Earlier this week I wrote an article in which I discussed the changing world in which we live from the standpoint of terror and uncertainty. I suggested that one of the things that each of us can do is to relax and go within ourselves to overcome fear and terror. I realize that this is easy to say and many will feel that it is hard to accomplish.
It is not that terror and fear are all that hard to banish, they only seem that way when they are in the forefront of our minds. Anger is another manifestation of terror or fear that we face. When we are fearful or angry what we are really doing is allowing these raw emotions to take over our thinking. Unfortunately, we have made it easy for ourselves to be angry and fearful because there is so much bad news in so many horrible things happening all around us. We buy into the fear or distress hype we encounter in the media or from others. We have learned for whatever reason that fear and terror are natural and are a way of life that we must accept and that there is nothing we can do about it.
Fear and terror, however, are only as natural as we allow them to be. Smiling is also natural. Excitement is natural. Feeling joyous and peaceful are also part of our psyche. Why do we not allow these emotions to come forth and overcome fear and terror? Better yet, how do we make this happen and allow ourselves to think and be more strategic rather than just reacting to panic fear and terror?
The answer is within each of us. We have to make a conscious decision not to be paralyzed by these raw negative emotions. We have to train ourselves to relax, calm down, and move forward using more positive thoughts.
You may be thinking, quote Mike, that’s easy for you to say, but there is too much heavy stuff going on in my world and I don’t have time to do anything but react”. My answer is, not true. No matter what we do, no matter how busy we are, and no matter how hectic our lives are we can take a few minutes each day to calm down, relax, and simply think. This advice is not new, but few of us seem to take advantage of it.
Most every motivational coach, success guru, successful manager or leader, time management experts etc. advise that we quote take some time for ourselves each day”. While we’re working on that diet or exercising to get our bodies trim and fit or simply working to get more money for ourselves and our families we also need to work on our mental state.
As with most things one solution does not fit all. Even so, I suggest that something everyone of us can do is to take 15 to 20 minutes a day to completely relax our bodies, and more important, our minds. Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable chair and relax. Think about nothing. Do not let your mind fixate on anything, but let the thoughts flow as you remain quiet. This practice is called meditation. There are lots of books on the subject. Dan Harris, weekend anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America, has written a book entitled 10% Happier which discusses meditation and his journey to learn the art.
When I was in college I learned the practice of Transcendental Meditation. This method involves focusing mentally on a Mantra or specific word assigned by a trainer in the art. I have been using TM since 1973 and thoroughly enjoy my meditation time today just as much as I did when I began.
No matter how you choose to relax and capture some quiet and calm time I urge you to do so daily. You will be surprised how many of your “problems” get put into a different perspective and how your mental challenges grow less dramatic and impossible in your mind. As you gain strength over your fears you will find that out of your quiet or meditation time may come solutions to things bothering you. Let me suggest that if a solution to a difficulty comes to you while meditating that you do not stop. The answer will be there later when you can truly focus on it.
Mindset is the real answer to our fears and terrors. As I suggest during my many talks on overcoming fear and dealing with change you may not have control over what unexpected occurrence happens to you, but you always have control over how you deal with the change or problem. No one can take away your ability to think or mentally decide how you will act unless you give them the power or permission to do so. You do have to develop the strength and wisdom to address problems and change. Volitionally giving your mind time to relax, ponder, and enter a state of calm will help you develop that strength and make you a better person.