Summertime may mean barbecue and it may mean the beach, but it also means outdoor activities that we haven't engaged in for much of the year such as hiking, biking, volleyball, and tennis. If we w ...View Article
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We're not talking about raising your hand when your name is called. No, we're talking about "being in the moment" as a way of being more centered and getting more joy out of life. It's something that requires practice in order to make it your default way of being. Even at that point, being present still requires a certain amount of ongoing attention for most people.
And really, that's what "being present" is all about - paying attention to the present moment. After all, the present moment is all we truly have. We may have memories of the past and thoughts of the future, but the past is over and the future is not yet here. (And will likely never be "here" exactly the way you imagine it.) If we're not in the present moment, we're nowhere.
The present is where your power resides, and when you're present, people around you can feel your energy. You are more charismatic when you are present in the moment. People will see you as authentic and a good listener, which is very appealing. They'll want to spend time with you.
There's no time like the present to begin "being present"
In the story of Snow White, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Bashful were precisely that. The names of the seven dwarves accurately and literally represented their overall vibe. It doesn't usually work that way for us, but we give off plenty of subconscious signals that let people know who we are and how we're feeling. The look in our eyes, the tone of our voice, our facial expressions and posture are just some of the clues that let other people intuit what's really going on with us. Often, the vibe we're giving off is a more accurate reflection of our inner being than the words we are saying.
Other people can usually tell what's really going on with us, no matter what we say or don't say. But when we're communicating clearly and interacting meaningfully, we usually feel less stressed-out. The surprising benefit is that our health improves as a result.1,2
Here's an easy way to determine whether you're sending out a negative or positive overall vibe - when you visit a friend who owns a dog or pass one on the street, does it growl at you or does it wag it's tail? Do cats tend to hiss at you or do they instead offer a friendly purr? When someone introduces you to a toddler or baby, does he or she start to cry, or do they usually smile at you? These are all pretty reliable signs as to whether your personal vibe is more negative or positive.
Young children and animals are very perceptive and pick up on the subconscious signals people send out. Who you are being is very clear to them. Many of us lose this intuitive ability over time, and pay more attention to what people say than to the subtle clues they give off that can tell us more about how they are feeling in general, whether or not they are being honest with us, and how overall trustworthy they are.
Over time, people often get used to being a certain way, and may not even realize that they've become chronically grumpy, angry or pessimistic. It's like they get stuck in an emotional rut, and may not even realize the way they are coming across to other people. If animals and young children react negatively to you, it may do you some good to take stock of the vibe you're sending out. Being chronically "negative" can also have a negative effect on your health.
Negative and positive vibes can "rub off" on you too, especially if you're a sensitive person. If you spend time with a friend or acquaintance who is always very negative, and find that you end up feeling down, or angry, or depressed as a result, you would probably do well to limit the time you spend with them.
On another note, paying attention to the "vibe" can also be useful in health care interactions. You may wait for hours to see a doctor, and then even though they say nice words, you might sense that he doesn't really care about your well-being and just wants to finish with you and get on to the next patient. You may sense a similar vibe at the front desk - they behave politely, but you can tell that they're super-stressed and can't wait to get out the door themselves.
Most people will notice a significant difference between the vibe in a typical medical office and the vibe in a chiropractic office. Chiropractors tend to place a high value on the human component of their interactions with patients. Chiropractic offices strive to be a very welcoming environment. It is not unusual to hear people say that their chiropractor's office "feels just like home" and that the staff "feels like family".
You can tell that your chiropractor is genuinely interested in both your health and your well-being. Chiropractors know that it's important to take the time to really listen to your concerns and to make sure you're getting the service and attention you need. Chiropractic is a wholistic healing profession which recognizes that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship is an important part of the healing process.
1Seedat S, et al: Life stress and mental disorders in the South African stress and health study. S Afr Med J 99(5 Pt 2):375-382, 2009
2Koetaka H, et al: Long-term effects of lifestyle on multiple risk factors in male workers. Environ Health Prev Med 14(3):165-172, 2009