Nine months ago, I injured my back and hamstring; both have been hurting ever since. Initially, I just optimistically figured they would self-heal, but as each month crawled by and the pain lingered, I started obsessing and wallowing in negative thoughts, constantly fretting about how to heal. My usual sunny thoughts got trapped in a prison cell of melancholy reflections.
Take a moment to consider your daily and hourly reflections. If you're like me, then they are probably circular, critical, checklist-y types of thoughts. Don't worry, that's totally normal. As humans, we're essentially born to think this way - it's called the Default Mode Network of your brain. You might theorize this type of thinking was necessary for survival in a tougher world. Fast forward to present day, where a large part of the population doesn't need to fear for safety every second, and this default thinking mode can become destructive for some of us.
Good news!!! You don't have to be trapped in default mode day in and out. Instead, you can train your mind to work in Present Centered Default Mode Network, which is actually where your creative, insightful, and happy thoughts live. All you need is a little meditation, what I like to call the modern day magic pill. (Some people might call me crazy for thinking that, but there's a lot of scientific evidence out there on the benefits of meditation and the negative effects of stressful, unhappy living.)
All these months with an injured back, I've been confused about why my meditations haven't been as peaceful as usual. Then yesterday, while stretching my back, rather than tensing up in anticipation of that trusty twinge of discomfort, I randomly chose to just relax. Allowing my Self to release my mind's stealthy grip on my body was the key to smashing apart the prison walls.
Maybe you can try a little meditation today! Even just 5 minutes a day of surrendering our brain's incessant craving for control can change our daily being. Find your freedom.... Namaste.
To read more about Default Mode Network and Present Centered Default Mode Network, see Richard Miller's article: