Living in the Present Moment with Borderline PD

September 16, 2021 Kate Beveridge

It can be challenging to stay grounded in the present moment when you live with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Unstable emotional states and anxious thoughts can often pull you into a past or future mindset. However, bringing yourself back into the present can have a wealth of benefits for your mental health

The Challenges of Living in the Present Moment with BPD

I have always struggled to live in the present moment. When I am feeling down, I often find my thoughts pulled back to the past. I might ruminate on old traumas or feel emotional about relationships and events that have long passed. In these times, I often relive the previous emotions and experience them as if I were reliving them. 

Additionally, I frequently find myself worrying about the future. My brain becomes very anxious and obsessive about potential upcoming events. It starts working overtime to solve problems in advance and think of solutions for every possible outcome. During these times, I feel restless, uncomfortable, and sometimes nauseous with the burden of responsibility I carry. 

In the past, I would often try to escape my brain through self-destructive behaviors such as binge drinking. While these behaviors helped me focus less on the past and future, they also had short and long-term consequences for my physical and mental health. So, I've been focusing more on healthy ways of keeping myself in the present moment. 

How to Live in the Present Moment with BPD

Keeping focused on the present moment helps me feel calmer inside my brain. Without the constant anxiety and stress swirling around, I can enjoy more of my life and remain grounded.

Although it is challenging to do, these are a few techniques I use to bring myself back to the present moment:

  • Surrender: Sometimes, I notice that my brain is obsessing and trying to drag me into a spiral of destructive thought patterns. These anxieties usually come up when I'm worrying about something in the future that I want to control. When I am in this state, I often remind myself that I can do little to impact future events. I also tell myself that I am wasting emotional energy and simply making myself upset. 
  • Relax: When I start worrying about the future, I often feel very agitated. This emotional state has a powerful impact on my physical sensations. During these times, I usually try to pull myself back to the present with physical sensations. For example, I might take a long shower or focus on my breathing for a while. 
  • Forgive: There are times when my brain becomes very preoccupied with the past. I might think about previous conflicts, traumas, or other upsetting events. During these times, I usually feel upset with myself, others, or both. When the feelings and thoughts come up, I try to focus on forgiving myself and others, as past events do not reflect the present. 
  • Immerse: If I spend too much time alone with my thoughts, they usually start moving in upsetting directions. If I'm already upset, I sometimes find it easier to engage myself with different tasks. For example, I might concentrate on my work or cook a complicated meal. By doing so, I can distract myself from my harmful thought patterns. 

Which techniques do you use to keep yourself grounded in the present moment? Let me know in the comments section below.

APA Reference
Beveridge, K. (2021, September 16). Living in the Present Moment with Borderline PD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Kate Beveridge

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