Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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:

    Advertising

    • 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.

    More by this author

    Peace One Day at Work “Peace One Day” at Work How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions Focus on Art, Not on Features: Simple Online Tools for Writers Mastering a Moment of Purposeful Peace How to Create Emergency Kits for your Average Workday

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally 2 How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max 3 10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 4 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 5 7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 23, 2018

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

    Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

    The Neural Knitwork Project

    In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

    Advertising

    While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

    The knitting and neural connection

    The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

    More mental health benefits from knitting

    Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

    Advertising

    “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

    Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

    Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

    She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

    Advertising

    “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

    The dopamine effect on our happiness

    Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

    There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

    Advertising

    “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

    If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

    Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

    Read Next