Mind Nutrition: Patience, Vitamin For The Mind–Are You Getting Your Daily Recommended Dose?

DSC01812

In my last entry, I discussed needing to change what we feed the mind on a regular basis–mind malnutrition or stuff that makes us mentally unhealthy. Besides reading a good book to improve one’s mental diet and overall development as a person, there are a few mental nutrients that we can’t do without to grow properly.  Like vitamins, they are essential nutrients.   Without them, we just don’t get the most out of what we desire.  Patience is one of those “vitamins”.

Jeff Olson, in The Slight Edge, talks about the power of patience and how it’s often a challenge for people who do not understand the Slight Edge principle. Patience is the insight to make small consistent steps  to reach our goal.  We know what our goal is and are willing to have faith that we can attain it. (That’s another vitamin we’ll talk about later.)  When we have a goal but don’t see immediate results, we must exercise patience,  take a moment to relax and look at the bigger picture.  It’s a journey.  There will be ups and downs, but the general path is forward.  Setbacks are part of the process.  One of my mentors cautions that whenever you set a goal, obstacles seem to pop up out of nowhere. The bigger the goal, the more distracting the obstacles, as if the universe is testing your resolve and sincerity. Too many people let that be enough to turn them away. So, take a deep breath, be aware of any tension in your body, any negative or fearful thoughts about what you desire.  Let them go as you exhale.  A powerful affirmation I have used during this exercise, while focusing on my breath, relaxing,  repeating with each inhale and exhale cycle: “I inhale love.  I exhale fear.”  Slowly and gently.  Remember, just by deciding to have a goal, obstacles are now to be expected and will be part of the journey.  What can you learn from them?

Lastly, find some areas in your life where you can practice more patience. For example, if waiting brings impatience, use the time to go to a higher perspective.  Will it really make a significant impact on your life if you are delayed, or is it really just a minor inconvenience? Will it really matter tomorrow?  What can you learn about yourself as you relax or use the breathing exercise? The key is understanding that you are not just what you are feeling at that moment.   You can reset you attitude and feelings to the best self you can be despite the situation. Start becoming aware of small changes in your feelings, such as anger and fear, as they signal impatience, like free radicals toxic to the mind’s nutritional wellbeing.

Be more mindful of the little positives in your life, moments of gratitude, joy, humor. They will build patience if you amplify and savor them when they happen. Then, you can more easily recall and amplify them to replace  frustration.

 

Mind Nutrition: Patience, Vitamin For The Mind–Are You Getting Your Daily Recommended Dose?

DSC01812

In my last entry, I discussed needing to change what we feed the mind on a regular basis–mind malnutrition or stuff that makes us mentally unhealthy. Besides reading a good book to improve one’s mental diet and overall development as a person, there are a few mental nutrients that we can’t do without to grow properly.  Like vitamins, they are essential nutrients.   Without them, we just don’t get the most out of what we desire.  Patience is one of those “vitamins”.

Jeff Olson, in The Slight Edge, talks about the power of patience and how it’s often a challenge for people who do not understand the Slight Edge principle. Patience is the insight to make small consistent steps  to reach our goal.  We know what our goal is and are willing to have faith that we can attain it. (That’s another vitamin we’ll talk about later.)  When we have a goal but don’t see immediate results, we must exercise patience,  take a moment to relax and look at the bigger picture.  It’s a journey.  There will be ups and downs, but the general path is forward.  Setbacks are part of the process.  One of my mentors cautions that whenever you set a goal, obstacles seem to pop up out of nowhere. The bigger the goal, the more distracting the obstacles, as if the universe is testing your resolve and sincerity. Too many people let that be enough to turn them away. So, take a deep breath, be aware of any tension in your body, any negative or fearful thoughts about what you desire.  Let them go as you exhale.  A powerful affirmation I have used during this exercise, while focusing on my breath, relaxing,  repeating with each inhale and exhale cycle: “I inhale love.  I exhale fear.”  Slowly and gently.  Remember, just by deciding to have a goal, obstacles are now to be expected and will be part of the journey.  What can you learn from them?

