Mind Expanding Without Drugs

English: magazine vogue Español: logo de la re...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to lose some weight. Not a lot–but fifteen pounds would make me happy.I want to lose some stress (not all of it because there is good stress that motivates you—I do not want to lose this kind of stress).  I read some encouraging words from Gretchen Rubin today and I think her suggestion that we find comfort food for the mind is the answer to my problems.

First it does not involve eating fatty, sugary, salty food—and that is a good thing.

Second, by comforting our mind, we are finding ways to cope. My comfort food for my mind comes first and foremost from reading. Yesterday I bought the huge tome called Vogue magazine. The September issue is 902 pages. I could not resist. I have not purchased a fashion magazine for ages. And ages. In fact if truth be told, I have kind of given up on fashion.

The magazine is the perfect eye candy. Some people take fashion very seriously. I do not. At one time I may have taken it a bit more seriously than I do now, but that was many lives ago. My fashion sense went the way of the Edsel when I had kids. It just was not important anymore. And I didn’t have the time to don a scarf, find the right jewellery, or even match (or unmatch depending on the fashion season) my outfit to my shoes and to my purse.  I am not sure where we stand on the “match” issue anymore, but I am sure once I finish 902 pages of fashion I will be in the know.

Here is Gretchen’s advice about what works for her (and what doesn’t work for her but may for you):

“…. look for ways to pull your mind away from your worries onto positive topics. One great way is to watch a movie – preferably something funny! — or watch a favourite TV show.

My favourite activity is reading, and when I really need “comfort food” for my mind, I read children’s literature (the more stressed out I am, the younger I go; Oz books are a danger sign). I always re-read, too; when I’m upset, I want the comfort of knowing that I’ll love the book and that I won’t be upset by some unexpected plot twist.

I do find that some activities that are usually happiness-inducing don’t work very well when I’m preoccupied with bad thoughts. Listening to music, for example, is an extremely effective way to boost mood, but I find it too easy to start thinking about my worries when I’m listening – others might not have this problem. Similarly, although going for a walk usually cheers me up, it also gives me an excellent opportunity to brood if I’m inclined that way.”

Comfort Food

Comfort Food (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Reading is my number one go-to for comforting my mind. Unfortunately so is eating, but I am trying to deal with that.

What is your favourite comfort food for your mind?

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm  Comments (30)  
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A message to me: Let It Be

let it be

let it be (Photo credit: paval hadzinski)

  Picked up the book “one minute mindfulness” by Donald Altman the other day while getting some necessities at the local drug store. I have read these kinds of books before, but I need a constant reminder of the things that the books claims to provide. It says that it has “50 simple ways to find peace, clarity, and new possibilities in a stressed-out world.”

   Well, who doesn’t want peace and clarity?

   Finding peace and clarity for me is an ongoing process. I get caught up in the everyday drama of trying sometimes just to get through the day.  Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Sounds like existing instead of living as Oscar Wilde warned us (in the quote I posted yesterday):

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Books

Books (Photo credit: henry…)

So in my enduring attempts to seek peace and clarity I turn to books—my main source of comfort, and my teachers. I have learned over the years that anything that labels itself simple is anything but simple. I think books should be more honest and tell the truth—the ways they provide sound simple, but they are hard. It is hard to change but in recognizing this, it is less overwhelming to contemplate.

Today I am going to put Altman’s Exercise called “Let It Be” to work—at least in my psyche and hope it works its way out into the physical world. Here is his suggestion, number 29 in his field of 50:

“For one minute during the day, let go of one belief or behaviour that you typically cling to. If you always eat all the food on your plate, leave some and learn how to let it be. If you normally expect your partner to do something in a certain way, try to take on the task yourself or surrender to the way it is even if you don’t feel it’s as it should be. Let it be. Every day, let one more thing be, just for the fun of it.”

I do not always eat everything on my plate so it is the second half of his exercise I have to concentrate on: Let it be. Not as simple as it sounds. At all.

The Beatles sang that “Let it be” were words of wisdom—do you agree?