Saturday, November 26, 2016
Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then. I am inspired by an idea at the moment that I believe will be quite helpful to my inner self, and hopefully others as well. I am an avid reader and I am often inspired by theology and philosophers from the past. my current inspiration comes from an enlightened individual of our time, Mr. Eckhart Tolle.
He writes about the concept of 'living in the now' and how we can learn to live in the present moment. The present moment is where enlightenment exists and is wonderful place to be. By learning how to experience the 'now' or the present moment, we become more mindful of our environment and begin to let go of the past. It is an inspiring idea and Eckhart is brilliant, but unfortunately some of his language can be difficult to understand.
I plan to work through the concept in simplistic terms while explaining how it relates to 'hope'. If you have ever had a daydream, you have experienced the 'now' but did not realize it. Your mind feels as though it is elsewhere while your body is immersed in the present moment. It is an odd feeling at first which is why so many of us have a hard time finding it.
Mindfulness training, meditation, yoga and other forms relaxation techniques are all ways of trying to find the 'now'. Often when we get close to that moment we back off and never get to truly get to experience the purity of peace. The present moment is where peace and stillness exist, which should be our natural state of being, but it is not. We have become 'human doings' rather than 'human beings'.
Our ever progressive world promotes anything but a peaceful existence. The present moment is all we truly have, yet we rarely get to find it. Buddhist monks spend years trying to find this moment and many never really succeed. So it can't be easy can it?
If you suffer from depression then unfortunately your mind is stuck in the past. If you struggle with anxiety issues then you mind worries and fears the future. Find the present moment and both of these disappear. Sounds easy but we know that it is not!
To exist in the present moment our mind needs something to cling to so it does not feel out of control and unattached from the world. "Attachment leads to suffering" is something Buddha said and widely believed to be absolutely true. If attachment leads to suffering then we need to remove it before we can move forward.
We are now in the dark pit with seemingly no way out! Invisible illnesses drag us down into this pit quite often, and we need to find a pathway out. People can be stuck in this pit for days, weeks, months and even years. Depression, anxiety, mood disorders, CFS, Fibromyalgia and so many other illnesses can tie us down and keep us in the pit for long periods of time, and often it is a place where hope no longer exists.
My theory is that if we can find 'hope', we can continuously find a way out. Have life needs to be respected all by itself. We were given life in order to experience the material world and learn to be the best us we can be. The pit is not inescapable, but it is certainly filled with twists and turns, confusion and often much darkness. We are already feeling low so the added difficult of navigating the twists and turns is increased dramatically.
What is the first thing we should do? Sit down and relax. Calm yourself until you can start to find the present moment. Anxieties are high because the problem is so overwhelming, but if we breathe deeply for a few minutes, they will diminish. Anxiety is worry and fear of future events, and I don't know anybody who can clearly see the future, so none of it is real to begin with. As we convince ourselves of this point we begin to realize that our anxiety is all made up in our minds in the first place.
The more anxieties we remove while sitting quietly, the closer we will get to the 'now'. The present moment is where clear thinking exists. We need clear thinking at the bottom of the pit if we are ever going to get out. Once we have calmed ourselves somewhat, calm yourself some more. If we stand up and look around at all of the perceived problems facing us, we will likely feel overwhelmed and this will certainly 'fog' our thinking.
If we have been in the pit for a while and expect that we may be in here for a while longer yet, then we can take ten minutes now and find a peaceful platform to begin from. Think of the anxieties you had at some point when taking a test of some sort. The anxiety only clouded our thinking, but the more prepared we are for the test, the less anxious we feel. Anxiety feeds depression and other invisible illnesses, so it is best to remove as much of it as we can before doing anything else.
Take some time right now to close your eyes and quiet your mind and body. The more we practice this the better we get at it. Some people are able to meditate for hours, but it likely took them a lot of time and practice to get there. Learn some mindfulness techniques, they are easy to find online. There is no sense of setting out on our journey out of the pit without having a clear head.
The first step is always most important, but it is usually the most difficult. It sets the scene for all of the other steps. Think of this as carving out the first foothold in the pit that we will eventually use to launch us up to the next one. If the footholds are built properly they will still be there the next time we hit the bottom. Practice reducing anxiety for few minutes at a time and do what you can to experience the present moment where you can.
