Relaxation is Our Own Responsibility.

Relaxation is Our Own Responsibility.

Life can be go go go far too often. The mind moving from one thing to the next, non-stop and habitually. My brain in particular cannot handle this type of activity for long. It has been immensely important for me to set aside time for Relaxation.

Balance Between Stress and Relaxation?

It is important to have a certain amount of stress in our lives to pump energy into our daily affairs. Though it is easy to go from a healthy amount to a territory of stress that will inhibit being productive.

According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law, “performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases.” The law asserts that stress is only helpful when it is in a range that is not too low and not too high. Not too little stress because then there will not be enough energy to keep us engaged with an activity. And not too high of stress because then our nerves may get in the way of us being productive and successful.

There is a balancing act to be played with when it comes to how much we should relax and how much we should be amped up. This isn’t always easy with the world running at the speed it goes at today.

Balance Relaxation

The World wants a lot of Us.

To be honest the world in general wants a lot out of each and every one of us. I am not saying that it seeks to keep us amped up, but does a damn good job of doing this. When it comes to finding the balance between stress and relaxation, the balance must come from our own efforts. The world wants our time and energy and we must decide how much of them it gets.

Relaxation is on me, people generally won’t let me know I need to relax until I am showing significant signs of fatigue. If I am getting too amped up with anger someone will say “maybe it is time to chill out man”! And when the bags under my eyes are hanging way low someone will ask, ” Hey, you look wrecked.”

This isn’t me complaining about how the world divvies out expectations, only saying I’m responsible to ensure I’m relaxing enough.

Relaxation Isn’t Always Easy.

Relaxing my mind after being busy can be like a full speed freight train putting on the breaks and stopping. It can take a mile or more for the train to come to a halt. The same goes for my mind when I am attempting relaxation. When too amped up and trying to relax, my mind has to go through a laundry list of items to process. The laundry list isn’t good or bad, my brain just needs to process it.

My biggest problem with relaxation is attachment to electronic devices. In my car the radio is on, I get home and Netflix gets turned on, and the cellphone is a formidable adversary to my mind taking a nice break. The problem is that when I have time designated for relaxation, the time is filled with a further flood of information from the devices. While my brain is supposed to be processing existing info and emotions, the new info being brought in is getting in the way of the process, creating even more to be processed!

I don’t know how many relaxation sessions have turned into scrolling through Facebook. A half hour into the scroll session I find myself angry and overwhelmed and don’t really know why! Well I know why, I just flooded my brain and it was counterproductive to my relaxation!

This isn’t even an argument against Facebook or other social media, I find them very useful for different purposes. But once again RELAXATION IS ON ME. The World is not set up to have me turn away from it. It wants attention!

Relaxation Requires Commitment.

Without a doubt our own relaxation is on ourselves. Once and awhile an angel of a person will come along and say “you need to rest my child”. But those encounters are few and far between, so I cannot wait around for them!

Relaxation requires commitment, and commitment to a plan nonetheless. Here are some tips to help plan out a successful relaxation session.

1. Set Aside Time for Relaxation.

Without Setting aside the time for relaxation we are doomed from the start. Write the time into the schedule, if possible make it a routine time every week. This can save the stress and complaining of not knowing when we will be able to relax. It is okay to set aside our time for ourselves.

2. Learn how to say NO!

The World around us has limitless responsibilities to offer us. If we don’t say No to the offers that would take our relaxation time away, we will give the time away. This means more stress and lost opportunity to relax! That is unless the opportunity gives more relaxation than what I was already going to be doing. It is okay to say NO!

3. Use the Devices Wisely.

A lot of the time, my devices get in the way of my relaxation and they need to disappear for me to relax. Though there are also ways in which my devices may enhance the amount of relaxation I feel. Sometimes I can find a good song that comforts me, or a good movie that invokes important emotion. Hell I even used an app called Insight Timer to help me meditate more regularly. So if devices can be used to enhance the relaxation process or help us feel an emotion, I say that is a good use of them.

