The value of self conversation, In dealing with the stresses of a purposeful life
When striving to develop a growth mindset and moving onward towards the noble goal of eudimonia, I have found myself increasingly surrounded by people that not only lack a understanding of my character and way of being but also find it hard relating to me, as I to them. This is one of the key reasons I believe is behind my general lack of close friends in the last 6 years (a fact that I am increasingly aware of), witch has been hard admittedly so. I feel like its a choice between friendship and my goals, and it has been difficult for me to find the wright balance. The importance of having close friendships is obvious to any human that spends any amount of prolonged time alone, this importance is strikingly obvious when going through some difficult situations. To be able to continually grow as a human and strive to achieve our goals while maintaining some resemblance of sanity it is essential I believe, to be able to cope with the stresses of a purposeful and necessarily sometimes lonely life. For the last 6 months I have been on a exchange program in São Paulo, Brasil and I have lacked the support and companionship of my family, especially my brother and I have had to rely on a variety of mental strategies, I thought I would share some of these here:
- Self Conversation- I feel the most important practice that has helped me In my time alone has been self conversation, note that I write self conversation and not self talk, because I mean the act of actually conversing with ones self as if two people are within ones mind, one of them presenting the problem, or a feeling and the other one impartially analyzing the issues underneath in a bid to understand and deal with any underlying anxiety. I have done this almost every day as I take a calming walk in nature (witch also has proven stress relieving benefits) . At the end of the work day many unresolved issues might be flowing through our mind and a moment of quiet reflection on these issues might just be all it takes to calm our minds and help us sleep sound at night. It is exactly through this practice that many of the great philosophers have come to develop their ideas about the human condition, like the example of Frederic Nietzsche and one of my favorite ideas of his “Amor Fati”, meaning love of fate. To be fare almost all of us have a continuously playing stream of our own voice in our head, the issue is the content which in many occasions is driven my negative thoughts and irrational anxieties, this practice simply intends to direct this voice in a more reflective, purposeful and constructive manner, in a bid to deconstruct these many time reflexive irrational fears into more manageable actionable problems and in the process this empowers us and allows us to work towards solutions.
- Meditation- This has been a pilar of my days, I admit sometimes it has been tough to maintain the daily habit of mindful meditation, but I have noticed that on the days when I have stuck to it, it has filled me with a sense of calmness that I truly enjoy, obviously this is subjective and might be entirely due to the placebo effect, but apart from the good feeling there is scientific evidence that meditation can have a beneficial effect on our health.
- Finally I will briefly mention the famous trio: Good sleep(meaning for at least 7–8 h and usually on the same schedule); Exercise ( A mix of resistance, endurance training at high and moderate intensity at least 4 times a week) and healthy diet (Low carb, red meats, vegetable, fruit , and lean white meats rich diet). These three are essential not only for our physical well being, but also for our mental health, i can not stress anymore the importance of maintaining these habits. People spend thousands of dollars on a variety of medications aimed at improving their health, but none of them have even a fraction of the benefits of these three habits, furthermore if you do just one of them the odds of doing all of them is increased, this is because they act as angular habits ( a habit that encourages other related habits) a idea explored by Charles Duhigg in his book “The power of habit”.
I hope this will prove helpful to some of you, as you strive for your goals, pardon any errors in my writing for this is my first article in Medium. Feel free to make contributions. And remember friends, forward always!