A Major Causes of Ill-Health
And An Enemy Of Happiness
Mental stress can be relieved through effective daily mental rest. Having less stress in our systems is an important requirement for unlocking more of our inner happiness.
Mental rest comes in two forms - while sleeping, and while awake. The kind of mental rest gained and the way the brain functions is different in each of these forms of mental rest.
Not enough good quality sleep?
The invention of electricity, and everything it has brought in its wake – electric lights, radio, television, night-life, and so on – has dramatically changed not only the amount but also the quality of sleep the average person gets these days. Both body and mind are simply not getting enough good quality sleep. So people are therefore suffering more and more from mental stress and other health problems.
Our bombarded minds
In addition to the sleep problem itself, during daily activity people’s minds are constantly being bombarded from the outside with a multitude of sound and sight stimuli – telephones ringing, traffic noise, emergency sirens, piped music wherever we go, billboards, road signs and so on. These all register in the brain, clutter our minds and increase mental stress.
Moreover, people are voluntarily engaging themselves in virtually incessant mental activity, such as: reading newspapers and magazines, absorbing radio and TV content, planning their lives, worrying about finances, crime, politics and such like.
The mind has almost run away with itself so that instead of it serving our needs, we are now virtually under its control. The stress tail is now wagging the happiness dog.
It's time to rest our minds and reduce mental stress
We need a way to take back our own power so that we can enjoy using our mind to fulfil our needs and our creative desires, instead of feeling stressed as a result of the mind’s incessant activity. Unfortunately, people often feel the need to resort to pills or alcohol to relax their mind. But this is not a sustainable solution. In fact, it just weakens the mind-body system even further.
Symptoms of an overtaxed mind
The symptoms of this state are referred to in such terms as stress, anxiety, overactive mind, hyperactivity, worry, and their resultant emotional states, all of which often lead to serious illness, conflicts, wars and premature death.
For a more comprehensive list of the typical signs of stress visit the page on symptoms of stress.
Mental stress is aggravated by our modern lifestyle
Although society is taking at least some corrective action in respect two of the three fundamentals of life – physical exercise and nutrition – this third area, that of rest, has not yet received the attention it deserves. Yet, as we’ve seen, rest is the source of everything else – the starting point of life, energy and activity.
It’s still very much the fashion for society to be overstretched mentally. Much of the world of business thrives on deadlines and burning the midnight oil. And entertainment also steals away much of the night hours when we could be sleeping.
It’s time to re-create mind-balance
It is now time that society made some changes to give the mind-body system a chance to get more balance between rest and activity. And we need to do this regularly – every day of our lives.
One step is to get more hours of sleep, and also a better quality of sleep. This can be achieved through the old maxim of early to bed, early to rise, coupled with other sensible adjustments to lifestyle and diet.
Another very important step is to give the mind some mental rest outside the sleep period, while we are awake and conscious, and to do this every day.
I call this kind of rest Conscious Mental RestTM, because it is about resting the mind while remaining conscious and not falling asleep.
Other tips for relieving stress naturally
In addition to Conscious Mental RestTM or various forms of effective meditation, there are things we can do and things we can avoid during daily living to further help the mind-body system avoid taking on extra stress as well as bring relief from the current day's stress (
consult the Stress and Happiness section
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