The comfort zone
We all have our own “comfort zone” and it is rather important to have it. This zone starts where you find everything the way you like it. After a long day at work, you finally put the key in the door of your apartment and your private zone awaits you after the door. This is where you’ll find your own TV, with favorite shows. Or where you can make the tea you like so much, and enjoy smoking a cigarette free of all the hustle and bustle of the day.
What is more important about this island of tranquility, is its regularity. You will find your favorite cookies that you found recently in your favorite shop, exactly where you left them. They do not move around by themselves, and will taste as delicious as always. The morning coffee you prepare is also exactly in the same place, where you left it, and has not changed place. Each and everyone of your belongings are where you have left them, where you want them to be.
The comfort zone in your mind
Now what about the comfort zone in our mind? You may have never thought about it, but we have a comfort zone inside our mind too. This is where you process the information your sensory system gathers and collect. All you see and hear, smell and touch or taste are collected and processed in your mind, and inside it there are parts in which the process is automatized. Take the part that is responsible for walking as an example. Our mind trains this task in the first years of your life and remains active from then on. Fortunately you don’t need to think about all of what you need to do. Automatic agents in your brain take responsibility for a great deal of what you need to do. This means that you have enough resources left to think while walking.
What is the cost of living in the comfort zone?
This question is rather important, and everyone should be concerned by this. After all, everything has a price, and the more comfortable you get the more you pay in some sense. The automation in your brain is quit a gift when used in the right place, walking or running for example. But do you want your brain to be automatized even when you need to make political choices? What about when you want to decide on your investments?
I think we might all agree that any automation could have dangerous consequences in such circumstances. But how effective are we in keeping our brain sharp enough for when we need it for decision making? After all, the brain like any other muscle in our body needs to be trained. The training shouldn’t stop at any age, and more training means more efficiency when necessary.
Training for the body and the mind
It is clear that a couple of times per week it is the time to leave the comfort of your home, and go for a hike, or run. You may even pass by your gym and pass some time there to get some physical training. What I do is to choose my favorite songs list and get on with it.
I think we somehow agree upon the importance of this task, and doctors never hesitate to mention the importance of getting enough exercise. Now what about the mind? How do you train your mind to remain sharp and strong? And what are signs of a strong and well trained mind? This is what we discuss here, but the discussion remains open for later, as this subject deserves much more talk.
A healthy mind
What we call a healthy mind is capable of dealing with emotions and undesirable situations without taking too much of damage. A healthy mind does not surrender to anger or despair, and is capable of seeing the light in the end of tunnel.
To keep a mind healthy, one needs to be able to observe the state of mind before anything, an essential step before learning to strengthen the mind itself. One who can observe his/her mind, knows how it reacts to a stressful situation and may control its reaction once the control is possible. I have seen so many of my friends and relatives with basically no control on their mind, and frankly I do not fancy living my life this way. The main way to remain in control of the mind is through meditation, this gift to humanity.