5 Greatest Misconceptions about Meditation

We make meditation difficult by turning it an impossible feat and a near-superhuman ability. But in truth meditation can be so easy. Read on to find out about the five greatest misconceptions about meditation that prevent us from benefiting from this greatest method of self-healing!

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Meditation is easy.

We make meditation difficult by turning it an impossible feat and a near-superhuman ability. But in truth meditation can be so easy. Here are the five greatest misconceptions about meditation that prevent us from benefiting from this greatest way of self-healing!

Meditation is Intense Concentration – Meditation is the relaxation of the mind, not the exercise of it. Trying to concentrate consciously is like stiffening your muscles for a body massage. It is counterproductive to meditation.

Concentration is actually a side-effect or benefit of good meditation. Most people, even many meditation teachers mistake it for meditation. It is not. Meditation is easy focus; like the way you would spend an evening at the beach with a book. You really don’t concentrate on anything. You just let your mind relax.

Meditation is Total Absence of Thoughts – It is not. Once again this is a by-product of meditation sometimes and it is mistaken to be meditation. Meditation is simple awareness of your thoughts. You know that if you try to stop your mind from thinking about something all the mind can then think of is that which you don’t want to think about. And a lot of beginners give up meditation because of this. They think they are simply unfit for meditation. As if someone can be unfit to relax!

In meditation you are training your mind to take your thoughts less seriously. This is done simply by letting your mind think and at the same time watching those thoughts with an attitude of a dispassionate bystander. As if your thoughts are some vehicles passing on the street below as you watch them from your balcony. Yes in the beginning you tend to get lost with the thinking easily. That is the bystander becomes the driver of the car. And all you do, as soon as you realize this, is to go back to watching your thoughts idly.

Meditation must be done only at a certain Place And Time – It is not a must, it just an option. In fact, as a beginner you are most likely setting up yourself for failure if think you must do it at a certain place and only at an appointed hour. Because, then, even if you miss it once you are likely to get frustrated and give your mind an opportunity to quit it altogether. Sure meditating at a certain place and at a regular hour will help with your practice. But there is another benefit to meditating at various hours and at various places every day.

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Even simple sounds such as the patter of water can help you relax your mind and meditate.

That is gaining the ability to relax your mind anyplace and at anytime. Anything can help you do that. The sounds and sights around you, watching your thoughts, being aware of sensations on the body, literally anything! One of the best methods is to combine both techniques of meditation. Meditate at a regular spot and time for a slightly longer time like, say between 10 and 30 minutes, and then meditate just for a minute or two at various times of the day wherever you are. This is one of the best combinations that works for me always! Then even if I skip the longer meditation I am not so disappointed, and I also gain the capacity to relax and heal in midst of work and noise! Try it and see!

Meditation takes a long time to master – What do you want – mastery or benefits of mediation like peace of mind, and mental clarity? Of course, by ‘mastery’ most people assume staying in a particular posture for long hours with intense concentration and without any thoughts whatsoever! Even the most practiced of all meditators cannot claim such an achievement! In a yogic practice such a  state is called Samadhi, whereas meditation is called Dhyana – a state of continued awareness that can lead to Samadhi if the aspirant wishes it. So meditation is different from Samadhi.

The long-term benefits of meditation require sometime to pop up in your life. The immediate benefits of mediation are, however, quite readily apparent. And meditation by itself does not take months or years to master. How many seconds do you need to relax? Relaxing the mind is successful mediation! To be able to relax with such consistency takes regular practice but by no means more than a couple of months if you really go at it.

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Meditation is simple awareness of thoughts!

Meditation is Difficult – Do you really think it is that difficult even after reading all of the points above? Meditation is easy! We are all programmed to believe that we cannot gain anything unless we work hard towards it. And then we translate that belief into mental work too. Mind works the opposite. The harder we try to control the mind, the more violent and chaotic it becomes. In fact, our efforts to control it are adding to the mental noise not easing it.

The trick with the mind is to relax it by letting it wander. And then simply watching it without much reaction. It is easy to do. With enough practice you learn to do it even when you are disturbed. What you need here is not hard work, but short and easy repetitions. Remember, meditation is easy!

 

Find out what you think about yourself!

We always carry a self-image or a definition of self in not just our heads but in our actions, postures, and critical decisions we make in our lives. In fact, if we look at ourselves closely, the ‘I’ that exists is that self-image. We’d also like to think that we know ourselves better than others do about us and we are very clear about the self-image we hold within. But the truth is almost always far from it. Self awareness is as scarce as common sense. What we believe consciously to be our self-image is, in fact, the defensive-self or the mask we’ve created to face the world. A mask that we’ve built very early in life and have been developing and polishing ever since.

But the true image we hold of ourselves is very deep in our subconscious minds that it takes some practice of awareness to come in contact with it. We get brief glimpse of it when we are provoked into emotion unexpectedly and in our dreams. There are very simple exercises to find out what is truly our opinion about ourselves.

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Voices in your head are subconscious projections of your self-image

If you’d read one of my previous posts about Voices we carry in our heads (opens in new tab/window), you’ll know that most of the time the arguments we have with other people in our heads are not really arguments with others, but actually an inner conflict. I’ve categorized in that post, the various kinds of voices we carry and it is those voices that provide us with real clues and thoughts about self-image.

These ‘voices’ in our heads are extensions of conflicts we’ve had with others in our lives. For instance, say your spouse said something about you and you found it judgmental – say about your capacity to speak up against your boss, you may or may not argue with your spouse about it, but you then carry around a ‘voice’ of your spouse judging your similarly through your daily activities. And you start an internal argument with that voice and it gradually becomes a part of your daily mental noise.

Now coming back to finding out your self-image through the use of this inner voices we carry in our heads, every time an argument pops up in your head try to look at it dispassionately and without attachment as if you are listening to two strangers speaking to each other at a bus stop. By doing that the first thing you may notice about the voice is that it is not actually a real person speaking to you at that point of time but an imagination on your part. Any voice in your head is a part of your imagination and therefore an extension of your beliefs about yourself and not opinions of others. See what category the voice falls into (see Voices in our Heads for the categories).

Voices of guilt and shame point to a kind of self opinion, like say seeing ourselves as a ‘bad’ person or a ‘sinner’. They may even speak about how ‘deserving’ of something good we feel we are. ‘Put-me-downers’ speak about our opinions about our capabilities. They could also be speaking of the ‘loser’ in us. Morality checks also speak about our guilt – more likely our current actions and our own approval and disapproval of them. Voices usually fall into more than one category since at a deeper level all our problems are interconnected webs springing from our sense of insecurity, self-hatred, and fear.

