There are people who almost always complain about yesterday. He should not have eaten too much yesterday, since his weight is half a pound up today. He should not have been late to work yesterday, since he has too much to do today. He visits foreign countries and regret that he should have learned the foreign language. He continuously thinks about things, which he should not have done.
An ancient story in China tells about a young boy who liked horse riding. One day, this boy fell down from his horse and broke his leg. He regretted that he should not have ridden a horse the day before. One year later, a war broke out, but he did not have to go to the war, since he had leg problem. Things happened in the past change their meanings as time goes by.
On the other hand, there are people who always worry about tomorrow. He worries about the presentation scheduled the day after. He cannot be convinced if his preparation is good enough to impress people for his business. He worries if someone asks a question that he would not be able to answer. He would not be able to sleep when he thought about what happens tomorrow.
Modern times are full of uncertainties. People worries about their retired life, income after retirement, human relationship, business security, marriage security, health, money, or loneliness. Accessing therapy site in Internet, there are so many people expressing their anxiety about the future.
Past is past and never repeat it. Everybody agrees that he has nothing he can do to change the past. Future has not yet come. It does not help to alter or modify one's future even he worries about it. In this sense, either regret for the past or anxiety for the future is the illusions you created. The important thing to understand is that he regretted about what he cannot change. Also, he worries what he will not be able to know.
One should realize that he feels miserable for the illusion he creates, if he regrets the past and worries about the future. Instead, he should enjoy and cherish today. Feeling down regretting something in the past, one can ask him what does it help. He would easily understand there was nothing he could do. Similar can apply to one's anxiety on his future. Feeling blue thinking about the future, one could think he would face his future in the future, not now. It is the future. So it may or may not occur. Let us consider if and when things happen.
Common advice from mental professionals is; "Cherish and enjoy now, today. Do not worry about the past and the future, or worry later. "Yesterday was so long ago that I forgot. I never make plans so far ahead as tomorrow."
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