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Mastering a Moment of Purposeful Peace

Mastering a Moment of Purposeful Peace
    Untitiled by OtherThink on flickr

    Our minds are always preoccupied with inconsequential thoughts and pending tasks. We create a facade of constant motion to fool ourselves and others that we have a purpose in life.

    Instead, it is actually a purgatory of limitless wanting, made up of over shopping, eating, traveling and working. All of it used to alleviate the guilt of being aimless.

    There is no time to think, just forward momentum and a false hope that things will improve on their own. Ultimately, it results in a jarring collision with reality, and questions like, “Am I happy?” and “Am I satisfied with my life?” arise in our mind.

    We realize that we are living an unfulfilling existence. Forcing us to find meaning, relief from medication, alcohol or from someone who appears to have the answers.

    However, there are alternatives that allow you to create your own destiny and answer your own questions. Give yourself a moment of purposeful peace, where you can appraise your life and  true feelings without distraction or outside influences.

    Finding satisfaction

    Without meaningful goals to focus our attention and define our actions, we only experience small glimpses of happiness and satisfaction.

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    Actual satisfaction is achieved when we are aligned with our true purpose. It is not a fleeting sense, but something that energizes our motives. It goes beyond the contentment of a full stomach, warm clothes and a comfortable home.

    Without self-reflection, we have no way to measure our true needs. Instead, we measure fulfillment through intimacy and the accumulation of material goods. It is a faulty process that leads to dissatisfaction and forces us to replace our current relationships and goods with new people and objects.

    Easing into a moment of purposeful peace

    You need to walk before you can run.

    Remove your expectations and embrace the idea of silence, peace and contemplation.

    It is about conditioning your mind to clear out the inefficient thoughts that race through your consciousness. And, over time you will focus on meaningful and useful thoughts.

    Allow your mind to wander and your unconscious thoughts to bubble up to the surface. Be aware of your true feelings and take an honest inventory of your life to see what you want to change and how you are going to find meaning in your actions.

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    Isolation

    The key to self reflection, is finding a place and time that is free from distraction. A place of mental and physical isolation, that allows you to think and consider without outside forces influencing or contaminating the process.

    The Power of the Pre-dawn Hours

    The early hours of the morning (between 2 to 5 a.m.) has a certain power when it comes to contemplation. If we are concerned about something or have a hard time reconciling a situation, we spend a sleepless night thinking about it.

    We cannot analyze these problems properly during the day because so many distractions block our ability to think clearly.

    Also, the lack of sleep intoxicates the mind, making it more open to exploration.

    What is next?

    Close your eyes and allow the unconscious mind to express itself, and thoughts will emerge.

    Usually, the most confusing and doubt ridden thoughts are the thoughts you will want to embrace and dissect.

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    Take notes of these thoughts. This is not a journal, so write them down in point form and sum them up into single ideas, items or actions.

    Techniques to focus your attention

    Write down categories like home, family and work or use goals like renovations and vacations to guide your thought process and focus your attention.

    If nothing else, writing down some key goals on paper is a victory. Even simple goals are enough to guide your mind and focus your conscious and unconscious attention during your day and serves as a record of your intentions for subsequent sessions.

    Even after just a few sessions you will notice a change in your perception of time and your actions. You will give more consideration how you divide your time and effort throughout the day. Slowly aligning your actions and thoughts towards your goals.

    What to do with the information you write down

    Depending on your state of mind, and the urgency of the situation, you can do two things. Leave the information and access it at some future time or prime your mind with a few basic questions.

    Such as:

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    • How important is this to me?

    • Does it conflict with other goals?

    • What resources do I need?

    • When does it need to be achieved?

    In the future when you return to the list, you will find that you have already taken mental notes on the resources and tactics needed to develop a plan of action.

    These sessions and plans you develop should remain private until you are comfortable in sharing them. Otherwise, your commitment to change and motivation can be diminished by other people’s input.

    No matter what you do with the information you access, giving yourself the few hours of silence, isolation and contemplation will go a long way towards reducing anxiety and helping you focus on what is important to you.

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    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

    1. Cat Camel Stretch

    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

    Here’s a video to guide you through:

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    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

    3. Jumping Jacks

    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

    4. Abductor Side Lifts

    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

    5. Balancing Table Pose

    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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      6. Leg Squats

      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

      7. Push Ups

      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

      8. Bicycle Crunches

      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

      9. Lunges

      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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      10. Bicep Curls

      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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