​Does being distracted from my life make me ill?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile.

The responsibility that we have for being present in our lives is shown to us in many different ways.  One of them, which is no less important than the others, is the effect on our physical and psychological health.  It has been amply demonstrated that the cause of most of our illnesses and even most of our accidents is a result of our distraction, our repetitive emotions, stress, depression and many other signs of being distracted from ourselves.  Not long ago I was affected by symptoms of depression that I did not know how to deal with properly and, while they lasted, they caused me to suffer from weight loss, insomnia, difficulties in walking, a high glycaemic index, eye infections and other things.

What happens when we are distracted is that we do not take good care of our nutrition and our physical condition.  Additionally, in many cases we are victims of an excess of whatever we think will help to get the repetitive thoughts out of our heads and keep them out.  

In fact it is being distracted, living without paying attention to ourselves, continually brooding over the past or about the future.  We are eaten up with memories about guilt, pain or an insult; or we are invaded by fears about the future as a result of a deterioration in our finances or health, the future of our children and a multitude of other fears that we imagine.  Thought is able to remove us from the present moment and cause us suffering as a result of experiencing something that is not real.

In a word, when we are not present in ourselves, we are not happy, since we have become distanced from ourselves as a result of the resistance that we put up in the face of everything that makes us suffer or feel bad.  Living by running away from what you experience in life makes you unhappy and you neglect yourself.

Do not run away from yourself nor from the present.  Even when you feel pain for a while because of the loss of a relative, keep your attention focussed on that natural grief and accept the reality.  You cannot change it.   Whatever happens to you, whatever strikes you, if you fall, get up, heal your wounds, pay attention to the present and keep going.