To be Continued...
Friday, November 25, 2016
It is easy to talk about problems because they are right there in front of us each day. I spent the past few weeks discussing an array of mental health issues and did my best to identify some of the more pertinent problems being experienced currently. A lot of the focus has been on different invisible illnesses because there are simply so many of them, and so many people are suffering from them. I plan to move forward and begin offering ideas and solutions.
I have decided to write an ongoing saga about 'climbing out of the pit of despair'. What I have learned is that so many people share similar feelings of desolation and despair, and have no idea where to start climbing out of the darkness. Even when you are climbing out it often feels like quicksand keeps pulling you back. I am going to start at the bottom of the pit and construct a plan to get out, and move on with life.
I like to believe that we all have something in common; we know what 'rock bottom' feels like and don't want to spend any more time there than we must. When we hit the bottom, or are close to it, it is very difficult to take the first step, but we must if we want things to improve. No matter how desolate and alone we feel there is something we can always turn to for solace, hope. It is hard to have hope when we are at our lowest points, but we can choose to give up or choose to have hope.
Hope is where I will be starting the saga and will use it to find a way out of the pit. I may get somewhat philosophical and I love to use metaphorical language when describing things, but I will do my best to write a simple narrative that gets the point across. I will do my best to use words and descriptions that all can understand easily, and also keep things as grammatically proper as possible.
I will use a logical fallacy of opposites to begin this philosophical journey of greater understanding. Another thing that all of us have in common is that we will eventually cease to exist here on Earth at some point. When have completed our journey here, there are only two possibilities, we blink from existence forever, or there is something else. If you are an atheist, you believe there is nothing else. If you are a person of any faith, you believe there is something else.
I will attempt to offer some theories of what that 'something else' could represent, but mostly I will focus on what it signifies instead. I believe the idea of 'something else' comes with hope and faith in something. I simply can not convince myself that we blink from existence, and there is no hope to be had in the ideology anyhow.
We will take the idea of hope and run with it for now. We can determine possibilities and learn to have faith in something better than we have right now. This is what religions have offered for thousands of years, but unfortunately corruption has ruined many of them. If you are at or near the bottom of the pit right now, choose hope and use it like a rope to pull you out. We can choose nothing, or we can choose hope, so choose hope and begin searching for a way out of your own pit.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Imagine waking up one morning and your body simply does not respond to your will. This has happened to millions of people and most suffer each day in silence. Would you tell a paralyzed person in a wheelchair to 'get over it' or ask them to stand up? Of course you wouldn't! People with invisible illnesses and chronic pain need the same sort of understanding. If we could simply will our bodies to do what we wanted and when we want, we would. It is not a case of not trying, it is that we just cannot do it.
Just because the symptoms are invisible to others, they are very real to person suffering. I have personally been suffering more the past few weeks physically, but at least I can keep myself busy and my attitude positive through writing. What does someone do if they don't have a passion for something non-physical in nature? The struggle alone is much more of a detriment to the sufferer at times than the affliction itself.
Be more understanding of others around you because you don't really know what is going on inside. Even when we do know some of what is going inside, often we don't have the time or interest to care. We can all improve our empathy and understanding in this world, and understanding people with invisible illnesses is a great place to start working harder at it.
Understand what they have lost and have had to give up in their lives, and show more care in choosing your words. The sufferer has something terribly wrong within them and cannot simply 'get over it'. We are not lazy or unmotivated, we are sufferers and survivors at the same time. For those who are struggling I will try to offer inspiration where I can.
I know you can't 'get over it' so I will suggest that you move forward. Even if it is only an inch today, maybe it will be a foot or a yard by next week. I share your suffering and understand how hard life can be every day. All we can do is choose to live life for the little things. Search for little things that make you happy or causes inspiration, and you will start to see good things in the world much more easily.
Live in the present moment as much as you can and be mindful of your actions. Stop worrying that others think our invisible illnesses are fake. The people who matter will find the empathy required to stay in your life, and you will find better relationships this way. Look for those people who stay around during your lowest points because they are the ones that truly care. Pay attention to positive things when you can, and ignore negativity where possible.
