In the post on interior serenity, we saw that training our mind to become able to direct our emotions is a skill we have within us: if trained, it leads to an emotionally more healthy and satisfying life.
If we choose to focus on positive thoughts, emotions and behaviours, we create the conditions for a clear turnaround in the direction of stable serenity and well-being.
Here are 3 simple steps to achieve our interior serenity.
1. Breaking the cycle of negativity
We can learn to train our positivity and the first step is to break the cycle of negativity and “resist” the need – dependence of criticism, judgement, labels, towards ourselves and others.
A thought is not just a thought: it is inevitably linked to an emotion, and the latter to chemistry, hence to physiology. When, without realising it, we think “what an unpleasant person” we can observe that the emotion resulting from that thought is negative and generates, even if we do not see it, a toxic hormonal response. So we can see that this kind of thought is primarily a thought against ourselves!
Not only is this “status” not obvious, but it is an excellent start.
Science has also shown that this exercise is particularly effective in helping us to build up interior conditions of calm, lucidity and well-being. This is because the brain works like a muscle, and with training we strengthen these inner muscles.
Stopping complaining is another very effective behaviour to be trained constantly: it has been scientifically proven that complaining disables problem-solving neurons, which are essential for finding solutions to our current problems.
But there is more: those who complain continuously deactivate and burn out not only their own neurons but also those of the listener.
2. Smiling more
Another effective behaviour to train is “smile more”: not necessarily, out of habit, to please and therefore as a duty, but consciously.
Smiling has the extraordinary power to generate in our organism an explosion of endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones, real chemical substances that relax and improve health.
3. Being present in the present
A two-minute pause: relax, feel your body and release any tension, relax your facial muscles, listen to your breathing consciously and without changing it.
It would be good to remember to do this exercise at least 3 times a day, because it helps us to train our ability to be present in the present moment.
Observing the flow of thoughts and emotions , consciously separating ourselves from both, will gradually enable us to observe what is in front of us in a more objective manner: this is so that we no longer respond with instinctive and primitive reactions , but choose the behaviour that favours us.
Over the last 3 million years, 99% of our ancestors have lived in groups and had to defend themselves against each other in order to gain resources and survive; in this way they inevitably developed a sense of separation, an ”us against them”.
These tendencies, due to their age-old repetition, have been exasperated and today have resulted in a constant sense of competition, of hidden mutual disregard. Such ways were necessary for our ancestors for their survival, but not for us today!
Peace is our “true home”
Today, we potentially have all the resources of knowledge and materials to improve individually and as a system.
But as a consequence of the tendency to negativity, we all need to make more effort to work towards our own personal transformation, to build our internal muscles of calm, resilience, strength and creativity.
We can do this by starting to complain less, smile more and breathe more consciously.
Let’s try to memorise what our body and mind feel like when they are resting in a state of peace and what it would mean to interact with others from this state.
Life changes when our relationships change. Instead of always “spending” our energy on negativity and distress, we can “invest” it in attention and self-observation for our own well-being.
Inevitably, this benefit also falls on our surroundings. Peace is our original “true home”, so we all need to put in the effort to “come home”.
Thank you for your attention