Everything starts with your mind.

“A human being could be alive for years and years, thinking and breathing and eating, full of a million worries and feelings and thoughts, taking up space in the world, and then, in an instant, become absent, invisible.” Jhumpa Lahiri.

This is one of my favourite quotes about life and death. I have become conscious about having a quieter mind because I want to live a better life. I would like to be able to enjoy my days without anxiety and to be able to use my time here adequately. So, I’m offering you the same advice I’m now giving myself about taking care of your mind.

  1. Be Self Aware
  2. Let Things Go 
  3. Embrace Pain 
  4. Pace Yourself
  5. Let Go of External Validation

Be Self Aware

Being self-aware means being present. Many of us live in our heads, and that’s part of the problem. We spend much of our time dreaming of things we fear or desire instead of focusing on things around us.

Why is it important

The things that play in our heads as worries are things beyond our control.  Although past experiences may justify our worries, we are uncertain about the next moment. You become present by exercising your senses and by recognising that you are a soul in a body moving through time and space.

Let Things Go

I recently learned that holding on to painful experiences stores negative energies in our minds and bodies, which could cause depression and anxiety.  So letting go of painful experiences is about putting yourself first. Again, it’s not an easy commitment. I’m learning that death can put things in perspective. If you knew that you were taking your last few breaths, would it matter that much that someone wronged you? I’m not sure it would.

Embrace  Pain

Chimamanda’s words about “our standardized ideologies not always fitting our lives because life is messy” has recently taken a new meaning for me. It’s more important to let life be what it is than build a mental construct of what should and shouldn’t be. Or what should or shouldn’t happen to us. It’s easy to write things but in reality, it’s difficult. In reality, embracing pain is being able to have difficult conversations with those we still consider our loved ones. It’s being OK even if the outcomes are not OK.  Spend less time protecting yourself from pain.

Pace Yourself.

The pressure to be better is real. I can’t overemphasize this and I acknowledge that self-help is part of the problem.  However, balance is the answer to the question of whether you should strive or not strive for a better life.

Let Go of External validation.

Stop trying to please everyone. We are all living with a measure of external validation but it gets out of hand when everything we do is fueled by what others would think of us.   I’m not asking you to be a bad person. However, we all must from time to time, examine the intentions with which we act.