The Magic of the Mind

Comments: 10

So this post is a little different to the rest, apologies in advance if it doesn’t resonate but I hope it inspires something good, even if just one of you needs to read it.

I think it’s important to chat a little about mental health in these times (currently in lockdown #3 over here in the UK).

January is a tough month for many of us anyway, not just financially speaking but now on top of it all, we’re also experiencing global emotional exhaustion.

Of course I’m in no way exempt from this, I have suffered from severe anxiety and depression too and I’m not ashamed to admit it. And these issues aren’t just 2020 symptoms for me either, they were present long before then…

One of my favourite quotes comes to mind:
“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” – Krishnamurti

If I could, I’d like to save the forests, the animals and the entire planet, so of course I’m not always in happy-land. But before I digress and jump into that rabbit hole, I’d like to share a few things (aside from music) which help me find relief and escape from my mind when I’m experiencing a wave of depression/anxiety.

Our minds are magical things, capable of letting us experience utter bliss, as well as utter nightmares.

Learning to control and change this is a battle worth fighting for (and personally, I’m still fighting in intervals).


The more “conventional techniques” you’ve probably heard of

Mindfulness and Meditation

A few years back I was attacked by a stranger, with a loud air horn, held straight to my ear. Right after I finished my course in music production.
My hearing is fine (thank unicorns) but the anxiety and tinnitus were something I really had to work on. I got into meditation, to rewire my brain and created my own album to help with this.
The tinnitus is now 99% gone (only briefly returns when I’m really stressed or run down) but I’ll save the story of that journey for another blog post.

My preferred method of meditation is simple: I put on some relaxing music, close my eyes and breathe deeply. I only focus on my breathing, nothing else and treat my thoughts like clouds passing by – I acknowledge their existence but don’t focus on them. I just let them pass and don’t engage emotionally.

Doing this with your emotions and thoughts when you’re not meditating, is a powerful thing to practice.

Exercise

Yeah I know, for some of us this is a pain in the butt. Or difficult to do if your butt is in pain. Either way though, something as small as a little walk around the block will help clear your head. Some people like to dance, so maybe goof off with your pets, kids or just on your own, put on a dance video on Youtube and try something new. You want to get those endorphins flooding your brain!

Nutrition

I don’t want to state the obvious but try your best to eat the rainbow and have some variety in your diet. This one is tricky when you want to comfort eat (hello ramen). I find that if you exercise before eating crap, the cravings for junk food decrease quite significantly.

News

Don’t get sucked into watching the news for too long. Keep up to date if you feel you need to but try not to overindulge. Same goes for social media.

There are plenty more things that I could include here of course. I know some people find medication helpful but since I’m only speaking from personal experience in this post, I’ll move on to:


The maybe not so conventional techniques

Forest Bathing

Actually, I think this one is well established but anyway. If you’re lucky enough to live near a forest or a park with lots of trees, take a flask and a blanket and spend some time there. The forest always seems to wash away my troubles. Countless times have I wandered into the woods, with a head full of despair but then returned with blissful tranquility.

I can’t remember the exact science behind this one (so take this next sentence with a pinch of salt). It was something to do with particles of the forest entering our systems through our pores and airways and stimulating well-being…something like that.
Or maybe it’s the invisible unicorns, the world of the Fae and science just hasn’t found them yet. πŸ˜‰

Getting lost in a different world

I love classic point-and-click adventure games. I can’t even begin to tell you how much escapism they have offered me.

Yes, reading books and watching Netflix all have their place but these adventure games require you to think and act, in order for the storyline to unfold. This interactive component helps my mind stay focused.

Some of my favourite games of this genre are: King’s Quest (including ADG Interactive remakes), Mage’s Initiation, Monkey Island, Gray Matter, Wadjet Eye’s Blackwell Series and Unavowed.

Help someone

Sometimes the best thing to do is focus on someone in need. It makes you forget your own troubles for a while and is productive for you both. Win-Win. Just be careful you don’t burn out.

Comedy

I love Dylan Moran’s stand up comedy, George Carlin and everything from Oliver Kalkofe (for my fellow Germans). My mind (more often than not) also lives in Peep Show and Black Books.

Find something that gives you those precious belly laughs.

Be silly

Dress up, pull faces, force yourself to smile. Even if a forced smile makes you look axe-murderish, it still triggers the right hormones.

I think I could go on and on with this post but I’ll stop here.

Thank you for reading this far and I hope some of this is useful to someone out there in Internetland.

If you have any other tips or experiences you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment. Together we’re stronger and just know that you matter and you’re not alone.

