We all have valued directions for our lives. What we stand for. What matters to us. What we hope to accomplish.
Our valued directions in life may focus on family, one’s profession, an avocation, community, political or religious service, becoming more fit, being more productive, feeling secure, how we spend our time, or often a combination of these, or other values!
The term “valued directions” may be new to readers here. Awareness and activation of one’s valued directions in life is central to a mindfulness approach to well being.
Overwhelm and stress too often get in the way of achieving our valued directions.
In a survey of 380 respondents, StressPal found that 50% reported feeling high stress most days. For a moment, reflect on how often you have felt nervous or stressed in the last week, or even today. Frequent or persistent stress too often results in feelings of overwhelm and worry. All too often, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and a myriad of other physical complaints also arise when stressed. Furthermore, stress with accompanying worry and physical reactions, can be quite interruptive to our lives and we may act in ways that are not useful in achieving what matters most to us.
The good news is that there are ways to continue to achieve our valued directions in life, even in the presence of inevitable stressors of life! Interventions have evolved in areas of Mindfulness and Psychological Medicine which effectively utilize our brain’s capacities to build stress resilience and live our lives more fully.
A place to begin is to first reflect on, and become more clearly aware of your valued directions in life and then to actually choose to bring your valued directions to conscious awareness during a stressful event. See what happens to your experience of stress when you concurrently, in the moment, also stay aware of what you value! This takes practice but is an example of the brain’s capacity to take a healthy, mindful perspective towards building stress resilience.