Stress Tip #201: Name What Is There

Names are powerful tools that can be used skillfully or not. Unskillfully, we call people names to insult them or to box them in. Skillfully, we can acknowledge and identify the qualities of our experiences, such as “curious” or “sad” or “exploring.” Without having to analyze, we simply note what is present so that we are simultaneously engaged and objective. The naming helps us be more clearly aware so that we have a choice what to do with the experience, if anything; sometimes simple awareness is all that’s needed. At first it may be easier to note strong impressions, but with practice you can detect more subtle elements of experience. Start by taking a moment to be still, and simply find a word that clarifies what you are experiencing right now. All you need is this moment.

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Wishing you a fulfilling life,


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The Book, the Workshops, and Life Changes

Patty and I retired from our University jobs on June 28th, and our retirement plan requires a six-month break. The Program on Integrative Medicine at UNC (UNC website) will continue to offer excellent mindfulness-based programs throughout the year. And of course the book Ease into Freedom: Keys to Reducing Stress and Unlocking Your Potential will always be accessible by purchasing a copy directly from me for $10.