Once you start trying to find your self-image through this exercise, you may encounter the difficulty of trying to watch your inner arguments being pulled into them. It is an expected difficulty. Just keep on with the practice. Every second of dispassionate observation adds to inner enlightenment. Some ‘voice’ may even start commenting on your inability to stay detached and try to use this activity to feed your mental noise. Just be aware of it, and you will be able to bypass it. Remember, awareness is the key.

Voices in Our Heads

How we imagine criticism from others and carry those voices in our heads to keep our sanity alive.

“Voices in Our Heads
Voices in Our Heads
We carry them to our grave”

Often people judge us. They are ever willing to comment upon our appearance, performance, occupation, status, behavior, our decisions and some intrepid commentators even enter our minds to dictate our thought flow.

Who are these people who judge us? If we care to spare a thought to it, we’d realize they are not faceless and nameless bunch of strangers we often call society, but they are the very near and dear. Beginning with our parents, they include our sibling, our friends, spouses, children, families next door, colleagues in office, mates in classrooms, and now our friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks we frequent. In fact the closer a person is to us, more their opinion matters.

How often do we let our actions and decisions in our lives be influenced by how others perceive us? We like to think it isn’t as often as it actually is . Again, if we cared to notice we would be shocked to see how much we go out of our way to impress our judges and to conform to their standards. And boy do we hate ourselves for it! Some of us do the opposite and do everything possible to provoke and anger the judges of their world. And boy do they hate themselves for it!

But the greatest woe to us being social animals is how we carry the voices of these judges in our heads even in their physical absence and let those voices dictate our reactions and behavior. In fact, if we really observe, we are more influenced by the voices in our heads than actual situations of judgement and criticism from outside in our lives. We lose peace and joy with these voices running our lives from our heads. How are we to let go of these voices ? How can we shut those people from passing commentary and judgement on everything we do?

It begins with the stark realization that these people do not actually exist except when we are in direct contact with them! What it means is that their voices in our heads are not opinions of people but are distorted echoes of our own beliefs and programming. It is easier to understand this if we understand the kinds of voices we carry in our heads.

Voices of Guilt

Friend/Colleague: “Well, at least I take care of my parents! I didn’t abandon them in their old age!”

Parent or Spouse shaking their head in disapproval when we are tempted to drink more or spend money on shopping.

Guilt is a sticky residue that takes very long to wear off. In social structures, guilt and fear are greatest tools for control and they are used everywhere right from child rearing to politics in keeping vast populations in check. It is easy to find people who can be the judges of our guilt in our heads. In the beginning it is the parents, then we have friends, sibling, spouses, colleagues doing the jobs satisfactorily in our heads. Essentially they are our conscience.

Shame Reminders

Shame is a stronger counterpart of guilt. Religious and national shame and guilt are commonly programmed in early life. Shame about sexuality is a very strong programming that leads to suppression of physical joy and pleasure. Hence imaginary voices reminding us of our shame is one of the easiest to surface since suppressed emotions do not tend to stay suppressed for very long.

It is more common among those of us who have been rebellious against norms and morals in our early ages. It is also commonly prevalent among those who have been sexually abused/exploited.

Morality Checks

A studious brother/sister becomes a morality checker in the head of a cheating student.

A environment friendly colleague turns a morality checker for a luxury loving person.

Guilt in turn breeds severity. Eventually, guilt in our psyche turns us into moral policemen of sorts first with ourselves and then with our families and professional circles. We find convenient voices from our own family and circles to be moral reminders. These are played in our heads as imaginary situations where our moral laxity is being noticed by the more upright person. Sometimes we find also ourselves wondering how the other person would behave in a situation that we currently are in and that imaginary situation can influence our current decisions.

Put-Me-Downers

Parent/Teacher/Team Leader: “You could have done better!”

Neighbor/Old Classmate/Wealthy Uncle: “Do you know how much I earn in a year?”

How often we hear voices of our near and dear in our heads disparaging our accomplishments and efforts. Birthed by own low self-esteem and self worth, these voices seek to increase guilt and constantly make us feel worthless. No matter what our accomplishments or how proud we feel about them, these voices will quickly demolish the pride and the perspective.

Self Hatred Voices

Shame makes us hate ourselves. And since guilt and shame cannot be kept hidden for long, they gradually increase self-hatred, which in turn feeds the shame and guilt. A vicious cycle indeed! These voices are stronger and more malicious than Put-Me-Downer voices. They bring a barrage of shame, guilt, moral degradation, feelings of worthlessness all at once. It also breeds rage within.

The voices of people we employ in our heads to feed our feelings of self-hatred turn those people into real villains for us in our social lives. They become unforgivable and hateful for us. A real challenge to overcome!

Sometimes these voices are also faceless criticisms running in our heads. Eventually they wear the masks of someone we know. At times it is a random stranger we face in the streets. At times it is even a simple sound or smell. For instance the sound of running water is a guilt reminder for me. I cannot be peaceful until I find the source of the running water and turn it off.

By now its become clear that most of these voices stem from unresolved emotions and bad self-opinion we carry within. We simply put masks to those voices, blame people around us for the suffering we undergo and attempt to unsatisfactorily resolve the situation by reacting to or avoiding the people around us. In all honesty we know that isn’t the problem.

Another aspect that becomes clear to us is that we love the drama of arguing within our heads. Demonizing somebody other than us is the easiest way to keep the drama alive.

So how do we free ourselves from these debilitating self-criticisms?

Keeping our heads above the waters

Well the first step is to keep our heads above the waters. That is to be clear at all times that the voices we carry in our heads do not really belong to the persons we imagine them to be of but they are just projections of our own suppressed/undealt psyche. That way we do not drown in the drama of emotions.

The simplest way to deal with this is to look at the drama in our head when it is happening and asking ourselves if the voice that is running in the mind actually has a physical body then and there. Is the person actually present right now or am I simply arguing with her/him in my head? When the person is not present, it means that the criticism in the head is a mental project of my own thoughts no matter how true it seems to the character of the person I imagine the voice to be of. At times even such validation cannot keep us from the temptation to have drama in our heads. Especially when we are righteously angered which is most anger!

Facing our hidden selves

The second step is facing the hidden emotions and beliefs. We can never really be free of self-accusations until we learn to face the suppressed emotions and programs that are causing the accusations to fly in the first place.

Most of us are afraid of facing them. We assume that by bringing up the suppressed emotions we will bring back all the bad things that have happened to us in the past. Some of us even go to the extent of ‘rationalizing’ them away. That is one of the greatest sins of our times – using rationality to desensitize ourselves. Emotions cannot always be ‘rationalized away’, they just disappear into our subconscious to work within us below the radar of the conscious mind.

