People are panicked about the climate. About possibly having the disease a parent had. Or about their kid being kidnapped, or their taxes being misspent. We each worry about any number of things. But what no one ever worries about, is everything.
There is just too much to worry about, if we’re looking for worries. Four times as many people are killed every year by falling vending machines, than are killed by sharks. Lots of people worry about sharks, but who worries about walking down hallways in buildings with vending machines?
The fact that we choose some worries and we leave others out is proof that we do not have to bring a worry to life by thinking about it in our present moment. We have a channel changer of things to think about. So, since worrying does not prevent things, prevention does, we are better not to do it.
How do we avoid worry? The same way you avoid worrying about the falling vending machines you’re already not worrying about. It’s not about stopping the worries. It’s about not starting them. If you hear yourself peddling that bike, just abandon it in favour of literally anything else your mind can focus on.
Be present. Anxiousness involves the future. We cannot act in the future. But that future will be built by the acts we undertake in this present moment. If we are seeking salvation and peace, it can always be found in the present.
In the present, we do not have ‘problems.’ We are either faced with something we like, something we can start changing, or something we cannot change and must accept. In none of those states do we have a ‘problem.’ We just have something we like, something to do, or something to move on from. There is a quiet calmness in that.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.