Inner peace and happiness. They might even be considered synonyms. While some struggle to find it their entire lives, others seem to be naturally blessed with it. For both types of people there is equal advice that can be followed to improve our state of mind. After all, we are all equally human.
We present a list of simple advice to consider for all of those who are conscious about improving their mental state.
We live in an increasingly competitive world where we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic standards of performance and beauty through big and small screens all around us. To make things worse, our current capitalistic system is constantly pressuring us to produce more so that we may in turn be able to consume more. The system is designed to have everyone constantly chasing more and better things.
This never-ending pressure to meet unrealistic standards may end up causing us to feel like we are not good enough. Like we do not deserve to have peace of mind until we have achieved the physical, professional or materialistic goals that have been placed in our heads. Ironically, you end up setting aside your happiness in a quest for the things you believe will make you happy.
The truth is, perfection does not exist among humans and there will always be something to want for. There is nothing stopping you from accepting yourself for who you are and what you have, and finding happiness now while at the same time seeking self-improvement.
The best way to keep our mind away from negative thoughts and to self-improve is to focus on small, concrete daily goals. In our wish to excel, we tend to set goals for ourselves that are too big or too abstract. This more often than not can lead to frustration and disappointment, feelings we want to avoid if our goal is to feel happy on a daily basis.
In order to improve your life on a big scale you must first improve it on a small scale. Small changes to our daily behavior can have a huge impact in the long term. Find something you care about and set a daily goal to improve it. It can be reading a book for 15 minutes, tidying your living space or doing 10 sit-ups. These small changes on a day-to-day basis are relatively easy to achieve and give us a daily dose of fulfillment. With constancy and over time they will translate into big results, guaranteed.
As the saying goes, “life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”
Everyone knows this saying and yet few truly understand it. It is almost as if our minds are constantly racing and trapped in the future, while our souls are trapped in the present. Here’s some bad news: the future does not exist, and the moment it does exist, then it means that it is no longer the future. By attempting to place our minds in the future in preparation for it, we cease to savor existence itself, which is nothing but the present.
Learning to be present, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Especially for those of us who have been attempting to live in the future all our lives. Luckily, there are other people who have gone through this learning experience already and are here to help us. One of these people is Eckhart Tolle, and his book The Power Of Now is highly recommended.
One of the best ways to learn to be present is meditation.
Different cultures, throughout the world, and for thousands of years have used meditation in order to achieve calmness and peace of mind. Sometimes it would almost seem as if this knowledge had been lost in ancient times. Learning to meditate is fundamentally simple and only requires 15-20 minutes per day.
Meditation essentially consists in sitting still, in silence for 20 minutes and attempting not to think. You will find that this is harder than it sounds at first. However, this is only due to the fact that you are teaching your brain how to slow down and purge unnecessary thoughts from its operating system. While at first it may be tortuous, eventually it becomes a pleasant habit where one can find inner peace.
By doing this for only a few minutes per day you will train your mind to achieve a calmer baseline state, think less and be more present to the moment. Multiple books and courses can be found online for those who wish to improve even further.
Mind Your Nutrition
Nutrition is one aspect of our lives we could all pay more attention to. The human brain is the most complex object in the Universe. This delicate biological machine leaves any man-made supercomputer in the dust. In spite of this, most of us do not care about how we treat it or what we feed it.
Our brains can only function with the nutrients that we provide it. Unfortunately, most of our food today is processed and filled with chemicals which prioritize flavor and cost over health and quality. Constantly bombarding our brains with unhealthy chemicals has effects on its performance. It is only logical that this gets in the way of finding mind clarity and inner peace.
For those who wish to learn on how to best care for their minds we recommend the book The Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman M.D. This book is easy to read and will provide you with the necessary information to improve your mental state and performance, not by consuming any medications or substances, but by simply approaching certain healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy ones. Undoubtedly, a healthier brain will lead to a healthier mind.
As the author of the book says: "Fix your biology, then do your soul work."
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