Facing the suppressed emotions does mean facing some of our greatest fears but also not at the same time. Just like we put masks and voices to our own unresolved emotions and conflicting beliefs, similarly we also have objectified our greatest fears. All fear is simply fear at the end. The object of fear is the mask we have created in order to keep our sanity alive. Facing our unresolved emotions does not mean we will be forced to face the objects of fear, but it means facing the fear itself.

And by facing, it simply means that – facing. Not trying to deal with it, not trying to work through it, not trying to be courageous. But simply sitting with it and watching it.

Letting our fears through

Unresolved emotions remain unresolved because we haven’t let them through. We haven’t let them go. Facing the emotions and fears means letting them go. How to do that? Ever heard a bell or a gong ring. It begins with a rising pitch, reaches a peak pitch, and begins to fade and finally it is gone. Letting emotions pass is very similar to listening to the ringing of a bell. We just have to watch them through. We do not have to do that all at once, we just have to begin. Can we not do that?

The greatest obstacle to watching our guilts, shame, and fears go is not the lack of ability to do so but our programmed beliefs and moral codes. Social, educational, economical, religious, political, spiritual and cultural morals, codes, beliefs, and systems that have been devised keep our humanity alive have today themselves have become roadblocks to their own goals. We are afraid that by letting our guilts and shame go, we would turn decadent and immoral. But it is, in truth, our repressed emotions that are leading us to violate our moral codes and beliefs. And letting go of guilt does not lead to lack of restraint. Hanging on to it does.

Similar false logic applies to our fears. If I let go of my greatest fear, then I will face my greatest fear. That is my fear of ghosts is what is keeping me from being tormented by ghosts. But the truth is if I let go of my greatest fear, then there is no greatest fear to face at all.

Can we keep away from such mind play? Can we really question our beliefs and codes? Not to break them or bypass them, but to let go of our prejudices against ourselves. We need a healthy relationship with ourselves over a healthy relationship with our beliefs and programs. Can we not do that?

We Are Going On A Long Leave

Short GoodbyeThere come many opportunities in a person’s life when they can choose to follow their hearts or continue living in fears and insecurities of the mind. We (Geetha and I) have passed through quite a few and perhaps there lie a few more ahead of us. Most of the times, our choice was of the heart but once in a while we let our fears cloud us and keep us in the same of loop of suffering. We are once more at one such juncture in our lives.

This time the choice was unhesitating and simultaneous for both of us. Now, we’ve both come to a clear realization that further and truer healing cannot happen with conventional therapy but rather through a deeper introspection and awareness. And stepping into pure present moment awareness means we cannot avoid stepping into the unknown that follows it immediately. And to do that we realized we simply have to put in more faith into the life within and trust it to take care of us. And we are doing that. We are going away together to explore and experiment in deeper and truer healing. And, as usual with our lives so far, the experiment is first on us. We didn’t have to go away to let this healing happen, but the moment the realization to heal deeper came for us the universe opened doors for a perfect space to heal!

As a result, we are both taking a long sabbatical and we are closing Purple Room Healing for the public. The leave is for at least six months. The blog and all its articles will still be available for you all. We are also opening a site and another blog to share our onward (and inward) journey and to write about the practice of awareness. We will announce them here soon once we have made the physical transition to our new home and personal healing space.

Thank you all clients and friends who made this journey with us. We learnt a lot from each of you and we hope each of you had equally benefited through the help we could extend.

“The only freedom we’ve got is not to react to anything, but to turn within and know the truth.” – Robert Adams

Emotional See Saw – The ‘Other’ Side That We Often Overlook

All emotional ups involve indulgence, identification with the emotion...
All emotional ups involve indulgence, identification with the emotion…

Anger and frustration are emotions of high energy. Unlike states like depression, these high energy emotions need immediate venting and they are hard to keep suppressed for long. We want to do something when we identify ourselves with those emotions. We become very impulsive and often do things that we regret later on.

In our attempts to healing them we usually overlook the intimate connection between a negative high and a positive high in an emotional cycle and the underlying principles that dictate both. And this ignorance, unfortunately, keeps us from healing ourselves. Let us look at what happens when we experience high-energy negative emotions like anger and compare them with certain, what we call, ‘positive’ emotions.

When we are angry or frustrated, we lend our whole being and identity to that particular emotion, which means there is a high degree of self-indulgence. We tend to become impulsive. We let the emotion dictate how we react to the circumstances and to the people around us, as well as with ourselves. Our actions and words are influenced by the emotion.

When we look at our ‘positive’ high-spirited behavior (which is our idea of having fun or being happy) the same principles that govern the negative emotions are being applied here too. We lend our identity to that mood or emotion, we indulge ourselves, we become impulsive, and we speak and behave under the influence of the emotion. Think of any activity that is fun for you. It could be hanging out with friends, becoming impish, eating, dancing, singing, sexual indulgence, etc. The external activity varies from person to person.

The reason why we fail to identify this is because we mistake positive high-spirited activity for happiness. Unfortunately it is not. More often than not, the ‘positive’ high-spirited activity is largely our desperate attempt at ‘filling’ our life with seeming happiness rather than actually happiness and contentment itself.

Please note that some of the same activities may be performed without it becoming your illusory positive high. You could involve yourself into dancing and reach a calm state of mind. That is not the illusory positive high that I am talking of. So how do we identify that illusory positive high emotion that leads to indulgence?

Caution: Emotional Ups and Downs Ahead
Caution: Emotional Ups and Downs Ahead

Look for exhaustion, tiredness, and a lingering unease and boredom. When we are engaged in indulgence that gives us an illusion of happiness and joy, we will also find it exhausting and draining – especially towards the end of the activity you will find yourself desperately and mechanically clinging to the activity but you are not really involved in it really. There sometimes is a sense of uneasiness and boredom towards the end. None of these side effects are seen when we are really content with lives – when we are truly happy.

Our body always looks to balance our energy levels. So a bout of high-energy activity will be followed by a period of low energy levels. Emotionally it could be a period of depression, lack of interest, and a sense of despair. It may not necessarily occur right after a bout of high energy activity. The duration of the period could even be weeks. So there could days or weeks of high activity followed by a few weeks of depression and despair.

Expecting to heal our anger while we continue to indulge ourselves in ‘fun’ is unrealistic. So does that mean we must cut down upon our ‘fun’ activities? Cutting down will not lead to healing; it will only cause a future outburst of excess indulgence. Unfortunately our culture tries to teach us self-control and suppression. Control and suppression is not a path of healing.

