OR HOW TO DIRECT YOUR AWARENESS IN ORDER TO RELAX AND FIND PEACE
When you’re restless, triggered, stressed out or nervous, one thing is clear: No matter how much you think, analyze and understand – your mind cannot bring you peace, calmness and rest. You have to direct your awareness elsewhere in order to calm down and relax. It is amazingly simple, yet somewhat counter-intuitive at first. In this post, let’s look at how we get stuck in our mind, and how to come out of it and stop worrying!
We get stuck in our mind for three different reasons:
- We are experiencing a strong emotion, such as fear, nervousness or anxiety: We try to anticipate the future and to assure a specific outcome by planning and mentally anticipating it.
- We give very high importance to our thoughts: For example, we may believe that we need to understand the situation in order to change something and feel better.
- We have not learned to let go: This can become evident when we are strongly attached to our past and emotionally triggered into repeating it over and over in our mind.
In these three scenarios, we experience the same kind of discomfort:
- repeating thoughts without a solution, together with a sense of mental restlessness and acceleration
- continuous tension and stress in the body
- frustration about being stuck
- continuous search for solutions in books, other people, and outside sources of information
- short periods of relief, but always returning to the general pattern or sense of discomfort
Thoughts are Just Energy
You have to imagine your thoughts as energy. In any given moment, you are experiencing a certain energy field. It contains certain information, and when you enter into this field of information, you start experiencing certain physical sensations and emotions, and thoughts arise from this field and come into your awareness.
Let’s say you experience a certain thought as true, for example something like “my parents didn’t give me what I needed” or “people reject me”. Your mind can get all the information available, and then you can mentally understand that your parents did the best they could, or that only some people reject you. But know this, understanding this, will not make you FEEL THIS and KNOW THIS ON A DEEPER LEVEL. Therefor, every time the issue arrises, you will again think thoughts related to the original experience (and energy) – of not having gotten what you needed or being rejected. You will come up with different thoughts about it, and reason in a different way. But no matter the reasoning, the feeling will be the same.
Think of that emotion, that energy field as underlying the thoughts. The thoughts arise from the emotional field. And if you change one thought, another one will come up. Until the energy field, the emotion you hold in your body, gets resolved.
Thoughts Are Arbitrary
If you are lucky, your experience shifts between different energy fields. Let’s say, when you think about specific situations related to your parents, you really connect to a positive energy field, and therefor you experience loving thoughts. But then when it comes to a different aspect, you fall back into that sensation of lack, abandonment or negativity. And you cannot quite bridge or resolve both these experiences.
I say that that’s lucky, because it means that you can see how much your thinking is dependent on the underlying inner state, emotion, or energy. It is lucky, because this shift lets you know that there is a positive way of feeling and thinking about your parents. And that you can experience it. It can also show you how arbitrary our thoughts are. And give you a sense of it being the other way around: We first have a specific sensation, and then we project this sensation with our mind onto specific aspects, we explain it in our thoughts.
We Need to Exit the Story
As long as we are “in a specific field of energy, such as FEAR or BLAME, we will not find a solution to our problem in the mind. Even if we find an answer to one problem, the next problem will show up and keep our mind busy again. So we will never stop worrying as long as we are “in the story”.
We need to step out of the story and the flow of our thoughts, and direct our attention elsewhere – to the physical experience (of this current field of energy and information) in our physical body NOW.
So what you need to do to calm your mind and to find peace is to draw it from the story towards your experience in the body. You need to switch to another “channel”: from the auditive experience of thoughts to the kinesthetic experience of sensations.
The following questions can help you do that. In my experience it is really helpful to focus on your breathing first, like in a meditative process. Close your eyes and observe your experience. When a thought comes up, you stop and ask yourself:
- How does it feel right now?
- How do I experience this right here and now?
- How do I experience that thought in my body?
- How is this right now, the fact that I think this, or that life seems to be the way my mind thinks?
Step by step, you go into the physical level, where we can sense the energy of these emotions and thoughts in the body. Because the only thing that is real right now, is how you experience this thought in your body. How it feels. There is no reality to a thought other than what it MEANS TO YOU RIGHT NOW. Even if it is “right”, is it helpful to think this thought? Does it make you feel good? Does it bring you peace? What’s the point of figuring out the “right thought”, if if doesn’t change your experience and make you feel better?
There’s a World of Expansion, Peace and Inner Strength Waiting For You
As you focus on the physical body and how it is now, you may have different experiences:
- Becoming one with the thought in your body helps you relax or realize that it’s not that important.
- You experience a sense of expansion or relaxation.
- The emotion underneath the thought eases and releases as you feel it (No, it doesn’t overwhelm you and swallow you up, and it won’t “take over”!)
- You feel a lot of resistance to feeling the emotion underneath the thought – then you can just give your awareness to the resistance, and be with that.
- It may, at first, be difficult and unfamiliar to perceive anything in your body. But as you observe your breathing, you will notice differences. And with practice, you will “understand” what you feel, or know how what it means and how your process is.
- You may have a sense of “it changing” or shifting as you focus on your feeling in your body. You may go through layers of emotions, and you con always ask yourself: “What comes after I go through experiencing this (fear, guilt, sadness, tension, resistance, etc.)? As you go through the layers, you will relax and calm down. At some point, after going through the layers, there will be only peace.
- You cannot “make your mind stop” directly. But as you focus on feeling, something else comes into your awareness, and that transforms the field of information – and with it, your thoughts. You may connect with your intuition, an inner knowingness. In that case, you would just know what to do and what is right for you, even though you wouldn’t know why.
You see, there is a whole world to discover, once you’ve decided that you explore your experience beyond thinking. There is so much expansion and peace waiting for you, right inside yourself. It’s here right now, available to you. You can find it and experience it, explore it, “loose it again”, and start all over… and the process is truly amazing and will connect you with your strength, your inner knowingness, love and acceptance for yourself, and a power beyond measure.
PS: If you liked this post, you may want to check out my video on youtube, or read my blog about being stuck in the head and how our mind limits us.