|The twenty-first century "-- when everything is possible and nothing is certain, ..." was how Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, described our time. Paradoxically, one of the few certainties of our time is that nothing can be certain anymore.
Today, yesterday's certainties like "jobs for life", "a secure retirement","trust your politicians (or your priests)", "your university degree will guarantee you a good job", "if I give my best, my company will be there for me", "my child's future will be better than mine", are no more.
Technological acceleration is the driving force of the uncertainty. Computers are now able to process multiple trillions of calculations per second. This awesome computing power defies our understanding and no one can even imagine where computing will be a decade from now.
Our technology is changing and as a result our organizations are changing, our behaviors are changing, even our climate is changing. Everything is changing! So if everything is changing and nothing is certain anymore, what can one do to keep balanced and stay healthy, positive and successful?
It is necessary to appreciate that our bodymind's automatic reaction to change and uncertainty is stress. As a result, our stress arousal system is "on" all the time, a natural security reaction to the demands of having to adapt to "newness" constantly. Therefore, in our post-modern digital world, our bodymind almost never properly breaks out of a chronic low level stress.
Because we're used to being this way all the time, we are unconscious of it. We just let the increased cortisol, blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, breathing rate, cholesterol level, create an on-going wear and tear upon every organ and system in our bodymind.
Over time this aggravated assault upon the body and mind contributes considerably to causing or making worse many common health conditions and dysfunctions. It is also extremely costly to every organization and to all societies.
To cope with the uncertainty and strain imposed by a turbulent environment, we must build up an internal base of stability. We may not be able to control what's happening "out there" but we all can learn how to quiet and centre ourselves, renew our being, and replenish our core. This can be done by accessing uncommon rest and recuperation through "the relaxation response", a measurable and natural shift in the mind and body triggered by a one-pointed focusing of the mind.
When simple mental techniques and breathing exercises are practiced several times, the ability to reduce the volume of the stress becomes progressively easier. Within a few weeks, most people acquire the ability to confidently release themselves from the unremitting strain caused by stress and discover for themselves the very real benefits of deliberately self-calming.
They feel renewed and more in control, able to respond rather than just react. They feel better about themselves. Their ability to function effectively improves on almost every index of measurement. They are able to retain an uncommon balance and well-being.
If you want to better cope and thrive in the new electronic world that's suddenly emerged to submerge us, it is extremely wise to learn how to properly unwind and let go of it all for short periods of time. That's probably a certainty.
Eli Bay, the founder of the Relaxation Response Institute in Toronto, is a corporate trainer, professional speaker and host of two award-winning public television series teaching practical stress control. His new online skill-training program Outer Stress*Inner Calm is now available for organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 932-2784.*This article may be published in your newsletter or on your website if the author, Eli Bay, is acknowledged and his website address www.elibay.com is provided.