The only path to healing is by understanding the emotions and their underlying causes completely. For in deep observation and understanding the conditions for pain dissolve and we discover ourselves.

Hypnotherapy is one therapy that can help identify our habits of emotional highs and lows through regression techniques. Many a time, ‘seeing’ the whole of our past patterns alone helps us dissolve a large part of that habit subconsciously.

Recommended Readings:
Emotional Drama
Mind Drama
Eternal Human Conflict

Image Courtesy:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/harmishhk/with/8642273025/
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=5897

Funnel Vision: How we fabricate our own doomed futures

We let our experiences limit our future possibilities.
We let our experiences limit our future possibilities.

How many straight lines can we draw from a dot? Infinite. It means there is infinite number of viewpoints from which you can see a dot. How many straight lines can we draw connecting two dots? Only one. And this line can be further projected on any side of the dots to predict the occurrence of similar dots. This is funnel vision. As our mind connects similar experiences (dots) across time, it tends to project a future with narrowed possibilities and diminishing joy. Think of it as an inverted funnel place in front of our eyes, like eyeglasses, and we can see only through the small opening at the base of the funnel.

Funnel Effect is common to all of us and most of us fail to recognize its presence and effect upon our lives. Our minds have infinite capacities to bring to us (or take us into) those experiences that prove our existing beliefs. For instance, if a girl believes that all her romantic relationships would end in the man dumping her then that is all she will experience or fight against one relationship after the other. After a few relationships, she may form a new belief that all men are untrustworthy. And she then continues to attract herself into hands of such men. And if she chances upon a trustworthy relationship, her funnel vision can cause her to remain suspicious of the man in her life and can even end up in severing the relationship out of her inability to trust him.

What this girl, in this instance, fails to understand is that her first incident of heartbreak had become the base out of which she operated in the next experiences. Either she would want the same outcome if it makes her happy, or she would want to avoid the outcome if it had suffered her. The very pain has become a yardstick of measure for her. And even the very first experience could have been attracted due to an underlying feeling of undeservedness and poor self-image she had experienced in childhood.

The problem with this emotional approach is that the emotions can make a mere possibility seem a certainty thus creating an anticipation and preparedness – a narrowing of our vision. Naturally when the situation occurs we interpret it through our narrowed or filtered vision and give out prepared reactions only to regret later on. Sometimes the narrowed viewpoint is so strong that we may not even realize our misinterpretation for long.

Our rational mind is also not free from such bias or funnel vision. In fact, it can have more devastating effects in some cases. When a logical mind has to make predictions about an event, it always estimates possibilities based on past similar experiences in our lives or other’s. But all data from past is based not on reality but on the memory of the experience of the reality – either ours or of others around us. That’s like mistaking twice adulterated milk to be pure milk.

Another problem with rational mind is its blind reliance on science. There is an excellent dialogue from the movie Men in Black that beautifully illustrates this problem. Tommy Lee Jones makes this statement to Will Smith after Smith’s first experience with an alien being: “Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

A logical mind concludes often fails to understand what it ‘knows’ could be just one, its personal, version of reality and not the truth.

Logical mind kills joy because of its tendency to be too controlling. Emotional mind increases pain because of its tendency to indulge. Funnel vision causes this to become reality of the future. Think of it as series of dots joined by a line, only the mind did not just create the line but it even ended up creating the dot after dot in its life based on its past prejudices.

When experiences in our lives become our beliefs, we undergo a gradual narrowing of our vision and philosophy in our lives to such extent that all we get to experience of life is but a tiniest fraction of its wondrous spectrum of possibilities. We trace a path of suffering, struggle, and strife ahead of us and end up living it just because we assumed a possibility to be a certainty.

So how do we get rid of this funnel in front of our eyes? By first acknowledging its presence. Unless we know our vision is narrow, we will remain the proverbial frog in a well that thinks the well is the whole universe.

Paying complete attention to the moment can dissolve funnel vision and expand our horizons.
Paying complete attention to the moment can dissolve funnel vision and expand our horizons.

The second step is to learn to be in the moment instead of simply accepting the viewpoint our thoughts portray based on our past memories. We cannot stop the funnel vision from giving extremely convincing viewpoints. But we can stop ourselves from entirely believing the viewpoints and being open to the present moment as if it were our first experience. And that is also the truth. No matter how many times we may have experienced events similar to the current situations we are in, we have never experienced this moment before.

We can color this moment and make it as painful as the past with our complicit acceptance of the funnel vision. Or we can simply let every moment become a fresh experience by paying attention to this moment to see what we can experience this time. When we remain absolutely open to the moment, life can surprise us with new joys and experiences that we never had before. Deeper doors within us can open up making us more sensitive to the wonders of life. And this also serves to widen our visions and eventually get rid of the funnel effect altogether.

Suggested Readings:
Cinderella Syndrome
Simple Meditation Technique to deal with Anxiety
Self Abuse

Photo Courtesy by freedigitalphotos
Dark Tunnel With Light by pakorn
Cityscape Sunset by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

What is the true human language?

How come animals communicate better with each other than humans in spite of so many languages?
How come animals communicate better with each other than humans in spite of so many languages?

When a cat from one side of the earth is introduced to the other side of the planet, it can still very well communicate with cats there.  It can express its annoyance, pleasure, needs, and displeasure with the ‘local’ cats as easily as it was a native there. So can dogs, birds, rats, monkeys, and probably all creatures on this planet – all except humans.

Humans are the only creatures on this planet that have a difficulty communicating in distant lands. With our language barriers we have truly made most parts of the earth ‘foreign’ to us. This raises so many questions. Why is this so with the most intelligent beings on the earth? Does that actually prove we are, after all, not as intelligent as we believe? And what then, is the true human language? And is there one?

Let us imagine ourselves in a past where humans were yet to invent spoken language. What do you think have been our mode of communication then? We probably used our bodies and the small range of sounds our throats could reproduce then. Have you ever tried communicating with just your body and ‘unintelligible’ sounds? (The reason why I put ‘unintelligible’ in quotes is because they aren’t actually unintelligible like we are led to believe). Try this out as an experiment.

The truth is we all communicate more with our bodies and ‘unintelligible’ sounds than with spoken language. But we have only consciously trained ourselves to listen and respond to constructed language. How often do you find an impression forming in your mind about a person as soon as you saw the person? Very often, if not, always. How are you able to do that?

Today this innate ability to communicate is largely ignored and a fraction of it is categorized under a topic called non-verbal communication and is taught in workshops. Most such trainings tell us about how to manipulate and create false impressions through use of body language in business and relationships space.

