Sunday, 14 April 2013

#313 Being Stressed-out is Optional - Alternatively - Mature Clarity, Peace & Joy are Fully Available

     We've all been stressed-outfeeling 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:


  1. Hello to the mindfulness community! After 5 years of teaching MBSR I have often asked myself "is this enough?" Should I jazz it up? Put a new spin on it? Add to it? Every time I consider this, I decide no, just stay with the basic teachings. They are so sound and simple and respectful. Life itself provides the "curriculum" needed in a given MBSR course. My job is humble: teach the basic skills, and stay out of people's way as they work new skills into their lives. When I do this, the opportunities to support and connect with people arise naturally. Every single MBSR class I've taught has developed a unique flavor, dialogue, and sense of community. This post reminds me again of the profound basic humanity of mindfulness practices. If that's not enough, I don't know what is.....

  2. I heartily agree Geri! I've had some folks take the "same" MBSR course up to 5 times consecutively and continue to derive benefit. Of course nothing remains the same - the course, the participant & I are all evolving ...