avatarRuchi Thalwal


How Present Moment Awareness Reduces the Effect of Anxiety And Stress

There is no future and past. All are the play of mind.

Photo by Katerina May on Unsplash

Mindfulness kills the mind with its boredom.

That is why many people run away from it and love to distract themselves with social media.

But when you start living in the present moment, nothing can beat the rejuvenation it brings.

Your need for stimulation is your cause of anxiety and stress.

Last evening, my friend asked, “What is more important — awareness or being in the present moment?”

I laughed and said, “Both lead to each other. If you are in the present moment, you are already aware. And vice versa.”

Eckhart Tolle wrote an entire book on the Power of Now. Recent studies show that present-moment awareness is beneficial for coping and increasing stress resilience.

But even after knowing, many people don’t follow it.


Because it is so dull.

The mind loves stimulation. Boredom is like a slow death.

That is why most don't buy it, despite knowing how mindfulness can help them.

They want to do something to calm their mind. Some action is necessary to manage the anxiety. Or pop a pill for stress. People want something to do and not sit idle.

Whereas mindfulness or meditation bores you. It is too painful for the mind to undergo boredom.

However, if one stays right where they are and gets totally bored, they might find something rare. As my master says,

“Let your mind get bored. A great realization is hidden behind that boredom. Nobody can tell you. You have to experience it to understand.”

The present moment is an antidote to stress.

“Your real problem is expectations,” I said.

“So do you mean I can’t even expect love, care, and respect from my husband?” she asked annoyingly.

“Okay, let's imagine you have no idea about marriage and how it is supposed to be. Nobody ever taught you anything about what to expect from a partner. Would you still be hurt if your partner does something you disapprove of? Also, didn’t you crave to live happily ever after?”

After a pause, she whispered, “Yes, I dreamed of getting married because everyone was doing it. I wanted to live happily ever after. When my desires broke, I got bitter.”

I said,

“You build your future in mind. You are fearful of it because you create stories around what if…

You remain hurt because, in your mind, the past is repeating itself every moment. So, do you think you can stop it?”

“If I’m creating insecurities and fear, then I’d be the key to being free from it,” she replied.

“That's good. But how?”

“As you said, by being in the present moment,” she said.

No past or future really exists.

It is all in the mind.

You’re breathing right now and here. Are past events poking you? Is the future coming in to haunt you?


Something in the past may have changed the course of life. You might compare before and after. The guilt, anger, or sadness may consume you. But these are all feelings that you feel.

Past events are no longer happening. You carry the past within you in memory and your mental stories. The remnants are stuck to you.

Similarly, it happens with the future.

You create stories of what you want to happen and how you want it to unfold. When it doesn’t, you get disturbed.

Anxiety and stress happen because you are in the future or past. Past maybe five minutes back. The future may be one hour later. But it is always in the mind, not a reality.

That does not mean you stop planning.

Planning is a practical aspect of living. It is required. But attachment to planning is not.

All you have is the present moment.

You can either waste it by imagining things or utilize it.

This present moment works like magic when you drop all your imagination and relax in it. But only a few people know it.

When I started my spiritual journey, it was challenging to think about being in the ‘Now.’ With many responsibilities, my mind always wandered in all directions.

Apart from a few minutes of meditative silence, my whole day would go ruckus.

But as my growth deepened, a conscious life took place.

My anxieties, worries, and stress dissolved the more I became aware.

Yes, it is not easy in the beginning. Because emotions are not always kind. They would sweep your attention and frustrate you more.

But with proper daily reminders and small mindful activities, you become more grounded.

Now, I’ve plenty of present moments, like this one, where I’m typing and breathing simultaneously. Like in this now, you’re reading and scrolling.

Whenever stress forms dense clouds, anchor yourself in the present moment.

  • Focus your attention on your breath. Most common technique.
  • Be aware of the surroundings.
  • Be conscious of your five senses. Sight, smell, touch, taste, and listen. Give 2 minutes to these mindful activities of the five senses.

There is no judgment when you’re in the present moment.

Be like a child, in awe of whatever it is. Then, anxiety and stress can no longer survive.

Do you want to get closer to your highest self? Download my FREE guided meditation and get weekly reminders and tips to become more conscious in your daily life.

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Mental Health
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