- Mental Health
Stress and the Restless Mind
Stress; The More You Know, the More Questions You Have
There is so much information about stress out there! Do a google search and you will be faced with a stream on information from the very formal to the anecdotal. Sifting through all this information on stress can now cause stress! It is safe to say that we now know what stress is, how it makes us feel, what damage it can do to the body and what we can do to relieve it. But WHY are we still stressed!
The WHY of this question is of great importance since there are thousands of people of seemingly average intelligence (and above) who know what stress it and how to reduce it, but are still struggling. The culprit may be the RESTLESS MIND!
The mind, by nature, is restless. It's attention shifts often and suddenly, giving many the feeling that they lack control. This is why many give up on meditation or other practices, because they think that after a few tries, and they are unable to quiet or calm their restless mind that either, I can't do this or it just doesn't work for me. Thus begins a constant search for peace, quick fixes, or many will mistake a few moments of stillness for stress relief and it's back to the chaos!
Choose Your Images
Although the road to a stress free life may be rough, do not make the determination that it is too rough for you. Instead ask, why not you and what does it take to really become calm and peaceful? And here, ask yourself even more questions like does it take grit, determination and tenacity to overcome the wavering, doubtful, even idle aspects of myself? Do I owe it to myself to see if I have what it takes to regain control and live a healthy lifestyle? Even if it means that I go it alone or have to find a new support system, will I stay steadfast on my journey?
Next, ask yourself, what does my restless mind tell me when I choose to stray or deviate away from purposeful practices that can better my health and overall quality of life? The restless mind will almost always have many contrasting and even peculiar responses, like, It's too much work. I don't have the time. It's too hot/cold outside, or life is short, let's eat, drink and be merry! Ok. Normal. Now, don't do anything! Let your mind continue. I can't do it on my own. I am too tired and just don't have the energy. Try to focus in and let peace, calm and all other positive thoughts triumph over these lower vibrations and find at least one thing that you can do in this very moment! If you succeed in seizing this moment, your mind's trajectory can shift and feel more compelled to seize the next moment and the next! The mind is a muscle and must be exercised in order for it to function at higher and higher capacities and the gritty determination develops in time as you succeed in those moments. What if I don't seize the moment or I do not succeed? That question does not deserve an answer . . . let it go, this very moment.
Regaining the positive power of the mind is an important step to taming its restless nature and help us develop hearty grit and a steadfast pace on the journey towards health and wellness. Some stress can be persistent and challenging to release and we do not serve ourselves by entertaining negative thoughts of giving up or hopelessness. The knowledge, resources and inspiration are there! Don't deny yourself of it! Go on! You already know what to do!