The Importance Of The Mind
Our past two blogs have been about the importance of the mind-body link, and we’re going to finish off that series today with this final entry. You may want to read the first and second parts at these links before jumping in to this one, but feel free to start here if you really want to!
When it comes to getting your mind and your body trained to perfection, it’s all about discipline and consistency. Intermittent fasting is something people build up in this way; some people do this with TV and purposely cut themselves off after an hour or two so that they can focus on their bigger goals. You can even start with just 15 minutes of reading, training, practice, or meditation a day, because it’s not about going from 0 to 100% all at once. It’s about the habit and the constant improvement. Build up in small steps, and you’ll be flexing your mind power and your willpower. A goal that starts with “No more junk food or TV ever again, with 4 hours of exercise a day!” is bound to fail because the ego has taken over. And one that doesn’t even bother trying has no ego at all. The key is finding the sweet spot in the middle.
One of the things that can break people in the early stages of training is stress, and therefore it’s important for you to have a plan to deal with it. Physiological stresses in the body can be relieved by simple stretches, a walk around the block, or even a good belly laugh at a good sitcom joke. Bad stresses that dig in and cause negative effects – worry about debts, emotional turmoil, etc. – can really have the opposite effect, though. Use your mind, keep your head up, and know that you’ll get through. It’s up to you if your mind is strong enough, if you’re up to the challenge – but remember that there’s always stress in this world, and the better you can deal with it, the better off you’ll be overall.
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of quiet time for health and reflection. It’s not always about your mind and your external body; you can go inside your own head too. Take time to be okay when you’re alone and quiet, to be comfortable with yourself, and to strengthen your mental abilities through meditation and focus. You’ll see benefits almost immediately! One great side effect of this is that it can help avoid reliving past negative emotions or trauma, and allow you to overcome things that you may have thought would always effect you, possibly giving you a freedom you thought you’d never have. Yet one more bonus to building up the strength of your mind.
Once you’re comfortable doing this, you can even use your mind to control your energy level. Just like when devoted parents work two jobs for their kids and somehow still find time to cook dinner and help with homework, you too can draw on your inner abilities once you’ve allowed them to flourish. It isn’t always easy, and it definitely takes dedication, but it’s possible because the mind creates your energy and perseveres when you consciously tell it to. Build up this strength and watch your life get better in uncountable ways.
Continuing with that point – you can elevate this habit to a whole new level when you use your mind to control the chi (your own inner energy force that radiates outward from you) inside the body. With meditation, and a lot of practice, you can control your lungs, heart rate, or even temperature. There is an energy inside the body that is only used naturally, but by concentrating, it can be moved around the body (just remember – we’re saying outright this requires consistent training!). Chi is very real and can be used for what you want; we use this largely in kung fu at our studio for healing. Doctors have proven that electrical energy can increase healing, and since our cells function on electric signals from our brain, it stands to reason that we can channel it into very positive effects.
Let your imagination go: use your mind power to control and overcome addiction and negative behaviours, by being honest and up front about your actions. Build up your mental endurance to hard situations or seemingly hopeless ones. Become a better person to be around by considering yourself from other people’s points of view. All of this, and so much more, is done by training your mind to do its best.
If we can leave you with one thought, it’s this: nothing worth doing is easy or quick. People respect masters because they have put in the time and effort over years and decades to become masters at what they do, and they have earned it. The journey of learning and improvement is far more important than any goal, as our natural human state is to want to constantly grow in our abilities.
So in one, or five, or ten or twenty years, when you look back at all the things you could have done, what will be on your list? Will you be consistently moving forward? Or will you always be looking back
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