4. People Find Relaxation in Different Sources.

What is relaxing to me may not be relaxing to you. Whether you find relaxation in fishing, meditating, napping, getting a manicure, taking a long drive or whatever else, then awesome. Find these sources of relaxation and put them in the routine as fast as possible, to find balance in a hectic world.

Relaxation Is on Ourselves.

Relaxation Responsibility

If there is anything I wanted to It is that RELAXATION IS ON OURSELVES. I cannot relax for you and you cannot relax for me. Our families, our spouses, our friends may help in the process sometimes but they cannot force us to relax!

You are worth setting aside some time to chill out and process what is needed to be process and get in touch with the present. It is rewarding and crucial that you and I find time to do so.

Be busy when you need to be. Find relaxation when needed as well. When we find the balance between the two in this crazy busy world, life is a beautiful thing.

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please Like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  4. Follow our Facebook Page!

Much Love, Travis Hagen

 

 

 

 

My Life Experiment

Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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Lessening Suffering By Being Teachable.

Lessening Suffering By Being Teachable.

In the last 10 years that I have been in recovery from addiction, a certain principle has been immensely important to my success. That principle is remaining TEACHABLE.

My History with Being Teachable.

This guys history with being teachable before recovery is a horribly checkered one.

I don’t remember much of being really young. But as far as I can look back on life I could see that my mind was generally closed to what people had to teach.

In school I was a destructive class clown. At home I was kind of an entitled little brat. Though now I do understand that I was doing the best I could with what I had. Though for some reason my brain was naturally obstinate, refusing most information that people need to get by in a law abiding world.

This type of attitude toward letting people teach me only intensified. Though when I find out mind altering chemicals would help me escape the jabbering of every ones teachings I fell in love. Finally I didn’t seem to have to care. Also many people that would have tried to teach me pretty much gave up trying as well. Heaven right?

What seemed to me like heaven was actually unknowingly signing me up for a rough damn ride through life.

By the time I was able to enter recovery and get my act together, I had made an incredible mess of my existence. Being closed off to the world teaching me how to live life only gained me increasing amounts of suffering.

Ledge Teachable

Why Be Teachable?

This is something you must answer for yourself. For me I allow myself to be teachable because I have made the decision to never cause myself the suffering I once felt. Who in their right minds desires suffering?

That is also the point! When we excessively close ourselves off from the healthy thoughts of others, suffering generally increases.

I believe that is because there is something within all of us that strives to expand, grow and create. But we cannot use solely our own information to grow in the ways that are desired. We need the successes and the support of the thoughts and emotions of others to get where our bodies instinctualy desire to go.

I also need other people’s info because they see things I may not be seeing. And paraphrasing Buddha here, “suffering comes from being unaware of the causes of suffering.” Without other people’s info I’m susceptible to walking into the causes of suffering ill-prepared and ready to get beat on.

The only way to get the quality of life that I most deeply desire is to allow other people to teach me how to get it. That means showing me where to go as well as where not to go.

Being Teachable can go too Far.

To be teachable doesn’t mean that we are just be blown around by other people’s information. It doesn’t mean that we blindly accept ideas and run with them. But it does mean that if I feel the truth of some information, even if it goes against my beliefs, that I take it seriously.

Being teachable does require that we be open to have our minds changed. But not to the extent that we are left with a whole mess of ideas that we feel we are “supposed” to believe, instead of ones we feel to be true. Every human being needs to have a belief system to help the world make sense. So my motto is question everything, but not so often as to have the world make no sense at all. 

Of course it doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to be taken advantage either. I generally believe that the vast majority of individuals in this world are good. But there are those who seek to take advantage of those that are not well-versed in certain areas of expertise.

So remain teachable but don’t allow yourself be taken advantage. Also don’t view every person that offers information, as someone that is attempting to manipulate. It is all about balance.

How to become more Teachable.

To be teachable means to be opened up to the information around us. It requires momentarily dropping our judgments about what is being taught, opening our minds and listening.

