“I had a lot of tragedies in my life — most of them never happened.” –– Mark Twain, famous American philosopher
“I find inner peace when I’m ‘out of my mind'” –– Lyrics from a Music/Rap genius
Do you see what these famous lines have in common? They are encouraging you to get out of your head. Stop living “in your head.” Come out of there and live in the here and now — yes, live here in THIS EXACT MOMENT where nothing is wrong; in this exact moment where “problems” cannot survive. The only thing “really happening” right now is you reading this article. That’s it. Nothing else.
Most of us are so conditioned to create frightful or discouraging thoughts in our heads. But here’s the thing: if those thoughts are in your head, then they are really only illusions. Illusions can only appear real once your attention is strongly focused there. So if you want peace of mind, get out of your head and be here, be present to this moment. Don’t let the illusions in your head run your life and take you over.
Whether a “problem” is simply a prediction in your mind due to anxiety, or an imagination created by fear, your body cannot tell the difference. It cannot tell the difference between something that is happening RIGHT NOW in front of you and something that is in your mind. So as long as you’re conjuring feelings of stress, your body will react accordingly by releasing stress hormones (such as cortisol), which can cause more disturbances in your body.
Good news is your body can handle this kind of setback, however, the bad news is too much secretion of stress hormones over long periods of time can cause problems. This prolonged exposure to elevated levels of stress hormones can cause havoc in your system and eventually negatively affect the functional efficiency of your entire body. As a result, weight can fluctuate, dis-comfort will arise, and dis-ease can show up in various forms.
So use your mind wisely. Use it to remember past mistakes and lessons so you can do better today. Use it to plan your day-to-day, moment-by-moment, to live a more enriching life. Use it to focus on ways to make things better for yourself and others.
DO NOT use your mind to worry and make a “problem” bigger than it really is. Do not dwell there in the past and be completely consumed and rendered paralyzed by it. The past is only but a memory and has no power over you unless you choose to focus all your attention there, and in doing so, energizing it and re-living it day after day.
Here and now is the only place you can make things happen, make things better; not there in the past, living in your head! Do not use your mind to predict the worse future or case scenarios unless you are doing it strategically with confidence to solve a problem. Otherwise it would only be counterproductive.
Do not use your mind to make yourself sick or keep yourself sick. Practice being here. Start today. When you catch yourself getting lost living in your head — thinking of this, that, and everything unsettling (which will happen over and over again) — just kindly recognize that you’re doing it, and bring yourself back to here and now by being intensely still and focusing on your breath.
Be stubborn in this practice no matter how many times your ego tries to steer you back into living in your head. It is only in time, with repeated, uncompromising effort that this practice will open doors to a whole new world of peace and fulfillment so grand that your little ego mind could never have imagined.
Remember: A lot of the pain that we are dealing with are really only thoughts.