So why is it so important to tap into this innate communication ability? Because at the subconscious level our mind doesn’t think in English, or any of our native constructed languages! In fact, at a deeper level thoughts and actions (the execution of those thoughts) happen simultaneously. There is no inherent difference between them. Such a difference is only apparent at a conscious thought level.

We are constantly communicating our intentions, thoughts, and emotions through our bodies and other subtler means of communication and we are missing out on that large chunk of human communication. Animals, on the other hand, survive and thrive on that natural language system. And that is not an area where we can proudly boast of our superiority over other known creatures on earth. It makes us deeply disconnected with each other as well as our connection with the rest of the natural world around us.

Relationship Issues - Body Language TrainingHow many times relationships go sour just because they people involved didn’t have an ‘open communication’? They didn’t ‘talk’ about it. How come there are no betrayals and heartbreaks in the animal world? That animals cannot feel love is not an acceptable answer. I am not saying constructed language is the problem. In fact it can even be a better solution. Would I be able to communicate all of this without a constructed language? One major problem is the neglect of our natural language of body and mind.

Today speaking through a constructed language seems natural. But think of it for a moment. Unless you learn the meaning of a word in a particular language can you understand when it is being used. How many times you found a language funny or ridiculous because you don’t understand the meaning of the words? Because stripped of its given meaning, it is just another random sound that the vocal chords have produced.

We know this woman is not happy without her having to speak a word.
We know this woman is not happy without her having to speak a word.

But how many times have you noticed a friend’s or family member’s face and immediately understood they weren’t feeling good? Natural communication is built into us that we often grossly neglect or misuse. I do not want to call this body language or non-verbal communication (though sometimes I do that for the sake of avoiding lengthy explanations). That sort of makes it sound secondary to primary communication. Of course that is true in today’s world of verbal communication.

The primary reason why I don’t want to use those terms is because what we teach or learn in the name of body language or non-verbal communication is barely a fraction of the natural communication ability we possess. Some of our communication systems are so disused that it needs a certain amount of working on them to bring them back to their full capacity.

Have you noticed that a lot of ego clashes in economic and social situations occur even before any words are spoken by the parties involved?

Think of this – how does a wild monkey know when to supplement its largely vegetarian diet with insects and rodents to maintain an adequate protein levels in its system? And how come we need a specialist using special equipment to tell us that same thing? How does a monkey or any other creature listen to and follow those signals within? This too is an area of communication – of body to conscious mind. This area of natural communication has been pushed into an area of intuition or spirituality and we stress the importance of outward learning through constructed language as the primary.

So is our true language is of the body and the mind? Probably. When you explore your mind and body systems deeper through observation of self, we find silence, strange as it might sound, is probably our natural communication system. Not the kind of pregnant silence that we find in embarrassing situations but a pure and absolute silence devoid of any meaning. They say the most successful communication happens when you listen. In absolute silence we gain an ability to really know what our bodies are telling us, and even what others are going through. This is also the space which spiritual saints say reveals our true nature to us, but that is another topic altogether.

Though all may not definitively accept the impact of natural language of body and mind over spoken and written language, none of us can deny its presence. And unless we learn to ‘tune’ into it and learn to understand its impact, we are losing out on a significant part of human communication and connection.

Suggested :
Simple Meditation Technique
Emotional Drama: Our Addiction to Issues
Power of Manifestation

Photo Courtesy:
freedigitalphotos
Monkeys Checking For Fleas On Dog’ by noomhh
‘Sad Woman’ by graur codrin
‘Couple Lying In Bed Back-to-back’ by Ambro

Positive Visualization Technique for Hair Growth

As promised in the previous post (Hypnotherapy Treatment for Hair Loss), here is a positive visualization technique for hair growth. This technique is for a receding hairline. It can help slow down baldness as well as promote the growth of hairline forward towards the forehead. This is a technique I personally used.

THE TECHNIQUE

Positive Visualization Technique for Healthy and Beautiful Hair!
Positive Visualization Technique for Healthy and Beautiful Hair!

The positive visualization technique is simple. Just stand before a mirror. Examine the hair growth near the temples just above your sideburns. This is a place where hair is always thick and lush. If you notice bald heads, the hair just above the sideburns is the last to fall or usually doesn’t fall at all. Get that visual of thick and rich hair and scalp above your sideburns firmly into your mind.

Now run three fingers into the hair near your temples. Make sure you touch the scalp there. While you are running your fingers into your hair and scalp above your sideburns, visualize that your fingers are picking up the energies or the ability of the hair growth on the scalp there, as if the thickness of hair there is contagious and it will spread into any area of your scalp your fingers will touch next. Do this visualization and rubbing for a few seconds.

Now use the same three fingers and lightly rub them into the scalp wherever the hairline is receding. Run the fingers through the hair with forward motions from inside the hairline towards the bald scalp all the while visualizing that the area you are rubbing is getting infected with good health of the scalp and thickness of the hair that your fingers picked up over the sideburns. Visualize the health is spreading fast into the whole area.

Repeat the process a few times over. Running your fingers into your scalp above the sideburns while visualizing the health is contagious and then running the same fingers into the receding hairline in forward motions visualizing the health is spreading into this area.

Get away from the mirror immediately. Avoid lingering in front of the mirror after the visualization is over. This can cause to bring the old habit of brooding over the baldness and filling your head with negative affirmations. Avoid that.

Do this positive visualization for a few weeks. You will soon notice that the hairline is moving forward again and the hair is growing thicker too.

IMPORTANT TIPS TO MAKE THE POSITIVE VISUALIZATION A SUCCESS:

Imagination more important than physical action: More than the action rubbing the fingers into the hair, the imagination that health is contagious and that it is spreading as soon as you touch the fingers over the receding hairline.

Work on half inch of bald scalp at a time: Work step by step with a little area at a time. Start with rubbing bald scalp just up to half inch before the hairline. This will help you keep the visualization real and believable in the beginning. Once you see new hair growth, you will have enough confidence to cover more bald areas without losing the believability.

Stop checking: This is the trick that can bring great results. Stop checking whether the technique is working or not for a period of three to four weeks after you started the positive visualization technique. This will help you keep away from losing confidence on the technique as well as help you keep the negative suggestions to a minimum. After we start noticing our hair loss, we increase the stress often by brooding negatively in front of a mirror whenever we find an opportunity. Avoid this as much as you can for the next few weeks.

Be very consistent: As much as the success of this positive visualization technique for hair growth depends on the visualization that much the success also relies on consistency of the exercise. You can do this exercise just once a day or multiple times on days when you find time. But repeating this exercise at least once a day over a few weeks, say 3-4 weeks, is very important.

