I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but I know I find myself constantly waiting for the “next” thing. In fact, I think I have spent most of my life waiting for something. So what do we do when our waiting is full of anxious feelings and a feeling that we’re never really satisfied?
These tips are helpful reminders of the types of activities that we can do when we’re feeling anxious about the future. Making an effort to be more intentional about our own happiness and focusing on being present are key to making progress.
It’s okay to be excited about the future, but living in a constant state of, “what’s next?” can put us in a
What Does It Mean to Be Intentional with Your Own Happiness?
To be intentional about something is to make a choice and take action. Therefore, intentional contentment is making the decision and taking action to be content with what you have going on in your life.
The choice to be content goes against the culture we live in today. The “live your best life,” and “you only live once” mentality purposefully creates restlessness and a need to strive for a life that is just “more.” The problem is that none of us have really figured out what “more” means.
Being excited for the future is one thing, but what if I am constantly in a state of trying to achieve my next “goal”? Right now, that goal is paying off student loans. Before that, it was getting married. Before that, it was finding a job after graduation. The list goes on and on, and as soon as I check off a goal I set a new one and start working towards it.
So how can we start to change the way our brain works when we’re feeling like we’re just waiting for the future? I’ve got three tips for how I redirect my energy to focus less on my anxious need for what’s “next.”
Tips for Decreasing Anxiety About Future Goals
This “need more” mentality can cause us to feel like we never really arrive where we want to be, and leaves us constantly searching for something new to work towards.
For me, intentional contentment has been a challenge to defy our culture’s push for needing “more.” I try to spend more energy on living in the moment, enjoying the small things, and practicing patience and self-discipline.
3 Ways to Combat Anxiety About the Future
As I have pondered adapting my “need more” mentality, I have developed a short list of ways to reset and check my perspective whenever I catch myself feeling anxious about the future.
Consider How to Set Healthy Goals
If I am concentrating too much on the uncertainty of the future, I start by looking at the root of the goal I’ve set, and instead focus on the healthy benefits of achieving that goal.
Sometimes I set a goal and it’s for all the right reasons. Maybe it’s saving up for an adventure to a new place I’ve always wanted to visit, or it’s losing weight to feel more fit and healthy.
Other times, I set goals that are based in anxiety about the future, and those tend to be the ones that lead to an unhealthy fixation. For example, our goal to pay off student loans is great, but sometimes I catch myself focusing on the fear of time passing too quickly, or needing to start a family before a certain age. When anxiety drives my goals, I lose my ability to enjoy life where I am.
Discuss Your Future Goals with a Friend
If I am starting to worry too much about achieving a certain goal, or what the future holds, I will always consult a close friend or family member. They can offer me perspective on whether my focus is healthy or whether I need to take a step back and reevaluate the reasons behind the goal I’ve set.
Waiting patiently is good, but when all I am doing is thinking about the wait, I know something should change.
When I am feeling restless about my hopes and excitement for the future, I love discussing it with my husband or my mom. Both of these people are close to me and know my priorities. They each offer a different perspective on my goals, but are able to be honest if they feel like my “need more” mentality is getting out of hand.
Make a List of Goals We Have Already Achieved
Sometimes, I really push myself to achieve a goal with an unhealthy mindset. I’ll tell myself “you never finish anything,” or “you need to do this to prove you are worth something.” Even writing these down, I am disappointed that I often let these thoughts drive my motivation.
However, if I take a moment to go through a list of the things I have accomplished over the last few years and how hard I have worked to get where I am, I begin to feel proud of myself.
It’s from that place of self-respect and excitement that we can make the healthiest goals and find positive motivation to achieve what we want in life.
It might not mean we all end up with dream jobs, in a beautiful mansion, with a worry-free life, but setting healthy goals and focusing on choosing contentment where we are will both benefit our mindset and help us to live fully in the present.
Collecting Cozy Memories Along the Way
No matter what your goals are, or what you’re waiting for, there is always time to live with enthusiasm and drive. It might not be glamorous, but if you ask me, I’d tell you that most of our favorite cozy memories are made in surprisingly everyday moments.