Mindset of Stress

Mindset of Stress

When I set myself to deeply understand how Ayurveda could help overcome different stress-related issues, one of the topics that popped up was a mindset of stress. There is a deep link between stress and mindset mainly because they feed each other, for better and for worse.

After all, some stress patterns are caused mainly by what you think about. Such is the case with people who suffer from anxiety, for example. On the other hand, stress can affect your ability to keep a clear mind and mindset.

In Ayurveda, to understand stress and mindset, one has to first understand the holism of who they are. Only by understanding yourself better, can you start to resolve the issue from an inner body out perspective.

An Ayurvedic Approach to the Mind

In order to dive deep into mindset, we first need to define mind. There are a lot of words in Ayurveda for the mind, as it is understood to be a collective of different energies in action. To understand mindset creation we need to focus on the higher mind, buddhi, the manas, and ahamkara.

Ahamkara is the “I am” factor, the individuation.  If at one level we are all one, at another, we are all different. Ahamkara is where I’m not you and you are not me. It differentiates us from one another.

Whereas, the way I think of Manas is like a data collection system. It is the television screen where the whole show of life is happening.

You can also think about the mind in terms of the koshas. The koshas are sheathes around consciousness, in other words, they are pure consciousness. When you understand the role of the koshas, you understand the link between your physical body and your emotional body.

Think about it. When you feel sad, even if just for a second, you can see your posture change, you might feel somewhat collapse. On the other hand, when you are feeling positive, there is a lift from your mind to your body.

When considering stress and mindset we need to have into account the different levels and layers of self and how they are part of the whole.

How to Change Your Mindset

To create a mindset that allows you to break the stress pattern, you need to think in a certain way. But how do you actively change your thought patterns? One of the answers is breathing. Deepen your breathing rhythm and try to dissolve into nothing. Once you’ve achieved a state of nothingness, you consciously choose what you are going to think about.

We need to keep our thoughts aligned with what we want. We naturally gravitate towards the good. So if we’ve designed our life circumstances in such a way that we do not get what we want, there has to be a story behind it.

It is easy to obsess with the reasons why we got stuck in the narrative we are currently in. But we should be breaking the pattern by not perpetuating a negative story. Instead of dwelling on the past, you should wake up every day and decide what life you want to be living and make choices aligned with that.

To help you break a pattern that doesn’t work for you, it helps to invest in practices that assist you in dissolving it. Spiritual practices like meditation and yoga allow your deeper waves of desire to come through and start to dissolve the self-sense.

Forget, for a moment, the reasons why you ended up stuck in this pattern. Try to focus on what you truly desire and create a series of thoughts in alignment with that. Then, engage in practices that take you out of a failed mindset and bring you into a mindset for success.

Creating a Mindset for Success

When people talk about building a mindset for success, what they usually mean is they are done with just surviving, they want to thrive. But what does success look like? There are as many answers to this question as there are people. That’s why, when building a mindset for success, you first need to define what success looks like to you.

Your definition of success might be completely different from that of people near you. Maybe that is one of the reasons why you feel stressed. Instead of trying to fit in, you should be honest with yourself. What does your “perfect” life look like? And what can you do to align your life with that vision? After answering these questions, the next step is to make choices accordingly.

Your definition of success is bound to change over time and that is totally fine. People evolve and change constantly, and so should their choices. There is a chance the reason you feel stressed, is the fact that you are making choices according to who you were last year, instead of who you are today.

The feedback on your choices comes in through Manas. Then Buddhi lets you know how aligned your choices are with what you truly want. When we are doing that our minds are in a state of flow and our behaviors are coming from a higher state of mind.

Ultimately it is behavior that carries consequences. For instance, if you are not sleeping enough you won’t rejuvenate and your energy levels will be compromised.

It is all about alignment. In order to achieve success you have to align your mindset, choices and behavior with the vision of success you have. That also means aligning your relationships, your habits and your rhythm.

New Patterns Take Time

My Body Thrive program used to be a 10-week crash course. And although it was awesome, it soon became apparent that 10 weeks was not enough time for changes to take root. Now it is a full-year program, so we can change even the deepest habits, behaviors and mindsets. This can be a lot! So don’t panic if at first, it seems like you can’t break the pattern you are on. It takes time.

When considering a mindset of stress, don’t wait around thinking you are not ready to take the necessary action. All the change, even if small, can help tremendously. As you go deeper into the process of dissolving your stress pattern, you will hopefully find it easier and easier to create a healthy mindset. One that pushes you towards greatness and allows you to be the best “you” you can be.

Cate Stillman
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