These days it’s easy to feel more stress than usual. The pandemic, the economy, political unrest. We are all dealing with more than our fair share of uncertainty these days.
It’s understandable that we naturally relate to those external circumstances like they are the source of your stress, and hope that if we just meditate enough that we can fix the problem. I have a little secret for you: You can experience peace of mind no matter how chaotic the world appears to be when you learn to shift your context, ignore your mind chatter and accept the situation as it is.
Let me be blunt. The circumstances in the world don’t create stress, your relationship to them does. That can be a hard pill to swallow. I’ll explain. Stress is an indicator that you’re blaming your negative feelings on the circumstances. Today I want to help you release some of your built up stress and experience some peace of mind using three steps from my Rapid Enlightenment Process.
Step 1: Admit That You Aren’t A Victim
Want to release stress fast? Start by admitting that you are not a victim of the world. Then admit that your negative feelings are a function of your resistance to your perception of the situation. It might seem awkward at first but give it a try.
Just say this, “The world isn’t anything until I call it something.” Then declare, “I am the creator of my experience. If I’m going to make things up, I might as well make things up that empower me.”
Step 2: Take Control of the Talking In Your Head
Use your awareness to disassociate from the negative mind chatter that creates stress. One way to change your relationship to the uninvited, negative mind chatter that stresses you out is to give it a silly name. I call it The Drunk Monkey.
The Drunk Monkey in your head is not your friend. It’s not a trusted advisor steering you towards peace of mind. If you get honest, you’ll see that he doesn’t even like you most of the time and that he can’t help but share his fears, doubts and worries at the most inconvenient times. Yet, you listen like he’s on your side. That’s a mistake. When you stop listening, stress melts away.
The Drunk Monkey is a survival system that we all inherited from our ancestors. It’s biological job is to assess the situation and steer you away from danger and towards pleasure. It’s a mechanism, not a person. And it’s not right most of the time.
The Drunk Monkey is like the GPS on your phone giving you instructions. But sometimes the GPS can’t see what you see. So you have to take back control. If you want to feel more peace of mind, then that’s exactly what you will have to do with The Drunk Monkey. Talk back to The Drunk Monkey. Tell it that you are going to take control. Tell it to calm down.
Acceptance + Appreciation = Gratitude
Now that you are back in control, focus on accepting the situation as it is. What you resist will persist. What you accept will transform. Admit that you are not in control of the world, but you are in control of your perspective. Find the perspective that allows you to accept the situation. Then step way back and figure out what you appreciate about what is happening around you. That will lead to a feeling of gratitude and ultimately stress-free peace of mind.
Matthew Ferry, Spiritual Teacher & Happiness Coach, helps people break free of negative thought patterns so that they can reduce stress and enjoy life. Ferry is the Creator of The Rapid Enlightenment Process and the bestselling author of “Quiet Mind Epic Life: Escape the Status Quo and Achieve Enlightened Prosperity Now”. www.matthewferry.com/