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  • Writer's pictureKatrina O'Duffy

Are you ruminating on the past and panicking about the future?

Much of how we feel when we’re struggling is because we are ruminating on the past and panicking about the future.

Living in the moment, feeling present is the best way I know to stay grounded and come back to myself - and it’s a practice. It’s not something you do once and then you’re set for life.

We’re hard wired as humans to focus on the negative so we can remove ourselves from situations. But being present doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and kittens. What it means is that when you’re present you can fully be in your body, feel, accept and then it’s easier to process and let go.

After my divorce 10 years ago, I had to find a way to keep going forward which felt impossible at the time. One way of me doing this was to drop my time frame of planning. What does this mean?

When everything was planned X amount of time in the future I immediately started to panic because everything I had planned for my life had fallen apart, so thinking too far in the future would trigger me hugely.

Each time I felt triggered I would sit myself down and ask myself:

  1. Is this a now question or can I deal with this tomorrow - this helped me prioritise what I had to do in that moment

  2. Then I would literally work in 5-10min timeframes - so when someone asked me to plan for tomorrow I would say I can’t think about that at the moment, I need to focus on the next 10mins. I had given a deeper explanation of why I was doing this to people who I was close to in my life and then I had to release the judgement of the people that didn’t get it – those who had to plan (that was their issue not mine).

Overtime I could then increase the time frame that made me comfortable - one hour - one day - one week etc.

To this day I still don’t make long term plans, I don’t book flights that far in advance anymore. I prefer living day to day as much as I possibly can. I do book things in but not months and months in advance unless it’s necessary and yes, that can be hard for others but it helps me stay present and focused on what I need.

If you’re struggling with something at the moment, such as a move, a break-up, change of job or a new baby, try the above two approaches. See how they work for you.

Hi there, we hope you found value in reading this blog!   


We are a small team of passionate people trying to enable others to benefit from our own wellness journeys, research and expertise in behavioural change. Our blog is where you'll find our growing hub of easy to digest insights and inspiration to support you in finding natural and holistic ways to be well. We also invite guest bloggers from a wide range of holistic health practitioners to contribute so that you can benefit from a collective of knowledge. If there's a particular area you'd like to hear more from us about, please do let us know! 


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Katrina & Emma – My Collective Compass founders 

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