5 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND PEACEFUL MIND
Support system is important! A support system of daily habits which keep your mental state high and clear. Yes, positive thinking is important but what to do when you feel powerless over your thoughts? What if anxiety takes over and you can’t even try to think positively? What if you feel so depressed that trying to be positive feels insane and inauthentic?
First, we need to bring you to the state of NOW. We have to get you back in your body and in the state of peace. Thoughts are not running fast here; this is the normal state we need to learn to maintain. This is the state that is so easy to forget to be living in our modern technological times! We live in the era of internet and information and while progress is a good thing it doesn’t come without its side effect! Statistics on mental health disorders, suicides, divorces etc. have only rose.
Why though? What is the root cause of this growing madness? In my opinion, it’s the the gap between our technological development and the development of our brains / physical bodies to handle such amount of information. We are very capable, don’t get me wrong! We are capable of much more than we ever going to realize, BUT our brain is not prepared to receive, analyze and store such massive amounts of information on a daily basis. It speeds up more and more, and it even makes you feel like a productive thinker, but eventually it goes out of control and growing anxiety becomes panic attacks.
Your state of depression and anxiety didn’t just build in one day, it took some time to create such a mental condition and it will take some time to come back to the state of ease again. And even then, you will have to keep your mental hygiene routine because this what it takes to keep yourself sane in 21st century. Yes, it takes some understanding of importance, some self-love and dedication, but hey, this is your chance to take responsibility over your life. And since your mental state is fundamental for everything else in life, your goal setting and actions taking will be much easier!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for anything that comes after your #1 priority - achieving the peaceful, clear and happy state of mind! Spiritual practices that I am going to mention can be used for various reasons and in various ways, there is so much room for creativity and psychic advancement!!! Here in this article, I am going to talk about the need of these practices for fundamental mental health purposes.
My absolute favorite! This practice is extremely powerful and everyone who ever tried it would agree with me. Breath work is universal. Yes, some people claim that there are right ways to do it, but you can experiment and find the way you like to do it (just don’t breathe fast when you have an anxiety attack, slow deep breaths will do the work.) I find that breath work gives you that which you need at the exact moment. Which means if you need some relaxation that’s what you are going to get and if you need energy then you will feel energized.
There are so many benefits for the mental health, but you also oxygenate your whole body. Breath work has all the reasons for you not only to try but to keep it as a daily practice. I personally use a guided breath work session from Wim Hof that you can find on YouTube. It will take 11 minutes out of your day for a happier and richer life experience! Remember, there are no short cuts, you want to build strong foundation so give yourself time! I just had to say that, otherwise you will surely see the effect of a proper breathing exercise session right away!
Breath is everything, it is so inclined with the life itself that I personally find this practice the most efficient and magical. If you want to see Life in HD quality and heighten your 6th sense, breath work is the way to go:)
Meditation is probably the best practice to train your focus and claim control over your mind. Meditation is super hard when we make it so. This practice is actually not that difficult when soften our focus.
Thoughts are the lightest form of energy compared to feelings and the physical body. Thoughts are meant to be ‘light’. When we think excessively, we create tension in our heads, we are not meant to energetically tense the upper area of our bodies. It goes against gravity! When you meditate you need to do the complete opposite, lessen that resistance by mentally relaxing; rather than trying hard to fight and push your thoughts away. Meditation can feel like a nightmare until you learn that one simple fact.
Meditation is a fundamental practice acknowledged by so many different religions and it becomes more and more popular in modern days for a reason. First, we are all desperately in need of meditation already. Second, it is probably the best practice for training your focus. There are so many different ways to meditate, find your own or even better, create your own! Choose something to focus on, a feeling of absence or void, a sound, a breath, a still visual and all you need to do is to remain focused. Your mind will wander, and you just need to gently bring it back. That’s it! Nothing more, nothing less. This is the practice on its self - you are taking your mind back no matter how many times it will wander, because it will wander a lot.
The goal is not to shut your mind completely, we will never be able to have no thoughts at all, but the goal is in practice itself. You are winning back the control over yourself.
Don’t try to achieve anything with meditation, just simply do it without pressure and expectations. Don’t expect meditation to start working and give you the results. The more ease you bring to practice the more results you will see. You are training your focus with this practice, so the more your mind wanders, the better - as long as you bring it back. That is it. The goal is not even to clear your mind but rather bring your attention back enough times, so that when you finished your meditation session choosing what thoughts you welcome becomes your life style.
Our brains are genius machines and in order for us to use them in higher capacity we need to learn how to. Otherwise the Robot Apocalypse is behind a corner and those robots will be us, possessed by minds: negative thoughts and obsessive ideas.