Being teachable means being active in human relationship. Whether the information comes from conversations with people we chat with, a book someone wrote or a YouTube video we watch. For me, the day just didn’t feel right if I didn’t pick up some valuable new information from whatever source it comes from.

Here is how I keep Myself more healthily teachable:

  • Make sure I am in a healthy emotional place.
  • Seek reputable sources to be taught from.
  • Remind myself that I am seeking to be taught before I will be presented with new information.
  • Drop my judgments about new information until after all the info has been presented.
  • Limit distractions like trying to multi task with a cell phone or other things that keep our minds busy.
  • Make eye contact and actually listen.

A Life Opened up and Healed by Being Teachable.

In the beginning of the article I described my life of being teachable. I did not know how to be taught by healthy sources and that led me down a dark path. My mental, emotional and physical Health were in shambles.

Since coming to recovery I have learned a great deal about this skill, and my life has opened up greatly as a result. All areas of my being have been healed in ways I never thought possible.

I know how to find the healthy people and have developed a keen sense for when someone is selling me info that is garbage.

The suffering I experience today pales in comparison to what it once was. And you best believe the feelings of success and joy I experience today were something that couldn’t be fathomed 10 years ago.

teachable roads

Struggling with Being Teachable?

If you are struggling with being healthy teachable I am happy that you found this article.

My first tip would be to find some healthy people that you can trust. Whether that needs to be a Mental Health Professional, your grandmother, or just a trusted friend. Actually the ideal would be talking to several people you trust!

Get all of their information and what they would advise.Then do what they say as long as the advise given would not harm you or others.

It is quite painful to be living in a world that is shutdown from the helpful thoughts of other people. A world in which we think we know it all and therefore don’t need others is tremendously stressful.

So give yourself a break and allow someone to teach you something new today. It is most certainly for the better!

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please Like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  4. Follow our Facebook Page!

Much Love, Travis Hagen

Finding Our own Calling.

Finding Our own Calling.

Everybody wants to have and feel their calling. And I’m going out on a limb here and stating that I believe we all have a calling, whether we are aware of it or not.

Though just because I believe there we each have a calling, feeling that calling is not a gift everyone finds. But even if that calling is not being felt there is hope for something better.

The Pain of Not Feeling Our Calling.

After writing my last article for My Life Experiment I came to realize something. Not feeling that we are doing what we feel like we came to this Earth to do, flat out sucks. It hurts.

I feel what really turns the knife is witnessing other people have theirs while we don’t feel ours. Without a doubt this can be a source of incredible pain. 

The pain can lead to certain thoughts like:

  • Why does everyone else find the good opportunities for success?
  • When is my break going to come along?
  • Am I just incompetent?
  • Maybe I will always be lost.

Lost of Calling

Through my life of battling addiction, I constantly felt the shame of not living up to my potential. I at least hoped that the best I could do was not killing myself with the chemicals I used, and let people down.

I say hoped because I couldn’t actually convince myself that I did have the potential to do something with my life.

Now that I have been in recovery from addiction for the last decade, I have come a long way. But that sinking feeling that this moment is where my potential has dried up, still hits me to this day. Then as I think about the future, I don’t see relationships getting better, financial situation getting better, or anything else for that matter.

It is not in Our Calling to Wreck Ourselves.

Even though I have experienced success after success in the last decade amnesia hits and it all is forgotten, but thank goodness only momentarily.

There are some weeks when I feel entirely on my game, firing on all cylinders. In this mindset, almost everything in life makes sense. And most everything that doesn’t make sense, isn’t that big of a deal.

But….. other weeks I have the feeling that I am lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and there is no land to be seen. In this mindset, practically nothing makes sense and life feels like this great struggle that is never going to change for the better.

When it all just doesn’t make sense, these are the times where I need to check myself before I wreck myself.

You may be thinking.. Okay Travis, how does one check their self? And maybe even, how does one wreck their self?

I don’t know about you, but when I am in a not so good mindset, my thoughts can get a bit whacky. Whacky is a nice term for me to describe highly energized and destructive! Coming in like a wrecking ball that seems to aim at knocking out the supports I have built for my life. To wreck myself, starts with listening to these thoughts and actively replaying them in my head.

