One of the most important things to learn for how to deal with depression or anxiety is how to find peace of the mind.
Peace of mind is achieved though patience, flexibility, forgiveness, and dealing with change positively. Learning and implementing what you learn from this article will help you heal from a troubled mind.
Accept change, make changes
Anyone who has been to A.A. knows the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Although I am not a religious person; I still love this prayer.
Whatever your religious or spiritual views, serenity and courage can be found within.
Each of us has spiritual place within, or above, themselves, where wisdom above conventional thought can be accessed. This “Higher intelligence”, which some would call God, or Spirit, or ‘That which connects all things’, is accessed in a state of serenity, and can be felt, tangibly.
Serenity is accessed by utilizing enough patience to listen to our thoughts and feelings, and with wisdom, to observe unobjectively, and let go of that which is not within our power.
Courage to act with wisdom is accessed by listening to all inputs, and acting in a productive and positive way which helps you recover, to a greater good that helps others as well.
Allow to continue that which you have no ability to change, so let go of any resentment that afflicts you. This is serenity.
Change that which afflicts harm to you or others, emotional, spiritual, or physical, with every resource you have within. This is courage.
Listen to the higher thoughts that can only be accessed in silence. This is wisdom.
Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
Perhaps you feel that you have been robbed of peace in your life. I will tell you now that that is hogwash, as peace can be found in even the most terrible circumstances. It is within your control.
Peace is a mindset. It is the ability to calm yourself and those around you in a non-violent way.
When you blame others for how you feel, you are saying, simply, that your thoughts and feelings are not your own. You are saying they have more power over your thoughts and impulses than you do.
Wisdom says otherwise.
Forgive yourself, forgive others.
Every single living being on this earth is living a life from their own perspective, seeing the world through their own eyes, feeling things with their own hands, and carrying their own lessons and experiences.
The intentions of others can be mysterious… how do you get into someone else’s mind? The fact is, you cannot truly know someone unless you have been where they have been, what lessons they have learned, and what is important to them.
When someone else hurts you, they are often acting out of hurt themselves, and in my opinion, the world would be made better by healing and grace, as opposed affixing blame or hurting them back as a knee-jerk reaction.
Why be angry at people who hurt you, when the solution to your hurt is within your power? Basically if you allow yourself to continue hurting, then no longer are they hurting you, but you are hurting yourself. How is that healthy?
You have the power within to release hurtful feelings like anger, by practicing the serenity, courage, and wisdom that I discussed earlier. Let go of what you cannot change. Change what you can. Know the difference.
Use a healthy outlet for outstanding anger or frustrations.
I understand that forgiving yourself and forgiving others sounds simplistic and is sometimes easier said than done.
Anger is a very real experience, and there are dangers of suppressing it. Suppressed anger is widely accepted to be a cause of anxiety and depression, increased chance of heart disease, greater risk of stroke, and a weakened immune system.
So, it is important to release anger; but how do you release it productively??
In the larger picture, taking anger out on others causes more issues than it solves. When troubled by anger and finding peace within seems elusive, finding a different physical outlet or a demonstration of your emotional frustrations can help you recover gracefully.
Here are some ideas for ways to positively work out pent-up anger, rage, resentment, or frustration:
- Watch funny videos, laugh out loud, write bad jokes.
- Walk, run, lift weights, yoga, Tai chi, Kung Fu, kickboxing, bowling, golf, or participate in group sports.
- Focus on slow breathing techniques.
- Practice relaxing muscles groups progressively.
- Allow your thoughts, feelings, and sensations to come and pass. Simply observe.
- Talk it out with a therapist or counselor.
- Relax in hot bath.
- Play with a stress-relief toy.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Do something nice for yourself (i.e. go to the spa, buy yourself a gift, go to a movie).
- Create an artistic expression of your state of mind.
- Creatively write to express your thoughts and feelings.
This list is non-exclusive, as I’m sure there are plenty of great solutions out there for making yourself feel better in productive ways.
Please share your ideas and help others by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post!
Adopting the attributes of flexibility and resilience.
Recovering from a damaged mind/spirit is difficult if you refuse to cultivate flexibility and resilience in your life.
These are learned attributes, achieved by opening your mind to new potential, and getting back up every single time you are knocked down.
As you always have. Keep on keeping on!
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill
So CONCEIVE AND BELIEVE that:
You can feel better about your life, mind, and heart.
Your light can shine brightly to help guide others.
You are a valuable contributor to this world.
You make the world more beautiful just by existing!
Written with love,
- Serenity: Meditations of Acceptance, Courage, and Wisdom
- A Mindfulness for Beginners Journal: Prompts and Practices for Living in the Moment
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
- Mindfulness for Anger Management: Transformative Skills for Overcoming Anger and Managing Powerful Emotions
- Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
- Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t (Zen as F*ck Journals)
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