BALANCING THE MIND

The brain and our entire nervous system is so vast and amazing that science has only scratched the surface in understanding them.So much happens and changes constantly in our bodies every second.A single thought can change our physiology at the cellular level.These thoughts have an avalanche effect.I think we can all agree that when we have negative thoughts it starts to compound throughout the days,weeks,and years and we find ourselves dwelling on the bad and not remembering all the good.I once heard a neurologist explain it as we are teflon for good and positive experiences and velcro for negative experiences.Its sad how true that is.The key I think is to not label experiences and just see them as experiences.When that negative thought pops up just try to let it go as soon as you feel that negative emotion.From my experience I have been the biggest villain that has ever come into my life.Everything from arguments to physical altercations have usually happened due to my willingness to respond in an angry and violent way at the drop of a hat.Nine out of ten of these altercations could have been avoided if I just let it be and didn’t let some words or gestures set me off.It really is very cut and dry when it comes to physical violence.Someone is either a physical threat or they are not.Its the shit talking and all the egos that escalate things.Ponder that for a second and think about your own experiences.Even a buddhist monk put into a certain environment will have a negative thought or reaction to a violent situation.The difference is that they see the mind tilt in that direction and catch it right away.For most of us its like lighting the fuse on a dynamite stick and when its not put out right away will burn down and explode.So just remember that the reaction is just part of the evolution of our nervous system.Thats how our species has survived and thrived.The two branches are Sympathetic(fight or flight) and Parasympathetic(rest and digest).On the one side its fight/flight or freeze.We don’t want to freeze because we need to be able to react and constantly stay dynamic.In a real dangerous situation we must react accordingly but like most situations when we let our ego get in the way it really isn’t a dangerous situation we just make it out to be so.Like everything I preach the key is balance. I don’t believe in sitting on your hands for everything but judge correctly and be the master of your thoughts and actions. The key to a healthy mind is the balance of our nervous system and getting fired up when needed, for example-getting ready to go train or compete in a sporting event or to perform in a business meeting and to bring yourself back down to a relaxed and peaceful state when that passes.Do your work and step back!This simple realization when put into practice is a true game changer.You can work hard all day and do your best but when you are at the dinner table with your family in the evening and then laying in bed you should not have that constant agitation due to your mind chattering away about what happened that day or your bills or the next days events,etc,etc.This of coarse is difficult to apply but like everything else in life its about basic knowledge and understanding followed by constant application to make it a secondary habit.We all have to understand that while sitting in a parking lot of a traffic jam and really having no control we can step back and accept it in quiet presence without any need to go into fight or flight and get all the stress hormones circulating like we are running from a predator to save our lives.That is exactly what studies have shown to be the case.We get almost the same hormonal response but the difference is that when you escape from a bear in the woods and you get back to safety you will go back into parasympathetic mode.How our lives have evolved,many of us have chronic inflammation just due to always being in fight or flight.Our thoughts undeniably mold us day to day into either a more peaceful and happy human being or a constantly agitated and angry human being.We have to learn to master our thought and reaction day to day while redlining when needed and coming back down to a homeostatic state when it is no longer needed.Viewing life through this lens will make you a much happier and healthier person and help bring peace into your life.Once you start that path you will see life unfold in a much more harmonious way.

Ares Nikolopoulos

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