MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “calm”

Peace from mind

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There is a concept called ‘emotional leakage’; it’s about letting your emotions overflow into your external behaviour. In simpler terms, you show exactly what you’re feeling.

Like this article notes: “For overcontrolled (OC) people who tend have a lot of impulse control, showing a flood of emotion externally and in a situation where others can see it, might be very uncomfortable or shame-provoking. Emotional leakage happens when an OC persons self-control has failed and their inner feelings are revealed and expressed more intensely than preferred. Emotional leakage isn’t a problem per se, except when it’s followed by self-criticism.”

This leakage, however, is often expressed in negative terms – in psychosomatic symptoms which our body uses to raise the alarm, to signify to us that something is wrong, that the entire system is not working properly and we need to change something.

If you think about it, when we’re happy, when we’re satisfied with work, we have a steady income, a stable life rhythm, everything seems to be going perfectly and the whole world appears wonderful in our eyes. But when an adversity strikes, when unexpectedly you’re forced to search for another way of surviving the increasing expenses and nothing seems certain, you view the world much differently and not so idyllic.

We’ve all been on both sides of this spectrum. But we tend to forget it or overlook it.

Happiness itself is fleeting,” says Rob Dial in this fantastic podcast titled “You don’t want to be happy”.

He explains that happiness is an emotion. And just like any emotion, it will be passing and gone eventually. Emotions change. So, what we want more than happiness is peace. Because peace is a state we enter in, and it’s harder to get in and out of a state rather than in and out of an emotion.

In the moments of our greatest happiness, we’re in our moments of greatest peace. Because we’re right there in that moment, thinking of nothing else. In our highest moments in life, we are so present in them that nothing outside them exists. You’re not thinking of your to-do list or of past mistakes or future challenges. Your mind simply goes quiet. And that constant story inside your head doesn’t seem to be screaming at you. That dumb story you’re telling yourself about who you are and why you’re that way is quiet in your highest moments. You reach a state of euphoria.

We want that peace from mind. From our thoughts. From our own self.

The mind is an extraordinary organ. It tries to protect us by fast forwarding about what’s going to happen and projecting into the future – it’s how we survive. It considers potential threats in order to keep us safe. But if you manage to focus in the present moment, your mind goes quiet.

The mind is an amazing yet complex tool. But we’re not taught how to use or control it. And instead, this tool becomes the master when it’s supposed to be our servant.

We have millions of ways to distract ourselves constantly – screens of all sorts, abundant information everywhere – it all stimulates our mind and keeps us wanting more. We become addicted to the temporary high.

However, there are various techniques to help you reach that much-needed state of peace. Meditation, for example, is tyring to get you to a state where you’re free from your mind. Allow yourself to calm down. It takes time, but it’s worth it once you get there.

Mindfulness is to place yourself in situations you find peace of mind as often as possible. Focus on that very moment and disregard everything else. It will help reduce stress, lengthen attention span, maximise awareness, decrease anxiety, etc. Our mind is like a computer – in some, like myself, there are at least two browsers running with a dozen tabs open in each. At some point, it will start being held back and running slower.  We need a restart every now and again to reboot and refuel.

Fear, stress, anxiety, and worry are all programmes of the mind. We need to cultivate silence as much as possible. To silence our thoughts, place things in order, and see things a bit more clearly.

If we take things one steady step at a time, perhaps they will work out more effectively and without harming our health in the meantime.

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Natural retreat

© Bill Reynolds

The human body is like a machine. If it is treated and fed well, it works like a charm. But the minute you neglect it, something begins to malfunction. Be it bad nutrition, overworking, mental exhaustion, tiredness, or simply not dressing appropriately for the changing weather conditions, the minute your immune system is down, problems start to appear.

It’s how a flu with a name gets caught, causing an exaggerated delirium in others around you.

On days like these, you need a natural retreat. Somewhere to escape from it all, with people who care for you and calm you down.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

70,000 thoughts a day

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Experts estimate that we make around 70,000 thoughts a day. Most of them are obsessive-compulsive. And that incessant mental chatter steals our energy and drowns our focus. We’re pushed into creating scenarios about things that probably won’t even happen, interpretations that don’t stand, and events that aren’t true.

Yet, these are still thoughts that occupy our minds.

We have a tendency to gravitate towards the negative. If we hear ten positive things and one not-so-positive, we will automatically focus on the latter. Call it our innate instinct of survival, it’s what we feel threatens us and we need to act to fix it.

Perhaps the problem, however, is that we stick to how we think people should act. And that’s what makes us react so much to everything. Because we have in our head a whole list of actions that we are expecting others to make: to check up on us without any particular reason; to send a good morning text simply to show they’re thinking of us; to show up at our doorstep with a bowl of hot soup when we’re sick; to just sit with us when we’re not feeling well and all we want is some company to watch TV with. We long for things that others maybe don’t even think of: a goodnight call to make us feel loved before we end the day; attention when we’re upset; a smile when we’re frowning; the sharing of good news; a walk together to clear our minds. For us, we’re not asking for much. But nothing is obvious, and we shouldn’t expect others to act as we would. Perhaps that is the most difficult and troublesome thought of all: that we cannot expect others to behave in the way we would anticipate them to. We can’t compel people to change; they’ll do so if they truly want to.

We demand more of ourselves and oftentimes we force that upon others too.

