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Self-Maintenance

Don Wyeth

Self-Maintenance

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3 mins
9/30/2020

Self-Maintenance

Struggling as we are with the pandemic, political instability, and racial strife in this country, it is important to remember that, although there are many things we can put our energies into, if we do not tend to our own physical and psychological well-being, we render ourselves unable to make a difference in collective society. Inner peace is necessary for us to be able to make an impact in the world. But what does it mean to have inner peace? And, what are the steps that we must take to reach mental and spiritual balance? 

Discipline

The first thing that we should “discipline [ourselves] to do is to focus our attention on things [we] can control.” medium.com/real-life-resilience. Focusing on situations that we have little or no control over can put us into a stall, a kind of mental paralysis which will spiral down into a sense of hopelessness. This can lead to depression and inaction. With all the honesty you can muster, ask yourself, “…is this something I can control?”  If the answer is no, we need to let it go. Worrying about things like this can lead to metal distraction and unnecessary stress.

For the better part of the time that our species has occupied the earth, it has been in a natural setting. The need for fresh air, trees, water and the songs of birds is hardwired into our souls. Most of us, nowadays, spend most of our time inside perched in front of the TV or computer. Simply taking a walk outdoors or sitting in your backyard can significantly lower physical and mental stress levels, which helps us to mentally focus.

Being True to Yourself

Another important aspect of maintaining your inner peace is being true to yourself. “Few things are more disconcerting than living a life you weren’t meant to live. It continuously gnaws away at you. Live a life that’s congruent with your values. It’s too easy to allow society dictate your choices.” You should be living your life for you, not an existence based on the expectations or demands of others. 

Being aware of what you eat can be a major factor in how you view the world. Your outlook and mental well-being are tempered by how you physically feel. Try altering your diet so that you are eating more fresh foods; those that can improve memory and focus. If you do this for the next week you will notice a change in your outlook. If you return to a diet that includes a lot of junk and processed foods, you will notice a return of sluggishness and lack of focus. Along with a healthy diet getting in the habit of getting regular exercise will go towards improving your disposition. “Exercise is not only good for the body but also good for your brain.

Improving your outlook can be as simple as doing good deeds to others. It helps you to get your focus off of yourself. An added advantage of doing this is that you open the door for people to be kind to you. It also encourages people to pay it forward. The golden rule benefits everyone. 

Another important ingredient to maintaining inner peace is to be assertive. Be open and forward with your needs and desires. You’re not only more likely to get what you want, but you’ll also feel more in control of your life. It is counterproductive to be passive. This renders you in less control, which can destroy your inner peace.

Choose some simple form of meditation. 

It can simply consist of listening to soothing music or the simple act of walking. “Meditation helps you see life and its challenges more accurately.” if you find yourself in the middle of a task and experiencing stress, take a few minutes to breathe and relax. Getting in this practice will impact your sense of serenity.

Another important key is to avoid trying to change others. “You’ll have as much success trying to change the weather as you do trying to change other people. It's hard enough to change yourself. How will you ever manage to change someone else?”

In summary, it's really important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Watching diet, exercising regularly, and being honest with yourself will go a long way towards centering and calming your mind.


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Don Wyeth

Passionate and intelligent columnist from Madison, WI.

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