Let’s do a systems-check and see where I’m at in terms of the components that must be managed.
In terms of belief, I dedicated much time and effort towards the process of coercing myself into accepting and adopting a non-physical understanding of reality. In short, “life is but a dream”. Overall, I think this helped tremendously, to the point of eradicating my anxiety.
For attitude, that’s been a bit of a struggle. My mind is full of ideal images depicting how things should be, yet my senses perceive scenes that don’t match up. Therefore, my experiences tend to feel subpar, allowing room for pessimism and cynicism and ungreatfulness. But perhaps the key to this is a lighthearted attitude. Things are supposed to go wrong in a sitcom for example – that’s what makes it funny. So, I’m still working on this.
For calmness, I dedicated myself to becoming calm and applied tons of effort. For instance, I inflicted actual physical punishment anytime I overreacted (holding my breath until it was uncomfortable). As a result, I’ve noticed I’m much calmer. I’ve also noticed that when you’re calm, the overall intensity of life lessens. Therefore, cultivating calmness seems to be worth the effort.
As far as lightheartedness, I’m working on it. I tend to take everything too seriously. And as mentioned, I think lightening-up would help with my attitude.
For focus, I’ve put in a lot of effort here too. I actively ignore things I don’t prefer. I’ve had enough practice from meditation to be able to change my focus quickly when I notice my attention’s on something unpleasant. This has been worthwhile – I tend to see less of what I dislike nowadays and more of what I like.
As for feelings, I previously didn’t put any effort into this, but it’s on my radar now. Essentially, I’m trying to cultivate the feelings I prefer.
With thoughts, I’ve been watching them for a very long time – so it’s made me see what a dumpster-fire they are. I tried playing-nice, but overall I’ve found they’re just toxic-waste polluting my experience. Nowadays they go straight to the spam-folder.
In terms of perspective, I’m way too zoomed-in on myself. Most of my problems are so minuscule that they’d be imperceptible if I wasn’t so close-up. This needs work.
I assumed I could eliminate “bad days” by doing everything right. Yet no matter how well I was doing, “bad days” still happened. Because of that, I thought my overall efforts were worthless (i.e. I might as well give-up on self-improvement). But it seems like “bad days” simply exist – and I have to get out of the rain, get cozy, and wait through the storm. I’m actively working on this.
In this context, “recipes” are the regular things that must be done in the physical-space to keep the body comfortable. First, the concept seems contradictory to my non-physical belief-system. But maybe it’s just a built-in mechanism to encourage participation – providing reason to explore and experiment. Recipe examples: the foods that nourish, the activities that envigorate, the potions that provide optimal energy. These recipes might even change over time – what suits at one point might become caustic later on.
I haven’t figured-out much in terms of recipes – I’m still working on it. For example, it was only a few years ago I realized my body reacted negatively to the consumption of pasteurized milk. Whereas my body behaves better when I eat bread. And my body requires at least a bare-minimum fitness regimen. And despite years of avoiding them, it turns out that coffee and caffeine actually improve my day.