Change Your Life...continuing today
Three weeks ago, started to see if you can change your life, attain that balance of healthy mind and healthy body.
Today I want to discuss how you keep a healthy mind. I've told you before, I'm not a psychologist, so I'm not going to offer you therapy.
In the same way, I'm not a personal trainer, but I can still tell you that physical exercise is good for your body. And so I can assure you that mental exercise is good for your mind.
A daily sudoku or the Times crosswords is great for maintaining your problem solving skills.
And some daily mindfulness meditation is a powerful way to gain control over your thoughts. It really works. If you're the kind of person that worries about things, and find yourself in trains of thought that leave you feeling anxious or stressed.
For instance…."I just took the car for it's service, that was expensive! How will I pay the electricty bill? What if we get cut off? How will I catch up? Should I call them? What if they threaten me? I just can’t deal with it now!" etc etc.
We all do this kind of thing to a greater or lesser extent. Literally, our brains are wired that way. Our brains are made to think, and after years of practice they are very good at mulling things over like this, analysing and re-analysing.
The amazing thing about our brains is that they can be rewired. Behavioural observations suggest that this is true, and nowadays neuroscientists have proved this by observing brain activity using big machines (I’m also not a neuroscientist).
But rewiring our brains is well within the capabilities of almost everyone. You don’t have to be an expert to do it. It actually happens every day, all through our lives. As we learn to speak, read and write as a child, our young brains are forming new, strong and permanent pathways giving us skills that we will never forget.
Later in life when we learn to drive, co-ordinating depressing the clutch, releasing the gas pedal and changing gear, new pathways are being formed, straightening through repetition and practice to the point that they are permanent and the actions are natural and instinctive. They certainly didn’t start that way.
And our brains never stop this ability to rewire. So it’s never to late to learn something new. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. And you CAN break a lifelong habit and turn it into a new one.
So whilst the brain can rewire itself to enable us to learn new physical skills and habits, it can also rewire itself to form new mental skills and habits. Like recognising a potentially destructive train of thought and stopping it in its tracks.
This is a key element of mindfulness. Many guided meditations teach us to spot these thoughts and deal with them, so they do not take over our minds. It’s never to late, and it works. Start rewiring your brain today.
Follow this link http://goo.gl/rNE3RL to the mindfulness page on my website, which lists a couple of resources to help you on your way. I’m endorsing these because I believe in them and they helped on my way. You should try them for yourself and I’d love to hear about your experience with them.
Remember, it’s not necessarily about sitting in the lotus position on the beach (although that’s nice), you can meditate sat on a chair or lying on a mat or your bed. It really whatever is available that makes you comfortable…it’s all about you.