Why being present matters

I can’t think of anything more detrimental than stress. What tears us up more? The constant harassment on chronic stress on our bodies has multiple documented outcomes including obesity, damaged mental health, heart & kidney disease, and addiction to name a few.

There is not one thing to make us sick. Stress is not the reason our health is not doing well, there are so many things that can cause ill health effects, but stress is one of the culprits and as I am writing this article, something that interests me. 

As the choices we make, make us who we are. 

I am who I chose to become
C.G. Jung

So, what to do?

I do not want to harp on ways to destress, but I want to harp on what is causing the stress. 

Let’s be present with our enemies. Let us look at each stress and measure it against our feelings. 

For example. A parental relationship. Say you find a relationship with your mother, draining and hard to tolerate. Sit with that, and notice how it feels in your body to think of your mother (tight neck, chest, legs?). Imagine spending time with your mother, how does that feel?

Then imagine how you feel afterward. Be present without judgment with the feelings, using your body as a compass to guide these emotions. 

Then move to another stressor, perhaps work, your children, eating habits, cleaning your house, a friendship, or the neighbor’s dog. 

The toll of stress causes insomnia, which then increases our stress. Stress induces terrible eating habits, and induces more addictive behaviors with electronics, alcohol use, and sugar eating.  

Just be present. Right now. Just take a moment to name your feeling. Hey there! You are actually reading these words but also thinking about ???

Your feet are cold? You are pissed off about something?

Just name it, own the presence of the feeling. 

How creativity counts

So, how to deal with ongoing stress in your life, when typically it is beyond your control? How can presence help with that?

How often we run from what gets on our nerves rather than spending time with our uncomfortable feelings. Just face your stress. Own it. See how you can get along with yourself better?

This is your life. It does not belong to stress. Take ownership and responsibility of your own destiny. 

I always vote for carpe diem.  

My life has changed greatly because of the work of Dr Steven Aizenstat. I recommend his lectures, his book, his university, his courses to everyone.