MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “calmness”

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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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.

Calm misfits

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Calmness originates in a state of mind. That is why often we are told that we should be selective with our battles; sometimes having peace is more important than being right.

Yet, the more strong-minded you are, the more you seek a “just cause”, the more you are affected by not being able to prove your righteousness. You are among those who acknowledge that life is not fair, yet have difficulty accepting it.

Because justice, unfortunately, is not always served.

People get away with a lot of things. Things that with the passing of time are repeated so often and go unpunished that they eventually become the norm.

And in the end, you – the one who is right and seeking justice for it – result being the lone wolf trying to change the world. A world which, however, considers you a misfit for not playing along.

In the end, you come to realise, that the more things you learn to ignore or simply accept, the calmer you will be. And, if anything, that alone would bring you peace of mind.

Defusing agitation

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There are many ways to clear your head. To diminish the stress that is engulfing you and be able to breathe again a little deeper. They range from exercise, meditation, reading, writing, cooking, to spending time with friends, family and pets, even changing your house décor. But there is one thing that is underestimated in making you feel better: talking.

Keeping your thoughts and feelings locked up inside is like maintaining a time bomb inside a box and waiting for the timer to go off. The explosion will be massive. And it will hurt not just you but those around you too. That is why people suffering with depression and stress are also easily agitated and nervous. Their small and often outbursts are usually caused by the fact that they bury everything deep inside hoping they will simply dissolve. But this sooner or later diffuses into your physical system as well causing other problems.

Talking is underestimated. Because although it may not solve your problems, it is a way of defusing them. Of sharing your thoughts with someone who cares for you and understands. Someone who is there right when you need them. Someone who knows that when your rage overwhelms you the solution is not to leave you alone, but instead embrace you and hold you until calmness prevails. Someone who is willing to stand by you, to show you that you don’t have to carry your burdens alone. Someone with whom you don’t need to say much and who always knows just the right thing to say to soothe your pain and make you feel just a little bit better.

We should surround ourselves with people like that. Who when you wake up in a bad mood, won’t criticise you for it, but will tell you that every day gets better. Who prompts you to be grateful for what you have – your health and people who love you. Who gives you the encouragement you need to never let anyone get you down or make you feel like you’re not worth it. Because in the end, the only person whose opinion truly matters is your own.  

The chaos of an introvert

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Introverts, they say, are weird people. Because you can’t tell what is going on in their head. At times, they themselves don’t even know. Because often they want nothing more than to cuddle alone on the couch under a blanket with a hot drink, a book or a movie. It is their way of getting away from everything.

They won’t push you away. Not unless you turn them away first. Introverts have the characteristic of being willing to do almost everything for a person they care about. Even if that is not acknowledged or reciprocated.

But there comes a time when something breaks, like a glass being shattered too many times. In an introvert this is expressed with a physical illness. The body itself is beginning to complain, raising the alarm that there is something wrong. Of course, the mind already knows it, but something needs to happen to shake you up.

Our thoughts affect us more than we believe. And our mental and psychological state often define our physical well-being.

It is difficult to put your mind at peace when you feel a million things buzzing through your head. We live in a world where calmness is a privilege, one that is sought after through techniques like yoga, mindfulness, even the so many life coaches that have suddenly sprung up. When did things become so difficult that we actually need people to tell us how to live our life? How to breathe and relax and not take everything so deeply? Why do we allow ourselves to be drained by our own thoughts? To drown in our own insecurities and pessimism?

Introverts won’t really tell you how much pain they’re in – either physical or emotional. They hide their chaos inside. But – paradoxically – they will hope you understand. That you will realise what they really need is someone to sit by them on that couch, wrap them up in a soothing hug and convince them that everything will be OK.

Be afraid of the quiet ones, they are the ones who actually think

Keep calm

https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Calm.jpgCalmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland), that is why being calm – having a clear mind and a patient heart – is nowadays considered something like a superpower.

Never before did mankind need so many motivational resources on how to be calm, find calm, calm down, and all the likes. Earlier generations considered being calm and having time to relax a given. But in this one, when everything moves so rapidly, when you’re away from a screen for an hour or less and new developments have already taken the course, people don’t have time to relax or slow down. Or so they say. In essence, we refuse to do so out of fear that we may miss out on something. That is mainly why youth are so attached to their mobile phones, checking social networks every so often. It is the very fear of missing out that stops us from actually living our own lives. Of doing something memorable that you don’t need to post on the web because it would lose its significance that way. Not every moment we experience needs to be demonstrated on line. We don’t cease to exist when no one is watching.

That anguish we have of what the world does or sees is also what keeps us so much on edge. Why we can’t stop even if we try. Why we sit on a couch at the end of the day to watch something irrelevant on TV and still find ourselves thinking about a million other things or be skim reading on our tablet or phone. It is also why when we do manage to switch our brains off, we instantly fall asleep. It is an accumulation of prolonged tiredness.

There are a series of “inspirational mottos” about pretty much everything. They begin “Keep calm and…”. Because we need to be reminded and prompted to calm down.

Apple has even created an app for that too. It was named App of the Year for 2017 and it is called “Calm”, offering “Meditation techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction”.

Isn’t it ironic how we need an application to remind us to “breathe” or “do nothing for 15 seconds”?

Maybe we all do need some “mindfulness”, that “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”.

All we really need is to live fully, deeply and constantly and let our mind wander whenever it can. But in the world we live in, being calm and relaxed has become some kind of superpower.

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