Maybe you can't do what you used to love doing, but you can find new things and new people to love with what you have right now. Your pain may not go away, but we can learn to ignore it.
Have you ever woke up in the morning and not been able to get out of bed? You will your body to move but it does not react. This is a reality for millions of people around the world, including me. We have all had a flu or cold in the past and felt this upon awakening in the morning. Now imagine feeling like this every single day. Hard to imagine isn't it?
Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia are 'invisible' illnesses, yet they have very real symptoms. They can be quite crippling while destroying the lives and happiness of many people and their families. The biggest problem is there is little information about these illnesses and there appears to be no cure. Now imagine what this does to the mental health of the sufferer.
It is quite possible that both of these afflictions begin with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, but the worst part is that they both cause these mental health problems to worsen each day. When your physical being is always in a state of illness, it has detrimental effects on your mental state as well. It is vicious cycle that seems to have no end.
The hardest part for the sufferers is that those around them cannot see the problem and often don't believe the person who is suffering. They may call you lazy or unmotivated, but on the inside many of the sufferers are terribly motivated people. This then leads to more anxiety because we cannot perform the duties each day that we would like to, feel that we should be able to. The longer this goes on, the more depressed the sufferer becomes, and the downward spiral continues.
Even if you can't see the illnesses, we can certainly see the very real symptoms they produce. I woke up feeling exactly the way I described above, but after years of dealing with this, I have learned a few coping mechanisms and strategies to get on with my day. Some involve simple stretching that begin in a sitting position and progressively move into some yoga type stretches on the floor. Meditating and improving my thinking helps as well, and gives me the ability to push myself beyond the limits of my pain.
Many sufferers have not hit this stage yet and simply have no choice but to lay in bed until they can find the will to push through the pain and fatigue. What I can tell all of the sufferers of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia is that we must start somewhere. Likely the physical suffering is too much too handle much of the time, so I suggest working on your mental health strengthening a little at a time. Remind yourself that there is hope.
People are learning ways to improve their quality of life through these illnesses each and every day, and many of them are sharing their stories on the internet in the hopes that they can reduce the suffering of others. You are not alone! Read some of these success stories so that you can find ways to help yourself from people who have suffered from the same afflictions and truly understand how you feel. Give yourself some hope and begin to build yourself some goals. Baby steps are all it takes to get started.
You matter and your life matters! Start resolving some of the mental issues that are holding you back and find ways to reduce your anxiety each day. There are tons of tips and strategies to get you started all over the internet. I gave you a few to get started if you want to click the link here:
http://innerpeaceforus.blogspot.ca/p/i-went-through-my-own-personal-database.html and there is so much more information than the few links I have listed.
I feel your pain and understand how hard even brushing your teeth can be some days, but I will tell you that with some effort each day, you can improve your quality of life. Improve your mental health and your physical health will begin to see some relief, and you can stop that downward spiral.
Be well and have a peaceful day!
I have talked about the purpose of this blog and that I am trying to help people learn more about mental health issues so you will gain a better understanding of yourselves, and those around you. I expect that parts of it will evolve and change as we move forward here. I am considering changing the name of it but not the purpose. I want to help increase mental health literacy levels but it is a pretty boring name.
I am considering something like Straight Talk About Mental Health or something in that realm of thinking. I am attempting to share some matter-of-fact information and conversation about mental health in the hopes that it gets others to better understand the issues and to relieve some of the stigma attached to mental health. I will continue to write honestly and briefly about issues which I think are important to many, and things that I can truly relate to.
I am hoping that we will start some discussion about certain topics as well. Knowledge is power and the knowledge needed to acquire better mental health is out there and accessible. I am not going to share research and statistics or 'educational' style articles. I do like writing them but most people don't like to read them. I just want to provide some brief reads each day which will help push you forward in your own learning.
Don't hesitate to comment at anytime, and especially if you have a good idea that you would like to share about the name. I have a knack for helping youth and young adults understand things they need to learn because I do my best to speak at a level that everyone can understand, and I do it with an abundance of empathy. I simply care about other people. I am not sure what caused my urge to want to help others in life, but I am surely not complaining.
