1. Be present… in the present moment!
Do you know the major difference between depression and anxiety? Depression generally indicates that you are focusing too much on the past, while anxiety means that you anticipate too much the future. It is therefore not surprising that psychologists encourage their patients to live in the present moment. To live what is happening, here and now, is to choose a space-time where the problems of the past are put aside and where the fears linked to future no longer exist. It is a catalyst for better listening, appreciating the qualities of the person in front of you and therefore, improving the quality of your presence with people who are important to you!
2. Adjust your focus!
The best cameras stay focused on the most important subject, making even the other objects in the landscape a little blurry. The same phenomenon applies to the quality of your presence. I was giving a keynote recently at an annual convention where they gave an « Employee of the Year » award. When the host announced the winner, people around me said, «When this person listens to you, it seems that the Earth stops spinning!». What a beautiful image to describe the quality of presence! The poet Goethe said «Talking is a necessity, listening is an art».
Are you up for the following challenge: the next time you share a meal with people you care about, let them know in the first few minutes of your intention to disconnect from your cell phone so that you are fully present to them. Make the significant gesture of putting your cell phone away by stating that it is important to you not to be interrupted. It is by showing others that you care about what they say and what they do that you will build better relationships with them!
3. Offer your presence when it really matters!
It’s in times when life is at its worse that you find out who your real friends are. The best ones will be…. present! Best friends don't have to be perfect, but their availability and the comforting feeling that comes with their presence acts as a safety net of inestimable value. We find the same phenomenon in the business world. Several studies have shown that a customer who’s complaint is well handled becomes more loyal than if didn’t complain at all!
Is there a link between our state of health and our social support network? Absolutely! Numerous studies even place the social support network as the second main factor that most influences the health of the population (more than education, employment, genetic background, etc.). What lesson can we learn from this? Let us be generous with our presence towards our loved ones and become the friend we can count on, especially with those who need it most. Do you know someone who would appreciate receiving a call from you right now?