What stops us from achieving our goals and resolutions in life?
Ultimately it is the state of our mind and body.
When we feel clear, motivated and rested, we can take on the world but when we feel overwhelmed, tired and in pain, either emotionally or physically, we feel like curling up in bed or indulging in food or activities that brings us short term relief.
We can have all the education and motivational books in the world but if we are stressed and anxious or experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, it is very hard to live the life we would like to lead.
To change our thought patterns and negative habits, we have to do more than just try to think positive thoughts, we have to change what is happening in the brain.
When we are stressed and even in situations of ongoing fatigue, our brain shuts down. Instead of using our prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for rational thinking, we shift into primitive brain functioning in the form of fight or flight. This impulsive brain functioning is more likely to operate from in grained habits and subconscious patterns than from higher reasoning. When we are stressed, it is much harder to sit back from situations and think ‘how would I really like to respond to this challenging situation’. Instead we are more likely to act out emotionally and later regret our words or actions.
The prefrontal cortex enables us to filter our impulsive responses, making us think twice about reaching for another drink when we have resolved to cut back on alcohol or yelling at our child or partner when we would really like to act in a loving way.
Transcendental Meditation strengthens the prefrontal cortex so we are not at the mercy of effects of past experiences or current stresses. Along with this development in holistic brain functioning, TM takes us to a state of rest deeper than sleep, and this allows us to physically throw off tension in the physiology.
If we haven’t released the stress from a past experience, then we are still carrying it around in our body. You may have a person in your life that can make you feel angry just by thinking about them or a tragic event that still brings tears to your eyes when you recall it. This shows that the stress is still sitting there and impacting on your thoughts and wellbeing.
The deep rest we get during Transcendental Meditation allows us to release the stress from the event and this takes away the emotional charge of the situation. During TM we don’t go over the experience again or even know what stressful events are being released, we just come out feeling better and notice that we are not so reactive to situations or people that may previously have pressed our buttons.
Transcending is like having a break from the maze of past experience, addictions and habitual behaviour to experience a sea of all possibilities.
The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation is the tool to achieve any of your New Year’s resolutions by enabling your mind and body to experience their full potential and be free from the emotion baggage of the past.