Much of our Peace and happiness comes not from outside of us but how we see and perceive a certain thing. The same is true for its counterpart, much of our pain and suffering is not outside of us but it is self inflicted. Know how to operate in harmony with the nature of your mind and new worlds of wonderful and beautiful things shall enter your world.
Are you bothered and irritated most of the time? Do you find yourself listening to your negative voices that talk non stop? The first important thing is to realize that you want this to change. Solutions need not be expensive and should come from outside of you like medication and therapy. You have the power to fix your mental health from the inside. Here are 6 key principles and how to integrate them into your day to day to further improve your mental well-being.
1. Become The Observer
learning this skill greatly increases your overall well-being. Seeing yourself as the awareness of your thoughts and behavior puts you in a position to control how you are going to respond with wider understanding and compassion.
To become the observer, take a deep breath and look at everything from a birds eye view. See yourself as a person undergoing a moment of experience right now. It may be eventful or non eventful. Pay attention to the things going on with or without your preferences. Like cars passing by, clouds appearing and disappearing, you can even see and feel the whole world happening without your participation.
Knowing this you relieve yourself of anxiety and realize that much of the things bothering you are really of no importance. All are just opinions of the mind and you can rise up and be bigger than its chatter.
“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”– Marcus Aurelius
2. Be Open To Accept
Accepting things that you cannot change and changing things that you can. I’m pretty sure we heard this one. Not accepting a situation or an idea creates resistance in your over all well-being. There are billions of people on earth with varying ideas and preferences, accepting the truth that we are all different opens us up for creative collaboration rather than the zero sum game of competition.
Get passed your initial reaction of dismissing an idea presented to you. Things come to your domain of familiarity for a reason. Take a moment to look at things and first observe how it feels, then accept it as it is. Nobody can force you to act on things against your will but it is vital to accept and respect the diverse sentiments of others.
Remember, your initial reaction mostly comes from the ego’s perspective of self preservation. Preserving something it holds of value, maybe its preferences, its comfort, its programming. They might be true to some extent but make time to inquire is this Universally an absolute truth from all angles?
Look to nature, as the mountain accepts the storm. Be like this. Widen your capability to accept. That is what we are here for, to grow in ways on how we perceive the beauty of everything and each and every moment.
Next time when you find yourself stuck in traffic, take a deep breath and have no feeling about it. Just do traffic with no opinions added. Just acceptance.
“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.”– Gautama Buddha
3. Declutter The Mind
Much like your closet and your desk, the mind tends to get cluttered. But instead of material things, it is often times overloaded with memories, concepts, programming, opinions and random thoughts. Anxious and confused state of being is just simply a lack of organization. The nature of the mind to paint pictures of doubt and threat is actually to our benefit, it lead us to think and evolve to what we are today. But not knowing how to use the mind will bring detriment instead of benefit. Evolution brought us here and it doesn’t end there, we still need to know how to operate in harmony with the brilliance of the mind. It is a double edged sword, like fire or technology, it can either make or break you.
“Your brain is a weights only three pounds but it processes 70,000 thoughts each day using 100 billion neurons that connect at more than 500 trillion points through synapses that travel 300 miles/hour.”– Healthybrains.org
Can you wrap your head around these numbers? It is truly astounding. So now that we know how powerful our brains are, it is time to know how to use it. Your brain doesn’t stop thinking because it is its nature but you aren’t required to act on each and every one of them. Mind only gets cluttered when you believe each and every thought it comes across with. Declutter the mind by mindful breathing, noticing the thoughts and letting them pass by. One of my favorite phrases is “Be Engaged, Not Entangled”.
4. Cultivate Compassion
Most people are contaminated by negativity and this is not due to their destiny or the cards they were dealt with. It’s just they do not know yet that things could be different. Being judge mental and critical of self and others will raise up your stress levels and will do damage on your well being and relationships. Self compassion is a powerful coping mechanism that will change the way you see the world. Start by being compassionate with yourself. It all starts within you. I like to use Louise Haye’s meditation of imagining yourself and others as babies. This will immediately bring forth compassion because the nurturing nature of yourself will activate making you want to tend and take care of life. That no one is doing you wrong, a baby couldn’t do wrong, you are here to take care of the children in everyone you encounter. So give that a try.
Imagine the unconditional love of God for people, imagine the unconditional love of parent to child. It doesn’t reprimand nor judge. It is just there for you. This type of unconditional love is called Agape. You are able to access this Love within and only when it overflows then you share it with others.
Loving yourself First will diminish cumulative stress, foster better relationships, stand composed during tense situations. Cultivate this unconditional love for self and others and discover a version of your self that is calmer and stronger.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,”– The Dalai Lama 14
5. Enumerate Your Blessings
Let’s go deeper than counting your blessings. Enumerate and write them down. Write 3 things you are grateful for right now. Think of the things you have now and didn’t you just years ago only have them as desires? Celebrate your wins no matter how small. Being in the state of Gratitude opens you up for more blessings. It shifts your attention from what you don’t have to things that you have now and will have. Gratitude unshackles you from toxic spiraling negative thoughts. So take a break pursuing things you don’t have yet and focus and praise the things you have now.
“Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you least feel thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to effect change in your life — this I know for sure.”– Oprah Winfrey
6. Increase Your Aq (Adversity Quotient)
Your Adversity Quotient is your ability to overcome and endure obstacles to turn them into opportunities. If you choose to broaden your Aq, you will be more adaptable in stressful situations. Have an approach mindset instead of avoid, be proactive rather than reactive. The more hard things you can handle, the easier it gets in the future. Facing the truth, being accountable and responsible for the nearest task at hand for the greater good will help you increasing your Adversity Quotient. Remember, everything has a solution and can be progressed and fixed. Are you gonna give up or warrior up? The up is up to you. Face some challenges, voluntarily lift something heavy and you’ll be resilient and won’t be stressed easily.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”– Walt Disney
These 6 insights are of no use until practiced. Start with one and keep it on in your mind all throughout the day and know when to apply them. Knowledge is only power when applied. May you look at things with more compassion, gratitude, curiosity gaining resilience along the way.
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