I believe some of us were put here on Earth to ease the suffering of others, and I also believe that if we can create a community of caring people who have the same calling, we can begin to make positive changes in the world. I hope you are enjoying the straight talk provided and that you are able to take something positive and helpful from the articles you reading.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you in the future! If you find this blog at all helpful please share it on your facebook page or whichever social media you use. A few shares will help to get others talking about mental health as well.
We learn language, math, geography and other subjects in school because these help us to understand and function better in society and in the current world as a whole. The more education we receive, the higher our literacy levels become. The need for improved literacy skills in certain areas spring from a need to better understand how to function better in our immediate environments. The need for Mental Health Literacy is growing each and every day.
We seem to be in the midst of a mental health epidemic, and while our current systems are doing what they can to head this problem off at the pass, the problem is much too overwhelming to be tackled without the support of everyone involved. It is time for us to play our part in improving our knowledge about these problems which are affecting all of us in one way or another; whether it be from your own personal issues, or maybe a family member or friend is suffering from anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue syndrome, or some other common disorder.
Yes, I used the word 'common' disorder to make the point that those issues have become quite common in our society, and you are not alone. Because these issues are much more common, there is now an abundance of research and information out there to help us deal with our own issues. We can now learn coping strategies that others have used successfully and also find well researched information which can provide help in just about any area you can imagine.
By increasing your Mental Health \Literacy levels in the proper areas, you can grow your understanding, and help yourself improve your quality of life and help others do so as well. As your literacy levels increase, you will gain a better skill for observing behaviours and symptoms you are feeling or seeing, and then use this information to begin learning how to work on repairing our own negative symptoms and behaviours.
If you need a diagnosis, you will want to see a doctor or psychiatrist, but it you are simply looking for some answers to your own woes right now and are not ready to take that step, start doing some of the research yourself. You don't have to be a professional to identify some of your own symptoms, and if you are reading this then you have the ability to learn and access information. My hope is that this organization will eventually have other caring professioals and paraprofessionals who will comment with good information as well.
Help people who are socially isolated and are not ready to take the big step of going to see someone, or someone who is on a long waiting list to get the help they need. Think of it as a mental health triage service that can help people to move in the right direction so that by the time they are ready for professional help, they are already educated about some of their own issues and not having to start at square one. Many of the smaller issues we deal with will not require help from others, but if you want to improve these issues, the information is out there if you want it.
If I can fix or at least learn to cope with my own mental health issues, then so can you. Start reading good information about things that can help your situation. If you need help to get started, email me or comment at the bottom, and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. I also ask that if you like the information you are reading and find it helpful, please share it with your friends and family.
The more people who understand these issues the better we will all feel. The more educated and experienced people who follow this blog, the more connections we will be able to make between helpers and those who need help. Anyone who is in the 'helping' profession got into it to help people and my hope is that we can all help each other improve our mental well being.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
When I am writing a blog post it may seem that I am writing to an audience, but essentially I am really writing the articles for myself and my own understanding. When I have thoughts come to mind I feel the need to write down my reasoning in order to process the thought, and remove it from my active mind. I share my logical reasoning with others to both help you take control of your thinking processes, but also to explain things to myself.
I truly try to 'practice what I preach' when I am reasoning things. So I will dissect the quote above and gain a better understanding for both of us into its meaning, and whether the information is correct. I can start by simply agreeing with the secondary part of the statement, "you just have to stop letting them control you". Our minds and thoughts are in continuous control of us for the most part, and by letting them go, we have the ability to take control back.
I have written quite a bit about removing negative thought processes from our active minds, and it is a great way to remove pressure from our clogged minds. When we do this we gain the strength needed to stop letting our thoughts control us. If we don't take control of our thoughts at this point then we are leaving a gap open for our thoughts to take hold once again.
I will take a stance against the first part of the statement, "You don't have to control your thoughts", because I believe we should have control of our thinking processes to bring order back to our often confused minds. Remember that I could be wrong here, but as long as I can reason the problem to a satisfactory result for myself, I will be able to put this one away and move onto others.
We don't need to have complete control over our own minds, but some control is essential. When we take no control and just let things be, we already know what the results are, a confused and clogged mind. There are very few people who can live in the present moment all of the time because I minds constantly draw us elsewhere. If we have control of our thought processes we are able to pick and choose the things we want to think about. We can't simply let go of control and hope that all will be well.
