Often clients have issues with both anxiety and depression. Such a combination makes sense as both are extremes in mood. I explain depression as living in the past and feeling caught up in regret and negativity. I explain anxiety as living in the future and trying to prepare for unknown what ifs. Either way someone is not living in the present. When mood issues consume you, you lose out on the ability to enjoy the moment. Either you are remembering a past event that was unpleasant or worried about something happening in the near future. Both of these take away from your ability to be fully present and to enjoy the present.
Clients often ask if by being in the present means forgetting the past and not caring about the future. That is not the case. Being in the present means placing the past in a memory book that you bring out only when you want to. It means planning for the future but not dwelling on horrific possibilities. There are several ways to live in the present. One way is mindful mediation that helps you to let go of negative thoughts and worries. Another way is to focus on the five senses and engage each one during an activity. For example, baking an apple pie is a great way to engage the senses and live in the present. Living in the present can be a quick moment or can last all day. If you struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety, challenge yourself to find small ways to live in the present. The past and the future will be waiting for you when you are ready to deal with them.