Controlling our Behavioral Currency.

Things can seem innocent enough when they go on in our own heads, we may think thoughts don’t have consequences. But I think of thoughts as a type of Behavioral Currency.

What I mean is this. Think of the destructive action as a bottle of pop in a pop machine, and each time we think the destructive thought is a Quarter. Therefore if I think that thought 8 times then I am probably going to be acting out on the behavior. And I will probably wonder “why in the world did I do some so stupid?”

This leads me to answering the “How does one check their self” Question. Well.. You quit putting the damn quarters in the machine!

Experimenting with New Calling Paths.

I just said that we can think of a destructive action as a bottle of pop, and if we don’t want that bottle then we better stop putting the thoughts into buying it.

Well the same goes for the actions that may lead to staying in contact with our “Calling.” Meaning we must feed the machine with the right thoughts that put a cold bottle of positive action in our hands!

It is called setting ourselves up for success.

But as the old saying goes, “We can’t think our way into a new way of living.” We must personally take responsibility for our lives and take action with a new path!

There are an immense amount of paths to take right at this moment. Experimenting with the paths that make the most sense at the moment opens us up to learn what they have to teach us.

They open us up to new thoughts and behaviors to learn. And there is no way to open ourselves up to these without making a decision to engage the path.

Calling Paths

Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

Feeling Out and Researching New Paths to The Calling.

I am the kind of person that strongly desires something to make sense before engaging it. Though over the last decade I have found something out.

It is through engagement with a path that I come to understand more about it. And until I engage it, all the thinking I can do may just end up hurting rather than helping me understanding it.

The safest way to engage a path without committing to it, is doing some research.

So what are some ways of Researching a path?:

  • Talk to someone currently on the path.
  • Read about the path.
  • Practice behaviors needed on the path.

If what I am learning feels right and isn’t dangerous then I dig deeper. But if it doesn’t feel right or is dangerous then I move on!

There are a crazy amount of paths available right in this moment. Sometimes I jump on them after doing some research. Other times I don’t need them to make sense, I already know they are perfect for me.

Sometimes I feel they are a good fit, and sometimes not. And you best believe I have felt disappointed with my judgment on many occasions.

But it is through these lapses in judgment and my learning from them that have brought me more in line with my Calling.

Calling is Not Just About Career.

My Calling is not just about a career though includes a career. It also isn’t about money or attainment power, though can include these things as well.

This is what a Calling is all about to me:

  • Feeling that I am acting in line with my core principles.
  • Engaging in life activities that speak loudly to me.
  • Using my energy for activities I enjoy.
  • Having meaningful relationships that challenge and sustain me.
  • Creating value for these relationships.
  • Not wasting my precious time here on Earth.

So What is a Calling?

As I said at the very beginning of this article. Not feeling that we have a calling can be very painful. 

But what is a Calling?

Honestly I don’t think I can pinpoint my definition of a calling for you. Maybe it is something we all must define for ourselves. Or maybe it is something that is etched into our genetics. Whatever it is we are each valuable. Whether or not we feel that value is another issue.

If you are not feeling that your life is valuable or meaningful at this moment, maybe some changes need to be made. Maybe some gratitude lists need to be written, or meditation practiced. If things are getting serious in your head like substance abuse or self harm, then please talk to a professional. Maybe some sort of Mental Health Treatment is necessary.

The writers of My Life Experiment know very well how lonely and painful it can be to feel purposeless in this world. But we also are both testaments to the message that no matter how lost a person can get, there is still hope for positive life paths to be lived.

If you are feeling the value of your life, then great, I hope you decide to show other people that they have value as well!

Helping find Calling

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

 

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

Much Love, Travis Hagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move Through Trauma or Stand Still

Move Through Trauma or Stand Still

*This article contains affiliate ads which are selling products on Amazon which My Life Experiment earns a commission for. I only promote products that are relevant to this websites purpose of personal growth. These sales make it possible for My Life Experiment to run as successfully as possible.