Of course, if there is a lot of stress and anxiety currently in your life due to some other issues, then it will help to undergo guided hypnotherapy sessions along with this technique in order to deal with stored anxiety and to learn to manage stress through relaxation techniques like self-hypnosis, meditation, etc.

I personally found great results with this positive visualization technique whenever I used it. It worked every time I used it. I also got positive reports from clients who used this technique.

Photo Courtesy:
artur84 at freedigitialphotos.net

Self Pity and Self Hatred: Two Dangerous Extremes

feeling sorry for oneselfLow self-esteem issues are quite common to my practice. In fact, all therapies in one way or the other have to do with self-image. And when we suffer from a low self-esteem problem and are unable to resolve it, we manage to cover it from the world by taking a defensive stand. Some become reserved and gruff, some put up a false intellectual front, some pretend to be uber happy, and some turn shy and silent, and then there are hundred other ways to cover it up.

Dealing with self-esteem issues or any issue for that matter is not a big deal if we are really willing to resolve our problems. But there are times when some of us tend to take an extreme stand about themselves after years of struggling with issues. One one extreme is self pity and other self hatred.

From a healing point of view, both are really dangerous attitudes. Because they not only prevent us from effectively resolving our issues but also become a very important reason why we are facing issues also. Let us see how.

Self pity is a sorry state. A person with self pity begins to see himself in a sorry state and as a figure of sacrifice. He feels he is a helpless victim of any situation and believes he would remain so. He often spends time in pitying himself and blaming others for his plight. He comes to feel so bad for himself so much that they readily accept the victim’s role as a part of who they are.

And once that happens, they continue to attract situations where they can play victims. The mind always makes true what it believes. It manipulates situations and people around to fulfill its needs and beliefs. So once the person believes he is a victim, he unconsciously seeks to worm himself into situations where he could become one. It is like if you become a doctor, you need to treat patients to justify your role. So you set up a medical practice and start seeking people with illnesses. Much similarly, the mind starts looking for situations and people who would victimize it so the self-pity is justified. These people carry a lot of resentment and anger within.

self hatredSelf hatred also works similarly but on the opposite side of the scale. Person who hates herself usually start playing the role of a perpetrator. She needs to justify her hatred. She just starts looking for victims and situations where she could have reasons to hate herself. In her mind, it’s all her fault! These people also carry a lot of guilt. They also carry a need to punish themselves.

People on these two extremes have a need to make sad stories of their lives. The truth is that need is neither ‘subconscious’ or ‘unconscious’. There is no need for a hypnotherapy regression or ‘psychological evaluation’ to bring up this need to the surface. All one has to do is to watch their thoughts and the motivations will be readily seen. If you can watch your thoughts with complete honesty – which means without denying or resisting them in any way – you can readily find out if you are carrying any of these traits in you. By watching your thoughts, you can also easily realize how you are manipulating yourself into a victim’s or a perpetrator’s role

This becomes the first block to any healing or therapy.  This needs to go in order to resolve other issues in your life. How can self pity and self hatred be healed? All you need is consistent refusal to take that attitude. Be alert in your head and watch your thoughts keenly. The moment you start feeling sorry for yourself and anger for situation or the moment you start cursing yourself and feel severe guilt, just move into the present moment and refuse to take that attitude. Be consistent and you can easily come out of that viewpoint.

Suggested Readings:
Emotional Drama
Power of Manifestation
It’s too late now!

Picture Courtesy: David Castillo Dominici @ freedigitalphotos.net

Simple Meditation Technique to deal with Anxiety and Stress – Part 2

Read the First Part here. The meditation technique is explained there.

Best Recommended Times

The recommended times are for getting the best out of this method. They are not mandatory. In fact, I recommend you not to take up all the below at once. That will simply become a burden to you and that will motivate you to give up the meditation practise.

I personally follow these and I do not meditate for no more than two minutes maximum each time. And I increased the frequency of this practise after I fell in love with the meditation, not before.

The best way to start the day is to become present in this moment when you wake up.
The best way to start the day is to become present in this moment when you wake up.

As soon as you wake up – this is especially good because it can have a great influence over your entire day.

In the toilet – this again is another time of the day where our thoughts and emotions then can affect the whole day. Just a few minutes of this meditation here will help us greatly.

Waiting in traffic or at other times can be a great time to meditate.
Waiting in traffic or at other times can be a great time to meditate.

During travel (if you are not operating the vehicle) – this is one of the best times, I’ve found, to meditate. In fact somehow it is easy for me to meditate while sitting in the bus or train. After this technique, I personally began to prefer travelling by bus or train over driving myself because it gives me a long time to meditate. Especially while returning from a day’s work, this meditation in bus has tremendous benefit. There is an immediate flushing of stress and anxiety which I used to carry from work to home.

Before beginning a work – I have found this to be another huge benefit. When you are able to move into ‘being in the moment’ before you start any work, it gives you the calmness as well as the presence of mind required to handle the task effectively. In fact, I found this even improved my performance.

Being in the moment after eating can help digestion and also tune to your listening to your body.
Being in the moment after eating can help digestion and also tune to your listening to your body.

Immediately after eating – If you do this over a few weeks, you will even gain an amazing ability. You will be able to tell if the food that you just consumed is good for you or not. Body has a great ability to communicate what it wants and what it can’t digest. But we never listen. This technique helps you gain back that listening habit. Not only will your stomach tell you if the food you ate is good for you or not, but if you ate something that is particularly not so suitable for your constitution, the few minutes of this meditation after food actually helps reduce the discomfort or indigestion problem. Of course, that does not mean you can continue to eat whatever you like and use this technique like some antacid tonic. When your body communicates, listen to it. Try to avoid that food stuff in future.

Evenings when free – This is the time when I practise this for a slightly longer time like about ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes, if I find time, I do this in the mornings instead. This helps me become more anchored in that state of peace and calmness, and also helps me get into this practise easily even during most stressful times in the day.

Before going to bed – I sleep with this technique. It will soon help you fall asleep faster.

Getting the Best Out Of This Meditation Practise – Meditation Tips and Advice

Be in the moment and you will soon enjoy the moment as it is.
Be in the moment and you will soon enjoy the moment as it is.

Enjoy the meditation – Just be and you will quickly fall in love with this meditation. Whenever you are being in your body, you will find a certain peace and calmness in it.

Let it grow upon you – Let the meditation grow upon you not the other way round! Do not try to overwhelm yourself with doing this too many times in the beginning. You are trying to acquire a habit of regular meditation. And anything that you dislike or are trying to force upon self can be tough to become a habit.

