Hey, what’s going on? Today’s topic may be hard to grasp at first. Approach it with an open mind and you’ll see the content’s meaning. I plan to address it in a video on my YouTube channel (Tranquilized Mind) which will clear a lot up. With that said, I wanted to get in on paper first.
Ever hear a little voice from within down-talk your choices? Do you find yourself making judgments of yourself and others? Do you find a part of yourself begging for validation?
This voice, this “little monkey” hanging on your shoulder as I like to call it, is actually your subconscious mind trying to create and add to your self-image. It is something that has been growing ever since your first-grade pal told you he didn’t like your favorite t-shirt. What happened to that t-shirt anyways? It probably doesn’t fit anymore obviously ;). But you probably never wore it again because your mind, your ego, told you its not okay to wear it, just based on someone else’s opinion! Your ego made a snap judgments based off of what someone else said.
The mind is a powerful tool, if used correctly. With too much use and if used wrongly, it can cause you to become a constant worrier, a needy person, and ultimately live a life in fear. Eckhart Tolle, someone that has made a profound difference in my life from a spiritual standpoint, quotes “Thinking [can be] is a disease”. The subconscious mind is something that can be used on autopilot, it allows you to multi-task which is good however too much thinking takes away from being present to the moment. When you’re constantly thinking you’re not appreciating the moment for what is. The mind can drift off, it can find things to judge and can create worries unthought of. It has been stated that the average person spends up to 6.5 years out of their life worrying (1). That 6.5 years not spent enjoying the moment, that’s 6.5 years spent worrying and thinking about something that already took place…
The monkey on your shoulder (the mind) is constantly growing when it gets what you want. Validation seeking, negative self-talk are all fuel for the monkey to grow into a vast monster that’s capable of running your life. Some people spend countless hours worrying about what someone said two nights ago. Why keep that worry with you for so long? Ultimately, the present moment is all you have and all you ever will have. You had the past then, when it was the present. You are there in the future when it comes, in the now. Too much incessant thinking can take away from what you’re doing right now.
This can ultimately lead to more worrying. Unnecessary anxiety, something that the human race suffers from immensely. It’s not looked at like the obesity epidemic, its not looked at like cancer. Worrying and chronically elevated stress levels may not seem as detrimental as certain extreme diseases, however it can eventually be an unknown cause to them (2), I plan to make a video to explain this more in-depth but it’s something I wanted to cover for you readers first. The end to compulsive and obsessive thinking starts now. Bringing more presence into your life, truly appreciating what’s going on at this moment is the spiritual side of lowering your daily stress levels.
What You Can Do About It
In fact, becoming present is actually the quickest thing you can do right now to stop worrying. Become totally aware of what’s going on around and within you right now. Feel the cool breeze of air as you’re taking your nightly walk, feel the water rinsing through your hands after a long day at work. This is something that will take your mind off (more so out of the equation), and will allow you to be grateful for what’s happening in your life right now.
You can eat the right foods to keep oxidative stress low (stress from extraneous environment sources – pollution, harsh weather), you can practice yoga everyday, but if you don’t master putting your mind at ease and bringing more presence into your life, you’ll suffer anxiously.
I’ve become aware of bringing presence into our daily lives from my spiritual mentor, Eckhart Tolle. Tolle spent his first thirty years living an anxious, ego-dominated life. His mind was taking him over, worrying him to death. It was not until later when he realized that he is not his mind. The thoughts in his head is not spiritually who he is. He learned to live in the present moment and is now teaching what he calls a growing pack of “spiritual pioneers”. I highly recommend checking out his work. A good beginner’s guide to becoming more present (and lowering your stress levels) is Practicing The Power of Now. I advise to start with the unabridged version as it has question and answers throughout the course. It’s an audiobook so it can be listened to while walking, commuting or even exercising (I will write an article on how to start implementing listening to the Power of Now). It’s inexpensive if (money is holding you back from making the purchase), and a great path to take towards lowering your stress levels.
I personally have listened to this audiobook at least 7 or 8 times. I feel the audio version works exceptionally well, I enjoy reading his books too. With that said, Eckhart Tolle talks very slowly and it lures you into the present. This is ultimately the goal. When you take in the words he discusses at such a high level of “consciosness” (presence and awareness), you can transparently see the message he is providing.
At first it may be challenging, but over time and by consistently listening when you can, you will grow your “presence power”.
This combined with proper daily habits in what you eat, how you exercise and improving your sleep will make a notable difference in your anxiety levels. Keep reading up here on Tranquilized Mind.
The system to lowering your stress levels and curing many mental disorders can be laid out with all the sources and information I am finding. All negative emotions come from a state of ego, a mind-dominated state. Becoming mindful of what you are doing, and present to the moment is one of the best ways to combat this.
Lastly, some words from Eckhart himself, the most spiritually influencing person. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
Stayed tuned for more articles on how to start eating the right way to lower your stress levels, the type of mindset needed, the type of exercising one should do, and more. And of course, try bringing more presence into your life for whatever you are doing. Maybe its as simple as lying in your bed, pay attention to how your body feels resting on the mattress, the muscles and the body relaxed, the silence around you. Be aware of these things. It allows your ability of presence to grow and puts the mind at ease.
Until next time,