The forgotten self-cleaning function of the mind

Photo by Kalegin Michail on Unsplash

We all have this. It’s apparent in three-year-olds.

One minute, their world is crashing down around them due to the toy they just lost. But as soon as the emotional storm passes, it’s gone. A clear horizon and open sky are all that remain.

You and I have this built in mechanism too. The only thing blocking it is the layers upon layers of our personal thinking we’ve piled on throughout life.

For some reason, we’ve become personally invested in the thinking that stands between us and the clear skies that lie beyond it.

We all have a sort of mental/psychological immune system.

That mental head cold drifts in, sticks around for awhile, but as long as we don’t do anything to make it worse, it eventually goes away.

Yes, it’s inconvenient. Yes, it hangs out longer than we wish. But it’s just a temporary state of being.

So how do we make these psychological head colds worse?

Usually it gets worse when we try to fix it. Because when it comes to matters of the mind, we tend to over-medicate. We add more misaligned thoughts to an already misaligned state.

My analogy of the cold holds true when I say that the best thing to do when you have a cold is to rest…

Kick your feet up and marathon that Netflix series you’ve been wanting to dive into. Listen to your favorite album over and over again. Or… Sleep.

Soon, the cold disappears and you’re back in the game. The psychological immune system has come through again.

On its own schedule — yes. 
But it’s better than anything you or I could do.

Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people deepen their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way.

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