Mental health: building consistency into your life

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Make your life stable like a tree.  Let your home be your trunk; let your friends be your branches; let your thoughts be your leaves.  Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency is its protein.  The only way we can develop our life structures, is by exercising some kind of continuity.  Living without consistency is like trying to have a human body without a skeleton.  There is no substance with which to go anywhere.

If you are interested in building consistency in your life, here are a few areas to review.

A DAILY TIMETABLE

You can teach your body consistent behaviour by giving it a set timetable.  Unconsciously, your body aligns to routine by adapting its own systems.  The simplest example is how we adapt to approaching mealtimes by generating chemical signals such as salivary increase and enzyme changes.

If we set in place a ‘shaped day’, containing three mealtimes, exercise time, work time, recreation time, etc, then our body has a nice balance guaranteed.  If we leave this to chance, then we tend to fall out of alignment quite quickly; our routine disappears, and with it our health.

A STABLE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

You can teach your emotions safety by surrounding them with peace and kindness.  Unconsciously, your mind aligns itself to relative safety by adjusting its internal chemical and cognitive responses.  A stable, kind environment promotes a better hormonal balance, as well as enduring mind space is given to ‘peacetime activities’ such as research, exploration, and curiosity, which cannot survive so well when we are ‘at war’.

A CONSISTENT PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

When the things around you stay in the same place, your brain has a structure with which to orient itself.  When your ‘home furniture’ is consistent, your body uses up far less energy negotiating it.  This is one reason why old people tend to die more quickly if they are moved from one home to another.  Their body has to use up too much energy renegotiating its relationship with its environment.

Furthermore, if there is consistency in your ‘home furniture’, then you have a solid base for exploration and discovery.  In counselling, a similar thing is true.  If clients can encounter similar furniture and environment each week, then it becomes a safer place from which to explore the variations in ‘life outside’.  This is one of the principles behind child development, whereby a solid and predictable carer relationship acts as a good springboard for investigation and learning.

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A MEDITATION

Do I have a daily timetable which acts as a support when my body is confused or tired?  Does my daily routine help me to manage myself healthily, and train my unconscious into a balanced life?

Have I made sure that my social environment supports me?  Are my friends and family kind and helpful?  Do I spend too, much time ‘at war’?  If so, how can I make sure my people environment is free of conflict?

Have I arranged my ‘home furniture’ to make it easy for my mind and body?  Have I built for myself a solid and predictable environment from which I can go exploring when I want to?

Overall, with my routine, friends, and home, have I built a ‘skeleton’ which can help the organism of my life to function?

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