How to Get a Piece of Peace in Your Life

Friday, May 27, 2005

Possible Roadblocks to Your Peace

Since our thoughts originate from our brains, it is difficult to remember that our brains are housed within our bodies and that MANY things can affect the WAY WE THINK. Sometimes changing the way we think and feel are not simple tasks. Sometimes things that are happening to our bodies has a strong impact on our minds and we forget to recognize that we could be influenced by outside factors.

All of these things have an impact on the way you think and feel:

Lack of sleep mimics depression. You might not know you're tired, but you might notice that things seem more overwhelming, irritating, unnappealing, and stressful. If you're experiencing this, wait until you've had more sleep and see if your perspective changes.

Food & Water
Lack of nutrients keeps you in a "survival" mode. You will be operating on a "need" only basis and all other things will seem unnecessary and perhaps a hindrance to you. If you find that you are annoyed or easily angered, perhaps your body requires food or water. The types of food you eat are especially important as well. Having heavy starches and carbohydrates will numb you. They are comfort foods and will keep you in a slightly sedated state. Sugars are meant to give you quick energy, which could translate into anxiety. Refined sugars will also give you a drop after the high, translating to a possible negative mood as well. A diet high in meats can also give you anxiety. When animals are killed, they release adrenalin, a hormone which gives the "fight or flight." As you eat meat, you ingest these hormones, giving you a higher level of anxiety.

Your muscles exist to be used. Exercise not only keeps us physically fit, but it also releases all the feelings and thoughts that we hold in our bodies. We have a physical body state that matches a feeling. It is different for everyone: headaches, backaches, tightness in shoulders and neck. Exercise allows the body to work out those feelings and while the body is doing something repetitious, it also frees the mind to start working on other things, such as problem-solving, organizing, processing events. Exercise can help reduce sleepless nights and nightmares, since this is prime time for the mind to start working, even if you want it to be resting.

Physical Pain
It is difficult to concentrate on other things when dealing with chronic pain. The body is louder than the mind in this case. Do what you can to ease your pain and quiet the body. Spend some time meditating, visualizing the pain and making it different colors to see if the sensations change. See a medical doctor for options to numb the pain. In some cases, the body is sending a message that needs to be heard; see if you can determine what metaphoric clues your body is sending you about your life.

Alcohol, Caffeine, and Other Drugs
Stimulants and depressants add a foreign substance to your mind and body and therefore play a large role in shaping your perspective. The fewer substances you ingest, the clearer your mind will be. If you are already lacking sleep, nutrients, and exercise, these substances will only distort your perceptions further.

The definition of stress is the body's reaction to the environment's demands. Our lives are full of changes and we are required to adapt to those changes. Even positive change is still a demand on the body. Whenever possible, find ways to lower your stress levels. You can do this by keeping all of the above factors in check, as well as employing some time management and organizational skills. When we can free our minds of these demands, we decrease our stress levels.

Try to make a change in at least one of these areas. Your body may respond by giving you a better state of mind.