Take Your Peace of Mind Back. It May be the Most Valuable Thing that You Own!

By Robert “Bud” James, PhD

Today’s environment can be very taxing – mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Our world leaders don’t declare a global pandemic lightly, and nearly everyone on the planet is now part of the reaction and the potential solution. While following the guidelines of the World Health Organization is critical to our physical success, more importantly, we have to maintain a stable mental and emotional state to weather this hurricane.

At Memory Spring we focus on Mind and Mental Health because this is the foundation of personal power and stability. Without the ability to create our own peace, our lives can feel like a small ship tossing in a large storm. We barely navigate through one wave of problems only to find ourselves hit by another swell of stressful issues.

Stress is a normal part of life. It is a natural reaction to a perceived change that disrupts our peace. In fact, stress is so normal that many of us don’t even recognize when we are stressing over something that is “stealing our peace.” As the disruption lasts longer and longer, like our lost sailors at sea, our low-level anxiety may increase and move from background concern to foreground fear. Time seems to be working against us and we feel victimized by the waves relentlessly pounding on us.

The good news is that there is a way to stabilize our minds and return our mind-ship to safety.

Let’s press the Pause button on our ship.
Take a moment and simply breathe in and out.
Check-in with yourself and see how you are doing. 

1. The first step in getting our Peace back is recognizing that we have lost some of it. Is your heart and mind at peace right now?

a. “No, I am certainly not at peace about ‘that’.”

 2. The next is the realization that this mental state is not helpful right now.

a. Check. I am losing sleep and making poor dietary choices because of ‘this’.”

3. Ask yourself, “What would I like to feel instead – right now?”

a. “At the very least I want to feel calmer and able to relax.”

Good job, you have moved into the most powerful place you can be, the Present Moment. All our power is in the Now. All our fear lies in the future. Our judgment and guilt exist in the past. We can only make changes in our lives in the Right Now, not in the past or future.

When we recognize that we have pent-up frustration, are in resistance, denial, or just angry from being locked in self-imposed isolation, we need to find a healthy way to let-go of it. In a previous article, I listed several ways to do a healthy discharge. For example, take a walk, sing, laugh, and/or do a Thymus Thump.

After blowing off some steam, we need to decide how to change the trigger that activated our stress. It could be a simple matter of overexposure or falling into bad habits.

  • Are you watching the news on TV or websites regularly and often? Stop it!
  • Are you looking at the pandemic numbers once or more a day? Stop it!
  • Are you talking about it every day, multiple times a day, and with everyone you meet? Change the subject and Stop it!
  • Are you creating excuses not to exercise every day? Get up and get moving!

Notice that in each of these cases, you are victimizing yourself. I know, many people won’t like what I just said. But it is still true. We are blaming others and stressing ourselves out! Think about it. You initiated the thought which created an action that reminded you to be anxious and caused a stress reaction. We are doing this to ourselves. We choose to be stressed!

The bad news is that we are really good at sinking our little mind-ships. The good news is that you are still in charge!!

Pause, and take a deep breath. Then tell yourself:

“I can control my thoughts.”
“There is another way of looking at this.”
“I am not a victim of the world I think I see.”
Re-read these words and let them sink in.

Well done! You have just returned to the Power of the Present Moment and sailed out of the Bermuda Triangle of fear. The next step is easy because you are willing to make a change. Let’s revisit question number 3.

Ask yourself, “What would I like to feel instead – right now?”
a. “At the very least I want to feel calmer and able to relax.”

Whatever your answer is, as long as it is a positive state, focus on it by bringing it into the Now. Write it down. Create simple statements to use while taking a very deep breath in and out. Using the above example, say and do the following out loud:

“As I breathe in, I allow calm to come into me.”


“As I breathe out, I release and feel more relaxed.”


Slowly and mindfully move into the meaning of these words, right here, right now. Repeat several times until you feel yourself releasing tension. Repeat throughout the day as needed.

When you are done, check-in with yourself. Do you feel a little bit closer to feeling like you want to? Repeat it whenever you want to change your state. Modify your statements if other positive words work better for you. If not, start back at the top and make sure you do a healthy discharge and address and reduce your stress triggers.

There is no need to significantly change the way you feel at first. Just shoot for 1% better. Then do it again. That’s another 1%. One more time and maybe you feel 3% better. Good. You’re not a victim of whatever is going on and you are once again the Captain of your Mind-ship!

Keep it up and you will be able to weather any storm! Wise sailors pack a Storm Sail and Storm Anchor to provide stability in bad weather. These simple Mindfulness tools can be part of your Mental Stability gear as well. Stay aware, do your work, and you should be able to get back on Course, navigating to the safety of a nice calm port. Peace is the best gift you can give yourself – and is always the right direction.

Happy Sailing!

Bud James, PhD

Robert “Bud” James, Ph.D., M.Div., BSIT, is a seasoned C-Level executive with more than 35 years of proven expertise in information technology, eCommerce, and systems management. He is a graduate of All Faiths Seminary International, is an ordained Interfaith Minister, holds a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Spiritual Counseling. Bud is also a Corporate Trainer for Memory Spring, an organization focused on enhancing people’s memories, learning skills, job performance, and brain health.

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