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How To Stay Calm When Life Isn't

No matter what is happening in the world around us, we can always remain calm, balanced and positive. We are not victims of the world we see, but can take certain steps to remained centered and constructive. This article, based upon Living by Zen, offers specific steps to achieving well being and balance under all conditions.

mental health, stress, stress reduction, anxiety, panic attacks, well-being, happiness, post traumatic stress reduction, peace of mind, recovery, addiction, depression

No matter what is happening in the world around us, it is never necessary to become caught in depression, fear or other negativity. We are not the victims of the world we see, but have the ability to mobilize ourselves and take charge of the way we respond. There are simple steps to take which when practiced easily turn our state of mind around – and effect the world outside as well.

It is very important to both learn and take these steps. Depression and fear can easily become addictive. The longer we stay in negative states of mind, the more difficult it can become to leave them ..Our world then grows smaller and we begin to develop catastrophic expectations. We lose touch with our own power to take charge, to choose actions and perceptions which counteract the negativity. However, it is the right and responsibility of every mature adult, to steer their lives in the direction of their own choosing. The tools offered both in this article and program make it easy to do. They all result in a process of Centering. The more we practice these steps, the stronger we grow, and the more we can see negativity for what it is, something that has no power other than that which we give it.

Centering
This practice of Centering is universal. Many forms of exercise, martial arts and meditation are ways of achieving centering and balance. They are ways of tapping into the fundamental strength and courage all individuals are endowed with. In Zen they say, “Open the treasure house within.” This reminds us that we are endowed with gifts which are far greater than we currently realize or employ.

In this article, some Centering practices will be offered. While these are simple, they are very powerful. When they are taken on and practiced daily, an individual calms down and changes will soon be seen.

We are what we think about.. Morita, a Japanese psychiatrist, the founder of Morita Therapy, states that all neurosis comes from frozen attention that has gotten stuck and fixed upon recurring negative thoughts. The more we give attention to that which is destructive, the more strength it has to rule our lives. This can be counteracted rather easily.

Take back your attention. Do not let it be absorbed by all that is presented to it. The power of focus is the power of life. Spend time each day developing focus and concentration. Withdraw yourself from the chaotic external world for a period of time each day, and pull your attention back within. Sit with a straight back, do not move and concentrate upon your breath. Let random thoughts come and go. Do not suppress them, but do not let them grab your attention away. At first you may be besieged by many surprising thoughts and feelings, but if you simply notice them and then return your attention to your breathing, these will soon die down.

Count your breath from one to ten, then all over again. Do this for at least ten to fifteen minutes without moving. By not moving we are stopping what is called the monkey mind, the mind, which jumps from one thing to the next, fears, demands, grabs and sabotages our lives. It is the monkey mind, which causes our sorrow and fear. But it is only a part of us, it cannot take over our lives, when we take our attention back. By doing this daily, we are strengthening new parts of ourselves, which can guide and lead us in a new direction, one of meaning, and well-being.

This wonderful time spent with oneself is a simple way to attain perspective, become able to see clearly and be rooted in the larger truth. This time becomes a fortification against many storms, which naturally besiege us. We develop a place within ourselves, which we can always return, for wisdom, strength and comfort. When we allow the external world to consume us, we are simply giving our natural treasures away.

Rather than struggle to analyze and undo our patterns, we work directly with our attention. The question before us always is: What am I focusing on this moment? Am I present to the breathing, or lost somewhere in a dream, dwelling upon the pains and wrongs I think have others have done me, or the terrible things that can happen someday?

Reality continually renews and confronts us with new tasks, challenges, opportunities and solutions, day after day. Are we in touch with this ever flowing reality? Are we asking ourselves what is available now, what gifts we are receiving and what we can give to others, or are we dwelling upon how wronged, threatened or deprived we've always been?

Gratitude
As we do this faithfully, the second step of Centering appears. At a certain moment we become aware that depression and gratitude cannot co-exist in the same person at the same time. When our focus and life are primarily self absorbed, revolving around self-centered dreams, what we need and what others are thinking of us, we live in a prison without bars. Underlying feelings of worthlessness emerge, producing additional depression, hostility and stress.

In Centering as we become aware and grateful our focus naturally changes to all that we are receiving, to what others need, what we can give, what has to be done. And then we do it. We take action. We do not hesitate. When our focus is placed upon simple daily actions, and upon doing "deeds of service", the monkey mind is dismantled and passing emotions do not take center stage.

