Are you one of those people who rush ahead of yourself? Do you create mountains of mental stress that is draining your energy and paralyzes you from functioning well? It’s not a productive or healthy way to be, but it is a normal way of life for many.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, September 11th in New York City, people were pretty shaken up. People were scared and even suffering from the mental stress of the possibility of another attack on the city and having a hard time functioning.
Some could barely get to work in the morning, and were afraid of everything because their thoughts of another terrorist attack were consuming them. Some couldn’t even travel on the subway anymore, thinking “what if there’s another attack on the city and I’m on the subway…. I won’t be able to get out…. I might suffocate down there, and I could get trampled by other people… I can’t be underground when it happens again… I just can’t do it. I don’t want to die underground!!!”
I understand what they were going through, as I have experienced fear first hand through two earthquakes. The truth is, there certainly could be another attack in New York. It is a city that is a high profile target. The fact is, the entire city could be destroyed the next time. Even though New York City is considered one of the biggest cities in the world, it’s relatively small in size.
Did you know that high stress, and prolonged stress, perhaps better termed as chronic stress leads to adrenal fatigue and that can cause hair to fall out? Well, why get to that? You see there is no point worrying about New York getting hit again when you could cross the road and get run over by a car. You may live, but with no legs, which means you lose your job, you lose your income, you lose your apartment.
“Oh my, that sounds awful!” “Yes, it is terrible! But… what is the truth here?” “The fact is… you are sitting somewhere and reading this blog. None of that stuff that I have just described happened. Yes, the possibility of that can happen – just like anything can happen at any time. But, if we live in the world of potential future catastrophes we can’t possibly live happily and healthfully in the world right now.”
The kind of emotional stress that you are suffering with, that is making you sick to the gut, making your hair fall out in clumps, is all in your mind. You are stuck up there somewhere in your own world, spinning around and around and around, because you’ve lost sight of the truth. The truth can help you find your way, and set you free from anxiety. The Bible says it beautifully in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It takes practice to get out of your head and get into the now, especially, after a traumatic event. It seems many of us are either in the future, fretting or worrying about what could happen, or stuck in the past and depressed about what already happened, and we can’t move forward from it.
“Not being present is not a healthy way to be, and it can drain the life out of you.”
Here are some quick tips to help you get present:
Breathe: When people grow anxious and find themselves rushing ahead into the future, the first wise thing to do is focus on breathing and slowing the breath. If you think it sounds too simple, try it right now. Focus your attention on following the inhalation of your breath from your nose all the way down into your belly. And, then follow your breath up and out of your body, exiting out of your nostrils. Do that ten times. It’s very calming and relaxing. Breath is life. When you follow your breath, you are following the flow of life.
Meditate on scripture: The Bible has been around for a while and is the most sold book in the world. I love reading through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but there are many other interesting reads. Feel free to ask for more pointers.
Seek the Truth: What is happening right now at this very moment? You are reading a blog and learning information about staying present. You’ll get all the information you need at exactly the right time that you need it. That’s the truth. Keep your eye on it.
Catastrophes are going to happen, as they are a part of life. But, if you’re not present in between disasters, you’re going to miss out on a lot of living happily and healthfully while you are here.
If you find your mind spinning out of control and taking you to events that haven’t happened yet, try the three simple techniques above and see if it helps to set you free.
You deserve a beautiful happy and healthy life – get present and give it to yourself.