“What day is it?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

This short yet incredibly famous conversation between Pooh and Piglet is a simple reminder that what stands in front of us, at this very moment, is the most important thing. So important, in fact, that in a perfect world we would devote our full and undivided attention on it all of the time. Nevertheless, instead of being actively focused on the present, we are too often lost in thought, worrying over a laundry list of things that are not of immediate concern.

To illustrate this point, try this activity. Think of something you are currently worrying about, something significant that takes substantial time away from your ability to actively focus on the now.  Then, ask yourself: is what I’m worrying about something that already occurred, is occurring right now, or will/could occur in the future?

Based on the results of this activity that I have run on groups in the past, unless there is a lion in front of you that is about to eat you alive, most of you will find that whatever is on your mind right now is something that already happened or will/might happen. In other words, when we worry, our stress is more often than not on something other than what is occurring right now. Even with COVID, our primariy focus is on consequences of what has already happened and concern for what might happen in the future.

Now, take whatever you are worried about, and analyze this second question: what control do I have over what I am worrying about? The answer is simple: You have absolutley no control over anything you are stressing over that has already happened  or that will/might happen–the only control you have over anything is absolutely  based on what you are doing right now. And in fact, what we do today, right now, has the most substantial impact in helping us cope with whatever we are worrying about in the past, or shape the best likely outcome for whatever we are worrying about for our future.

Next time you are overwhelmed with worry, do this exercise again. It’s a constant reminder that the most conrol we ever have to do anything about anything, and therefore the most important time to be actively engaged, is today–our favorite day.