As we Center we learn to do each action with full attention, (no matter how small or large). We do not dwell upon the outcome. Our joy and satisfaction comes from acting with a whole heart and mind. Results and consequences are secondary, and take care of themselves. When we are not absorbed by concern for outcomes, how much anxiety can we ever have?

The most powerful antidote to psychological suffering is an individual's sense of self worth. When we are taking actions that are meaningful to us, self-respect develops naturally. When our behavior arises out of a grateful mind, each individual inevitably finds a personal alignment between their daily actions and highest values. As they become more and more occupied with that which is valuable, and life giving, their resourcefulness increase as does their sense of worth. They can then handle any difficult situation and give what is needed to all. Living in this manner, life feels like a gift they are constantly receiving, and they become a gift to life as well.

 

How To Face Tough Times?

Life is like an ocean. The waves may be very calm one day and the next day there may be a storm. Life is not like a mountain that remains steady forever. Right from our childhood we find the times changing. Sometimes everything looks going perfectly. Otherwise everything goes wrong. Why and what to do about this?

Some of us call this our fate. They accept that whatever happens is destined. Such people may be very calm. Some of those who believe in fate are also very inacti...

self help, advice

Life is like an ocean. The waves may be very calm one day and the next day there may be a storm. Life is not like a mountain that remains steady forever. Right from our childhood we find the times changing. Sometimes everything looks going perfectly. Otherwise everything goes wrong. Why and what to do about this?

Some of us call this our fate. They accept that whatever happens is destined. Such people may be very calm. Some of those who believe in fate are also very inactive. They accept whatever comes their way without making any effort to fight the situation. Certainly one can believe in fate. But that should not stop us to act positively? How to act in tough times?

1. List out all your assets. Some of us think that they are left with nothing when tough times come. But that is not true. You may be facing the toughest time, but you are alive. That is an asset. If you are healthy, that is another asset. If your family is supporting you, that is one more asset. You have friends? Add them as your assets. Write down everything you have as an asset. This kind of list gives us positive inspiration. We feel that all is not lost. That is very important. To come out of the hopelessness is the first major step we should take during tough times.

2. Make a list of all the problems that you are facing. Divide that list in small problems and big problems. Look at the list again and find out which problems may be ignored for the time. Find out the problems that must be tackled. Begin with small problems from that list. As you solve one after another problem, you will see your confidence growing. Tough times test us our attitude. We must fight them out.

 

How To Focus Your Life With Goals

Life can sometimes be overwhelming. Without a clear direction, you will most likely wander around the planet in a helpless state. You will not know what to do or when to do it. You will almost get that promotion. You’ll almost follow through with a million dollar idea. You’ll almost do everything you ever wanted to do. However, this is definitely no way to live. Luckily there is another way. A much better way, in fact.

In order to live the life you choose, there mu...

Life can sometimes be overwhelming. Without a clear direction, you will most likely wander around the planet in a helpless state. You will not know what to do or when to do it. You will almost get that promotion. You’ll almost follow through with a million dollar idea. You’ll almost do everything you ever wanted to do. However, this is definitely no way to live. Luckily there is another way. A much better way, in fact.

In order to live the life you choose, there must be structure. Your life must have order if you want to succeed. The best way that has been proven to work is through the use of goal setting. Without a goal, you will be unhappy and live an unfulfilled life. With a goal, you will zero in on exactly what you want. You will be happier and more fulfilled.

Did you know that only about three out of every 100 people ever actually decide on their goal? Many people go through life without any clear direction and they get exactly what they prepare for. They may say, “I wish I could buy that car.” This is quite different than setting a goal to by the car by a certain date. One method will get you the car and the other one will leave you standing outside the dealership window crying. Which one would you rather use? Is it any wonder that such a small percentage of the world’s population controls a vast majority of the wealth? This minority is the goal-setters of the world. They ask for what they want and then they receive it.

How can you begin to set a goal? There are a few criteria that must be followed. First of all the goal must be clearly defined. You can’t say, “I want a new car”. You must say “I want a brand new black Mercedes with tinted windows and chrome 20” rims.” The picture must be absolutely crystal clear in your mind. Next, you must give yourself a time limit. If you never nail yourself down to a time limit, you will probably never achieve the goal. You must be held accountable. You must also believe that you can get it. Without belief, nothing is possible. Lastly, you must make an irrevocable commitment that you will achieve the goal. There is no turning back. If you change your mind at every obstacle, you will never get what you want. Make up your mind and go for it. What have you got to lose?




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