Expose yourself to extremes more often
Modern life smoothes away the human experience.
Have you noticed that people don’t really sit with their thoughts anymore? Most people in the metro stare at their phones or listen to music the whole time. However, be careful not to replace boredom with stimulation. Boredom is an essential part of the human experience, a source of important revelations.
There is a deep satisfaction to be found in working your body to complete exhaustion. We rarely push our bodies even remotely close to what we are capable of. The record holder of the world’s longest plank was in pain after the first 14 minutes, and then he continued to go on for another 9h 16min. The toughest exercise you’ve ever had is peanuts compared to what your body is capable of - but most people would never know.
Us Finnish people have a tradition that exposes you not only to one extreme, but two: a hot sauna followed by ice swimming. Smooth conditions enable excess mental baggage to build up; the brain doesn’t need to worry about survival, so it has capacity to overthink. But when exposed to extreme conditions, visceral heat or cold, the mind becomes peacefully clear.
Go a day without food or water. Take a cold shower. Eat bread that has gone a bit stale. Expose yourself to extremes - heat, cold, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, boredom - more often. It won’t kill you, quite the opposite: it will make you more alive.