I will choose to disagree with the overall quote above, but I am thankful to have read it because it helped me to clarify things in my mind, and made me do some deep and controlled thinking in order to get answers. My mind is more calm after this exercise, and you will reap the rewards in your mental state when you try similar thinking.
Question everything until you get answers you are satisfied with. Otherwise your brain and mind will continue to live in its present state with no wonder of the world around you.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
We are creating an organization of 'paraprofessionals' to educate people about mental health issues. It is our belief that through education and understanding we will be able to help set people on a better path in life. The goal is to help people who are struggling with mental health issues to start helping themselves, and not to wait for some else to. The information is at our fingertips but a little guidance is needed to find the correct path, and to find well researched information. We can help you find that path!
Our network will begin by sharing what we know, what we have learned from educational institutions, and what our experiences have already taught us in life. Anxiety (including social anxiety), depression, psychological abuse, and chronic pain issues are huge issues in our society today, and we will begin by helping people find their path in improving these issues. Not only will we educate, we will help people find the resources they require to get the help they need along the way.
If this sounds like something that could help you find your path to a more peaceful existence, please follow our blog, Facebook page, twitter account, and any other resources we post. Our main goal is to help those who are struggling and especially those who feel alone and isolated. Feel free to comment and let us know what other areas we could target and where people need help the most.
Join us on this journey and let us all find inner peace!
While checking out a few support groups online I was seeing the same question being asked, "Are depression and anxiety curable?" I have no doubt that they are curable, but I saw lots of different viewpoints. We can definitely tell the sufferers from the non-sufferers for the most part. Especially long term sufferers had a very negative view on the subject.
It is very difficult to keep a positive attitude when you have been suffering for a long period of time. Hope tends to wane after years of discomfort and feelings of failure. Remind yourself that what you see as failures others see as success and survival. Every day you survive your struggles is another day of mental strength building, although it often just feels like another day of exhaustion.
So are they curable? With hard work and determination they are curable. If you are looking for a quick fix or short term solution, the system is filled with all kinds of these. If you are looking to take control of your inner self and remove feelings of depression and anxiety, you likely have a lot of work in front of you, but the challenge is worth the effort.
If you were in a car accident and broke a bunch of bones, you will need time to recover and rehabilitate. This can take months and even years depending on the severity. Now think about how long you have been suffering from your invisible illness. How much rehabilitation do you think you will need? Seeing a therapist weekly or spending a little time here or there will not solve your issues. You need to want to change
Depression and anxiety are horrible afflictions to live with, but we can take control of them. I have taken control of both of them and thank goodness I have, or I would not be able to deal with my physical issues as calmly as I do. Try working through the steps in my 10 step program to better mental health if you are looking for a way to get started. The key is to get started and then to continue working at it every day.
Try some meditation, mindfulness, blogging/journaling, deep thinking, or any other method that will calm your inner self, so that you can begin to take control of your thought processes. Your affliction is only curable if you want to go through the recovery of it. There is no quick fix or specialized therapy that will heal you, you will need to take on the challenge yourself.
Trying to calm ourselves within can be a very difficult thing to do. We will often say that we wish we had five minutes of peace during the day, or something to that effect, but finding that peace can be overwhelming at times. We can usually find the time if we really want it, but trying to make those moments peaceful is another story completely, especially if you suffer from anxiety or depression.
If you struggle with your mental health, sometimes the hardest part in overcoming your issues is getting started. When we close our eyes and try to focus on one or two thoughts we can be overwhelmed by a flood of thoughts once' the gate are open'. This is a common issue, and how we deal with it and view this feeling can be a crucial part in setting ourselves on a successful path.
I often use analogies and metaphors when explaining these things to others and I will use one here that has helped often. Think about your brain and mind as a bowl of marbles. Imagine there are a thousand marbles in the bowl and these are your thoughts and perceived problems. If I asked you to remove all of the marbles at once without dumping the bowl, it would be an overwhelming task.
