July 12, 2020

Start doing nothing for a few minutes a day

We're going to talk about how to redeem yourself using mindfulness and meditation. Let's discuss our common story.

Start doing nothing for a few minutes a day

Since, childhood we're almost forced to do something all the time whether it's studying, playing or trying to socialise and when we go through teenage things get worse. You have your first crush, relationship and breakup. So, you think and you think a lot all the time. Then you go for a job, with or without college degree and now you have to worry about money, career and what not. You're on your own. Now, you think a even more. And the worst part about all of this is that this is a story of every normal person who didn't face any major issues in life like disability, divorce of parents, death of an immediate family member or any other horrible problems one could face.

All of this overthinking can result in complacency about every aspect of life, headaches, not trying anything new, insomnia and worse situation can be that you can go into depression. To read more about how depression is distributed amongst different age group and how it can affect rest of your life, I would highly recommend this Business Insider article.

Precaution is better than cure

In 2018, I was in depression and not because of relationship issues or anything. It was just because of a tiny habit of overthinking everything which I developed when I was 13 and it became cancerous by the time I was 22 years old. Self-doubt or some minor insecurities which I considered to be something that I didn't care about but they used to manifest themselves at the time of taking action. I had all kind of suicidal thoughts. Think of 22 years old me like A.J. from the show "The Sopranos by HBO", but I had a job and I was perfectly socialising. Anyway, I didn't take any drastic step because while I was commuting and listening to one of the episodes of "The Minimalists Podcast", they talked about how they controlled their anxiety which was simply by taking 6 controlled deep breaths. I kept doing that every day whenever I felt anxious or depressed. And that was apparantly, extremely helpful. Fast forward to 2019, when I started working out in the gym, it felt like meditation because I was so focused on lifting heavy weights, doing 100kg squats that all of my muscles and nervous system used to focused only one thing.

Depression is uncontrolled high pressure stream of thoughts

If overthinking, depression and anxiety are like high pressure water flowing through pipe and taking 6 breath was like applying tape on a pipe when it starts leaking, then working out in the morning acted like repairing and replacing those pipes everyday. That seemed to work great but after about 6 months I realized that I still hadn't fixed the issue which was that unnecessary high pressure water stream. I started exploring about meditation and mindfulness. It started with 3 minutes a day and I'm now at 20-30 minutes a day. This is wonderful. Now, I have the control of the knob to lower the pressure of stream of thoughts that is flowing through my brain. I not only feel the difference in my thoughts but also the outcomes of my actions and my response to those outcomes if they happen to be unfavourable.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. - Marcus Aurelius

I'll talk about types of meditations and mindfulness practices in another post soon. Untill then if you feel you do want to explore meditation, you can checkout apps like Headspace or Calm. Headspace is the app with which I started with but currently I don't need any app. And no, this post isn't sponsored by any of them.

Follow our all new weekly podcast on Spotify called "Stoic Human Podcast". Also available on other platforms

[Discussion Post] Start doing nothing for a few minutes a day from r/StoicHuman