Peace of mind is a constant goal…but there always seems to be something that gets in the way.
I call it a bugaboo.
That niggling thing – a thought, a feeling, a behavior – that just keeps getting diverting us from peace. It could be a big thing – say, an addiction, or something less physical but just as detracting – like perfectionism, or worry, or negativity…there are so many peace stoppers – so many bugaboos!
A bugaboo is like a boogeyman – a threat of harm constantly in the back of the mind.
That boogeyman that haunts me – just around the corner, just out of sight, but ready to pounce on any extended period of serenity – is anxiety. The worry might focus on various aspects of life – work, finances, family – but the feeling behind it is the same: something (that I can’t quite put my finger on) is not right in my world.
And I just want to feel like everything’s “ok.” Seems like a no-brainer – just stop worrying and I should be ok. Right?
My mind slips into the rut of anxiety out of habit, comfort, familiarity, determination to control my world through this behavior of worrying.
So how do we banish our bugaboos?
The best way to beat off the boogeyman’s threat to peace is to short-circuit the thinking, rational mind.
It seems counter-intuitive – isn’t the rational mind essential to survival? It tells us when there’s danger, helps us analyze situations and take action. But unless we can turn it off when there is no real threat, it keeps us agitated. The controlling mind is hypervigilant, always on the look-out, waiting for the next threat even when the horizon’s clear.
So we need to outwit the boogeyman of the mind.
Here are some ways to go around it, ignore it, or just plain shut it off:
- Get present – focus on what you are doing right now, and throw yourself into it whole-heartedly.
- Read something uplifting – Collect a stack of books, articles, or other materials that give you a lift whenever you read them.
- Make a gratitude list – Gratitude is an excellent method for mainlining positivity – it leaves no room for negative thinking.
- Go to a quiet place – Whether a church, a walk in nature, a meditation spot, or even a virtual place in the mind – it’s the space where we connect with quieter thoughts and peaceful feelings, and whatever representation of a greater spirit we might imagine.
- Reach out – Ask for help with the bugaboo from those who are good at listening – sometimes we just need to express our concerns to someone who cares.
- Move – Sometimes getting physical helps shake out the cobwebs and get the mind into a meditative flow.
- Use your creativity – When we get creative, we taps into a source of well-being; doing something we love banishes the demons.
- Practice your spirituality – Defined in whatever way makes sense to each of us – connecting with the spirit helps us move out of the crazy, controlling mind and into calmer, more peaceful thoughts.
What’s your bugaboo and how do you face it down?
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