Love and Unicorns,
Mira xxx

 

Disclaimer:

I don’t claim to have all the answers and give no guarantee that what works for me will work for you too. I’m no expert in any of this, everything I share here is based on personal experience. If you need professional help, please don’t be afraid to seek it.

10 Comments

  • Tim says:

    Hi Mira! I agree about the “forest bath” I don’t really have a “forest” to walk through, but there are trees around a nearby college (the trees were planted over one hundred years ago by the priests, at least that’s what I like to think) that my kids and I walk in and feed the birds. It’s very relaxing, assuming I remember the bug spray so that we’re not carried off by mosquitoes, lol. It can be nice to see the animals (squirrels, owls, chickadees etc) and just the trees themselves, some seem so strange, it makes me wonder what stories they might tell if they could talk.

    • Mira Morningstar says:

      Hi Tim! I can relate to not having a forest nearby. I wish I lived in one actually – just like my grandmother did πŸ™‚ But even a lovely park will help you re-connect.
      Haha, bug spray is a must in some places! Quite a few photoshoots in the past left me with several bites. Listen to the psithurism and soak up the stories of the trees πŸ™‚

  • Pete says:

    Hi Mira im Pete and I have just listened to your music. I found it quite hypnotic and soothing. Then I started reading what you have written and I am totally hooked. Having lost my wife to a sudden illness a year ago I have been in a really dark place and am struggling daily to try and make sense of everything. You touched on mental health and I know I need help but it is so difficult to go to a total stranger and tell them you still cry every day and nothing seems to matter any more I know being in lockdown hasn’t helped but I will try to take some of your advice on board and see if I can get my act together. Thanks so much for the music I shall listen to it regularly and try and get some meditation working. Pete

    • Mira Morningstar says:

      Hi Pete, thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. Lovely to hear my music and blog posts resonate so much with you! If any of it just helps one person, then it’s all worth it.
      I’m so sorry for your loss. Heart ache is the hardest pain in the world, in my opinion and I’ve had my fair share of it. Please don’t put pressure on yourself, it’s ok to cry every day, it’s ok to feel every emotion all at once even. And if you feel you need to go get help, please do this for yourself and don’t worry about being judged. We all process grief differently and every mental health coach/specialist knows this.
      When I go through grief or heart ache, I try to acknowledge my feelings when they come up and instead of focusing on how I feel, I try to imagine my emotions as clouds passing by. This allows me to not get completely consumed by them. It takes practice and I’m yet to fully master this technique myself but it does provide great relief.
      Look after yourself, know you are not alone and you will get through this! Just allow yourself all the time you need, take little steps, no matter how small and don’t give up <3

  • Derek says:

    Hello Mira

    What an extremely expressive piece of writing.
    I gained a great deal of calming solace from your words.

    I have read them through a few times and they certainly have helped me to get things into perspective.

    I have saved them to a folder so that I may refer to them instantly, something I know I will frequently do.

    Thank you so much.

    I wish you all the very best with your endeavours and look forward to following your progress.

    Take Care – Be safe

    Derek

    • Mira Morningstar says:

      Hi Derek,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      I’m so happy to hear this post has been of some help to you!

      Take good care of yourself and don’t forget there is magic inside of you πŸ™‚

  • Kris says:

    That’s was a really nice read. I can relate to everything you wrote, apart from being attacked by a stranger, I’m so sorry to hear that, some people will never realise the damage they mindlessly do to others physically and mentally. I used to get bullied a lot and it still has an affect on me in my adult life.
    Your mindfulness techniques are ones I use myself! If I’m indoors then I use a few techniques like imagining bei g beside a stream and whenever I have an intrusive thought i imagine a leaf falling from tree and falling into the stream being washed away, with the leaf representing the thoughts.
    We have quite a it in common which is cool! All I need to do now is check out your music which I will do soon.

    • Mira Morningstar says:

      Hey Kris!
      Glad to hear you enjoyed my little post! Sorry you have been bullied too – most of my childhood I spent scared of other kids for the same reason, so I know how tough it is and how it can haunt your life.
      But those who experienced bullying often grow into very interesting, creative people – so at least there’s a silver lining here πŸ™‚

  • Michelle Eliza Phoenix says:

    Really beautiful Mira. Thank you for sharing your story. It does definitely resonate with me. I’m lucky to live by the sea and enjoy sitting on the beach and meditating to the waves. Love and light. Michelle ?

    • Mira Morningstar says:

      Thank you for reading Michelle πŸ™‚
      Ooh, you’re lucky to be by the sea, the sound alone is one of the most soothing things ^_^
      May the mermaids always have your back <3

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