Learn to control your feelings. And learn the easiest ways of doing that.
Learn that there are alternatives to getting overwhelmed by feelings, like anger.
And that most often it works a whole lot better to find the stop button and then come back later and see if the anger is still there, instead of just going with it the first time around.
The difficulty lies in trying to find out how to make it a strong habit, to look for those ways for a breather when you feel the cascade of emotions.
So that IS important.
I have a special lifeline by my bed, which is a book about Joan of Arc that I love very much. It always gives me great hope and energy reading about her. So whenever I feel down or something nasty has happened I get a ‘fix of hope’ reading in that book.
I also have a close friend I know I can call at any time, and I know this is a privilege in a way. On the other hand, you don’t get or keep close friends if you don’t work for it. And many people seem to be too busy working their jobs instead of working on their friendships.
– I have some special music I always hear when the going gets tough and I need to persevere at something
– Long walks – wherever I can – are really, really good at giving me energy when I feel a bit down and disheartened. I relax and let my thoughts fly – get fresh air into the lungs. It’s so bloody simple and it works so well.
– And quotes … I have a few favorites that I paste on my desktop, write down where I can see them, and so on.
Use them like affirmations. Some of them are about being an entrepreneur. Some of them are about perseverance. Some of them are just about guiding my attention to the world’s beauty and wonder. Often I try to find a picture that matches.
There can be crises that are so great that you just need to survive them. Or at least ride the waves until you can even think about which lifeline you even have ready to pull yourself up and go on. Life is not always fully controllable – not even by lifelines.
Think of it as the emergency kit. It doesn’t prevent bad stuff from happening, but it sure alleviates a lot if you have it handy when you hurt yourself in the kitchen. Or greater disasters.
Berating is another form of criticizing, of course. Especially yourself.
It is insidious. It takes tremendous time and energy. And accomplishes next to nothing.
It is a relic, I think, from childhood when learning to hit yourself on your head before others did was important. Or something …
I honestly don’t know. I only know that it thrives – this poison of the mind … in almost all of us.
Get rid of it. The sooner the better.
It basically boils down to timing of your effort to feel better. I suppose that only comes from experience, or mostly. But it is then more important to repeat and try to drill into my own mind, and maybe yours if you can use this advice:
Don’t try to re-plan your life or solve a major problem, if you are low on energy, physically and mentally … !
Get sleep first. Get food. Get a good walk. Watch a movie (but only one) … Talk to a friend whose company energizes you.
Do something like that – and then find a quiet time and spot to consider your options for new jobs, new relationship, new life purpose, new … Anything Important.
Do it. Like this.
Those habits are the most important to change – the bad thought habits.
This principle should then be about controlling the manner in which you think. Or speed. As the tin says.
It has a profound effect on inner calmness and clarity and peace of trying to slow down your thoughts, like you were trying to use them to write a poem instead of just letting all thoughts be a buzz or a cascade that drags you along.
So. That. Is. It. About. That.
I have done continued attempts at “mental detox” in the last year but they were all geared at one intent: To become better and better at controlling what goes into my mind, like nutrients into the body.
So it’s NOT about meditative silence.
It’s about a third foundation for Inner Power: Controlling what goes into your mind.
Future goals are important, yes, but if you stress about them so much that they diminish your life quality in the present for months, perhaps years, then what are those goals worth?
You need new goals, or at the very least – new ways of achieving goals.
So this is also a major factor in both inner peace, but also the whole shtick about achieving happiness by working on your experience of events first and second on changing those events, or accepting them – depending on the context.
If I can change my inner experience of any given event or situation, I have mastered it. And one experience that I really want as ‘basis’ is an experience of peace, so events that happen and affect me adversely (like getting fired) will not affect me as powerfully emotionally. That peace is both dependent on a peace that has been established before an adverse event happens, by building up a resilient worldview (if we can call it that). It is also a peace that comes from building up a habit of dealing with an adverse event in a positive way, mostly or wholly. Meaning: If I can learn to interpret an adverse event in different ways, I have effectively eliminated its adversity, partially or wholly.
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”
“I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.”
– Dawna Markova
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger, something better, pushing right back.”
– Albert Camus
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ”
—Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals