Descartes, the great philosopher, made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Accordingly, we think and we become what our thoughts say we are.
Our thoughts are based on our experiences, or rather our perceptions of those experiences as well as our projections of those experiences in the future. Our thinking minds continuously alternate between thoughts of our past experiences and projections of those experiences in the future. Indeed, many of us are compulsive thinkers; that is, we think continuously—even in our sleep in the form of dreams in our subconscious minds. Because our minds are thinking non-stop, we are constantly identifying ourselves with our thoughts in our subconscious minds, whether we want it or not, causing confusion and self-delusion—the source of mental stress. Therefore, it is important that we need to stop our compulsive minds whenever we choose to, just as we turn off our computers. That may be a little difficult, but not totally impossible.
Stress is mental perception of fear based on our past experiences. Once the input is stored in our subconscious minds, it begins to generate negative thoughts that control our conscious minds, leading to anxiety and fear. Given that many of us are compulsive thinkers, our non-stop thinking minds begin not only to dwell on those thoughts of anxiety and fear, but also to believe in their realities. A compulsive mind is a stressful mind that creates chronic stress.
The only way to stop a compulsive mind is to stop the thinking process temporarily to give the mind a break. This can be achieved through meditation, or simply practicing mind training, such as mental attention or concentration on the present moment.
In your everyday life, you can practice mind training to focus on the present moment. Essentially, you are giving your full attention to what you are doing at that very present moment. For example, you can focus your mind on your walking. Pay close attention to every step, every movement of your hands and feet, your breathing, and your body sensations while you are walking. Many people do their walking while listening to their music, or worse, talking on the phone; they are not letting their minds focus on the present moment.
Practice mind training to stop the compulsive mind for stress relief and stress management.
A Course in Mind Power: Learn how to control your thoughts; instead of letting your thoughts control your mind. To live a stress-free life, your mind has to be in control of your thoughts, which affect your choices and decisions in life, which then become your life experiences.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau