This past weekend, I was in New Jersey for a national leadership conference for my fraternity.
There was a keynote speaker who came to speak about halfway through the conference about a variety of topics.
One particular piece of information that stuck with me was regarding stress.
He said, “During stress, your physical vision decreases from 180 degrees to 30 degrees.”
This made sense to me in all walks of life.
I quickly realized how my vision becomes “one-way vision” at a lot of times in life.
When I get to a point of stress, my body’s visual capabilities decrease from 180 degrees to 30 degrees.
Importantly, it goes far beyond physical capabilities:
- My mental self can only see so much now. The 30 degrees that I can “see” is all that I think I have to work with. Little do I know, I have 150 more degrees of sight to play with that is blocked out by the stress hitting me. What can I do in this time of stress? I can be mindful that what I can see in front of me is only a small part of the picture. I have to realize that just by making a small turn, I can see more ways that I can get through this stressful time. It’s all about being mindful of the fact that you aren’t limited to that 30 degrees.
- These 30 degrees that are available clouds the mind of the ability to think clearly. My emotions can immediately become affected. Only being able to see 30 degrees of what is in front of me is scary. My emotional self becomes riddled with anxiety, confusion, and maybe even anger. I want to be able to see more!
- My social self thinks that the 30 degrees I have available to see contain the only people who can help me. It limits my ability to reach out in times of stress because I can only see so many people and when I am stressed, I tend to close off to just myself and try to push through a trial alone (don’t recommend this tactic).
The problem here isn’t that I only have 30 degrees.
The problem isn’t that I am stressed.
The problem is that I know that I have the other 150 degrees available, but at that moment, I am letting my stress and anxiety cloud my vision.
Being mindful is oh-so-important.
This “180 to 30” example is one of many examples of when you need to be mindful… and mindfulness is not easy.
Being mindful is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”
Being aware of something that is occurring is difficult to achieve at times, especially in a short amount of time.
So, in times of stress, it is even harder to understand why you can only see so much of the picture or why something is occurring.
Being mindful contains more than just knowing the answers – it contains knowing that you’re on the road to get to an answer.
By knowing this, you can be more patient.
You can deal with the stress.
You can deal with 30 degrees of vision.
In times of stress, being mindful is the first step to getting back to the 180 degrees that you’re capable of.
And I know that you want to see every single 1 of those 180 degrees.
“Seeing the bigger picture is not as important as knowing that there is one.” – Anonymous