This self-help book starts out with how stress affects the body via the stress channel and goes into how to and not create stress which was very interesting. “Stress results from the negative stories (negative thoughts in our body that cause tension and a sense of contraction) that our egoic mind tell us about ourselves, life, others, the past, the present, or the future.” We think we need such thoughts when they interfere with handling life and making it less enjoyable. So how do we let go of mental baggage? Awareness and turning down the volume on the egoic mind’s radio station of relentless mind messages. Or at least change it to the stillness channel which expand us rather than contracts us. The more we tune into stillness the easier it becomes and the less compelling the egoic chatter is.
The different types of stressful thoughts are explained nicely: “I” thoughts, stories, judgments, “shoulds”, self-criticism, self-doubt, fears, worries, ideas of perfection, and thoughts about the past. That section is followed nicely by their antidotes, or ways to drop the mental baggage like accepting people for the way they are and not imposing our desires and expectations on them. Or when it’s not reminiscing it’s reliving and drudging up sour circumstances. Our memories don’t even accurately reflect what happened in the past.
Noticing, accepting, investigating, reframing, and letting go of stressful thoughts and feelings is the way to heal the scab of unresolved memories or negative thoughts. And reframing is a way to let go of ideas of perfection. The author describes in detail how to do this next. Being present, being in the body and senses, being willing to not know, being grateful, accepting life, breathing practices, meditation, and bridges to presence are ways to switch the egoic mind’s radio channel to stillness. This book is filled with dialogue to change from negative to positive as well as instruction on how to meditate.
Changing our lifestyle by making time for stillness, slowing down, realizing less is more, reassessing our relationship to the media, and making time for our heart’s desires was an interesting chapter. I particularly enjoyed the thought about reassessing our relationship to the media and instead slowing down and making time for what will really calm us, which is things like gratitude, compassion, meditation, and breathing practices.
Keys to changing our lifestyle:
- Make peace and less stress a priority
- Meditate daily
- Do things more slowly and with more presence
- Minimize multitasking
- Unplug and walk in nature, listen to music, cook, play, or garden
- Remove ourselves from negative situations and people
- Eliminate soul-stripping or unnecessary activities
- Be selective about television and the media
- Consume fewer material goods
So realize the ego is often referred to by the term “false self” for a reason because it’s phony or false. Choose to eliminate that stress channel and tune into stillness by being present in the moment by letting go of that stressful thought the moment we recognize it. Stop. Take a deep breath. Switch the channel. Whatever our attention is focused on gains power. This book also notes Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Belief which is a good choice to read. Keep in mind to slow down, be present, and follow our joy. Get the entire book here.
Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Bookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.