I wish I was one of those people who seem to take life calmly, accepting with a minimum of stress the curve balls that life throws at them. But I am not a patient person by nature, and it seems the more that I try to restrain myself, bottling up my emotions so that I remain calm on the surface, the more likely I am to really explode when I hit my limit.
My intention has always been to keep a calm demeanor so that my children would have a better role model; and so that our home would be a calm place to be. I’ve tried different approaches to “being still” like counting to 10 when someone is particularly irritating. But let’s face it, counting to 100 with some people wouldn’t be enough. There are times when you need a different method to cope.
We all have those people in our lives, those ‘level 100 provokers’ who make it so incredibly difficult for us not to lose our cool. At times I just want to scream at them to get out of my sight and never come back. But getting angry doesn’t help, and in many cases simply increases the tension you feel about that person or situation.
People are not always rational, and that includes ourselves. Children are even less so, and rely on the adults around them to lead by example so that they may learn to control their emotions instead of their emotions controlling them.
So how do you control that level 100 provoker, who may be someone you can’t just walk away from? I think the key word in that sentence is control. In truth we cannot really control the actions of others, and to attempt to do so will nearly always end in emotional upheaval.
The only person we can control is ourselves. And the best way to do that is by taking care of our needs, both emotional and physical. It is so much easier to handle stressful situations if we aren’t worn out and emotionally drained.
The 5 pillars of health are:
- Proper Sleep
- Stress Management/Emotional Health
- Eating Healthy Non-Toxic Food
- Moderate Exercise, Stretching and Breathing
These are essential components for overall healthy living as most diseases are caused by chronic stress and inflammation in the body.
Let’s talk about the first pillar, SLEEP: Somewhere in the fabric of our past, the idea of being an invincible multitasker was been implanted into our subconscious minds. There are so many people today who believe that they not only can, but should be sleeping less and doing more.
This pervasive attitude didn’t creep in overnight, but with the advent of modern technology such as Electric Lights, Televisions, and Computers, we now have the choice to stay up later if we want to.
No longer are we restricted to being productive only during day light hours, now we have options. And while many of our parents and grandparents still worked and recreated around traditional 8 hour sleep patterns, more and more people over the years have begun burning away at their sleep time in order to stay out later having a good time with friends, or simply trying to get more work done.
The consequence of this chronic reduction in sleep has resulted in tired, irritable people whose bodies do not have adequate time to fully repair between each day.
In short; less than 8 hours of sleep per night = short tempers, and disease.
The second pillar, MEDITATION, works together with the first pillar, sleep, to bring our bodies to a place of mental and emotional health.
In his book, Wisdom of the Ages, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer mentions that our minds function like music. In music there are spaces between the notes. Without those spaces we wouldn’t have music, it would just be noise. But when the spaces are interspersed with notes the noise becomes musical and pleasing, and it is much the same in our heads.
Experts have estimated that the average person has 60,000 separate thoughts every day. Many of these thoughts are repeated day after day filling our minds with the same incessant chatter.
Learn to calm the chatter by learning to be quiet. Practicing meditation will help you to find those quiet spaces between your thoughts. And when you learn to do this it will have multiple benefits in your life.
“Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.” –Pythagoras
Your day to day 60,000 thoughts are usually about ordinary activities or stresses that create a pattern in your life, leaving little space for silence. They are usually a part of the culture that you grew up in, and whether we realize it or not we have been conditioned throughout our lives to find silence awkward, and noise normal.
Think about times in your life when there was a long silence at the dinner table, while riding in the car, or in another type of social situation. Odds are that it felt awkward to you. Through words and or their examples, others in your life have communicated over the years that these moments of silence should be avoided, implying that we need to sharpen our skills as conversationalists. Or it may be that the message conveyed has been a lesson in guilt, telling us that to sit quietly is to waste time. The result of all of this social conditioning is that silence has become, not a moment to be enjoyed, but rather a space that needs to be filled.
Most of us are not taught to be silent in a productive way. For example: There were many times when I was a child that I was told to be quiet because I talked too much, but the silence was outward only, my inner voice went merrily on.
As children we were taught to be quiet, but not to quiet our minds. Indeed our parents and grandparents probably never even gave a thought to the difference between the two ideas. But it is in this inner quiet, that we can find a sense of personal well-being, increased energy, better health, more stable relationships with others, and a closer connection with our Heavenly Father.
Daily meditation can make this possible. And while I am not personally qualified to instruct others in meditation, especially through a blog post, there are many resources available for anyone who would like to begin this healing process.
Some basics to begin with that can be done virtually anywhere would be:
- Practice self-awareness as a way to turn away from outward distractions and toward the quiet within yourself. Take time to be conscious of your breathing for a few moments at a time during intervals throughout your day. First breath in through your nose, holding it for a few seconds, and then breathing out through your mouth, repeat this several times while focusing on the act of breathing.
- Allowing yourself some time each day to sit in a room alone where you can be still ans consciously aware of your thoughts. Write down the thoughts that come to you as you sit there. Focusing on the direction of your thoughts will help you to rise above them and to break any thought patterns that may be a negative in your life.
- Read a book on meditation, or pick up a CD or Video that can help to guide you through the process until you are comfortable with it. There are many good ones out there, but each author approaches it a little bit differently, so you will need to find one that speaks to you and fulfills your needs.
Making time to do this will not be easy especially for busy parents of active young children, but the benefits, not only to yourself, but also to those who depend on you cannot be overstated. This is one of those things where I wish I knew then what I know now, but there is no going back, only forward.
Don’t let your life move on without at least trying this wonderful healing method. The benefits will be more than worth the price of the time that you will put into it.
Wisdom of the Ages ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Denise is a Michigander turned Pennsylvanian, who has been writing stories since Elementary School. Denise won an award at the annual Lansing Youth Talent Show, when she was in 10th grade, for a short story entitled Procrastination is Fatal, but didn’t decide on writing as a career until she was 28 years old. While homeschooling her older children she spent 4 years working through a course from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Through the years Denise’s children have had a variety of health issues, many of which have been linked to various sensitives; having spent more than 20 years researching and trying different things Denise has a boots on the ground view on healthier living. Denise currently writes for 2 blogs and has several books in different stages of completion. She is planning to break ground in e publishing, and hopes to have her first Historical Fantasy book which is set during the renaissance, “Lisa, My Lisa?” ready by the first of the year.