Jeremy Ben­nett asks teens to calm their minds

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - EDITORIAL -

On an or­di­nary Wed­nes­day morn­ing re­cently, stu­dents of the south­west coast were in­vited to St. James Re­gional High to lis­ten to a spe­cial speaker with a mes­sage on how to over­come stress and anx­i­ety.

With all other lights dimmed, Jeremy Ben­nett — au­thor and speaker on the topic of stress and anx­i­ety for the past 10 years — be­gan his speak­ing with a sim­ple point he felt we all needed to mem­o­rize, on the topic of the sub­con­scious mind – we may not think about ev­ery step we take, breath we draw, or blink we use, but they are nor­mal func­tions.

The one thing our sub­con­scious mind can­not do, is to dis­tin­guish be­tween what is real and what our re­sponse to that re­al­ity re­ally is. The sub­con­scious mind can­not be willed to ig­nor­ing the icky feel­ing you get when you think of spi­ders crawl­ing over your palm, be­cause it was not de­signed to ig­nore threats of dan­ger – whether real or not.

Jeremy con­tin­ued with­out in­ter­rup­tion on nu­mer­ous points il­lus­trat­ing that anx­i­ety in and of it­self is not bad, it only feels bad. He demon­strated that with­out the abil­ity to feel anx­ious, fear, or stress, we could not re­act to dan­ger and would ul­ti­mately lose our lives.

The stu­dents sat fix­ated on an ar­tic­u­late pre­sen­ta­tion, filled with images of pup­pies, video games, jokes from their so­cial me­dia, and clear con­cise mem­o­rable points geared to­wards their bet­ter­ment when anx­i­ety comes back to them.

Us­ing ev­ery­thing from il­lu­sions to group ex­er­cises, Ben­nett took his time to help stu­dents em­brace their re­silience to dan­ger and stress, not to numb their sen­sa­tions or ig­nore them, but trust their fam­i­lies and teach­ers with their trou­bles.

His fi­nal plea in the pre­sen­ta­tion was that stu­dents prom­ise to reach out, even if they wanted to con­tact him di­rectly through his on­line pres­ence With his con­clu­sion, the stu­dents gave him a re­sound­ing round of ap­plause, as many ap­proached him with their per­sonal thanks and re­ceived his con­tact in­for­ma­tion.

If you or some­one you care about is strug­gling in your stress man­age­ment, Ben­nett has a clear mes­sage of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tion, and plenty of prac­tice across Canada to share with you.

Jeremy Ben­nett can be reached through his Face­book page, seen on YouTube, and much more on his per­sonal web­site www.jere­my­ben­nett.ca.

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