Give Mindfulness a go! (2)

Hello, welcome to my second lesson in mindfulness. This one helped me with waking up in the morning and staying calm before a test. After two weeks of doing this every day I am pretty sure it quickened my writing speed (at least I think/hope). Without further ado here it is:

2) Write in a journal or with ”morning pages”

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.

Morning Pages should be done for ten minutes. It’s great for mindfulness as it lets you  focus on putting your thoughts onto paper. It’s a way to liberate your mind from the mental chatter that can set your morning off to a negative or anxious start.

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Give Mindfulness a go! (1)

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

It is really simple to forget the world around us and lose touch with the way our physical bodies are feeling resulting  in ”living in our heads”.  It’s also not that difficult to get caught up in our thoughts and forget about our emotions and behaviour.

Benefits include:

  • Higher brain functioning;
  • Increased immune function;
  • Lowered blood pressure;
  • Lowered heart rate;
  • Increased awareness;
  • Increased attention and focus;
  • Increased clarity in thinking and perception;
  • Lowered anxiety levels;
  • Experience of being calm and internally still;
  • Experience of feeling connected.

This is why it’s important to take a few moments in the day to relax and do nothing. Every week I will be posting one mindfulness technique to help guide anyone who wants to be part of this long living religious and secular tradition.

  1. This is called the ”Mindfulness body scan” -It is an easy way to get in touch with  your feelings and relax.  What you do is focus on every area in your body starting from the toes and moving to your head.It is to train your attention on each specific part for a moment and pay close attention to how you feel.

Try doing this for 10 minutes a day and slowly build up by 5 minutes until you reach 30. If you are like me and your attention span is very low I still encourage you to give it a go as it is worth while in the long run :). 

If

Here is a short inspirational poem I absolutely love.

       If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/if-by-rudyard-kipling

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Who was Freud and what were his views on conscience……

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis which means the analysis of the mind. He created a famous psychological theory of the development of the conscience and believed there were three parts of the mind. This includes the Id, ego and super-ego.

The Id is the unconscious, instinctive, animalistic part of our personalities. It consists of our basic physical and emotional needs. These include ”eros”(the sexual instinct) and ”Thanatos” (the drive for aggression and selfishness). An example of something coming out of only the Id is ”I am going to kill that woman/man!!!”

The Ego is only responsible for mediating between the impulsive nature of the Id and the controlling force of the super-ego. It is the rational faculty (the self or I).

Finally there is the Super-ego, it is developed in early childhood through socialisation and it listens to authority. This part of the conscience is an internalised voice of authority figures such as parents. It can make us feel guilt or shame if we go against it through threatening and commanding. An example would be if you want to steal due to the Id  but instead say ”I can’t steal this because it’s breaking the law and I will go to jail!”

For me Freud’s theory is not convincing, even though there is a valid argument which is the same one legalistic ethics gives. Legalistic ethics is an ethical system which always follows rules. However his theory is unconvincing as statistics clearly show murder,violence rape and more. This is possibly because people don’t realise if they aren’t conforming and therefore don’t feel guilt or shame. Freud’s perspectives also try to indicate that humans don’t have free will!

Please share what you think in the comment section. Thank you for reading.

photo of head bust print artwork
Photo by meo on Pexels.com

 

Are the best things in life free?

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Many great things are free…. but are they really without a cost? This question is incredibly open as there are many ways to interpret it. At first I thought this question was only about money but after a while I understood that ”free” could also mean without a loss, technically that is not possible! While many things seem free they always has a catch. Here is an example:

  1. ”You meet up with your friends to calm yourself down before an important exam or meeting”- While this was ”free”(in a certain angle), one could argue that the time that you wasted meeting up with your friends could have been used in a more productive way like preparing for the thing you were nervous about.

This is a very depressing way to look at this, however you can also look at it as ”anything is worth it if you are happy” which can be equal or even displace a ”free” activity.

I believe that free things are extremely important and valuable, not only are they fun but they also relieve stress and help are personal well being. Many people have different things they like whether its: looking at gardens in the local park, going to famous sites or trying on every perfume at boots (which I have not done. 😉 wink! ). To me ”free” is equivalent to something worth your time (fun) not necessarily at no cost.