When we look at our brain/mind and see all of the thoughts we are presented with immediately, we automatically shy away since it is just too much to bear, especially if most of these thoughts are negative in nature. At this point you will want to try and focus on one or two of the marbles, imagine that those ones are a different colour if this helps. These marbles will signify the first thoughts that come to you, or at least a unfulfilled task that is bothering you because it has not been completed yet.
Everything that causes us conflict or is left unresolved, even the smallest things, are placed in the bowl until a resolution can be found. The fuller the bowl is, the more overwhelmed we become when presented with problems in day to day life. Take those one or two marbles now and spend today trying only to focus on getting those tasks fulfilled or the problem resolved, because once the issues is fixed then you can throw the marble away. The emptier your bowl becomes, the more room you will have to deal with the things that are thrown at you each day.
We can't fix a thousand things today but we can solve a few. Take a few marbles out of the bowl each day and begin resolving your inner conflicts a little at a time. In a few days or weeks you could empty out a lot of that bowl and I guarantee that relief will follow. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by a flood of 'marbles', take control and deal with them one at a time. You won't be so overwhelmed and you will start moving forward.
As I said before, if you want better mental health you will have to work at it. It is worth the work though. It is similar to want to get in better shape physically. You have to take steps and time working at consuming better foods, getting more exercise and working on specific areas that bother you the most about yourself, and find ways to live a healthier lifestyle.
Don't try a 'diet' by attempting to empty the bowl as quickly as you can, take the steps you need to resolve the problems and start living a healthier lifestyle from a mental health perspective. If you only have a small amount of energy at your disposal each day, use most of it on yourself because you deserve to be healthier and feel better. Once you start feeling better, life will get better and become easier each day.
I hope you can remove a few marbles today and find some relief for yourself. Check out a few pages while you are here and let me know if my perspective at least gets you thinking about better mental health.
Monday, November 21, 2016
How they have affected my life.....
I have lived my whole life around Pathological Liars. I have known a few to be very close to me at one point in my life, and have also known a few to be temporary acquaintances.
For those who do not know the full depth meaning of a Pathological Liar... A Pathological Liar is someone who compulsively tells lies or fabricates information. They believe the lies they tell others and tell them to provide themselves with attention or personal gain.
To spot a Pathological Liar, look for frequent inconsistencies in their stories and watch for subtle changes in their body language. (Ex: excessive eye contact).
So, like I said before, I have known a few throughout my life. It's been difficult to open up to people as I move on and move to different towns. I feel like as I get closer to certain people, I observe and realize they aren't who they say they are. I am the type of person, when sitting in a crowd of people, will sit and listen to conversations around me and not interact much (which makes me the "shy" one), but I find myself not always listening to enjoy the conversation, but to hear the inconsistencies and pinpoint the lies within the conversation. :(
The reason I have decided to finally speak about Pathological Liars is because I lived with one for my childhood and when he left he never stayed away long enough for me to heal. He used to call them "White Lies", but I knew better at a young age because my mother always taught me that "White Lies" are not meant to hurt, they are meant to hide surprises --> like Christmas Gifts for example. I would catch him in lies then and I still do now. He is no longer apart of me anymore.
I recently met an acquaintance whom I thought I could become very close friends with, but unfortunately the more I got to know them, the more stories I hear, and the more lies I catch them in, the more it drives me further away and less social with them.
No matter how much these people try to hurt me and interfere with my life and family, the more I feel pity for them. They are so far in their lies that they believe their own crap and will do anything to make it true as they see it.
One thing they will never do to me or my family again, is get too close and hurt us. That being said, I will not let them control my life anymore or make me afraid to call them out on their bullshit. The only reason why I have not fully let go of one particular person in my life is because they are associated with people I care about and I worry about the people I care about very much to let them get hurt again.
To anyone who has ever been a victim of Pathological Liars.....Call them out on it....don't let them run you like their lies have been running them!!!
It is Step 7 and time to expand our minds. I wrote about deep thinking this morning as a preamble to talking about the next step to improving our mental health. In the last step we started self reflecting and learning to self-monitor. These are great tools that help us understand and modify our goals as we progress on our journey. We begin to monitor our behaviours so that we can identify any changes from day to day, and also to take time to think about things that happened throughout our days.
