Present Tense: How Mindfulness Helps Manage Stress
Irritated, angry, upset by little things? Maybe your emotions are being triggered not by what is happening now, but by past experiences.
Learning how to live in the present, helps you to move beyond these patterns that destroy your happiness.
Some months ago, a colleague made a comment about her observations about workplace meetings.
Every time we sit down around a conference table, she said, we tend to take on the roles we played at the family dinner table, when we were kids and whatever bothered us then, will often be what frustrates us when we are working in groups.
Her comments shed light on why I had been feeling like I did at our staff meetings. I very often found myself irritated at the boisterous behavior.
Whenever people started talking loudly, or over each other’s voices, even when it was sheer inspiration that was making them do this, I would start tapping my feet and just zone out. I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about the topic being discussed at all.
The explanation now that I know and understand, is that I was raised in a family that considered interrupting people very rude and talking loudly was frowned upon.
I now find meetings enjoyable, once I understood why I unconsciously used to react unfavorably towards these meetings.
After reading “The Power Of Now”, I have learnt, that the more attention you give to the past, the more you energize it and by focusing your attention on the present, you can meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise.
Today, the concept of living in the present is being applied across the board, in fields as diverse as financial planning, home organization, leadership coaching, etc., where clients learn how to distinguish, between the past and the present, to result in a better future.
This results in greater personal effectiveness and less tension and stress.
While simply being mindful of whether a certain stress is arising from a future fear, or a past struggle, will not necessarily resolve all your present problems, it will certainly help to alleviate unnecessary tension and that, will help you to deal more efficiently and effectively, with the circumstance and situation at hand.
This method will also change how you experience everyday triggers and encounters in life.
In the next blog, we will talk about how our capacity to be centered in the present moment increases our capacity to be happy and at peace with ourselves and how to use simple techniques when experiencing unnecessary stress.