These are a few things that I like to do for ”free”:

  1. Go to the dog park and look at interesting people walking by
  2. scrapbook
  3. look at old photo albums
  4.  building a fort (yes you can do it at any age)
  5. volunteer ( I do it in the RSPCA)
  6. Meet up with friends
  7. explore Wikipedia
  8. Go to free events nearby where the center is the community

This is a quote that I am very fond of, even though it doesn’t apply to everybody!

”The best things in life are free. The second-best things are very, very expensive.” -COCO CHANEL

Please tell me in the comment section what free things you enjoy and what your opinion is about the initial question.

If you want me to answer any particular philosophy or debate related questions on this blog please email me or leave it in the comment section as I love getting new questions. THANK YOU!

Why do we take pictures?

Every picture you take creates a memory, yet by taking it you actually distance yourself from the artificial reality of what you are taking a picture of. What does photography mean to you?

To me, as a photography student, I believe it is a way to analyse the world around us. Most of the things that we see or do reflect different actions that have influenced are past. The only thing to remind us of our past is photography. When looking at photography most people think of it in terms of  black and white. Even though I disagree with that I do agree that this it is what people are trying to make it become.

Most photographs today are taken while saying the absurd phrase ”smile”! What that’s actually doing is distancing ourselves from the reality of the situation and making it into a fake one. I am not actually saying that this is a bad thing. No matter what face you make to mask your emotions, you can always unravel it through photography.  To me, photography is like poetry, when you dissect it, it becomes harder to understand. That’s why in a few years when I look back on smiling photographs, I won’t see the memory I had, but the smile. Eventually the smile would create its own story, the original memory would however be lost.

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”
― Diane Arbus

Memories are created by taking photos without posing, whether its; building sandcastles, watching the sunset, playing a game, meeting family… of course there is more. When dissecting these memories everything becomes more natural and vivid. While it is important to pose for photographs occasionally,  we must not forget that the fun comes from actions and not just a smile.

Photography is a way for us to escape our busy, complex society . It lets us travel back to the past.  Don’t you think that the best photos that you took are the ones which tell you a story? I encourage you to take more of those!

Would you kill one person to save five?

Today we will explore 2 different moral dilemmas which are based on the rule ‘Thou shalt not kill’. While none of the options provided conclude with a correct moral answer,  I find it insightful to understand others opinions about the matter.

A tram is running down a track and is out control. If it continues on its course unchecked and undiverted, it will run over five people who have been tied to the tracks. You have the chance to divert it onto another track simply by pulling a lever. If you do this, though, the tram will kill a man who happens to be standing on this other track. What should you do?

Would you do it? Or would you let it hit 5 people?

I decided to collect my own data. 85% of the people thought that it would be best to kill one person rather than many. Interestingly, all of the people between the ages of 25-36 agreed to kill the five people, when asked why some people quoted ‘thou shalt not kill’, even though they were sympathetic towards the five people more.

In a Utilitarian’s perspective,  we have to promote the best conditions for the greatest number of people. Five people are more than one therefore the one should die.

Rule Utilitarians would mostly agree but not for the same reasons, they don’t believe that judging every action by its consequence is correct, they believe that we should establish some moral rules which will be best in the long term (meaning the greatest number of people happy). In specific cases it may not lead to the best consequence.

Act Utilitarians wouldn’t even have to think about the moral dilemma! Of course they would pull the lever.

The next example I will write about is extremely similar to the previous one, in fact it is a slightly altered version. What if instead of being relatively distant to the person you are killing you were right next to them! would you still have the same reaction? Would you sympathize more?

This one is called ”the fat man on the bridge”.

A runaway tram threatens to kill five people. A very heavy man is sitting on a wall on a bridge spanning the track. You can stop the train by pushing him off the bridge onto the track in front of the train. He will die, but the five will be saved. (You can’t opt to jump in front of the tram yourself since you aren’t big enough to stop it.)

In a utilitarian point of view, the answer would be the same as subjectively it is the same thing, save five people or save one.

However 90% of the people who said they would pull the lever in the other scenario changed their answer to not getting involved. This is because the physical act of pushing the person to stop the tram shows they intended to kill the person rather than it being an unfortunate side effect. The act of touching the person created a more emotional response as they understood the innocence of the person and how they shouldn’t be murdered.

Overall, while ‘thou shalt not kill’ applied to each scenario, there are many different aspects to look at. Most people acted on their emotional response while others looked at it subjectively.

I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW YOUR OPINIONS ON THE MATTER! THANK YOU.