Mantras are wonderful :). I personally have one mantra that I like to listen and sing along to. I have no idea what the meaning of repetitive words, i just know it means something good))) And this is not a completely random one - i actually really like the sounds of words, the motive and the voice of the girl who sing it. It perfectly resonates with me vibrationally, i enjoy listening and singing along.
It is impossible to (mindfully) sing mantra and think of something else. Therefore, it is like meditation but with the healing effect of sound and the physical vibration that goes through your body as you sing. Do not underestimate the power of how the sound and vibration can change your state of mind. I know, that a very analytical people will not give it too much serious though because I am one of you, but it does work, and it works pretty well.
The vibration of your voice itself has a positive effect on your body and state of consciousness and so the meaning of the words you are choosing to repeat!
If you are not comfortable with mantras in foreign language or religious mantras, you can come up with your own and it might be just the best idea! You need a short phrase that will resonate with you and will give you a better feeling. For example, “life is great”, but if you are feeling low this one might not feel authentic, so try something like “everything is working out for me even if i don’t know it”, or if this doesn’t feel true try “I WILL figure it out”. Get creative! The point is to sing and have fun with it.
You will take the best out of this practice if you try to speak it with true conviction and intention.
Of course, this is similar to listening to music and singing along, but songs provoking thoughts that we want to avoid. Some songs trigger our negative emotions and that we want even less. But still, if mantras seem too weird for you right now - listen good positive music that lifts you up and sing along :)
This one is amazing! What is better than feeling appreciation? This is one of the highest vibrations, so we all love to experience it. The state of appreciation is a state of “I am glad I am alive”. We get to accumulate little feelings of appreciation and reinforce them towards the feeling of appreciation of the Life itself.
Find things to be appreciative for, they are so many! What about a hot bath? It is a miracle. Just think about it, very recently only royals could afford to have the whole bathtub filled with hot water! In some countries people don’t use bathtubs but only showers; and in others there is no water for such a luxurious experience. Now, I get it, you are so used to it that it is hard to appreciate but that is the whole point of this practice. If you don’t appreciate the experience of life how can you feel “happy to be alive”? We got to reinforce it!
Some people keep an appreciation journal and dedicate time every day to write their appreciations down. This practice has undeniable benefits. Writing helps the mind to register new energy plus time dedicated guarantees that you are not skipping and eventually guarantee the results we want! Also, it will be even better if we take this practice out of time constriction and make it a lifestyle. Expressing gratitude takes an ongoing self-reminder. Constantly look for the things you can appreciate around you, register them, spend time thinking of them. Are your shoes comfortable? Because if they are, how great is that? Uncomfortable shoes are very, well, uncomfortable! You get the point.
The most humbling experience is to spend time in nature. I have my nature walks; where for 1-2 hours alone I consciously appreciate everything around me: every flower, bird, tree, and every cloud. It might sound like a nutty to some but by the end of the walk I feel like a Snow White because nature does communicate back, and no dog will pass by without wanting to play with me. :)
So If you don’t know where to begin on feeling appreciation and/or expressing gratitude, I would suggest taking a weekend with nature. Camping and a long hike.
Think of mindfulness as of ongoing meditation. It is a lifestyle not a practice, yet you do need to practice it. To practice mindfulness means to practice present moment focusing whatever you do. Keep your thoughts in the now. Not the past or the future, but right in front of you, in the present moment.
I feel like I talk about mindfulness so much on a daily basis that I have nothing left to say. :) Do you need to be enlightened about the importance of present moment awareness? Do you know that thinking is just one skill of your brain and that your awareness goes beyond thought? The state of pure awareness is not the state of non-intelligence. On the contrary, the more you accumulate your awareness to your present the wider your perception gets, the more you are connected to the common infinite intelligence.
The thinking process seems very productive to us, and it is, when you think purposefully. Think when you need to accomplish a task that requires thinking. The rest of the time enjoy the feeling of connection to life, flowing, creativity, joy and wisdom. Not everything requires your thinking, but everything requires your presence aka awareness. Being aware and to think are not the same thing.
Let me make an example: if you ever had experienced lucid dreaming, you know that you don’t really think in a dream state. You don’t have thoughts; you don’t make plans or analyze what is happening, you remain in a conscious state without a thought. Your subconscious does the thinking. Does it stop you from being aware of everything around, consciously navigate yourself through the dream and feel emotions? Nope and that only proves that intelligence goes beyond thought and overthinking can be already considered a mental illness.
I hope I awaken the desire in you to create and dedicate yourself to a daily routine