Take it easy – If you take this meditation too seriously (instead of enthusiastically) you are only adding to your stress. Remember you are trying to find peace out of this meditation. The more desperate you grow the less likely you will find peace. Just take it easy.

Skip once in a while – Take a break when you feel like it. The importance of peace and calmness is felt more in its absence. Don’t be a stickler to punctuality and discipline. If you enjoy the meditation it will become a part of your daily routine quickly enough.

Don’t try too hard – Once in a while you may find it difficult to move into the ‘here and now’ when you are too stressed out or emotional. Don’t try hard. With enough practise during other times you will soon, within weeks, reach a state where you can go into the meditation even during high stress.

Don’t empty mind – Again the emphasis is to be your posture and thus enter this moment. Not on emptying your head of thoughts. There is no need to change your thoughts. Move your focus from them to your body.

Stay on the goal – As you become more practised in this meditation technique, you will find some interesting latent abilities of yours getting activated. For instance, sometimes when I am doing this meditation, I become aware of the mood and thoughts of people around me. Stay with the goal. And the goal is to gain peace and be stress-free. If you start pursuing this meditation for the sake of latent powers you will lose both peace as well as the powers.

Experience this moment – Each time you do this meditation you may have a different experience. The goal is to be the posture and experience this moment as it is. Do not try to reproduce the experience of your previous meditations. That is where you can get lost and lose peace.

Do it as you are – Do not try to assume special postures for the meditation. Just move into the posture you have at the moment. Of course you can adjust a limb or two for the sake of convenience. Sometimes you can also realign your posture as a physical way of ‘gathering your mind’. Special postures or asanas can restrict the places and times when you can practise this meditation.

 

Suggested Readings:

Simple Meditation Technique for healing Anxiety and Stress – Part 1

How much time do you spend for your mental health? – Part 1

How much time do you spend for your mental health? – Part 2

Frustration: Shortcut to Failure

 

Photo Courtesy: graur codrin, rakratchada torsap, Stuart Mile @ freedigitalphotos.net

Simple Meditation Technique to deal with Anxiety and Stress – Part 1

You do not need special places, timing, or even postures for effective meditation.
You do not need special places, timing, or even postures for effective meditation.

In the last posts (Part 1 & Part 2) I discussed about mental health and the most important time of the day where your emotions and thoughts can set a trend for the day. This post let me share with you a very simple meditation method that will help you reduce stress and anxiety dramatically in your daily life. It can also help you become attain peace and calmness if you practise it every day.

The very word meditation sometimes puts us off. We have, at least some of us, have tried in the past various meditation techniques and have failed to achieve the consistency in practise. Two most important obstacles were time and achieving concentration. We either did not have the time to put aside for the meditation. Some meditation techniques demanded a particular time of the day be set aside for it, especially like early mornings which turn out to be particularly difficult for those who are night birds. Some meditation methods insisted on long durations of practise – sometimes even an hour out of our daily routine. The other reason why we give up a few other meditation techniques is because of its demand of nearly super human single minded concentration which seems to be more difficult than time. Just when we want to empty our minds that all sorts of silly thoughts come into our heads.

The meditation technique which I am sharing is neither time consuming nor requires inordinate amounts of mental concentration. You don’t even need to practise it at a regular time too. In fact, the efficacy of this meditation technique lies in practising it everywhere and anywhere you can.

Move into this moment using your body. Now is where Peace is.
Move into this moment using your body. Now is where Peace is.

The Technique

The technique is deceptively simple. All you need to do is to simply move your awareness into your body and this moment. Let me explain how to do that.

First of all, you do not have to assume any meditative posture for this. Doing that can help you initially if you are used to practising meditations, but otherwise it’s not necessary. Again the best benefits of this technique can be extracted if you do this anywhere in any posture.

Simply begin by watching your posture. This can be done either by closing your eyes or with your eyes open. The goal here is to bring yourself, your mind I mean, into this moment and to ground yourself. It means you are bringing yourself here and now. Becoming aware of your posture or physical presence is an easy way to do this. Be like this for a while.

Become aware of your body from the inside. It means you are going into being the posture. See, all postures are actions like sitting, lying, standing, resting, etc. So go into that doing. Be it. Be the sitting person, be the standing person, or be whatever your posture is doing right now. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of this technique. Try it and you will find tremendous results.

The Thinking Mind

Just become aware of your thoughts. No need to control them or suppress them.
Just become aware of your thoughts. No need to control them or suppress them.

Well, what about the mind? You do not have to empty your mind. Just watch it. Do not try to clear your mind. Neither do you try to hang on to a particular thought. Just let them be – in the background. Your awareness is into your posture. Into being.

It means you are letting your mind be what it wants to be and YOU are going away from it. Yes, you and your mind can be separated like that. By ‘you’ here I mean your awareness. So simply let your thoughts be, let your mind be.

What you are doing is letting everything be. You are not trying to change anything. You are moving into the being of the moment. So, like I said, it does not require extraordinary consciousness. Just plain awareness. It’s easy.

Time and Duration

Do it anywhere you want. without any special postures or asanas.
Do it anywhere you want. without any special postures or asanas.

You can do this meditation anytime and anywhere. And you can do this for any duration ranging from just a few seconds to an hour too. In fact, I would not recommend that you do this for longer duration at a set time of the day like other meditation practises. The efficacy of this technique lies in its time flexibility.

I have noticed that in meditation practises people tend to get the best benefit out of it during their early days of practise and then gradually the benefits seem to disappear. The problem is not with the technique but in our ability to compartmentalize our daily routine. We usually stop the benefits of meditation influencing us in the rest of the day after the meditation. In the beginning days of practise, we are so motivated that we feel the lightness, joy, calmness, or peace that we gained during the meditation all through the day. After the initial motivation wanes, we tend to go back to our worry patterns and even the meditation seems to become a burden at times. So what peace we gain during the meditation practise seems to fade within ten minutes of getting up. Yes, any good meditation practise can change that and affect our whole life positively in a long term practise. But that again takes us back to our initial problem of consistency in practise.

So the best way to gain benefit out of this practise is to do this meditation just about two or three minutes or less and do it number of times per day. As you do not have a restriction of posture and you don’t even have to close your eyes for this meditation, it makes it easy to practise this meditation just about anywhere. While sitting in the office or the class during a break, while travelling (if you are not driving, of course), during brief periods of waiting, in the toilet, just after eating. Read the next part here for some best recommended times that can provide greatest benefit out of this technique.

