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3) Habits

a- limit them

In a sense, apart from our habits and obligations, and of some important choices of existence, life will lead us to live almost everything randomly or in the repetition of what we have always done. And even if most of the time it is good to follow the stream without too much resistance to what life brings to us, it is important to do it in consciousness. Our important life's choices are relatively rare : profession, couple, friendships, housing, leisure, holidays.
Inversely our daily life can be the source of continuous choices if we stop systematically relying on our habits and external influences. And it is at this level that we have the possibility to get back to the present and to educate our thoughts.

When these choices are made by conditioning, by habits or by facility, by obedience, or in order to conform to a social pressure (most of the time unconsciously), or when some of those choices are not suiting us anymore; and that we are going on rushing headlong, sometimes complaining, or blaming other for creating our problems, rather than reorienting our choices; we are setting the scene towards lowering control on events, decline in presence, reduction in memory, decrease in consciousness and a loss of mental autonomy.

And among all those choices, those who will most influence the process those are related to our time management : setting priorities, so that we never be overtaken (or as little as possible) by whatever we undertake or are forced to do. If we are not in a position to manage our time in such a way as to keep some form of serenity, we surely won't have the possibility to get back to the present moment and to be in state of making conscious choices. And inversely, being inactive consists of not having enough stimuli for our brain. A just balance is then needed to be achieved. And this is all the more important, these days, as we are more and more living connected to the external world in a virtual way, and this disconnects us from ourself.

b- changing habits - learning to leave our comfort zone

We cannot live without routine, without habits. But it is essential, in order to maintain our mental fitness, to change them regularly. Of course, some routines cannot be really left. Once we know how to drive a car, all the driving routines stay good, even when our will decreases.
However the way we manage our daily life can be modified almost at will. Our schedules, the order of our activities, the detail of their content, the speed at which we are acting, the words that we choose to express ourself, the way we are writing, what we are eating, the clothes we are wearing, the roads we are taking to travel, our body posture, what we are watching, the programs that we are using on our tablet, our computer or smartphone, ... And that doesn't include the novelties or the changes that we can bring in the choices of our activities, of our holiday destinations, our centers of interest, our learning, our relationships and acquaintances, etc.

Everything. Everything can be questioned, everything can be changed (or almost). Faithfulness to some things and some relationships remains essential, but most of our attitudes, behaviors, and activities in our life can fluctuate over time, even our tastes and our cultural references, even our beliefs.

In a sense, the idea would be to tend to never lose our taste to get out of our comfort zone, psychological as material.

Here are some mental attitudes to privilege : self-discipline, curiosity, listening (in the sens of giving more space to the other than to ourself in the dialogue), the taste for learning.

Inversely, here are some attitudes to avoid : intellectual laziness and laziness in general (however forcing ourself too much can lead to demotivation, disgusting us with our undertaken actions), lasting inaction (when not imposed by health or external factors), submission (keeping the most mental autonomy possible, even when we are submitted to an authority, or dependent), home-loving behaviors, disinterest behaviors.

I think that people living regular and important changes in their life, are advantaged when aging, as long as these changes are not experienced on a traumatic way. For, as we already have seen, stress and traumas are the enemies of a good mental management.

Concretely it can take the following forms, for example :
moving regularly - at least move the furniture inside home - traveling, practicing different languages, reading a lot, studying, often sleeping elsewhere and in new places, changing work regularly (not necessarily changing profession), and living an intellectually stimulating life : all those factors could, by essence, be factors of avoidance of memory diseases, as long as they are experienced on a voluntary manner (whether they are our choices or whether we accept them as such if they were imposed on us), and as long as they are well managed. For, if we are overwhelmed by all those changes, they could then accelerate the aging process of our mental.

Learning or relearning to be challenged in our habits, to follow the stream of events rather than forcing to follow the program despite the unforeseen. In fact, loving the unforeseen, loving novelties, and seeking them.

For those who are reaching retirement age, take advantage of this change to do new things, while avoiding routines, but without forcing yourself. Do not go beyond your limits of insecurity, otherwise you will make the inverse movement of shriveling up by reaction in order to protect yourself from having gone too far.

I think it's better to keep the best of our habits, but I think it's more important to change habits as often as possible, and to be able to adopt new good habits that can replace other ones that were already good. The choice of innovation or change has to be done daily many times regarding all our smallest actions and decisions.

c- back to the present moment

Coming back most often to the present moment enable to reconnect to our consciousness, to our will, to our possibility to make real choices (not automatic ones, not dictated by the program of our thoughts), and to connect ourself to everything, to something transcendent, whether we have beliefs of these kind. It may sound boring basically and yet it's the only way to honor a meeting with ourself. The more we will be able to live these present moments, the longer we will remain in control of the vessel of our life.

d- breaking free from addictions

This involves also to break free from our addictions. These are not only our habits, but they have in addition the power to force us acting against our real desires and needs. This seems obvious to understand for alcohol, and any substance altering the level of consciousness, but there are many other addictions, for some, less visible and yet harmful, such as the cigarette, food addictions (coffee, need to nibble, to eat sweet, ..) sex or even simply the need to seduce, shopping or excessive consuming, or any other little treats that we daily offer ourself and for which we don't succeed anymore in getting rid of them. And then most of all, everything that connects us virtually to others, everything that gives us a pseudo-acknowledgment, everything that is flooding us with superficiality, everything that awakes our unwholesome curiosities or our impulses, and this through all our connected devices : computer, tablet, mobile or smartphone, television, ...
All those programs, games, broadcasting, social networks, ... which plunder our time and mostly our brain and which imperceptibly take more and more space in our life, and end up preventing us from dedicating ourself to what's dear to us, and even simply preventing us from taking the time to take stock of what is the priority in our lives. Rem : video games, for instance, are mostly designed with the very purpose of creating addiction. Once this is created, we click automatically to restart once the game is over, without even having realized our desire or not to go on; this automatism being relating to addiction.


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Preliminary remark

A) Our automaton-brain
B) Aging
C) The enemies of mental youth

1) Automatisms and absence of changes
2) An anarchic memorization
3) Stress
4) Negative emotions
5) Submission and dependence
6) Addictions

7) Isolation and lack of activity
8) Absence of human projects
9) Lack of will, of self-discipline
10) The omnipresent critic
11) Some mental illnesses or issues
12) The mask

D) Acting to prevent

1) Acting on thoughts
2) Acting on memory
3) Need to act before the onset of symptoms

E) Educate the thinking

1) The state of physical health
2) Make the memory work
3) Habits
4) broadening interests
5) The organization of our thoughts
6) Meditation
7) Cultivating the doubt
8) Healing emotional wounds
9) Managing without needing to have control over everything
10) Opening of the heart

F) Preconclusion
G) Better understanding our elders


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