With self-reflection, we ask questions of ourselves to gain a better understanding of our day and our past. When we take thinking to a deeper level, we gain a deeper understanding. Digging deeper into our thoughts allows us to expand and open up our minds. We have learned how to begin removing negative things from our minds, but this is how we add more space in which to process.
The more we ask deep questions of ourselves the more our mind begins to open up to new ideas and thoughts. Imagine having a thousand fish in a small fish bowl; there would be little room for them to move around in. Now imagine putting those fish into a lake; they would be much more free to swim. Our mind and thoughts are similar to this analogy. When our mind is full, we can either empty it, or expand it.
When we cease to be rigid in our thinking, our minds get the ability to explore new terrain. The more we allow our minds to explore and search for new things, the more it grows. The mind will often drag us into negative thinking processes, especially if we are depressed or in a low state of mind. When you take time to dig deeper than the surface of your thoughts, you can guide your own journey.
Ask questions that you want to know answers to, or at least ones that you want reasoned for yourself. Process the questions and answers and you will likely develop new questions. Deep thinking wants you to keep asking questions until you are satisfied with whatever answer you receive. I do warn you though, don't go through dark thought processes unless you are in a good state of mind. Depression and anxiety can lead us to questions we are not ready to process yet. Take care of those thoughts in a controlled and safe environment, and with a well trained person.
When you do feel ready though, try doing some deeper self-reflection a little at a time. Start to find answers that you did not even know that you had questions for. The more you practice this step, the better you will understand yourself, and the more your mind will expand. As your mind expands you will find some pressure relief. The more you practice, the less pressure you will feel each day.
Take some time for your self and find a quiet spot. Take a few deep breaths in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Close your eyes and ask yourself a question about something positive in your life. Stay quiet and continue to ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers you have received. Take a couple more deep breaths and enjoy the good feeling, even if it only lasts momentarily. The more often you try this, the longer the good feeling will last.
Have a great day everyone!
I have shared ways to reduce symptoms and relieve suffering, but how do we go about building on our strengths? The mind becomes more stable as we remove unprocessed thoughts and unresolved conflicts, but if we want to begin building our mental strength and resiliency, we need to do a little forced thinking. This is where you start thinking about things you would like to think about, as opposed to being overwhelmed by thoughts in uncontrolled ways.
Being able to choose your thoughts at will should be a natural thing, but for most people it is not that easy. Our brains our so filled with extraneous information that trying to focus on one thought for more than a few seconds can be difficult. We can use some mindfulness training or meditation techniques to help calm our minds, but we need to add in a new component; choosing our thoughts carefully.
If there is something that you truly enjoy and have a passion for, you should be able to concentrate on it for more than a few moments. This is simply an exercise in forcing our brain to process thoughts in a controlled way. The more we can control our thinking the better we get at it, and the stronger our hold is on our own thoughts.
We know there are other thoughts there in our minds just waiting to be looked at, but rather than blocking the thoughts, learn to control which ones you would like to choose to process. The method that I use is to ask myself deep and meaningful questions. I am a lover of philosophy and theology, and enjoy asking myself the big questions like, 'what is the meaning of our existence?' or 'who am I?', These types of questions take us deep within ourselves so you have to be careful how deep you go.
By using a Socratic questioning method, I continue to ask myself questions until I receive suitable answers. It allows me to control which questions are asked so that I get the answers I am searching for. By doing this on a regular basis, I have learned to control which thoughts I want to process, and when I want to process them.
If you are looking to take better control of your thoughts, and to stabilize your mind, start strengthening it by controlling your thought streams. If you want to find the deeper meaning to something, look within and ask questions. The more answers you find, the more questions you will want to ask. The more often you take the time to control your thought processes, the better your ability will become to do this naturally.
I am hoping to start a new book this week. I decided it was time to write one of the philosophical books that I have been considering for a while now, in order to show you methods of self-questioning when you are looking deeper within your own mind. The premise of the book will have something to do with the history of existence and I plan to use a lot of metaphorical reasoning and analogies to explain my thoughts.
The answers to the greatest questions are within us all, we just have to look for them. The more you search for answers, the more you will find, and the more in control you will become. Enjoy your mind and care for it, it is the only one we get!