Tag Archives: reflection

Reflecting and Mood States

Some of us are naturally more introspective than others.

We can spend a great deal of time inside our own heads. This can be both an opportunity to explore ourselves and, at times, our undoing.

Part of my journey with meditation has been about reflecting when you should, but not always, when you can. What I mean is, we can sometimes choose periods of time where our mind is unsettled or turbulent to focus on what we are doing on this planet, why we are here and how we will proceed. This is almost always disastrous.

I personally struggle with many aspect of anxiety and depression chronically and only through meditating, have I begun to realise when I am in a state of mind that self-reflection can help me achieve or ascertain some wisdom about myself. Often meditating, breathing, being present with your surrounding can soothe depression and quell anxiety. Even just ten minutes a day can be enough to bring an ever-spiralling mind back from the brink.

So what can meditation teach us about our state of mind?

The answer is, everything!

It teaches us to sit with our feelings and understand them better. It teaches us when to engage with the feelings. To choose when to allow a feeling to manifest a thought, and when a series of thoughts may better be subdued and our focus returned to our calm and quiet bodies. It is this ability to tune in and out of feelings, thoughts and sensations, which effectively teaches us to better manage our emotions. When we can do this, our reflection can work to our advantage to produce something. An idea, a piece of wisdom, a sense of fulfilment or purpose. Whatever it is, it is best reached by training our focus to settle where it needs to be, so that we are not taken away by our thoughts and feelings.

So meditation teaches us that we are in control of how we feel. Like changing gears on a bicycle, we choose which pace to go with. We can choose our hills and shift gears to meet them. Meditation is the gear shift and breaks that can teach you to control your emotional brain.

As previously stated, turbulent reflection can often lead to catastrophising thoughts. Negative reflection can lead to rumination. When we learn to sense where our head is, we can choose when it is productive to enter into reflection. And often, as we have discussed, positive reflection can come from short meditations as we synchronise our brains and bodies through deep breathing and attuning our senses to our surroundings. Meditation can both bring us out of negative or agitated head spaces and allow us to learn how to switch gears better between emotional states. Reflection that gives wisdom can only come from introspection in a positive or neutral state, so the more we practice meditating, the more often we can make reflection a positive task that allows us to learn and grow.

Taking time to sit with our feelings is ultimately wonderful for our sense of inner emotional rest and for learning how to shift states in a more controlled way, allowing us to get the most out of the time we spend reflecting.

Happy meditating, I wish you the focus and control to make the most of your reflections.

J

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3 Minute Book Review – ‘Rude’ – Katie Hopkins

Rude‘ is an eye-opening and inspiring look at a life which everyone has decided is driven by ‘evil’. Crude at times, but (as always) brutally honest, Hopkins takes us from where she began to where she is now. This might better be named ‘The making of Katie Hopkins’, than ‘Rude’, because rudeness really features at the bottom end of the scale. What shines through is honesty, an integrity (which at times has cost her dearly) and boundless ebullience. You wouldn’t believe the trials Katie faced to get where she is today, and the struggle has shaped everything she does now. Knowing you might have less than two years to live, having seizures every night from a brain tumour that’s killing you slowly, and making a huge number of personal mistakes, would make anyone with courage into a Hopkins. Why we give her so much crap for it I will never understand.

Anyway, once you read ‘Rude’ and understand the foundations that built the person we see today, it all makes sense. In a way, not only does this book make for an interesting insight into someone you might not necessarily understand, it is also a humbling experience. What so many of us think of as ‘hardship’ is relative. Katie drags you into the depths of yourself to consider your moral fibre. What should I be doing with my life? How important is it to say what I really mean? How can I learn from my mistakes?

Life is not everlasting. We could all reflect on our own laziness and life-inertia, and learn how to be people of action by listening to the wisdom of a life lived in the fast lane. So fast, in fact, that this book encapsulates the feeling you get before you go over your bike or crash a car. This book is the essence of a ‘life flashing before your eyes’ and ‘Rude’ will make you reflect deeply on how to make yours count as you consider the time you have left.