Advertising
Advertising

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle

Do you ever get that feeling that things just aren’t right? You don’t feel connected with the world around you?

You know how you should act, how you should feel, but you’re not quite connecting with your emotions… a numbness you can’t shake off.

Summed up in a word, this is ‘Emptiness’.

It’s a sign that perhaps your mental health is not quite optimal. Maybe you’re stressed and anxious, or experiencing some mild depression without even knowing it.

Trust me when I say ‘You’re not alone’.

Also trust me when I say ‘you can break free form this suppressing feeling’.

The answer is probably not what you think, or not what you have been led to believe. Everyone always searches their thought patterns for the answer to curing emptiness. But this rarely works.

The root of the problem is the stuff we get in touch with every day.

Look, I’m going to level with you. There are a few things in this modern world and a modern lifestyle that are quite unnatural, I call them ‘Negative Triggers’, here are a few…

  • Stress from work
  • Financial pressure
  • Social media
  • Processed Negative Trigger Foods
  • Negative Media
  • Mobile phones

So why do they create the feeling of emptiness?…

Advertising

Think about this fact…

The past 100 years, even the past 20 years our race has completely evolved, our lifestyles have changed dramatically due to the list above. But evolution takes millions of years. Biologically we are the same as we were 500 years ago, but we live very different lives. Here lies the problem…We haven’t caught up. I’m going to call this problem ‘The Evolution Acceleration Effect’ (more on this coming up). This is a big reason why the feelings of emptiness, depression and anxiety are so common these days.

I’m going to teach you how you can embrace these incredible leaps and bounds in humanity, while still feeling connected with our emotions, with some small Lifestyle Triggers in the form of a simple 3 step morning routine.

This is the best way to get started as the morning routine is short, simple and it becomes habit very easily. Then you can just get on with your day as normal.

Before I can teach you the routine you first need to understand the biological and psychological problem the Evolution Acceleration Effect creates…

Some Science…

It actually has something to do with our body too.

The main problem isn’t a psychological one but a biological one which is having a knock-on effect with your mental health and distorting your perspective, let me explain…

This problem is a physical disruption to your ‘Hormone Harmony’. This is a term I use to explain the balance between stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and feel-good neurotransmitters (chemical messages in the brain responsible for positive emotion, hopefulness and joy).

If you imagine a set of old weighing scales, you know the ones with 2 plates either side that compare 2 weights. One side is for stress hormones and the other for feel-good neurotransmitters. When you’re feeling fulfilled, energised, happy and peaceful, it’s because this set of scales is perfectly balanced. This means they complement each other and it creates serenity throughout your body and mind.

Advertising

Now the Negative Triggers created by the Evolution Acceleration Effect I spoke about, accumulate and fill the body with unnatural levels of stress hormones. This starts to weigh down the stress hormone scale. This has a negative effect on your feel-good neurotransmitter scale. When this happens these neurotransmitters stop working properly and the serenity is broken, this is a Negative Hormone Harmony Scale. This is when negative feelings such as emptiness begin to surface.

Sure, emptiness can be triggered by negative thoughts of situations. But, and this is a big ‘but’, it only becomes an uncontrollable problem that you can’t shake off when you have a Negative Hormone Harmony Scale. Because you can’t just snap out of it, this is when you’re at risk of stress, anxiety and depression.

The answer I’m going to teach you is in the form of a simple 3 step morning routine, filled with Lifestyle Triggers[1] that solve this problem. What’s great is it’s quick and easy to do, so it fits in with so many lifestyles.

Here’s the morning routine to shake off the feeling of emptiness.

Ok now the juicy stuff… The morning routine that helps to reset this scale…

This is what I want you to do…

So you wake up…

You might be having a good day or a bad day, either way do this straight away…

10 Minutes Of Flexible Exercise

This is a short burst of exercise that helps the body empty stress hormones and gives your feel-good neurotransmitters a recharge. Remember, exercise is a stress on the body and could increase stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. The difference with flexible exercise compared traditional exercise is it’s so short. This gives the body a chance to adapt to the stress therefore reducing stress hormones. I call this creating a ‘Positive Exercise Stress Axis’. This rebalances your hormone harmony scale, therefore reducing the feelings of emptiness.

Make sense? Good lets keep going.

Advertising

Furthermore, exercise selection is important, you want exercises that engage as much of the body as possible in a short time. To learn more about how you can use flexible exercise, check out this blog ‘Flexible Exercise‘.So now you have had a quick stress reliever and endorphin burst, you’re ready for the next step…

Write 2 Positive Mindset Prompts

This is a positive prediction about your day or your future. It can be many things; something that might be happening, a positive emotion, a person you are looking forward to seeing, a goal you want to achieve etc.

No matter how big or small, it’s important to acknowledge it. Write it down. If you’re feeling particularly empty at any point, have a look at it. Reconnect with it to help give you a positive perspective again. This helps to create a positive outlook on your future.

So I said 2 prompts…

One for the day (short term)

One for the future (long term)

This is a form of ‘Positive Self Talk’, if you need some guidance check out ‘Self-Talk Determines Your Success: 15 Tips‘.

Right now your mind is positively set, time for the correct nutrition.

Eat a Complete Meal

This is basically breakfast, I know what you’re thinking.

Advertising

‘Yeah breakfast can make my stomach feel less empty… But not emotionally less empty’

I hear you, let me explain…

Basically, a ‘Complete Meal’ is the perfect breakfast to help your body rebalance your Hormone Harmony Scale and stop feelings of emotional emptiness.

So, what’s a Complete Meal? I’m sure you’re keen to know.

Well, there are 2 key factors to a complete meal that help it fuel your brain ensuring optimal mental health.

Factor 1- A good balance of all 3 macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). When the body is getting the correct ratio of all 3 of these it ensures your brain is getting a steady supply of energy. This helps to balance out your Hormone Harmony Scale.

Factor 2- Include foods that are high in micronutrients that help to rebalance your Hormone Harmony Scale. Foods high in magnesium, zinc and tryptophan will do this.

Make the Routine A Daily Habit

Being consistent is your biggest friend with these Lifestyle Triggers. Try to do them everyday. In general it takes 6 weeks to create a habit like this.

But you have to start somewhere, so what’s important is what you do right now, at this very moment while you have some motivational energy. So, I want you to stand up, take a deep breath, exhale, then get your diary, quickly plan out your routine for tomorrow and jot it down. Let’s do this!

Once this routine becomes habit and your Hormone Harmony Scale is optimal again, your perspective will become clearer and feelings of emptiness will begin to disappear.

Reference

More by this author

Ben Jones

Fitness Coordinator

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle How Not to Let Negative Thoughts Trump the Positive Vibes The 20-Minute Morning Routine That Relieves Anxiety The 10-Minute Daily “Lifestyle Trigger” That Relieves Anxiety and Depression 2 Major Flaws in Your Diet That Cause Stress and Anxiety

Trending in Psychology

1 How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind 2 How to Handle Rejection and Overcome the Fear of Being Rejected 3 8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 4 20 Things Only Parents Of Children With Dyslexia Would Understand 5 How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

Advertising

The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

Advertising

In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

Advertising

We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

Advertising

  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

Read Next