We think too much and we perplex our minds with situations that sometimes don’t correspond to reality. But those thousands of thoughts soon take over our feelings. And that is the most dangerous of all. For we feel even when we sleep; when we spring awake from a nightmare, when we smile from the love we dream. We feel constantly. Some more than others. Not everyone can be as insensitive as not to realise when they’re causing trouble to others, or as empathetic that they carry the burden of others’ troubles. We need to find a balance. But the weight of our endless thoughts often hinder us from doing so.

We’re caught in an endless stream of thoughts that exasperates when we’re tired, stressed or worried. And this further adds to our exhaustion – both mental and physical. But like this article notes:

  • Just think how much energy and time you could have saved, if you could reduce the number of your thoughts.
  • Just think how much better focus you could possess, if thoughts did not bother you.
  • Just think how much inner peace, calmness and happiness you would have enjoyed, if there was a way to stop all these thoughts, which add nothing to your life.

Let me ask you, do you keep the engine of your car running after arriving at your destination? You certainly switch the engine off. So why not do so with your mind?

Some thoughts steal our peace, and in time, our lives too.

Building patience

Patience is something we develop over time.

It’s not easy to build. Because just when you think you’ve got it all under control, something else happens to get you all worked up again. Life so happens to be constantly full of surprises, mishaps, misfortunes, and unexpected circumstances – both good and bad, that we need to always be prepared for any conditionality.

We are told to expect nothing to avoid disappointment. But even that is something that requires mastering. Because emotions are concerned, and they are the most difficult to harness. Excitement, above all, can get to your head. But so can disenchantment.

We need patience to allow life to play out before us. We can act on whatever we have control over, and everything else will develop per se.

Our lives seem better when we are mentally calm and relaxed. We can do that by building patience to develop that much-required serenity to deal with whatever comes our way.

And that is created progressively; brick by brick; day by day.

Wash your worries away

© David Stewart

There’s something relaxing about getting lost in nature. It is tremendously soothing to allow your mind to wander off, to stop perplexing over routine daily life problems, and merely enjoy the moment of all that the outdoors has to offer.

Water helps. The trickling of it calms your nerves, and the endless flow is actually better than any anti-depressant or tranquiliser.

Waterfalls are the best at this. They offer a combination of sight and sound, and if you’re bold enough, you can even dive into them to wash your worries away.

Just don’t take it so literally, and drown instead.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The choice of a day

Beautiful days are a matter of choice. Each day is what it comes and what we make of them. Be it bright or rainy, cloudy or sunny, dull or exciting, monotonous or overwhelming, we are the ones who ultimately decide how we pass those hours we have.

Unfortunately, we waste most of them. We use up time by overthinking too much, by stressing about trivial stuff, by creating scenarios that will never play out. And we fail to see the beauty of what lies before us in every single moment.

Life is but a series of fleeting instances. And if we’re not too careful, we may just miss out on most of them because we’re too worried about what might happen instead of what is occurring right there, in this very minute.

In the end, we are the ones who choose our own state of mind, the thoughts we allow to override us, and the extent to which we enjoy each moment.

The way we feel about it all

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We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

Weekends are for relaxing

©MCD

We seem to be spending too much of the (working) week looking forward to the weekend. Those two days that we can escape the chaos and irrationality that constitute our daily contemporary lives.

In essence, though, we’re anticipating this end of week so much because we need it. We ought to relax and our very organisms are actually calling for it. It is a sign that we’re experiencing life in rhythms that our beyond natural; we stress too much over meaningless things; we anguish and rush; we work, sleep, and eat at irregular tempo and hours.

We need a couple of days to do nothing that entails a tight schedule and an alarm clock. To allow ourselves to lie in, to walk on the beach, to go for a coffee, to meet friends, to engage in endless conversations, and to not think about the passing time.

We know we’ve relaxed and replenished, when all we’ve done is sleep and surrender to leisure, and just like that the weekend has passed, without us realising exactly how. But we feel complete and happy, and that’s what truly matters. And what will help us get through another week.

Get out of your head

The reason we trouble ourselves is because we prioritise one thought over another. And that former one is usually a source of negativity and hypothetical scenarios that may never even play out. We need to get out of our heads and live in the moment. To appreciate what we truly have now, we need to stop dwelling on the ‘ifs’”.

She looked at him silent.

He was right. But she was too stubborn to admit it.

He gazed into her eyes transmitting a calmness that radiated from the depths of his soul. Even his breathing held a tranquil rhythm. She could feel the serenity soothing her. How could she remain angry at him? And for no apparent reason.

There are so many problems in the world. Serious ones. We don’t need to create more with our minds”, he said opening up his arms to embrace her in a forget-it-all-and-let-it-go hug.

Still she said nothing.

But she smiled, and her eyes lit up.

She loved him for this. For being able to comprehend her mood swings and loving her regardless.

Keep calm and sail on

It’s scary when everything seems to flow in order.

It feels like you’re waiting for the storm to arrive.

As if you’re in a canoe blissfully sailing calmly in a river, birds chirping all around, sun shining above, and a cool breeze complementing the ride, but all of a sudden you reach the end of a cliff and a steep waterfall awaits, where – like in movies – you have nowhere to hold on to and you end up falling off, screaming at the top of your lungs, before diving into the water below.

Yes, it might be an exaggeration, or an overreaction, or maybe both.

But nothing lasts forever – neither good nor bad times – and perhaps that is what is most terrifying when it’s all good.

There is not much you can do though, other than what most motivational speakers, life gurus and the like prompt you to: take each day as it comes. Live the moment and you’ll soon see that in creating and indulging in every instant, you build a life, one you’re happy and proud of, and which fulfills every essence of your being.

And that’s all that matters.

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