By: Kirsten Thomas
Find ways to slow down your mind.
The human brain is extremely complex, and research has been done on what’s understood (and not) about its inner workings. There are four categories of brain waves — alpha, beta, theta, delta — that represent different states of consciousness. Basically, stable brain waves represent an overarching solution to calmness and inner peace according to “What Role Do Brain Waves Play in Regulating Consciousness?”
I equate high frequency brain waves with unnecessary white noise. Sounds complicated? It’s not. Anybody can make steps to improve their sense of inner peace. Here are some general suggestions to help alleviate mental stress and increase your overall sense of inner tranquility.
Focus on one thing at a time.
Translation: be present in what you do. You can do this by paying attention to the sensory cues your environment gives you. Try to be in tune with your mind and body by paying attention to what you feel, smell, taste, touch under different life circumstances. If you bring your awareness to the cues you’re getting from your environment, you reel your brain into the place your body is.
Choose what you give your energy to.
You have a choice in everything. So, don’t sweat the small stuff, and zoom out on anything that might distress you. It’s ok to laugh at dumb or embarrassing stuff. Messing up happens to the best of us, and it doesn’t make us a bad person (especially if you do the next step).
Use your experiences as a vehicle for growth.
Take lessons from your life experiences, and use them for future reference. For example, if you bombed your open-note AP stats quiz because you forgot to bring your actual frickin’ notes that day, don’t fret. Now you know to bring ’em next time. I estimate that 80% of everyday stress isn’t mission-critical to life, anyway. If you got something out of a less than desirable experience, that’s a win. In most scenarios, that trash performance on your AP Stats quiz ain’t gonna kill ya. You can use it to do better in the future.
Know your worth.
Don’t let external circumstances like other people, places, or things determine your worth as a person. Know yourself, and who you are by learning what you like, what you’re good at and what makes you happy. Along the way, try new things. Some of it might surprise you.
True knowledge comes from literature, publications, studies, and books on things that interest you. A lot of us get the majority of our information and news from social media according to the article “US adults under 30 now trust information from social media almost as much as from national news outlets.” The very nature of social media is designed to capture attention for seconds before something else more interesting comes along.
It’s an endless cycle.
It’s hard to get beyond the surface of things with this system. In my opinion, having a high social media information diet does not make you a smarter or more informed person, because you’re bombarded so quickly. Expand your mind and repertoire by reading.
Take a nap and enjoy the process.
It’s both nice and essential to measure your progress on your goals. At the same time, you should be enjoying the process because if you aren’t interested in what you’re doing, doing the work for the results is painful and boring. Undesirable. On a more lighthearted level, how do you feel coming out of deep, relaxing sleep? There’s no explanation necessary on this on: it’s pure inner peace. That’s the brain wave state we want.
After all the work you did reading (and I did writing) this article, we all deserve a nap.