An Open Mind is a Happy Mind

One of my favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama is “The mind is like a parachute, it works best when open.” Through my life journey I have discovered that my most productive, happy and fulfilling days are the days that I hit the ground running with a positive attitude and a free and open mind. The world looks distinctly different from the eyes of an open mind versus a closed mind. We are all potential victims of closed-minded thinking. This mindset tends to creep up on us unknowingly and can quickly set in. Of course, people have a natural propensity to be either open or closed based on personality factors, but I believe all people run the risk of falling into a closed perspective from time-to-time if not fully aware of themselves.

An open mind is a beautiful thing and the benefits are far-reaching. Not only are we primed to learn, grow and discover when our minds are open but it also brings a sense of peace and happiness for a few reasons:

We don’t harbor such rigid opinions that we take offense to others’ way of thinking and we are free to engage in conversation, ask questions and benefit from viewpoints or ideas that are new or contrary to our own.

An open-mind is curious and inspired by the how, the why and the possibilities. When we’re curious and inspired we garner an added benefit from endorphins that charge our bodies with happiness and positive energy to accomplish goals and achieve life success.

Our problem solving capabilities improve markedly when our minds are accessible to new information.  Therefore, the stress that comes with looming issues is more quickly removed and replaced with solutions.

Be careful not to sabotage yourself with close-minded thinking or accidentally fall into a narrow viewpoint. Here are a few telltale signs that you might be leaning in that direction:

  1. You are not open to new ideas
  2. You’ve stopped asking questions
  3. You don’t like people who disagree with you
  4. You find yourself being judgmental
  5. You’re quick to focus on shortcomings of ideas, projects or people

If you feel like you might be closing your world off to others or might be stuck in a rut, no worries. You can snap yourself right into open waters with the power of positive interaction. Try these quick tips:

  1. Move your body by going for a walk or run, doing chores or stretching
  2. Tap into one of your old hobbies or passions. Read and discover new trends that may have developed since you last were involved.
  3. Connect with other people by calling or going for coffee with a friend or co-worker.
  4. Make a commitment to listen and observe without judgment. Start with a day then increase the length after each timeframe accomplishment.

Interaction, movement and discovery increase your attachment with the outside world and in turn will have a positive reaction on your mind and way of thinking. Live with your eyes, ears and mind open and ready and willing to absorb information: converse, connect, learn, grow and be inspired.

Lori

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