Spiritual Techniques To Overcome Depression & Anxiety
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As we seem to be moving into a more spiritual age, many people are turning to spirituality to help with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. With all of the hassle that dealing with the modern healthcare system entails, many have discovered they could just make simple lifestyle changes as opposed to seeing a doctor and spending hours in line at a pharmacy. Some of these choices have their roots in age-old spiritual practices of one or more of the teachings of the world’s religions.
The first spiritual principle to help deal with issues such as depression and anxiety is the most talked about today; that of mindfulness, or mindful meditation. This is the practice of learning to live one day at a time, or in the moment. Learning to live one day at a time enables us to become more patient, and patience is also listed as one of the fruits of the spirit in the Holy Bible and is also one of the highest virtues of mankind.
Principles Work Together
You see how one spiritual practice has a tendency to flow into another? As we practice mindfulness we become more patient. As we become more patient we become more compassionate. Likewise, being more compassionate makes us less judgmental and more tolerant of those who are different from us. This is how the world can evolve toward being a more harmonious society; especially as we slowly approach a world with eight billion people.
Another spiritual principle to help overcome depression and anxiety is simply learning how to trust yourself. Human nature is sometimes steeped in negativity, so it is natural to doubt yourself from time-to-time. Learning to trust yourself works to instill confidence in your own abilities. This also makes life easier when you feel you can perform your daily activities with greater ease. It is also safe to mention here that anxiety is primarily rooted in fear. In the world of Psychology we learn how to face our fears to defeat our anxiety through systematic desensitization and thought training. This practice of facing fears is known as Exposure Therapy and is a part of retraining our brain that is also known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
Along with the retraining our behaviors, we can use positive affirmations. Since humanity trends toward the negative in life, you have to work to focus on being positive. As you learn to do this, your brain becomes more resilient, and you are better equipped to handle life’s challenges. You will also, no doubt, come to experience the Law of Attraction. This is where you repel any negativity in your life and attract only what you think about.
Forgiveness Is Ancient
Learning how to let go of past hurts is another practice of ancient spirituality. Many religions simply call this the practice of forgiveness. While anxiety is primarily concerned with fear of the future, depression is usually connected to past trauma. When we learn to let go and forgive those who hurt us, we become more conscious of the present and accepting of things around us. This too makes us more compassionate and tolerant.
Lastly, all of these spiritual practices work to help us become more in tune with our body. Any medical professional will tell you that much of the illnesses we have today is really our body trying to communicate with us. The more aware we are of what is taking place in our body, the less we will feel compelled to want to run to the doctor every time we get sick.
Zen Mind: Beginner's Mind
These practices also work together to help us develop a “Zen Mind", also known as a "beginner’s mind”. This is where we learn to focus on our breathing for the first time in our lives. Because breathing is so important, learning to focus on this simple act is a way help make us more in tune with ourselves and what we really want out of life. This, in turn, helps us to prioritize and gives us the energy to pursue what we really want and shake off everything that doesn’t benefit us spiritually.
We simply need to ask ourselves what our body is trying to tell us. Inevitably it is often trying to tell us that we are overworked and approaching burnout or there is some fear that we need to face up to - All of these spiritual practices work together to help us to become more relaxed and peaceful.
- Erwin Bishop