The mind is something of a vague concept that can be hard to comprehend. Even scientists disagree on the nature of the mind and matter. But you don’t need to understand everything. You just need to know enough to further yourself and understand how you actually operate, so you can get to where you need to be.
Strengthening the mind is largely viewed as an internal practice. Yet the outer environment also plays a large role in a healthy mindset. Minimalism is a relatively new phenomenon that can help to increase psychological strength in various ways.
Benefits of Minimalism
It is easy to understand the personality of an individual by simply seeing the state of their bedroom or workspace. In many instances, these places will be disorderly with significant clutter. This is an obvious sign that the mind of the person is cluttered and messy, not organized and clear. By making a habit of cleaning our rooms and workspaces, we will have a stronger psychology and more space to make decisions. One of the easiest techniques is to simply make our beds every morning or to make a habit of keeping a tidy workspace.
Minimalism can also increase revenue to a great degree. It involves cutting out what is unnecessary and focusing only on what works. This has massive implications for business and personal success. Too often, we allow thoughts, ideas, people, and materials into our space that just do not belong. By tidying the places where we most frequently visit, we get into the mindset of organization and clenliness. We then start to tidy up other aspects of our lives.
Minimalism for the Mind
Aside from material items, what people really need is information minimalism. All successful people reduce the information that they take in and only assimilate relevant data. People who are not so focused can spend all day online or on social media. Even the tips and tricks that they believe to be helpful on blog posts is wasted energy in most instances. Information that is not actively applied is wasted. Most of the material that people read is not actualized.
To offset this, it could be a good idea to go on a data diet or reduce the time spend using modern technology. Alternatively, information channels should be streamlined or a break could be taken from social media. People need to spend more time away from technology so their minds can assimilate all the data and act on the pieces of information that are most relevant.
Unsubscribe from all irrelevant emails that are cluttering up your various inboxes and undertake a digital cleanup. Online minimalism is now as important as keeping a tidy physical space.
Every now and then, things will go badly wrong. Someone will be injured, you will get lost, or you will find out that you’ve just lost a huge amount of money.
Your natural reaction now may be to panic. After all, why wouldn’t you get in a fluster? What will you do now that you’ve lost the money? What will happen to your friend or relative who just fainted and is now lying there looking very unwell?
But while panicking is natural, it’s also entirely unhelpful. If this is your response, then you will be likely to make matters worse not better and you will potentially cause more problems than you solve.
The best response is to stay calm and robotic. You may appear cold and emotionless, but this is the most efficient and useful way to react to such a situation. This is how you’re going to help everyone deal with the problem – you can panic, cry or mourn later.
The question though, is how you can overcome that initial emotional response. How can you keep cool when everything is going awry around you?
Breathe and Slow Down
The first thing to do is to step back and take a moment to breathe and to assess the situation.
That initial urge to rush in or to cry is caused by a flood of adrenaline – your fight or flight hormone. This can be immensely useful for fuelling your reaction speed, increasing muscular strength and more. Unfortunately, it also suppresses activity in the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that we use for future planning and reasoning.
So instead, you need to learn to control your breathing and to calm yourself down. This will reactivate your ‘rest and digest’ state via your parasympathetic nervous system. So breathe in through the stomach deeply and then let it fill your lungs.
You are not in a massive rush. If you rush, you will make matters worse. Even in time critical situations, remember the adage: less haste, more speed.
Look for the Answer
Now look for the best solution the problem at hand. Try to remove yourself emotionally from the situation by looking at it as an outsider. Think of this like an exercise and try to narrow down your actions to the most useful few options.
While in this scenario, you might be afraid to act. Each action you consider will likely have the risk of a negative outcome and might still make matters worse. But once you’ve considered carefully the options and efficiently weighed up the best course of action, the next step is simply to act. Even if you are uncertain, take positive and decisive action.
Doing this means accepting the possibility that things might go wrong and that it might be your fault. In other words, it means accepting your responsibility and being willing to shoulder that responsibility if necessary. It means being able and willing to put yourself out on a limb and to face the storm that might come.
Understanding your own psychology is something that can be difficult to do, but is something that is foundational to wellbeing and happiness. While it is in many ways a lifetime process, there are some well-trodden paths to help you to understand yourself better.
Meditation is the best way to observe what you are thinking and at the same time transform how you think. In meditation, the practitioner gains the ability to separate himself or herself from personal thought processes. When the observer does not identify with these thoughts, they lack energy and dissipate over time. Then the practitioner can focus on positive thoughts as desired and watch them materialize in the outside world. While it takes a long time to attain levels of mastery over personal psychology, meditation alone has many benefits. The act of simply sitting and breathing for 20 minutes a day can do much to alleviate built up stress levels.
