time mulling over how many other times they have been treated like this, which reinforces their original thoughts, before concluding those thoughts were indeed right.
Future thinkers may say ‘I will always be treated like this’. They may worry that they don’t have the power to change anything and accept their lot.
Present thinkers may say ‘is this justified’? ‘Their behaviour is unacceptable and I don’t have to accept it, I’ll leave them to it and carry on with my day’.
Here are some of the benefits experienced by present day thinkers
• The ability to solve problems
• Increased self worth and self esteem
• Appreciation of life and surroundings
• A sense of freedom
It may not be easy to let go of such thinking styles, which often become ingrained and habitual but this article has hopefully given you and insight into how problems can be maintained and changed and how counselling can help you..
We may not always be in control of how others have treated us but we can be in control of our thoughts and reactions which can make a big difference in our present and future!