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Sunday, November 30, 2014

No Nothing November - Day 30

Link to all my posts for #NoNothingNovember.

This is it. The final wrapup of #NoNothingNovember.

Sleeping:

Regarding my sleeping habits, forcing myself to wake up earlier was hugely useful for my productivity. After about two weeks, I started to naturally wake up earlier. I felt energized and got a lot done in the morning, and realized that my energy levels naturally start to wane around 14:30. It also had the positive effect of forcing myself not to waste time at night and not drink too much alcohol at night, since I knew such activities would hinder waking up the next day.

Smoking:

Regarding smoking weed, it's not something I consider a vice. It's something I can consider a vice, if I do it for recreational purposes. But if I smoke with a predetermined purpose (self-awareness, creativity for a business project, etc.), then it can be a tool, the way caffeine can be a tool. It does take some awareness and humbleness to recognize if I am smoking for recreation or for a purpose.

Meditation:

Meditation had the most positive effects on my life, and I feel like I am just scratching the surface. I feel more aware of my physical body and my mental state. Awareness itself is sometimes sufficient to change something, and it allowed me to choose whether to stay in such a mental state (or physical tension) or not. I'll describe what I've explored below.

Concentration Awareness:

I used concentration meditation for this. This involves focusing on an external object for as long as possible, such as a spot of paint on the wall. Concentrate. Your mind will start randomly "getting bored" and giving you thoughts. Every time a thought pops up, you refocus on the wall. At the start this will last maybe 10-30 seconds. Eventually with practice you'll get to a point where you can do this for many minutes. This will make you aware of your concentration, and also has been described by some as a "muscle" that you don't even realize you have until you have achieved the result.

Physiological Awareness:

I used body scan meditation for this. What I do is lie down flag and keep my eyes open. I focus on each piece of my body (foot, then calf, then thigh, etc.). You can tense the body part up, and untense it, to become aware of the tension feelings. You will eventually get to a point where you start becoming aware of more hormonal changes. You'll notice where the hunger feels, where the stress feels, where the joy feels, etc. Try to "chase down" the physiological feelings mentally.

Then, when you start to feel angry in the "real world" for example, you'll be aware of the physiological feelings. When you start to feel happy, you will be able to focus on it and increase it.
So once you are more aware of physiological hormonal feelings, this merges a bit with your mental emotional state. Which brings me to:

Mental Awareness:

I used mindfulness meditation for this. This involves sitting and letting any thought come into your brain. You don't fight it. You then "take a step back", and just acknowledge it as "interesting thought" and move on to the next one. This is sort of like amused mastery at your own mind. Eventually once you start dismissing more thoughts (similar to Concentration Awareness), deeper more emotional thoughts will start coming to the surface.

When combined with concentration awareness, you'll be able to focus your mental energy on the thoughts you want, for your emotions.

Emotional Awareness:

For this, you'll want to do a similar technique to the body scan meditation, where you tense the muscles and release. So you think of a memory in which you felt a strong emotion in the past. You try to feel the rage, or joy, or excitement, and then turn it off. You keep practicing this, and you'll be more aware and have more control over your emotions. The ultimate frame control.

Summary:

#NoNothingNovember was great for me to recognize certain vices which were holding me back, and increase my own discipline. Any excuse for self-improvement is something I fully embrace. I am much more particular about my daily actions. I now look at each action (even if it's just relaxing and watching a movie) as either self-improvement or not. I am much more deliberate about my actions, and have been using my time much more efficiently. For each moment, I make sure to ask myself what action would benefit me, and then do it.

1 comment:

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