An anxious mother with a smiling child. Text reads

Anticipation and Anxiety

We all know the phrase, “the anticipation is killing me.” This is usually around something exciting or worrisome. When we look at this phrase literally, I couldn’t agree more. Anticipation is what drags us out of the presence and into a more hyper, stressed, or agitated space. We can’t avoid anticipation, but we can become more aware of how it impacts our bodies, minds, and spirits. 


Presence VS. Anticipation 


Anticipation is a part of life. My work has been building awareness around my own anticipation, and trying to come back to the present when I notice it causing added stress, worry, concern, or overwhelm. 


I find this agitation happens A LOT with my cell phone. Everything is at my fingertips all the time. I can review my calendar and fill up empty space, continuously check for that email to come through, return the lingering voicemail when I have a moment to myself, look at my to-do list, read the news, and the list goes on. There is a lot to anticipate when it comes to our phones and they are with us all the time, constantly nagging at us. 


When I was on vacation a few weeks ago, I left my phone in my room for much of the trip. I felt a sense of ease, calm, and centeredness that I usually have to work towards. I also felt way less reactive because I was way less distracted. I even noticed myself avoiding my phone intentionally because when I did see messages come through, I would immediately start anticipating the end of vacation and it caused a tiny bit of stress…or was it anticipated stress. 


The lesson I learned, when I feel extra agitated or stressed, take a break from my phone and be present. Let go of the nagging reminders and alerts and just sit with what is happening around me. We spend so much time planning and organizing and rearranging our lives, but we are missing the here-and-now living and connection.   


This week try to take space from your cell phone and instead, dedicate certain times of day to look at it, respond, organize, and plan. Notice if this decreases your irritability and stress caused by ANTICIPATION. 

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