We've all been stressed-out – feeling like a fearful little kid, alone, lost in a big dangerous world. We’ve also seen young children crying like their world has collapsed because they broke a favorite toy. This brings out the wise loving grandparent in us, as we smile at the child’s minor temporary upset and console them lovingly, knowing that everything will be fine. In this mode we feel centered: peaceful, relaxed, loving - radically different from stressed.
As adults, we can be in either mode. Most stressful situations today only threaten our ego, not our survival, so we can usually allow ourselves to become lost children for a while - or even for life. But in life-or-death emergencies, we become instantly, automatically centered because we simply can’t afford to be anything less than calm, clear, focused, effective, and efficient.
Many of us mistakenly believe that being stressed-out, multitasking,
sleep-deprived, running on caffeine, etc is unavoidable, even normal
throughout life for responsible hardworking adults. While being stressed-out is indeed common, it’s mostly unnecessary, inefficient, ineffective, and compromises everyone’s quality of life - ours, our loved ones’, colleagues’, even the quality of our physical environment.
Developmental psychology models of healthy adult maturation
involve: leaving behind stressed-out (egocentric) states, and
progressively maturing toward a centered (hypo-egoic, allocentric &
ecocentric) way of being.
Is there a way I can ensure that this healthy adult maturation process (evolution of consciousness) happens for me, in a timely manner? Can I learn to intentionally switch to a centered way of being? Can I let go of being stressed-out and all the negative
things that go with it, and establish an increasingly stable
home base in this centered state?
Mindfulness practices eg mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), started at UMass Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD in 1979, are secular, evidence-based mind-body exercises, specifically designed to facilitate this journey for anyone interested in a profound improvement in quality of life.
See also: http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/2013/04/311-fearful-child-wise-grandparent-were.html