Benefits of Meditation

The meditation can help you remain peaceful and calm all through the day easily.
The meditation can help you remain peaceful and calm all through the day easily.

The first thing that you will notice is the flushing of stress and anxiety. An instant calmness will come over your body and mind as you become aware of them. When you move into the posture and be the posture, what happens is that you are letting go of your identity with your thoughts. You are not stopping the thoughts, but are not attaching yourself with them anymore. Again, the goal is to move into ‘here and now’. Be only in this moment. Any thoughts about the next moment let them be. Just watch them. Don’t try to change them.

This technique acts a vacuum cleaner for stress and emotions. What I mean is that it can effectively stop stress and bothersome emotions from affecting other areas of your life. So when you practise this regularly, you stop carrying emotions across different areas of your life. Stress of your personal life will not affect your professional area. And vice versa.

Due to its flexibility, this technique can be incorporated in your daily life far easily than other longer methods. Of course you can continue any other meditations and Kriyas that you are already doing or intend to take up. In fact, this practise will aid you in other mind management or spiritual techniques.

A constant state of peace will become yours when you pepper this practise along the entire day. You will notice that you are able to look at problems in their proper perspective and proportion. In fact you will even be able to deal with tougher issues with a presence of mind. Worry becomes lesser.

The second part of this post gives you some best recommended times to practise this meditation as well as more useful tips to get the most out of this meditation practice. Read the second part of this post here.

Suggested Readings:

How much time do you spend for your mental health? – Part 1

How much time do you spend for your mental health? – Part 2

Simple Meditation Technique to remove Stress and Anxiety – Part 2

Frustration: The Shortcut to Failure

 

Photo Courtesy: adamr, digitalart, Ambro @ freedigitalphotos.net

How much time do you spend for your mental health? – Part 2

Positive thoughts in the morning can set a positive mood for the day.
Positive thoughts in the morning can set a positive mood for the day.

Techniques to mental manage stress and anxiety.

First Impressions Matter

In the previous article (click here) we have seen that the first set of impression we form in the morning soon as we wake up set a mood for the day. Those set of thoughts and emotions are then amplified during the time we spend in the toilet. Similar thoughts get added and we have successfully determined the way our day is going to take shape.

Yes, we cannot control our thoughts. We haven’t all mastered the art of mind control. And control in most cases on ends up increasing or suppressing the thoughts we are trying to control. This only leads to future trouble. So trying not to think in a certain way is not the first step to do here. The trick is learning to ignore thoughts that we do not want to have.

So as soon as we wake up, our thoughts are usually determined by a few variables – the dreams that we had, the plan or expectations for the day, the events of the previous night (which also determined the nature of our dreams), or the circumstances in which we woke up (like woken up rudely by a grumbling member of the family). Anyway, we cannot control these thoughts. But what is under our control is how we react to those thoughts.

Changing our Reactions

We can choose to pick up negative thoughts and moods and amplify them by losing temper and calm. Or we can choose to move over those thoughts and think of some pleasant ones that will set our mood right.

Many think that this is easier said than done. Actually the opposite is true. It is easy to do most of the days and tough only at certain times. The success of the technique lies in knowing that a mood or thought continues as a mindless repetition and also because we want to be in that mood. By knowing this we can do two things to change the way our day’s experiences are shaped. One, since the thoughts are going to be mindless repetition, it means that they may continue for some time and all we need to do here is to ignore them.

Two, by knowing that we feel lousy because we want to, we can simply pause for a moment and ask ourselves how we want to feel throughout the day. That will immediately set our priorities right and we will be able to ignore the negative thoughts and choose to look at the day with positive expectations. The trick again is not to expect thoughts to go away or try to control them, instead to ignore them and focus on the positive.

Yes, there will be certain days where the first thoughts are related to our deep issues that we find it difficult not to want them. When you can’t do anything, the only way you can lessen the impact of that mood on your daily activities is by accepting the truth of the situation. Yes, I am angry and I am not willing to give it up. Accept it and it will help you move on to some extent. The mood could continue through the day, but it will not be as bad as it could be if you had been resisting the mood. Just accept it as such.

The next post, I will give you a very simple meditation technique to help your mind manage stress effectively.

Kiran Relangi

Hypnotherapist
Chennai

Image Courtesy: imagerymajestic @ freedigitalphotos.net

How much time do you spend for your mental health?

Meditation is a good stress busting activity
Meditation is a good stress busting activity

We are all worried and concerned for our physical health. Even though many of us fail to exercise regularly, we still keep an eye on the physical health issues. Though physical health is also a vastly neglected area of our lives, we still think about it once in a while. We diet, join yoga, go for walks or think of doing them all. But how many of us have actually spared such thoughts to our mental health?

Just like physical health, our minds need a stress busting activity and ‘muscle’ building activities too. From our waking moment till the time we get back into bed, our mind is nearly ceaseless in activity. Honestly, most of our thoughts are worthless thoughts like worry, fantasy, repeating thoughts, and random thoughts triggered by various sights and sounds around us. To understand this, just spend a few days minutely recording your thoughts in a journal. You will be very surprised to observe what you think. In fact, a lot of physical stress we experience during a day is due to our mind’s worried thinking. If this activity can be reduced, we will find a huge change in our physical energy levels as well as mental clarity.

Unlike the body, which can demand a lot of maintenance activity, a mind needs simple activities to keep it stress free. The simplest is meditation but sometimes we find the simplest being the toughest. A lot of us would have indeed tried many meditation techniques only to give them up because we found it so difficult to control our thoughts. Only when we want to focus single-mindedly on something that we find all the thoughts in the world flooding our heads.

The truth is if we can manage to prevent our minds from excessive and unnecessary thinking that in itself can make us sharper and stress-free. There are also other techniques to keep our minds healthy and stress free.

First Impressions Matter

If you watch your thoughts keenly, you will also notice that the first thoughts and moods that you have in the day usually set a kind of a ‘trend’ for the day. If you chose to be angry first thing in the morning, you seem to attract anger over and over across the day. Likewise, peaceful thoughts during the morning lead to a relatively peaceful day. It is like you choose a set of mental goggles in the morning and the rest of the day’s experiences filter through those glasses. The most important periods in the morning are the moments you spend in bed immediately after waking up, then your time in the toilet. These are the times when you are mostly in your own world.

In the next article, I will tell you how you can manage to set the best impressions for the day as well as a simple meditation technique that you can do easily.

Suggested Readings:

Frustration: Shortcut to Failure

Semi Conscious Thoughts

Mind Drama

 

Photo Courtesy: artemisphoto @ freedigitalphotos.net