I have been reading a book called “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by: Bessel Van Der Kolk. This book offers an incredible view on how our Brains and Bodies deal with the effects of Trauma. It walks you through the effects of trauma and how you can recover.

Even if you are someone who has never gone through trauma this book gives you insight as to what those who deal with it go through. But honestly I feel far more people deal with serious trauma in their systems then are probably aware.

Healing Trauma Requires Feeling.

People can never get better without knowing what they know and feeling what they feel (pg. 27).

I have a tendency of down playing my feelings, telling myself that other people have had it worse while trying to cast my feelings aside. And yes, others have endured far worse events in their lives but I can’t let this be the reason that I dismiss the emotions attached to trauma I have gone through.

No matter what the situation may be, it is better to move through than stand still.

Down playing what we are feeling is just a means of justifying not dealing with feelings and finding ways to avoid them. There are events that I would rather not recall and things that I have repressed and do not recall. But, there is such a deep importance for me to deal with these feelings so I may free myself up to feel more like myself.

Acceptance and Having Purpose when Working Through Trauma Feelings.

We need to acknowledge, experience, and bear the reality of life with all its pleasures and heartbreaks (pg. 27).

Without acknowledging, experiencing and bearing the full reality of life, I am truly stunting my own growth.

Acknowledging something whether good or bad brings a level of acceptance which keeps me out of the vicious cycle of denial. Acceptance is just the very beginning of healing.

Accepting makes it possible to experience my feelings again, whether good or bad. It takes me to the present where action can be taken to heal. To bear or move through emotions so that I may enjoy the pleasures of life for exactly what they are. 

I don’t have to live paralyzed by my past and miss out on the rest of my life. And, today I choose not to! Past events do not define me.

My life has purpose today. Knowing this is a powerful tool that allows me to move beyond the past and live my life.

And as the Philosopher Fredrich Nietzche states:  “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

Meaning that with strong enough commitment to purpose comes the ability to work through any of life’s difficulties. Including the current emotional manifestations of past trauma.

Getting to Okay after Trauma.

I’ll be honest, it took me years to start dealing with the emotions that came along with the things that happened in my past.

I had to be open to confront, talk about, feel, and accept the things that had happened. For me, I had help from a psychologist and the recovery meetings that I attend on a regular basis. I was willing be vulnerable and share honestly.

It was not easy and there are still moments where I feel hijacked by memories and emotions. I can feel scared all over again and it takes me a minute to realize that I am safe. Fight or flight becomes a real thing for me as a defense mechanism. It is our brains response to survival. Even trying to defend us when simply reliving trauma feelings in a relatively safe moment.

In the end though I know that I am ok and I can move through these moments a lot faster than I did in my past. It can be done. It is not impossible to deal with trauma but it can be hard as hell.

I have to make the decision in the moment to move on and free myself from my past. It is not fair to myself to rob myself of the beautiful life that I know have. This choice, even though very painful at times, allowed me to move through and stop standing still.

As a result my life has more of a positive outlook and fear does not rule me. I have freed myself from being stuck in the past. And I believe that if you are feeling stuck that you can find your way out as well.

Breaking out of Trauma

To buy the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” click the link below!

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Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

Please Like and leave a comment below.
1. Share this article on your social media.
2. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
3. Follow the conversation on our Facebook Page!

Love, Casey

Time: How to Stop Wasting this Precious Resource.

Time: How to Stop Wasting this Precious Resource.

Im realizing more clearly everyday that possibly the biggest crime we commit is in wasting our precious time.

You do it, I do it, we all do it to some degree.

One Persons Wasting Might be Another’s Calling.

Don’t worry, I am not here to shove a bunch of causes down your throat that I feel is worth everyone’s time. Everybody is different so we all have to define what activities are a waste of time for ourselves.

I can see something as a complete waste of time, and another person will find a level of joy in it that I may never know.

Though I will say that if you find yourself lost in a blah world where hardly anything makes sense, then no doubt a lot of time is wasting away..

How can we tell if something is a waste of time or a calling? Well, there is a saying from the Philosopher Alan Watts that rings through my mind often.

