This will be my final piece in my mental health series.
I didn’t announce this series up front because for some reason when it comes to really looking at what is going on down deep inside we just turn away (which keeps everything down deep inside). I am a firm believer that our thoughts, our emotions, our experiences if not dealt with properly comes out side-ways in illnesses and medical issues. I can go so much deeper into this but most of you aren’t ready for that so let’s keep on track here just raising the awareness that this is an actual issue.
Today I want to touch base on something that I think is an undercurrent causing so many issues with our health and our relationships. It’s simply not being present. Sure, you may be there physically but are you really present? I was going to send this last week but that meant I wouldn’t have been fully present on a precious vacation with my entire family!
My father is a physician (retired now). His beeper went off all the time because he was always on call being the only surgeon in town for quite some time. But, when he was home he was fully present. When we went on vacation it was even better. He left his beeper at home (and later his cell phone wouldn’t even be turned on). On vacation he didn’t watch television at all. He would read a book but if you ever wanted to go do something he would jump up and be ready in an instant. He was present and I felt that. When you have experienced this it becomes really hard when you are in situations where people aren’t present. With all the distractions in this day and age more and more people are just not present.
Think about this, our kids have never lived their lives without access to phones and social media. I often see a group of teens together and they are all on their phones rather than talking. As adults, it’s a struggle to be fully present with so many updates available at the click of a button.
Are you present?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself…. READ ON
- How many times are you out to eat and the person with you has their phone going off or are checking it constantly?
- How many times is your conversation or your activity interrupted by a text message that wasn’t urgent and really didn’t need an immediate reply?
- How many times do you go to an event with someone and then spend very little time actually talking to the person you were with?
- How many times do you sit down for dinner with the television on or your phone by your side?
- How many times do you sit down for a movie or sporting event only to realize everyone is on their phones checking their facebook/Instagram/twitter pages?
More importantly, are YOU that person?
A study showed that American adults spend more than 11 hours per day interacting with media of all forms. Two and one half hours of that are on social media platforms!
Everyone has a different idea on how much is too much and if this is bad for society or good for it. I found arguments on both sides with lots of concern that we are encouraging a society with little true and real social interaction.
Regardless of what you think, ask yourself these questions…
- Who is going to be there with you when it truly gets rough?
- Who will be in the hospital room with you sitting by your side holding your hand?
- Who will be the one who gives you a shoulder to cry on?
- Who will stand by your side and support you no matter what?
You may have 2000 facebook friends that send you caring comments and emoji’s but who will be physically present?
Now, look hard at the people in your lives and ask yourself a bigger question… who will YOU be present for?
We are all plugged in and some times more than others for a variety of good reasons. I’m not talking about unplugging from our lives completely. Just be more mindful of what is going on around you.
I hope you join me in trying to be more present with all of your friends and family this summer. Life is so precious. Let’s make those around us feel like they are significant and loved!
To your health,