Lastly, find some areas in your life where you can practice more patience. For example, if waiting brings impatience, use the time to go to a higher perspective.  Will it really make a significant impact on your life if you are delayed, or is it really just a minor inconvenience? Will it really matter tomorrow?  What can you learn about yourself as you relax or use the breathing exercise? The key is understanding that you are not just what you are feeling at that moment.   You can reset you attitude and feelings to the best self you can be despite the situation. Start becoming aware of small changes in your feelings, such as anger and fear, as they signal impatience, like free radicals toxic to the mind’s nutritional wellbeing.

Be more mindful of the little positives in your life, moments of gratitude, joy, humor. They will build patience if you amplify and savor them when they happen. Then, you can more easily recall and amplify them to replace  frustration.

 

Mind Nutrition: What’s Your Mental Diet?

InflamBrain2

Mental Diet? Most would feel we have enough already with nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle to keep us busy and on the path to wellbeing. However, a vital aspect of nutrition is not just the supplements we feed the mind, but also what we are taking in on a daily basis via the media, music, games, work and relationships. The psychological and emotional input, whether volitional or un-avoidable, is key nutrition to our mental health and bodily wellbeing. If we are feeding ourselves a lot of stressful experiences, negative relationships, or inadequate rest, the majority of us on the planet are inducing emotional and psychological toxins that work against our sense of integrity, mastery, and harmony with our selves, others and our environment. I understand that there are always a small number who thrive on what appear to be negative experiences, but they are not the majority. Some of us compensate with behaviors and attitudes that appear helpful, but actually work against us in the long run. Take self-medicating with drugs or alcohol or smoking. Whatever. It may appear to be coping but it actually delays addressing the source of the stress with a few moments of relief. We learn to avoid our challenges, not overcome them or develop resiliency. Most will have challenges and stressors in their lives from time to time. It’s like unhealthy foods’ or lifestyles’ impact on the body. There is no immediate damage from most of those events, but over time, it accelerates the “mileage” on the body and mind. We engage in healthy diet and lifestyle changes to combat the negative, as well as slow down or reverse other detrimental trends in our health.

We can engage our minds in similar exercises and inputs to restore and enhance our health and wellbeing. Like with diet and exercise, we are prone to be inconsistent with our Mind Nutrition. So, here are some suggestions:

Be more consistent with regular exercise, eating healthily and getting rest. Build on this with reading a positive life-enhancing book—just 10 pages a day. As stated in the best seller, “The Slight Edge”, by Jeff Olson, consistent small steps have a compounding effect over time. Devote time for quiet reflection and meditation before starting the busy part of your day. Use this 10-15 minutes to relax, envision your day, even the rush hour, embodied with peace, harmony and success for all involved. Remember, you are connecting to a higher order of self and community of man each time you do so. Remember to treat all you encounter, depending on their age, as if they were your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, or brother. Look for what’s right with them, not what’s wrong. Reduce negative emotional inputs such as violence in media and games. Add more positive emotional inputs with music, media or readings. We’ll talk about strategies to keep entanglements from happening when confronted with unavoidable negative experiences. Remember, you become what you think about most of the time….

Mind Nutrition: What’s Your Mental Diet?