“Do you dig it?”

If I am not digging it then I am probably in the wrong place, or the wrong head space! And if the thing is dug, then we may be on the right track.

Life is too Short to be Wasting our Time.

Our time here in these bodies on this Earth is minuscule. We are basically here for a flash of a flash of a moment. To be off in our heads worrying and chasing down people, places and things that will leave us feeling empty is just stupid.

Often times when I am chasing what I don’t dig, I get an empty feeling. And when I am feeling empty, I know things need to change. The feeling tells me I need to find some things that I legitimately dig!

Life is too short for too many things we don’t dig. I am so grateful that I have woken up to this realization.

Learning is not Wasting.

One of my greatest joys is learning about myself. I am grateful to be blessed with this desire.

Though throughout many years I was astray from this calling, and much time was wasted. But thankfully I was able to make it out of the painful world of active addiction, and back into the real world.

Now I can be full of anger and regret about wasted time, or I can learn from it. Lessons learned ensure the past was not a waste!

But any lesson I have learned about the past that I continue to disregard, I am now wasting my damn time. And I am likely wasting the time of everybody around me.

Wasting the most Precious of Times.

Now I consider it a crime to waste my own time. Though I feel it would be an even greater crime to waste the time of those around me. Who really comes to mind hen I say this is my 3 month old daughter Ada!

In my wifes post a couple weeks ago, she spoke of learning how to stay in the moment from our infant girl. This reminded me of how easy it can be to become completely distracted from the beautiful features of life. It reminded me how much I fail to stay focused on what is right in front of my face as well.

But today I am now fueled with a commitment to waste as little time as possible for myself and others. This also means a commitment to develop a better relationship with the moment, the only time that exists.

It’s Never too Late to Quit Wasting Time.

All that we have is right now, the present moment, and it is never too late to quit wasting it. Sometimes it may take a jumping off a cliff moment, where some long held relationships need to be left behind. Other times it is as simple as just focusing closer on the present moment and appreciating what is right in front of us.

That’s right, just because I feel like I am wasting my time doesn’t mean that I am in the wrong physical space. It could be that I am wishing for something that isn’t meant to be, or has not yet come to be.

It is amazing what some relaxed breathing and focusing on what I am grateful for can do for me. Just 15 minutes can take me from feeling completely lost to being planted firmly back into my calling and the present moment. There are all sorts of things to be digging in this present moment right here and right now! I invite you to slow down and feel how much they mean to you.

And as I said above, if you are just learning this lesson, latch onto it and quit wasting your time. It is big lesson, and one that may have to be learned over and over again. If you are anything like me, it may take multiple reminders a day..

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would like you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please share this article on your social media.
  2. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
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Much Love,

Travis Hagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrendering Obsessive Thoughts, Coming Back to the Moment

Surrendering Obsessive Thoughts, Coming Back to the Moment

Hey everybody, today I am going to touch on something we have all had from time to time. That is problems with our thoughts!

In this article I found that the earliest evidence for meditation goes back to around 2980 B.C

This means that that for roughly 5000 years, people have been looking for ways to slow down their thinking. As well as get in touch with their bodies in the moment.

Now I imagine that human beings have been looking for ways to slow down much earlier in history. But we will just leave that as speculation.

That tells me that for at least that long, thinking has been a tricky subject for the average human.

Now with my history of mental illness and addiction, I understand the torturous nature of thinking well.

But meditation was not born for those whose thoughts are susceptible to insanity. It is a tool that is helpful to human beings of all brain types.

I realize that meditation is a word that can turn some folks off. I am not really talking about meditation here, but for what meditation does that has helped people find respite in the act for so long.

For me, what it does is simply calm my brain down. In this article, it says that “there is a decrease in beta waves which is a sign that the brains cortex is not processing information as much as usual.”

I don’t know about you but the processing of information can be a painful routine to be in. Especially the times where it seems like the process has gotten out of control.

