There are three places you can live but you can bounce between them faster than a ping pong ball if you're not careful.
There's the Past, the Present and the Future.
Most people, unfortunately, live either in the Past or in the Future, completely bypassing the Present.
I was (and probably still am to some degree) one of those people. As I lay in my hospital bed, scared to the core, I lived in the "What-if" realm of the Future. What is this happened, what if I didn't get better, what if I bled again, what if my electrolytes got messed up again, etc. Instead of focusing on the present moment and doing what I could to apply the amazing healing power of the mind and body, I allowed my brain to be clogged with FEAR - all of which were based on my past experiences. I would know nothing about the "What-ifs" if I had not been exposed somehow in my past. Some of it is from my medical training but the rest of it is from being taught to expect the worst possible outcome. My parents taught me that so I grew up with that thought. That if things looked bleak, then they were most likely a lot worse than they looked. So, of course, I could see nothing but a bad outcome.
This created anxieties and I became a fortune teller - I took these past experiences (many weren't even experiences, they were just "lessons" I had heard) and created my dreary future. Of course, the outcome of that creation was hollow because the information I was using to make these connections was all negative. There was NO factual basis for any of it. As I said, I didn't really have any experiences of this nature. My mind (instead of my heart) was extrapolating from this limited information. I had no basis for deciding that this medical problem would actually happen. I really cannot predict the future. Of course I do believe that thoughts become things. Which is why I had even more anxiety - I wanted to stop these thoughts so they didn't come true but didn't know how to get off the merry-go-round.
Two things helped. One was my attending physician. He kept saying "you're an ultrarunner, you're strong." period. I kept returning to that sentence and kept telling my body that it was strong and that it was healing. It gave me something positive to focus on.
Then, the other thing that helped reduce the anxieties was EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It took me long enough to remember to use it (the last weekend I was in the hospital) but I was so glad when I did. I simply tapped on my fears over and over again and they dissipated. I had to keep doing this throughout the day and night because there are many layers to the fears but it calmed me down finally. And for that, I am forever grateful.
The point to all of this is that I am learning to live in the present. I never really knew what that meant but what I do know is that if I start to think about the future no matter what the context, I look to see if I am recreating my past. I then realign myself with what I am doing right now. And that's where I want to stay. I go through my gratitudes for this present moment and it will keep me right here. There is no benefit living in either the future or the past. Be content or be happy with the "right now". It's simple but not necessarily easy. Just ask yourself where your primary thoughts are focusing and then correct them if need be.
I'll leave you with the greatest quote I've heard in a long time - written by an extremely wise man, Lazarus Lake:
"Each moment in our lives only happens once."
You don't want to miss that moment do you?