By Vladimir Marchenko
- What is conscious life?
- Life in the past and the future
- Inability to cope with emotions
- Lack of harmony with yourself
- Lack of motivation
- Dependence on someone else's opinion
- The feeling of living someone else’s life
- The arrest of your personal growth
- All failures are perceived as a predetermined “punishment by higher powers”
- The desire to convince others that you are right
By pursuing the future or worrying about the past, we often lose track of the present. As a result, we are unsatisfied with life, overthinking and constantly depending on the opinions of others. If something similar torments you too, perhaps you are living an unconscious life.
What is conscious life
In its simplest form, living consciously is understood as the ability to notice your own feelings, concentrate on the present moment without evaluations and criticism as well as without referring to the past and future. Such a lifestyle (also called mindfulness) is opposed by uncontrollable emotions, unpleasant memories, and regrets about the things that haven’t happened or could happen, etc. The danger of such negative thoughts and emotions is that they arise spontaneously, are difficult to contain and do not have any positive effect.
Regular practice of mindfulness allows you to find harmony with yourself and the world around you, strengthen mental and physical health, improve the quality of life and open a new path towards new goals. We discussed how to build awareness in this article:
However, to understand whether your awareness needs to be improved, let’s first take a look at the signs of unconscious life.
Life in the past and the future
If the present does not seem to exist for you, this is an alarming sign of unconscious life. Same with the constant thoughts of the past (how good it was, everything was easy, there were no problems, the summer seemed endless, etc.), or towards the future (everything will be better soon, the problems will be solved by themselves, I will become happier after the New Year ). However, it is these two poorly controlled periods that are providing us with a huge amount of depressing emotions. Regretting things that cannot be changed and always expecting something better to come do nothing good. We need the past for experience and the future for motivation, but we should live in the present. At least try.
Inability to cope with emotions
Everything is good in moderation, in terms of emotions especially. A person can react excessively not only to events that affect him directly but also to the ones that are distant in space and time. In this case, awareness helps not to take decisions you will later regret about. Often, emotions are a manifestation of childish infantilism (“something doesn’t go the way I want it to”). Therefore, before expressing any emotion, ask yourself "what kind of emotion am I experiencing now?" and "how serious and important for me is the motif that caused it?" Sometimes, in the process of such reflections comes a clear understanding that wining up is not worth it.
Lack of harmony with yourself
The inability to accept yourself the way you are can lead to constant dissatisfaction with oneself, neuroses, and, as a result, problems with mental and physical health. It is self-acceptance that many mindfulness practices are aimed at. Indirect signs of such dissatisfaction are the frequent change of partners, places of work and residence, and surroundings. As a result, a person constantly tries to run away from himself, not realizing that it’s solving the internal problems that he needs to do. Self-acceptance is often mistaken for selfishness and narcissism, but acceptance implies taking into account your own flaws and working on improving and correcting them, but at the chosen individual pace, without the compulsion and desire to please someone.
Lack of motivation
An unconscious person assures himself that nothing depends on him simply to avoid finding the meaning of existence or to postpone the realization of his capabilities for an infinitely long time. As a result, he just "goes with the flow", not finding the use of his potential. The quintessence of this is Thomas Carlyle’s expression “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder”. Consciousness helps to understand your role in life and how you can contribute to it, and in this state, responsibility for words, actions and choices is formed. Therefore, set both big and small goals and reward yourself for achieving them.
Dependence on someone else's opinion
We all need to listen to advice, communicate, contact opinion leaders and competent sources of information from time to time. However, it should not become worship or obsession. When someone's opinion becomes more important than yours, such blind faith can make us act under someone else's orders, for example, if a person takes on trust the statement of some authoritative person (usually famous) without subjecting his word to any critical analysis or imitating their manner of speaking, dressing up and lifestyle, destroying our own identity. This also includes excessive dependence on social networks, when people can hardly live without “spying” on famous people lives. Therefore, “do not create an idol” and remember that people around you are just like you.
The feeling of living someone else’s life
Outwardly, a person can have a wonderful life: prestigious education, an interesting and well-paid job, and a loving family, but at the same time, he can feel as if he is observing his life from the outside, without active participation. There can be many reasons for this, of course, but it is mainly because of the expectations created by the parents, school teachers and society in general. According to them, we are expected to behave in a certain way, and up to some point, a person does not feel any discomfort about doing so. Awakening usually comes at the most unexpected moment and requires effort. Perhaps a lot will have to be changed - from usual activities to the surroundings, but the main aim here is to find yourself, be in contact with your feelings and get to know yourself in the present.
A person who lives unconsciously generates a negative background on a subconscious level. Starting with thinking about how bad everything is, and ending with surrounding oneself with people who constantly complain about life, which, in turn, only creates the atmosphere of being constantly surrounded by problems. This also includes a passion for sad-aggressive styles of music, horror or violent films, TV series and video games. It creates a vacuum that doesn’t allow to perceive anything positive or new. To replace negative background gradually it is vital to stop the thoughtless scrolling of news and incidents and watching films that evoke negative emotions.
The arrest of your personal growth
This applies not only to professional skills but to the overall development of the personality. At some point, a person feels that he has become uninterested and his previous occupations do not bring him pleasure anymore. Likewise in his work, he may feel as if has reached a certain "ceiling" and hardly anything excites him. Not being able to find previous motivation can even lead to alcohol abuse. In this case, it is useful to communicate with like-minded people and colleagues more, try new hobbies, and look for sources of inspiration in the outside world. As with negativity, it is necessary to replace the information "garbage" with something more important, including the sources that can pump both your mental and physical health.
All failures are perceived as a predetermined “punishment by higher powers”
In this case, the slogan would be “the world is unfair, and I just turned out to be in the wrong place in the wrong time”. People who show such an attitude believe that some (more successful) ones were just lucky, they did not put any effort into what they did and never failed. And those deprived, in turn, are predetermined to remain on the sidelines. A person who lives consciously sees a direction to follow in order to become happier and learns from his negative feelings about people or situations. He does not make a tragedy out of failures and perceives them as new paths for further actions. The most important thing here is to be able to distinguish what can be changed and what cannot at a given time.
The desire to convince others that you are right
A person who lives unconsciously has a keen desire to impose his point of view on everyone. This stems from the fact that deep inside he is not sure whether his views are correct and deeply needs approval. Having formed more or less supportive environment, he feels comfortable, however, only for a while. When new beliefs are formed they also need reinforcement. Such a person willingly follows the authorities and changes his views depending on the prevailing conjuncture. A conscious person does not need such "crutches" and does not depend on someone else's condemnation or recognition.
To start practising mindfulness, specialized literature or, for example, mobile applications are suitable. One of the ways to pump consciousness and subconsciousness using the app is Hypnopedia for iOS. It contains thematic affirmations that are played while the user is sleeping without waking him up. In this way, overall mental health and specific personality characteristics are gradually strengthened. You can also practice before going to bed, and relaxing sounds for falling asleep will help you with that. In addition, a smart alarm clock is built in the app as a bonus.
You can download it here:Ссылка App Store
Practising mindfulness allows you to “awaken” and transform your life, as well as return it to a positive direction. You can start the process any time and gradually move on to meditations and more complex techniques in order to confidently state: "Yes, I am here and now and am living my own life fully."