Why nothing is sometimes the best thing for you to do

I spent an hour the other day sitting in the kitchen with a cup of tea and staring out the window. I had no book, and no specific concepts tossing around in my brain. It was pure and total relaxation. Afterwards I felt energized and inspired just from giving my mind a break from the constant, high pressure demands that it usually shoulders. Our minds are constantly on. We lay around (resting our bodies) but we’re watching television, surfing the internet, texting, talking to people, and thinking rapidly. How often does our brain get a break? Not very often.

Sometime today, be still. Sit down and allow your body AND mind to relax. You’ll be amazed at the calmness and rest you will experience.

Keep an open mind and heart

No conflict is ever isolated. All our past conflicts with that person, and our past experiences usually color our perception of that new disagreement. As we argue with our loved one, if in the past she’s been insensitive, we’ll automatically project that character flaw onto her. And it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.  We become entrenched in our own thinking; convinced that she’ll act as before. Then because we convinced ourselves, even if her words aren’t glaringly insensitive, it’s still easier to attribute her words and actions to the motives we assigned her rather than giving her a fresh start and perhaps needing to change our mind.

It’s difficult to change our mind about someone, but past mistakes should not determine future conversations. We must give her the benefit of the doubt that she’ll handle this conversation differently than previous ones. If we keep an open mind and heart, this will allow space for understanding and resolution to the conflict.

The Universal Language

Music is a universal language. No matter what your native tongue, a musician can speak to you and say things that you understand without words. You hear emotion within music. You can hear turmoil, sweetness, sadness, longing, excitement. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy music. It speaks to a person differently than words do, but it has a similar affect on the mind, and soul.

Why Debating is Often Counterproductive

Do we start a debate firmly believing that our oratory skills and persuasion will actually convince our opponent to change his mind?Rarely will an individual concede a point in a debate, and the more he is given proof he might be wrong, the more his mind seeks to justify and rationalize his point of view.  As he provides evidence and refutations, (however weak or flawed they might be) his perspective often becomes even more solidified in his own mind. You may also succeed in tearing apart his argument, but he will continue to fight solely because he feels attacked and backed into a corner. It’s almost impossible to have a debate and win. You can carry on a worthwhile debate if it’s to prove to the audience that your argument is logical, true and right. But if your purpose is to win your opponent to your thinking, a different approach will be needed. Often, two people get in a discussion about a subject and they spend hours haggling over the details. They are just wasting time. No matter if one of them is truly right, they aren’t going to reach an agreement. If you hold the correct point of view, you make it harder for your opponent to accept it if you back him into a corner. It’s hopeless, and even harmful to endlessly debate, as you will find you’re just obscuring his ability to think rationally. A better alternative: state your opinion and present your case. Then allow him freedom and space to process. In a less threatening environment, he may actually begin to see and understand the truth.

What to do when facing the doldrums of life

Exercise- Those “feel good” endorphins can help to calm and relax you. Sleep- Sometimes issues can seem too overwhelming and exhausting. You’re not helping matters by fretting, so sometimes the best plan is to just sleep. Even if it’s the middle of the day, take a short nap.  It will give your emotions time to recharge since sleeping forces you to take a break from being all worked up.

Pray- The song “What a friend we have in Jesus” talks about “oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer” So often we are quick to share with anyone who will listen about the trials and struggles we are facing, while we forget to cry out to the One who cares most. The One who can actually affect the situation, in His timing, with His wisdom and power.

Cry- Sometimes it just takes a good cry to clear out all the pent up emotion and tension. It’s actually healthy and therapeutic to occasionally have a good nose blowing, tissue session.

Clean or work on something else -  You may not be able to control the situation at hand, but there are things still within your control. Pick something to do that helps you feel accomplished and put together, whether it’s vacuuming, scrubbing, doing some gardening, writing a letter.

Buy a gift- Buy a gift for a random friend and write her a nice card. You’ll get excited about this act of love and focusing on someone else.  This can create a little fun for you and become a highlight for someone else.

Work- Working with your hands, somehow alleviates the mind. I’m not sure why, but it helps, so you'll just have to trust me on that one.

Distract- Watch a movie or read a book. Do it and don’t feel guilty about it.  Sometimes distractions can help to put things in perspective when your mind returns to the problem.