By Jodie Dennie, creator of The Mind Matters SVG mental health awareness campaign.
“Just live in the moment.”
It’s easier said than done, especially when thinking about the issues of the world as well as challenges in our lives. These experiences can brutally knock us down and off course for a period of time. Admittedly, it’s hard to choose peace when experiencing rough patches in life. The mind easily gets caught up worries and stresses during such periods, as it feels like the quickest and only response to things that have happened.
One needs to realize that peace is always available, and to obtain this state of mind, it requires effort. Circumstances will affect our mental state, but they don’t have to control them, based on our choice not to allow them. There are countless things we can do to create peace of mind, both in response to events in our lives, and towards the curve balls thrown our way in life.
The mind is like a butterfly which floats from one thought to another all the time. Persons have been developing the habit of thinking all the time – for all their life. Mind-wandering is the cause, not the consequence, of unhappiness. Allowing this to happen can often lead to unhappiness, afterward. This is why it is important to pay attention to what the mind is doing.
To learn how to calm the mind, it is important to understand how it works. Then, make small but effective changes that can stop the brain from being overactive. Practicing awareness is what is needed. Awareness can be thought of as stopping the mind from time to time during the day for small intervals, helping you to find peace.
Practice stopping what you are doing during the day and observe the things around you. Look at your surroundings, hear its sounds, step back and observe yourself; experience each moment. This will cause your mind to stop thinking for a moment and train it to be calm. Take each day breath by breath, one step at a time. Give yourself the needed time and permission to explore and heal.
“It isn’t as bad as it seems. Through healing and growth, you will come out a better person as a result.” Repeat this mental thought daily. This is the truth. Put your full trust in yourself by following your intuition and doing your best, and then move forward one step at a time with faith and confidence in what the future holds.
We often want life to give us everything exactly as expected. However, whatever is sought will rarely ever come in the form we hope it to. See and accept things as they are instead of as hoped, dreamed or expected. If it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t exactly what is needed for you to move forward.
No matter how ashamed or helpless or frustrated you feel about your situation, there is someone in your life who has similar experiences and who can help. Let such a trusted person enter. They will not solve your problems, but be by your side to face them. You are not alone.
By taking these steps, you will master awareness and enjoy living in the moment. You will better be able to make decisions and take action with a refreshed mind. In the quest to accomplish world peace, one must start with finding peace within.