InflamBrain2

Mental Diet? Most would feel we have enough already with nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle to keep us busy and on the path to wellbeing. However, a vital aspect of nutrition is not just the supplements we feed the mind, but also what we are taking in on a daily basis via the media, music, games, work and relationships. The psychological and emotional input, whether volitional or un-avoidable, is key nutrition to our mental health and bodily wellbeing. If we are feeding ourselves a lot of stressful experiences, negative relationships, or inadequate rest, the majority of us on the planet are inducing emotional and psychological toxins that work against our sense of integrity, mastery, and harmony with our selves, others and our environment. I understand that there are always a small number who thrive on what appear to be negative experiences, but they are not the majority. Some of us compensate with behaviors and attitudes that appear helpful, but actually work against us in the long run. Take self-medicating with drugs or alcohol or smoking. Whatever. It may appear to be coping but it actually delays addressing the source of the stress with a few moments of relief. We learn to avoid our challenges, not overcome them or develop resiliency. Most will have challenges and stressors in their lives from time to time. It’s like unhealthy foods’ or lifestyles’ impact on the body. There is no immediate damage from most of those events, but over time, it accelerates the “mileage” on the body and mind. We engage in healthy diet and lifestyle changes to combat the negative, as well as slow down or reverse other detrimental trends in our health.

We can engage our minds in similar exercises and inputs to restore and enhance our health and wellbeing. Like with diet and exercise, we are prone to be inconsistent with our Mind Nutrition. So, here are some suggestions:

Be more consistent with regular exercise, eating healthily and getting rest. Build on this with reading a positive life-enhancing book—just 10 pages a day. As stated in the best seller, “The Slight Edge”, by Jeff Olson, consistent small steps have a compounding effect over time. Devote time for quiet reflection and meditation before starting the busy part of your day. Use this 10-15 minutes to relax, envision your day, even the rush hour, embodied with peace, harmony and success for all involved. Remember, you are connecting to a higher order of self and community of man each time you do so. Remember to treat all you encounter, depending on their age, as if they were your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, or brother. Look for what’s right with them, not what’s wrong. Reduce negative emotional inputs such as violence in media and games. Add more positive emotional inputs with music, media or readings. We’ll talk about strategies to keep entanglements from happening when confronted with unavoidable negative experiences. Remember, you become what you think about most of the time….

MEDITATION: INVITATION TO A FAMILY REUNION

Monks-Bangkok

The A380 is such a large jetliner! As it climbs to 40,000 feet, you don’t feel like you are moving very fast or elevating quickly. At that altitude, you rise above the discontent below. The heavens above now appear to be in your midst. Here one feels strangely a part of the peace and beauty of the clear celestial surround.

We have returned from almost three weeks of traveling in Asia, after attending an international conference that covered economics, social sciences and modern sciences. There, I delivered a presentation on the medical benefits of meditation and the importance of the Spiritual connection within as part of our daily health and foundation for optimal living.

The participants at the conference were from numerous countries and ethnicities, and provided many different worldviews. Yet, we could come together on three basic necessities for optimal living: economic opportunity/stability, good health and a spiritual foundation that honors us all in a dignified, ethical manner. No one had all the answers.   It was clear that, in order to get any of those three areas established, we had to first honor the interdependence we share.

We met and discussed the same topics with Buddhists at a monastery who described the same conclusions and axioms. To have more peace and prosperity, we have to start giving what we want to receive in compassion, understanding, and love. Then we are emulating our true nature, the Divine Presence within us all, making us all one family.

We have to embrace the inevitable that we are a global family. Despite disparities, we have to move forward and practice this awareness. It is the rising tide that will lift all boats. The issue is, “How do we bridge the gaps and transcend culture and distance to make this a reality?” These noble thoughts transcend cultures and even some of our sciences. How can we promote this connection and impact the world in a positive manner?

Recent research has demonstrated how the brain will respond to meditation in positive manners. It can reduce inflammatory responses that impair brain tissue during stress as well as increase the volume of crucial brain centers that mediate emotions and other executive functions. We also have evidence that consciousness transcends the confines of the brain besides using brain tissue as an effector organ for negotiating reality requirements like walking and my typing this blog. As such, consciousness has the ability to transcend distance, allowing us to experience other places and mediate activity between each other such as promoting healing, or making a light bulb heavy enough to break a tile. Perhaps we can create a “critical mass” of positive consciousness through meditation with enough people around the world to shift consciousness and thereby shift perception, attitude, beliefs and actions.

After all if we are All One People, we have a resource, rarely tapped in a coordinated manner to create a shift of global proportions. Are you ready?

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