Why we can’t calm down
Technology is a two-edged sword. If used well, it has tremendous advantages and possibilities. If it’s not used well, it can bring chaos and unhappiness in our lives. Technology has made us outer-directed people.
We have forgotten who we are and where we came from. We are looking for answers outside ourselves when they are inside us. We are spending a lot of time trying to show other people how happy and amazing we are. But inside, we feel bitter and empty. We work so hard trying to make a living that we forget making a life.
We have forgotten what the present moment is. We are so focused on what we did in the past and what is going to happen to us in the future. We feel like we don’t have the answers anymore and we’ve lost control of our lives. And this makes us frustrated and depressed. And then we ask ourselves the big question, “What’s the purpose of life?”
Our minds are fed information through the five senses; sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Without them, we would hardly perceive anything from the outside. But again, we would still live. This shows that we have an inner world and an outer world.
People who spend most of their time focused on their inner world are usually peaceful and calm. Have you ever asked yourself why people close their eyes and sit in silent spaces when meditating? The goal is to create a connection with the inner world.
On the other hand, people who spend most of their time focused on the outside world are usually frustrated and unhappy. And this is simply because they are controlled by their minds.
The monkey mind
Now, the mind is a great servant but a terrible master. The mind has the power to connect us with the infinite or all-knowing mind. A mind that is properly controlled and directed can be compared to a wishing tree. Whatever we want, it will bring it to us. The mind can make our life a heaven or hell.
A mind that is not controlled can be compared to a monkey. Why a monkey? The two common characteristics of a monkey are imitation and unnecessary movement. A mind that has not been well cultivated is always seeking to imitate what others are doing without any good reason.
For example, let’s say you were walking down the street and you saw someone eating hamburger and fries. You are not feeling hungry at all. But you end up eating anyway. Why? Imitation.
And it’s not with food alone. We see a certain person driving a certain type of car and we find ourselves wanting that car. We see a certain person living in a beautiful mansion and we find ourselves doing everything we can to have a house like that.
A mind that has not been cultivated is not calm. Unnecessary movement is its all-time thing. It cannot stay in the present moment. It’s always thinking about the past or the future. And this manifests through behavior.
For example, sitting down is a problem for most people. The next time you sit down, just check how you’ll behave. Put your phone away and switch off the T.V. Sit down for a couple of minutes in silence focused on the present moment. You’ll be amazed to realize how unsettled your mind is.
It’s time to take control of your mind. It’s time to realize the potential of being human. Other people have done it and so can you. Mindfulness is all about taking control of your mind and making your life pleasant.
Mindfulness involves directing all your attention and energy to the present moment. Because the present moment is the key to a blissful life. Your life will always be in the present moment. You’ll never live in the past or the future. The present moment determines your past and future.
Mindfulness quiets the mind and relaxes the body. It helps you understand yourself better. And when you understand yourself, you can understand other people around you. Mindfulness affects every aspect of your life in a positive way.
To experience these positive effects, it’s important for you to incorporate mindfulness in every activity you perform. Having a specific time to meditate every day is good enough but you also have to take control of the mind when you are not practicing meditation. And you can do this by turning every activity into a form of meditation.
With everything competing for our attention in a fast-paced world, it’s important to be mindful and meditative. Through the following techniques, you will learn how to attain physical, emotional and mental balance.
1. Observe your thoughts
Taking control of the mind is a process that happens on a daily basis. You can start your journey by being aware of your thoughts. When starting out, it will be difficult for you to observe your thoughts without getting lost in them. But as you practice and persist, you’ll find this exercise extremely beneficial.
When observing your thoughts, don’t judge or try to suppress them. Watch them rise and go away. When you find yourself lost in your thoughts, be the neutral observer again. Observing your thoughts will help you understand yourself on a deeper level. This is an exercise you can do anytime in the day.
2. Mindful eating
Most people suffer from indigestion and constipation because they are simply not mindful when eating. When it`s eating time, they are watching T.V, refreshing social media platforms or reading.
Eating is an important activity that deserves a lot of attention. Ask yourself, “Would you read the newspaper or watch T.V when working on an important project at work?” Why should you indulge in such activities when eating?
Before eating, make sure that you are hungry. You are not eating just to please the palette. Secondly, ensure that the food benefits the body in one way or another. You don’t want to eat food that will reduce your performance and productivity.
When eating, pay attention to how you are chewing the food and the taste. Chew the food slowly until it becomes watery and then swallow it. You don’t want your body to consume a lot of energy digesting food that has not been properly chewed.
After doing this exercise, you’ll notice how energetic and lively you’ll feel after eating. Plus, you’ll save yourself most stomach troubles.
3. Recite mantras
Reciting mantras has always been a wonderful meditation technique. This practice involves repeating a string of words that prevent the mind from wandering. When the mind is focused on one thing, we experience peace and calmness.
For example, the Buddhists have the mantra “Buddho”. When breathing in they say “Bud” and when exhaling, they say “dho”. This mantra reminds them of the power of the present moment. You can come up with your own mantras to keep your mind firmly grounded.
4. Breath consciously
Incorporating breathing techniques can transform your life. Breathing can be an expression of aliveness and beauty if done consciously. Breathing relieves stress and anxiety and keeps you focused on the present moment.
My favorite technique is the 777 method which involves breathing in, holding your breath and exhaling for 7 seconds each. There are other breathing techniques that you can use during your meditation sessions to enhance your mindfulness.
5. Pay attention
Most of us only pay attention to the things that matter. We ignore everything else and we end up missing a lot of opportunities. You can practice mindfulness by paying attention to everything around you without discrimination.
Pay close attention to the flower beside you just as much as you’d do to your loved one. Remember, everything happens to you for a reason. Everything you see, hear, taste and smell is an opportunity for you if you discover it. If you don’t pay attention, you end up missing out.
6. Listen to silence and focus on spaces
Silence and spaces are both nothingness. Nothingness is a mystery to the mind. It’s not something that can be comprehended by the five senses. Concentrating on nothingness will make your mind calm and receptive. You can think about nothingness when relaxing or before going to sleep.
Mindfulness is the key to serenity and true happiness. True happiness is a happiness that is not dependent on outer situations. We hear of enlightened people from time to time. These are people who have taken their time to discover the true potential of being human. And they have given us the answers time and time again.
Everything is inside us. All the questions and answers are inside of us. Heaven and hell are within us. We decide what we get. It’s time to change our approach and start focusing on our inner world. It’s time to take control of our minds and bodies. You can start your journey today by using the tips discussed above.