2 – Practice Habit Formation
Habits are what makes for a good quality of life. Our experiences are really just a collection of habits, and this includes mental habits of thought. Take a habit and make sure that you stick with it for at least 3 weeks, the verified minimum time it takes to establish a habit. Ultimately, you want to establish a habit of identifying negative thought patterns as they emerge. In this way, you stop their momentum before they become too powerful. A habit can be something as easy as making your bed every morning or something difficult like visualizing your goal for 20 minutes every day. It is best to pick something simple and stick with it initially. You can build on these habits and the results compound over time. Another habit could be writing a 1000 word blog post every day for 60 days.
3 – Concentration
While meditation can largely be defined as the art of non-focus, there are also many concentration techniques available that can serve to sharpen the mind. One practice consists of gazing at the tip of your nose for 5 minutes. This is a short and intense technique that works well for those with the discipline to stick with it. This focus can then be carried over to other areas of study. You will be able to apply your focus to different tasks. The skill of concentration is more important than ever before. Social media and other technological advances really serve to distract us, and the population is largely disassociated with little ability to focus on basic tasks.
The positive psychology movement has endured its fair share of criticism, especially from those who believe in shadow work and the integration of negative emotions. Yet there is much research on the proven benefits of positive psychology.
1 – Stronger Personal Relationships
People who are happier have deeper ties with their family and friends. Positive psychology also has a number of benefits in the workplace and can help to increase productivity and return on investment, as well as increasing employee satisfaction levels. Companies such as Google place a massive emphasis on employee happiness.
2 – Benefits the Wider Environment
Having a positive outlook actually rubs off on others who you come into contact with. In other words, it’s contagious. Those who spend time with happy people are more likely to be happier in the future as opposed to spending time with those of a negative orientation.
3 – Happier in General
People involved in positive psychology are less likely to have depression or mental illness. While having a positive mindset does not stop bad things from happening, it helps to get over them. People stuck in negative thought patterns let negative events haunt them for years.
4 – Healthier
People who engage in positive psychology practices tend to have lower blood pressure. They have lower stress levels and people who are optimistic about their circumstances are more likely to recover from illness such as cancer at a faster rate. Studies have shown a direct link between positive psychology and the immune system.
5 – More Successful
While success does make people happier, having a positive psychology is also a factor in attaining success. It is not really possible, or at least much more difficult, to be extremely successful while having a negative outlook on life.
6 – Snowball Effect
Those who engage in positive thinking are more likely to be happier in the future. Happy thoughts lead to more happy thoughts as the momentum takes off. Those who fail to correct their behavior will continue to engage in self-destruction patterns.
7 – Confidence and Vitality
People who engage in positive thinking have more self esteem and are more confident in their day to day activities. They also have more energy ad exuberance. This makes sense, as they will be more optimistic about the future and they also care more about what they do in the moment. People of a negative mindset are more likely to look at their jobs as a means to an end and see life in general as pointless.
The law of attraction was first popularized in the 2006 movie “The Secret” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. It has had a huge impact on the mass consciousness, but there is still a large amount of confusion on its general application.
3 Key Things to Understand About the Law of Attraction
1 – It’s About Vibration, Not Thoughts
The main idea behind the law of attraction is that people manifest their reality not through their thoughts but through their vibration. The universe will respond to the energy generated by a particular thought as opposed to the thought itself. So you need to first get yourself into a good mood somehow before you will be able to manifest the energy of what you really want. After a while, the vibration becomes the reward, and the material items just appear after the fact.
2 – Letting Go of Resistance
The level of internal resistance people have to the things that they want is not understood. People can have certain problems or issues, and then they create an identity of themselves out of these problems. When something comes along that is at odds with our idea of ourselves as inferior in some way, we resist. This can be observed when people win the lottery and wind up homeless 10 years later. We have to be a vibrational match to a new reality and not be attached to our former convictions. Otherwise, nothing will change. Many people are resistant to the idea of the law of attraction and will refuse to believe existence could be so simple. They will then continue to struggle believing that it is just how life is.
3 – Don’t Get Precise
It is important to understand the vibrational equivalent of what you want. You can have an image or a feeling about what you want that makes you feel good. But as you get more precise about how it is supposed to manifest, the universe has fewer ways that it can give it to you.
There are millions of ways to get rich. But you can only possibly contemplate one or two methods which would involve years of work and labor. Consider that every successful person has vastly changed their business models. And they do so regularly. They might have a general idea about where they want to go, but they definitely innovate and change as these opportunities present themselves. So get happy and positive about the future, but don’t get too precise about how it will materialize.