What stimulates your thoughts?

Coffee, Travel, Fear, Intellect or something else, let’s find out…

Everyone needs a stimulant to trigger those nerve cells, to think, make decisions and in general move forward. In this article, I am listing down 7 ways through which I get my motivation for writing. Starting with simple and more obvious ones to the more subtle and obscure one’s

I love the caffeine addiction like million others because it just wakes me up. So I normally take my morning cuppa coffee almost 2–3 hours after I have woken up, and trust me this period is the most dreaded part of my entire routine. I dread it because I feel like a zombie that is just physiologically performing, but for all other reasons, I am quite dead. And seriously, I would hate it if someone were to schedule an important meeting that requires a lot of thought process.

However, if this same discussion is to happen after that caffeine shot, I am not just ready, I am in fifth gear baby — My thoughts are stimulated and I am ready to solve all problems. Bring it on — Bring it on, Let’s solve world hunger.

Now that’s an exaggeration, but you get the drill — the ideas are flowing easily, I am excited about the meeting, asking all the right questions, connecting dots, absorbing the information, actioning my emails. I love it. Sadly this is the coffee speaking and not my coherent self — is that okay? I don’t know but I honestly don’t care either. Coffee is my poison and to hell with all those articles about ‘why coffee is bad for your health’.

“You got to have some vices to be able to have some voices”.

What do I mean?

Find what stimulates you and use it as your source of motivation — caffeine, sugar or even some wine

Why you should try it?

Everyone needs an instant boost for motivation.

2. Travel
Now what I just described above doesn’t hold good if I am on a vacation mode, because suddenly I have found a new stimulant — the vibe of this new place I am in, the people I would be meeting, the things we would be doing, it’s all exciting in itself and it is stimulating enough to not require a coffee. I wouldn’t mind one but I shall be fine without one.

Also, the brain is very aware of the new surroundings and absorbs a lot more information than in the normal course of the day. The newness of the travel triggers a lot of thoughts and ideas which are so different and unique — it just opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. But travelling is an expensive affair to get that dose of motivation. So, what is the other alternative? The idea lies in the reason itself.

What aiI mean?

Find one new thing in your day — take an unfamiliar route to commute, a new grocery shop, ditch Netflix for a book, try a different recipe to experiment, a phone call to an old friend, anything. The only thing you’ll have to be mindful of is not to overdo it. Keep it consistent — one new thing, each day.

Why you should try it?

Small changes, doesn’t take much effort but doing it consistently would make a big difference over a year.

3. Fear
I think this might hold good for everyone but the reason it features in my list is that I have a really low attention span. I can transcend into several different spaces at the same time while still listening to you in that very moment. A bewildering mind is more focussed on the environment that instigates fear than otherwise. What I want to say is the fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty or fear of misjudgement all lead to a heightened awareness in that situation.

E.g., if you are giving a speech and you fear you will be judged for your opinions, your awareness levels hit the ceiling. Again fear is just one of the many emotions that acts as a powerful stimulant for activating those brain muscles — there is anger, trust, disgust that all stimulate thoughts. But fear is powerful because of the chemical reactions that take place in your body causing a fight or flight response. It is amazing how the brain could process these million thoughts in a few seconds and decide on what to do.

What do I mean?

Find your real fears and I am not talking about the fear of enclosed spaces or reptiles and ghosts. I am talking about those bigger things that would keep you awake at night — unaccomplished goals, directionless career, failed relationships, mid-life crises, mental health issues and use them as motivation techniques.

Why you should try it?

Fear is a powerful stimulant if you use it the right way. The zeal to fix what is broken will help to steer life forward.

4. Workout
You might know that workout is an excellent stimulant because of the endorphins that it releases and that sets you up for the rest of the day; it charges you naturally and is an excellent way to be physically and mentally active. Now that isn’t anything new but what I want to mention is knowing the optimum level where this happens is important. To explain it better, I usually workout in the evening and I vary the intensity. If it has been a moderate routine I would be energetic enough to complete my daily chores faster and sleep better. However there is a catch, if I were to up a notch and do a hardcore workout, I would be flat out or my endorphins would touch the ceiling and keep me awake the whole night. So yes, the lesson is ‘do not overdo it’.

What do I mean?

Simply put, workout in any format you like — sport, dance, gym, swim, walk, run or crawl — but move your body and do it consistently. Trust me that consistency is the most difficult part, so embed it in your daily chores.

Why you should try it?

It helps you physically and mentally. Physical fitness helps in better stamina and those endorphins, my, they are an addiction too. You’d understand if you have experienced it.

5. Intellectual conversations
Oh yes, it is such a rarity these days and especially in certain social circles. We have become so superficial and seldom talk about those real issues or be vulnerable enough to share our deepest worries and fears. Those long meaningful conversations with friends, the healthy debates on the economy or politics of your country (and I don’t mean the rant or poison we spew on social media), the life stories of how far we have come and where we want to go. These are the moments which are so rare these days that if you experience them, you should treasure them because they stimulate the thoughts that matter — not just on social media but in real life and also because they impact the circle of close friends and family.

What do I mean?

Have real conversations instead of those superficial ice-breaker talks. Listen. Listen to what the other person has to say and respond with an open mind.

Why you should try it?

There is nothing else that would stimulate your thought better than this one. We as human beings are social animals and thrive on what people around us have to say, do, wear and these conversations give us plenty of insights into their world.

6. A powerful message
Be it a wonderful series such as ‘When They See Us’ or ‘OJ Simpson vs The Public’ or an interview by Michelle Obama or a Ted Talk by someone who talks out of their experience and knowledge it stimulates a lot of thoughts. This is the work that is presented in 1 or 2 hours but it takes a lot of years hard work to create the art that inspires.

So a powerful dose of someone’s life experiences is a great stimulant, especially when you can’t live every life — you see, you learn and you grow from what others have to teach you. On a lighter note, every-time I see something brilliant I would want to pursue that profession. Not just the fancy ones even something as bizarre as a busker or a boxing professional.

What do I mean?

Make wise choices when it comes to the content you consume — Don’t fall for the clickbait content, instead select something more meaningful that you can draw inspiration from.

Why you should try it?

You probably do and so this one is a no-brainer why you should watch healthy inspirational content. Luckily we don’t have to find it in the documentaries or art films anymore, it has become more of mainstream commercial content these days.

7. Do nothing When I have a lot going on, doing nothing helps to compartmentalise those thoughts, to think clearly and stay focused. And I wouldn’t let social media or Netflix or calls or anything for that matter ruin that space and time — because as someone who loves to write this time is precious for me to think about what I want to convey in my writing.

What do I mean?

I mean — spend at least 10 minutes in the day by doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. I am not sure if it is meditation, I am no expert in that field, but just start by staring the ceiling, what say?

Why you should try it?

Yes, when you do nothing sometimes you are doing a lot more. By giving yourself time to process everything that is happening around you you get rejuvenated. And I am not saying to fall asleep. I am saying to be conscious of your thoughts

Originally published at https://theviralblogger.com on August 11, 2019.

Thinker, self-experimenter, and a newbie writer. I write about personal growth, socio-political issues, and career advice.

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