Thinking becomes such a habitual thing, so much so that quite often I don’t even realize that I am doing it. In these times my thoughts can take me on a ride that I may not like. But of course that depends on the emotions I am feeling.

I have no problem being taken on a ride of thoughts that are laced with happy feelings. That can be pure bliss. Though when the thoughts are laced with worry, shame, guilt, anger, or regret, that can be a pretty horrible ride.The problem comes when we get caught on this ride and don’t realize we are on it. In the recovery community that saved my life, we call this OBSESSION.

Obsession is THE LIE, it is the FANTASY. It is the cause of the tremendous problems I have had throughout my life.

I am not claiming victimhood over Obsession. Though I can claim some ignorance of a problem I had within my own head.

Thoughts can pretty easily be gotten back on track.

By back on track, I mean that we can take a little control over them. And by this I mean we can slow them down, so they aren’t as much of the speeding train they may feel like sometimes.

Like I said, I don’t claim victimhood over my thoughts, or my emotions for that matter.

You may be wondering how? How can we go from a sometimes violent, obsessive, internal temper tantrum, back to stable mental and emotional states?

Here are the steps to get back into our right minds.
  • First, we have to catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.
  • Second, we need to let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with this thought pattern.
  • Third, we have to actively make an effort to slow down our thoughts, and surrender to the moment.

Catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.

For me, a thought tends to get of control when I have left the energy in the thought unused.

When I procrastinate getting the taxes done or work paperwork done, the approaching deadlines continue to excite the thought. When I am either unwilling to take care of it, or not understanding how, the unused energy continues to create more stress. Since the energy wasn’t used, it stays inside of me, sending my brain for a loop.

Another problem is that I can end up defending my obsessive thoughts. Maybe I believe I need to be freaking out, or maybe I blame someone else for the way I am feeling. These can both be dangerous defense mechanisms for obsession, so watch out!

But the good news is that if you realize you are stuck this crappy obsessive process, then at least you aren’t completely enveloped in it. This means that there is room to take control and get out of it!

Let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with the thought pattern.

Feel like crap because your brain is spinning of control? Willing to admit that you have some say in stopping the thought from terrorizing you?

Great! Now I am here to say that you are completely capable of working yourself through it.

I know that it is painful and probably overwhelming. And there may be disappointment, letting go, and grieving to be done. But there is a light out of this stressful thought process!

There is something to the power of positive thinking, a sort of acting as if I have the power to change something. Even if I am not necessarily believing I can! So i welcome you to believe that you can quit stressing yourself out with your thoughts.

If we want out, we need to admit it to at least ourselves! And even better if admitted to another person that can and will help stop the obsessive thinking.

It is only when we admit we want out and a better way to think, will another pathway begin presenting itself!

Surrender slow down

Actively make an effort to surrender our obsessive thoughts.

To me the main message I can give is that there are all sorts of times all throughout the day when we can breathe a little bit and take our minds off of our routines and problems! We don’t necessarily need to set aside 20 minutes to meditate, although that would be extremely helpful.

Deciding not to think for a little bit and allowing the energy inside of us to settle is an act of surrender. Some may feel surrender is a act of weakness, but this is obsession just trying to control the show!

Through surrendering my thoughts to the moment I can get my mind back into the moment.

Even if i will be driving in my car all day long. I can turn off the radio, and do some relaxed breathing! If by some craziness there is not one single moment in the day to sit down, I can still watch my breathing and be mindful while taking care of my daily business.

Don’t believe the lie that says surrendering to the moment just isn’t possible. And no this will not ensure we are taken advantage of, or miss important opportunities! This is just the fight or flight response talking, which is fear.

It is good to believe the fear when actual danger is present. But for the majority of people reading this most moments are not that dangerous..

So if you are caught in obsession or just thinking too many fearful thoughts, I welcome you to breathe and just slow down a bit. If you are obsessing, the thoughts will not slow immediately. It may take up to 20 minutes for the fight or flight storm to pass. But once it has, you will be happy that you surrendered and gave the storm a chance to move on!

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would like you to do a couple things for us!

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Much Love,

Travis Hagen

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