This topic is a big one when it comes to my daily recovery and peace of mind. You know I get in trouble when I simply have too much crap "ON." The Laptop, TV, phone, apps, music, movies, books, you name it; they all can become major distractions of my peace of mind. To cover that white noise, aka our silence, we feel we need tons of shit on or projects to do. This "keep busy," mentality I find has the opposite effect and can really stress me out.
These Uber busy fools are easy to spot. They are at coffee shops and eateries, multitasking the "eat-type" method, or the impatient drive, half the time on the phone texting. The worst of the lot is the "face glued to the screen phone walker." Never seen these people of ill repute? Look in the mirror, there's one. Don't fool yourself and jump in that judge's pedestal, we are all guilty of this behavior almost everyday. This is not silence or peace of mind. This the impatient, self absorbed, mind at work. So to keep it simple today I broke it down into three major areas of my life where I can ease the stress and re connect to my peace of mind.
I practice both prayer and meditation. I have to pray each morning as soon as I wake and before coffee or else the mind beings to work on its own. A mind without spiritual guidance and gratitude tends to operate for selfish gains. For me I find it important to hold myself responsible to a higher power. If that doesn't work for you, find a physical practice to do daily. I have only found pain, suffering and depression when I solely rely on myself or others to full-fill me. So when I pray I offer up my defects, my noise, to God. Use the universe or nature and all it's wonder as your higher power if need be just make sure you answer to them. I find "giving it up," is never the same as "giving up." Thus the meek overpowers the might.
When I meditate I can either listen to my heart rate or my breathe going in and out of my body. This can be really powerful and a great way to exhale the doubt and junk out of you as you inhale the goodness and fresh air. Don't try to be "zen." Don't try at all and just be. Slowly with practice you can start emptying your mind.
This is where your common sense really comes to play. If you are doing "too much," in your daily life, then you have to learn to say no and cut back. Be realistic and thoughtful on your day's path. Take a walk and eat outdoors when you can for lunch. When eating put away phones, books and distractions and enjoy your meal. Nurishing the body should be a holy event not a quick shoveling in of fuel and on to the next task. Sleep, put away or dont even bring in electronics to your bedroom. I read that your bedroom is for only for sleeping and sex. So there ya go. Be wise with the company you keep as they can influence you to go away from all that you have worked hard on. Yes, you can lose it all in a day. Love and respect your family and elders. Do a charitable service that makes your interact with the less fortunate; you will be amazed at what they can teach you.
Men, stop approaching your extra curricular activities as a pseudo battles. Sports should be for fun and exercise not to relive past glory on the field. I'm sure you have enough stress with work and family life, why turn your health and fitness time into another stressful assignment? This is why I strongly encourage men to take up a martial art. The structure demands respect and obedience not ego stroking and bad sportsmanship. Yoga, challenge yourself to this activity that has helped world leaders to the incarcerated. These two very demanding activities causes a deep silence as your practice is based on listening to your instructor and your body.
These are just big, broad strokes to killing the harsh and ugly noises of life. I'll delve deeper into each subject, give you as many tools and resources I can, in future posts. In the meantime try just one of these new avenues for now. Be patient for the rewards, they will make themselves present. Good luck and see you on down the road.