Journey to a Healthy and Peaceful Mind

We suffer more in our imagination than in reality” — Seneca

It’s sad to see that most of the human sufferings stem from their own thoughts and emotions. It’s like our minds have stopped to function the way we want to.

Even when most of the things are fine around us a tiny thought can make us feel sad. Like for a student a not so pleasant feedback from the teacher or for an adult an argument with someone, are enough to ruin the day. If you observe yourself you will find yourself occupied with useless or negative thoughts most of the time. And it becomes a struggle to fix this. We want to get rid of such thoughts.

But for that you need to understand how this works. And then how can you navigate through this turbulence.

My aim through “Still Minds” initiative and through these articles is to help you understand and navigate through this. I will try to share tools that can help you in this journey.

In this article I will share a few ideas that can get you started in this journey. Hope you are ready and excited.

Let’s start by asking why we suffer. Why are we bombarded by negative and useless thoughts. Why has our attention span depleted significantly. For this let’s understand how our brain has evolved and why stress is not good.

Why stress is bad

If you go back in time you will notice something interesting. Back in old times survival was a challenge. When we used to live in jungles, there was a constant fear of attack. So our brain had to be alert always. If there was any danger our flight or fight mechanism will kick in. Which means that our body will freeze all it’s functioning and prepare to either fight or run away. This is what Stress does. And for such situations it’s needed.

But now a days it happens every now and then. Just a thought of someone or some situation makes people stressed out. And it’s not good for our body. It’s taxing.

What’s making us worry or stressed out?

  • Can it be the expectations that we have from people? We want them to behave and act in certain ways and when that doesn’t happen we become angry or irritated.
  • Can it be the expectations that we have from ourselves? Like when we are unable to accomplish something. Or that feeling of guilt after getting angry over someone.
  • Can it be attachment to people, outcomes or things? Do you agree that when we are attached to the result it causes pain, when it does not go our way. Like acing a competition.

I think you can come up with more reasons.

At the root though the problem seems to be our identification with the body and also the things around us. Let me explain.

When you drive a car you know that you are not the car. It’s your car but not you. You are just the driver. So tomorrow if you need to drive another car or sell this one it shouldn’t be a problem. What if you realize some day that you are not your body. That you are separate from your body, thoughts and emotions. Don’t you think things will become easy? It may be more fun and less stress. It is said that behind all fears is the fear of death. And if you know that you won’t die but will just get onto another body (like a car) then will you be worried?

You may say that all this sounds good in theory but is it possible to experience this. My answer will be yes it is possible. But it does require some introspection, some questioning and also patience. There are tools and frameworks available which are helpful. Like awareness.

So how to navigate through such challenges?

We all do stuff but some of us do it quite well. The difference is in the level of attention we give to the task at hand. When you start to do things with full involvement your awareness will expand. Simple things like eating food or taking a walk can become more joyful if done consciously.

Moving on let’s take another scenario. Suppose you have an exam coming up in few months. You come up with some plan to crack the exam. And it’s now time to execute that. You have two options. First, be focused on the execution plan and focus on the process. Second, think about the result while doing the preparation. Weather you will be able to succeed or not. If you don’t succeed then what all can happen etc etc. You know how much pressure and stress students take because of these thoughts. When fact of the matter is that the only thing you have in control is to give your maximum and prepare well. Don’t you think first option is a better one. Don’t you agree that following the process is more important than worrying about the results.

To summarize when you start to pay attention to the journey or the process it helps you to expand your awareness and makes you more peaceful. You can only plan and execute but the outcome is never in your control.

This understanding will help you to lead a more conscious life.

My aim with these articles will be to help you improve your mental health and well-being. In the next articles I will share more ideas and tools to help you improve focus, reduce stress and perform better. So stay tuned !

To know more about me and the work I do please visit Surdemy.

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