Let’s Tone Our Mental Muscles

I knew a man who was totally averse to the idea of physical exercise. He also ate whatever and whenever he wanted. When someone suggested to join a gym or to maintain a healthy diet, he used to say that he had only one life and he wanted to enjoy each moment. 

He did not like the idea of any kind of control or restraint. He expressed anger the moment it arose, screamed at anyone he was angry with, never screened his desires when it came to amorous endeavours. He even drank a lot with his friends and had great fun. I bet that my readers have also seen such types of personality. 

What happened to the person ultimately ? Did he really enjoy life ? 

The answer is ‘no’. 

He is an alcoholic now. He can hardly survive without it. Few months ago he tried to quit alcohol. But he was struck with a withdrawal syndrome with such severity that suddenly he began to tremble and lost his consciousness. He is suffering from various metabolic diseases like hypertension, hyperglycemia and a blocked artery. He has gained considerable weight during the last ten years. He had had failed relationships. And he is even suffering from bipolar disorder. 

Did he make any mistake during these years ? He only wanted to be free. He only wanted to enjoy his life fully. But what happened is, he actually messed up his life. He is far from being happy and feeling fulfilled. He often said, ‘you only live once ‘. But that carpe diem philosophy once he proudly professed seems to have failed for him. 

What actually happened with him was that in search of fun, he made his mind weak. He never exercised the power of restraint. 

Restraint is like mental gymming. If the desire is strong, then to restrain it you have to use your mental muscles. If you keep doing this exercise on a regular basis, your mental muscles will be strong and toned. The mind will be more empowered and healthy. But if you let your mind do whatever it desires to do all the time, it will lose its power and health. 

Yes, Some mental disorders originate from traumatic experiences, some originate from continuous stress,but some are directly related to one’s own deliberate actions which eventually weakens his mind. And we all know that persistent weakness may cause illness. Would you expect a mentally ill person to feel happy ? 

Now, let us focus on solutions. Anyone can do this mental gymming at any time sitting anywhere. You don’t even have to sit. You can even walk while doing this. But before I jump to the ‘to do’ part I want to put a simple logic. 

Let us think that for a day, I will do nothing in particular and would let my mind roam freely. What will happen ? Most of the time, you will either be driven by desires to satisfy your senses or you will think in a habitual manner where your insecurities, worries and memories keep popping up automatically. Your DESIRES and your HABITS will be at the cockpit. Your mind will drift here and there like a ship without an anchor. This is the way you will easily lose the power of your consciousness, which is the main element of mind. 

So, to harness the power of consciousness, let us imagine that you sit at a place and concentrate between your eyes. Your DESIRES and your HABITS will try to communicate with you by sending random thoughts to think upon. But you set aside all thoughts that come to your mind, and concentrate.  That way you are harnessing the power of consciousness. That way you are strengthening the muscles of your mind and making it healthier. 

Isn’t it easy ? Just do not let your mind go it’s own way all time. Happiness, fulfilment , fun and enjoyment would begin following you automatically when you keep doing this exercise .Eventually, you will find each moment has become blissful. Each sight has become colourful. Each sound has turned into music. 

 

Can we change our lives

Can we change our lives ?

Firstly, who am I to answer this question? Am I a philosopher? A spiritual guru? A scholar on human psychology ? Or a life coach ?

No, I am none of them. But I can think over the question.  Because I consider myself as a thinker. I have no preconceived ideologies.  Therefore, I can think rather freely.

So, coming back to the question, can we change our lives? Yes of course. Replay your past for a while. Take any given date two or three years ago. And examine your life from that date. Did you change ?I bet the answer is yes. But in few cases those may not be always positive changes. Some people’s situation may have deteriorated.

Now, let us think impersonally. Let’s take a nation as example. Britain was not so much developed and prosperous during 1000s as it is now. Now let us go to 1800s. Britain was an invincible power. It conquered almost whole of the world.

What made this change possible? There was thousand matters and events that brought about this change. But the most important is discovery of new places and invention of new things and new technology.

So, to change my life, Should I invent new things? No. Rather we should learn new things. We should master new skills. We should read new books. This will bring drastic change in anyone’s life. Do not stick to the old all the time. Listen to a new song. Discover a new way to your office. Taste a new food. Watch a new movie.  Meet new people on regular basis. I bet, your life will begin to change.

The Nutrality

For some time past, I was pondering over this idea that our mind can be switched to a state of nutrality.  By nutrality, I mean nutrality of emotions. It is not that we are only thinking at all times, we are feeling too. Each thought comes to mind with a cargo of feelings and emotions. Some thoughts come with comfortable emotions and some with stressful emotions. We feel our lives in terms of those emotions. If we had no emotions, we would be robots. Still then,we could be operational as a living being . But we could not feel our existence with the same intensity as we are doing now.

Let us take a model to understand this. Let Mr. X is our model. He is going to office by bus. What is he thinking ? It is not very difficult to assume. He is thinking about the incomplete tasks he has to do at office. Suddenly, his thoughts brought the image of his boss to his mind. What is he feeling now ? Yes, he is feeling a bit of stress. His experience is telling him that he has to complete his pending works by today to avoid negative remarks from his boss. He is feeling more stressful now. All his past experiences tells him that he is heading towards a negative situation. There are also some changes happening at his biological level at that simultaneously . His blood pressure is rising. Stress hormones are released in his system. His nerves are strained. When he thinks about the stress he experiences everyday, he doesn’t feel very positive about his life.

Let us think that Mr. X has been in a strange practice. His grand mother taught him to chant a little ‘matra’ . He believes that this matra may rescue him from any stressful situation. He concentrates on that ‘mantra’. He repeatedly utters it in his mind . Suddenly, he is in a meditative state. He forgets about his boss. He forgets about his tasks also. He is not worrying anymore. He is focused. He is mindful. His biological body gets the message that there is no existential crisis . His hormones are synchronised. He begins to feel good.

We all know that we are thinking far more than we actually need to think. This practice may save us from overburdening our mind and let us focus on solutions to problems and also help us out from the habit of brooding throughout life.

When one feels that he has little things to worry about, he will feel a beautiful and illusive emotion, happiess.