The idea that you can retain the power to stretch your mind after you are 60 and still have the ability to mentally defend yourself against the negative influences that often pervade your consciousness will powerfully increase your sense of self and well-being.
Mind stretching is the process of teaching the brain a new way of thinking and, in doing so, connecting the right and left brain halves more effectively. Each hemisphere controls certain functions and movements on the opposite side of your body. The left brain is more verbal, and the right brain is more creative. Although each hemisphere has its strengths, the two don’t work in isolation. Both sides contribute to logical and creative thinking.
When you are scattered, inattentive, and unfocused, daily life becomes stressful, and you fall prey to reactive emotions and misguided actions that lead to unwanted and wasteful thinking. Living with greater awareness means acting more deliberately, prudently, and effectively.
Discover the Skills of Mental Self-Defense
When you manage your interior life, it can lead to positive change and practical action. Many incidents each day may challenge your mental self-defense mechanisms.
Stop and Take a Breath
The first mental self-defense technique is to stop and resist going into a negative defense position. Unfortunately, it is human nature to go to the negative. For every positive thought, you probably have at least three negative ones. Train your brain to stop and take a few deep breaths before responding to a negative situation.
Change Your Reality Lens
Sometimes your internal state only partially reflects your outside reality lens. That’s when you say: Something’s wrong with this picture. This moment creates a duality between internal/external reality.
Make a mental self-defense adjustment and correct your reality lens—what is real or inaccurate, personal or not. Don’t be mentally immobilized by suspicion or an opinion. Make good mental choices that reflect your reality lens.
Resistance is a mental trap that causes stress and is toxic. You see and hear resistance daily in everyone you meet, and you probably don’t recognize it.
More importantly, often, we are not aware of our resistance. When you resist, you become immobile in mind, body, and spirit. Step away from yourself, step away from the limitations of others, and avoid falling into the mental traps that threaten your well-being.
Meditate and Practice Daily Self-Reflection
Meditation allows thoughts to go by without judgment, slows down the mind, and increases your ability to stay present. The practice of meditation is crucial in helping you sustain mental self-defense techniques in situations that cause struggle or inappropriate behavior.
Staying present through a meditation practice will give you time and space to prioritize your responses and utilize techniques to strengthen your mental self-defense. Meditate 10 minutes a day, and after clearing your mind, set your mental GPS to enjoy the present.
Awareness of mental self-defense techniques is integral to your natural growth process and provides guidance and inspiration for stability, resilience, and balance. Healthy mental habits build clear thinking, better communication, and well-defined relationships.
Joan Frances Moran is a creative thought leader exploding with the potential of now. A lifelong learner with an unrelenting curiosity, Joan started teaching yoga at 60 and unlocked the key to cultivating daily happiness. Her signature headstand is not the only thing that leaves audiences in awe.