Alertness does not have to a state of constant tension or hyper-watchfulness though that is how it is perceived by many. To be alert is to be aware of the things around you and to be assessing their relationship to you and your safety and comfort. One must be at least somewhat alert so that one doesn’t go running into walls or tripping over everything in one’s path. We are more alert than we think we are when we are driving a car or even reading a book. Unconsciously we sense movements, changes in temperature, hear something just a bit differently; consciously we can bump our alertness up a small amount and thus, find ourselves ready to react to whatever is happening around us that may need our attention. We can also maintain a state of alertness regarding out own state of mind and the state of mind of others which aids in communication, the basis of any relationship. Paying attention is the most important thing we can do to keep ourselves content and to support healthy and rewarding relationships with others, whether they are friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances. When we’re sunk in apathy or easily distracted we miss many things we should have paid attention to. Choosing to stay alert prevents misunderstandings and mistakes, don’t you think?