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Creating health and happiness with presence

If you are interested in health and wellbeing, or the brain and psychology, then neuroscience is the most exciting area you can explore.

Scientific research in matters of the mind and brain has exploded with a mass of new and enlightening information, confirming what wise and influential thinkers have been saying for centuries.

Health and happiness are influenced by factors over which we have some control, and presence is prominent among them.

What is presence?


I turned to the dictionary and I was surprised when it did not provide the clarity I expected. The dictionary definition relates to being in the vicinity of a certain place or something felt.

Rick Hanson, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dan Siegel are all experts in the field of presence and happiness. We gain a greater understanding of presence from their collective wisdom.

According to Dan Siegel presence leads directly to happiness. Presence is the opposite to “mind wandering”. Mind wandering is thinking about what to cook for dinner, what happened at the meeting last week or why you don’t have enough money in the bank. Mind wandering is associated with unhappiness. Presence, being here now, creates happiness.

“Presence is having attention stream energy and information flow, into awareness.” I am here, aware of my body as I am typing these words, I can feel my breath, I am aware of the black letters arising on the screen, I am drawing my attention into a sense of awareness of where and how I am right now. This is the practice of presence. Presence is one component of mindfulness.

Rick Hanson has supplied plenty of great insights on the subject of presence. If you want to experience presence try this: “Relax, focus on bare sensations, sense the body as a whole, engage the ‘don’t know mind’ – release judgements, don’t try to connect mental contents together, experience flow, staying here now and relax the sense of I, me and mine”.

Presence is not being in the future or the past, but right now. It is the only time we have to love or create and really be, a time we are often trying to avoid. Presence of heart is a term coined by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He invites us to “Practise sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.”

Presence creates happiness and healing.

“If we heal the people then we can heal the land.”  Mason Durie

The practice of presence offers us a tool and a pathway towards healing ourselves, creating happiness and healing the land.

If you would like further information about the mind-body connection, finding balance and presence in life please check out my website.  Feel free to message me and happy to connect with you for a complimentary 30 min coaching conversation if you would like to explore further.

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