How Do You Find Peace When You Need It?

In an increasingly fast-paced world where we are constantly surrounded by an uncountable number of distractions, it would help our minds to find peace and calm. But how?

Our phones light up, ding, and send us messages constantly. Cable news channels quickly scroll one scoop after another while talking heads yell more than report. Personal and work emails demand immediate attention, or else they’ll clog up our mailboxes. And our competitive ways plague adults and children alike.

But these issues are mundane when compared to other matters. For instance, today’s children practice active shooter drills.  And we’re living on a planet that’s becoming less hospitable with every passing year.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


We live in a high-stress world, and thus, many of us are highly-stressed people. While anyone, at any age, may excusably be on edge, others experience diagnosable anxiety. Nearly one-fifth of the population suffers from this mood disorder each year, and roughly a third will experience it in their lifetime.

It would do us a world of good to experience peace. So, what do you do to escape it all?

Do you meditate or practice yoga? Do you find peace in a place of worship? Perhaps a nature hike calms you down. Or listening to music relaxes your mind and body. Possibly, like me, you head out to your garden to weed or just take in your surroundings.

How do you find peace when you need it?

Related questions: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Peace or discomfort? How do you perform self-care? Is our attention fractured?

What Would You Do If You Lost Part Of Yourself?

Sometimes, from an accident or even just from simple aging, you might have lost a skill or talent you previously possessed. How did you handle that?

As you grow and mature into an adult, there are naturally things that you are good at. Perhaps that comes from natural talent, or maybe you develop skills through endless practice. Regardless of how you did it, these things may be important to you, and perhaps even a foundation for how you think of yourself.

What happens if that is taken away?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’


As you age, you will have events of one kind or another. You might have a medical scare, or be involved in an accident of some kind. You might find yourself, rather suddenly, to not be able to do something fundamental to your ego.

Then, of course, there is aging. After a certain age, our bodies begin to wear out. Our eyes don’t see as well as they used to, we don’t have the endurance we once had, and it becomes oh so easy to strain a muscle doing even the simplest task.

What happens when someone who a fast runner suddenly finds everyone is faster than they are? Or if someone with 20/20 vision needs to get glasses in order to read? A person with a prodigious memory might have trouble recalling names.

How can you cope with this eventuality? How do you redefine yourself as your skills and abilities, mental or physical, change for the worse? What would you do if you lost part of yourself?

Related questions: What makes you feel old? How have you changed? What makes change possible? What skills have you lost due to technology?

 

Do You Experience Any Feedback Loops?

There are some behaviors that are self-reinforcing. These are called “feedback loops”, and can be positive or negative. Have you experienced any?

As an example of a feedback loop, consider someone who has a fear of public speaking. If they need to give a presentation in front of a large group of people, that fear might manifest as sweating, stammering, or otherwise being a bad speaker.

Similarly, someone who is worried about not being able to sleep, may let that anxiety keep them awake, and so they end up getting a bad night’s sleep.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’


A positive cycle, for example, might include someone who is confident in talking to people they are romantically interested in. That confidence allows them to be relaxed and makes them ultimately more attractive.

Can you think of other examples, in particular any that you have noticed happening in your own behavior? Do you experience any feedback loops? Are there ways to disrupt negative cycles, or reinforce positive ones?

Related questions: How can we build confidence? Could everyone benefit from therapy? What are you doing to improve yourself? Do you have trouble sleeping?

 

Should We Pay Attention To The News?

Sometimes it seems that trust with our journalistic enterprises is at an al-time low. Should we even pay attention to the news?

One problem with the way we consume our news is that it is becoming ever more partisan. Whatever your political beliefs may be, there is a cable channel, website, or newspaper that will reinforce that view. Other sources are, of course, “fake news” and must be lying.

In addition, the way the news is currently being reported is hyper-sensationalized. If it bleeds, it leads, as the saying goes. Whatever gets ratings or clicks is what tends to drive news cycles these days.

So that seems like a problem with how the news is presented, not with the news itself. If we could simply supply some journalistic standards, maybe we could fix the current problem of divisive, misleading  coverage that oftentimes spills over into overt propaganda.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How much of our thoughts are our own?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How much is enough?’


But even politically neutral, factual reporting creates a problem: a distorted view of reality. Negative stories tend to be more noteworthy than positive ones. A child being abused is news, but 10,000 children not being being abused isn’t.

If you hear a constant drumbeat of negative news stories, your natural inclination is to think the world is worse than it actually is. To illustrate, violence has been falling in the U.S. for decades now, and yet many Americans think crime is worse than it has ever been.

And yet, in order to have a functioning democracy, you need to have a well-informed electorate. How can we, as a society, be well-informed without reporters reporting on that society?

Is there a way to tune out the news and yet stay informed? Is there a way to fix the current broken system to make it work better for us? Should we pay attention to the news, or ignore it for our own well-being?

Related questions: What news from the last year made you optimistic? How can we encourage debate? How do you know who to trust? What is the greatest problem facing humanity?

 

 

What Do You Do To Clear Your Mind?

One of the most common problems surrounding mental health is cluttered thinking. Do you have any strategies to clear your mind?

There are many reasons why your brain may not be acting a peak efficiency. As a result, if you cannot clear your mind of distracting thoughts, you likely will be unable to focus. This in turn may lead to not being able to accomplish much.

For example, there may be a physical problem with your brain that negatively impacts your mental health. There might be a hormone imbalance, or a physical malformation, or something else entirely. In addition, neurologists still don’t know exactly how the brain works — or why it malfunctions.

However, even if the brain is fine on a physiological level, there may still be distractions. Too little sleep may lead to a decrease in performance. You might be worried or anxious about something else, and unable to block out your other concerns.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


Even in the case of nothing being wrong at all, you still may have trouble concentrating. If you have a lengthy mental to-do list, you may be thinking about emails you need to answer, tasks that you need to do, or errands you need to run. These things might take away from your ability to focus on one primary task.

In that case, clearing your mind of mental clutter is necessary. However, doing so is easier said than done. Do you have any tips or tricks that you follow for this? When your mind is racing, how do you calm it? Do you try, say, meditation? Isolation? Noise cancelling headphones? Breathing exercises?

What do you do to clear your mind?

Related questions: What is necessary to change your mind? Could everyone benefit from therapy? Focus or squirrel?