Steps to Well-Being
The last two years brought to the forefront some valuable lessons. We’ve learned which things we need, which we can live without, and how precious our health and well-being is. The pandemic and social divisiveness has caused heightened stress, anxiety and depression. And I realized early on that I needed ways to curb it. These 3 steps to well-being definitely helped.
When it comes to well-being, I can be a mixed bag. Sometimes I have my s#!t together and other times I’m a scattered mess. I depend on habitual techniques to calm my mind.
When my mind is noisy, I often turn to The Psychology of Meditation by Naval Ravikant. It helps slow the mental pendulum and bring it back to center.
“Mediation is your natural state. It requires no one, needs no thing, and has no technique. If something requires a guru, a mantra or a teaching, it isn’t universal and it won’t free you.

We say we want peace of mind, but what we want is peace from mind. No technique of the mind will free you from the mind. All chases are attempts to escape from the mind. Meditation is the direct path in an age of mental gluttony. It is fasting for the mind.

Before paying a therapist to listen to you, listen to yourself. Before clearing your inbox, clear your mind. The sky rains when clouds are heavy. The body sleeps when the limbs tire. And meditation arrives when the mind is calm.

Prepare for meditation by sitting with eyes closed and back upright. Sixty minutes are easier than thirty, as it takes time for the mind to settle down. Sixty consecutive days are necessary as it takes time for the body to go from unfit to fit.

Realize at this moment, you are the only person in the world and there is no one to instruct you, praise you, or judge you. Make no effort for or against anything. Whatever happens, happens. Surrender to yourself in the moment. Resist nothing and reject nothing—including the urge to resist and reject. Meditation is not going through thoughts, but rather letting thoughts go through you. The thought “I am meditating” is also a thought.

Meditation isn’t holy or spiritual or magical. It’s nothing. It requires no mantra, no chakras, no Buddhas, no music, no gadgets, and no apps.

There are many meditation methods, but “no effort” is the universal method. Every creature at all times can choose to do nothing. There’s no need to get up to record a thought. If the idea was good, it’ll come back. If it doesn’t come back, it wasn’t that good.

Meditation is a single player game. There is no point in comparing to other meditators or to even your own previous meditations. If meditation was easy, you’d do nothing else. The point of meditation is not to become “a meditator”—in reality, there’s no such thing. If it doesn’t bring lasting and effortless change, drop it before it becomes another struggle.

There is nothing to say and nothing to offer. No one is taking you anywhere, selling you anything, or making you promises. Reading or talking about meditation will do nothing for you. You cannot fail at meditation. Meditation is good for nothing. That’s why you do it.

The closer you get to the truth, the more silent you become inside. The ability to be content and at peace, by yourself, is freedom.”

3 STEPS TO WELL-BEING

These are 3 steps to well-being that calm the mind and encourage positivity.

Step One.

Limit the News. The truth is, our psyche isn’t designed for 24/7 cable news. The news we consume in the U.S. is divisive. This manipulates our brains and emotions towards despair, hopelessness and anger. Limiting our news exposure to no more than thirty minutes per day can improve our well-being. 

Step Two.

Limit Social Media. Scientific studies have proven social media actually turns-off our brains. Irrational emotions replaced our critical thinking skills. The only mindful way to use social media is to limit our exposure to it. Psychologists recommend consuming less than thirty minutes of social media per day. The added bonus is more time for reading, writing, fitness, friends and family.

Step Three.

Seek Melatonin. As we age, we lose our sleep hormone, melatonin. You’ve heard of melatonin pills, but are you familiar with melatonin au naturel? Our magical bodies can actually create melatonin. All we have to do is look towards the sun for three minutes with our eyes closed. Sunlight releases neurotransmitters, activates our pineal gland, and balances our brain’s chemistry. After what we’ve been through, we could all use some balanced brain chemistry.

“Let it go. Change the channel. Turn it off. Unsubscribe. Unfriend. Unfollow. Mute. Block. Walk away. Breathe.”

—The Minimalists

There will be studies on the effects this period of time has had on our psyche. The bouts of stress, anxiety and depression we’ve endured is astounding. Kudos to us for not only surviving, but thriving. Discover more well-being inspiration on my Pinterest boards.

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. If you haven’t subscribed, please do so below. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or reach out via email or Instagram. My mind and inbox are always open. —xo

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