Tai Chi for Relaxation The Mind Can Help Reduce Stress

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The mind is the next building block or tool you need to develop to prevent or reduce mental stress. The ancient Chinese describe us as having two minds: the monkey mind, which is the emotions, and the horse mind, which is your wisdom. The monkey mind is the wild and scattered emotional mind. The monkey mind is also the mind that allows us to have passion, excitement, and other beneficial emotions as well. We cannot and do not want to get rid of the monkey or the horse.

The Chinese have a saying, "seize the monkey and train the horse." Most of us train the horse over a lifetime, from our life experiences and by having individuals who we believe in and hold up their personality as an example for our behavior and path in life. Until we reach our mid-twenties, the part of the brain that commands our logic and rational thinking is still being constructed, and our emotional mind is in charge. The emotions are much stronger when we are children, and as we mature we learn to control them. Wisdom is acquired and eventually we develop deeper wisdom as we age if we tame our emotional minds. Click to learn how Chinese medicine treats Gout.

In order to learn how to deal with stress, we need to keep emphasizing training the horse and seizing the monkey throughout our lives. For example, the horse decides, "Tomorrow morning I am going to get up at 6 a.m. and train." But that night you go to sleep at the same time that you always do, so you are not really prepared for waking up early. At 6 o’clock when the alarm rings, your monkey mind says, "Oh, not today, let us do it tomorrow," and then you push the snooze button and go back to sleep. This scenario is an example of how the monkey mind is controlling the horse mind and not the horse controlling the monkey. Each time you choose to listen to the horse mind and get up and train, you strengthen the horse mind.

The amount of energy that you can manifest is directly related to your breathing and to all of the building blocks.  You will gain control of your body’s energy levels as you continue on the path of tai chi.

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