Depression, how to free ourselves from this affliction and find peace of mind

When we are depressed, we perceive everything in a negative way, we feel defeated, without the intention of undertaking any activity, we do not see sense in striving to achieve something, we feel unmotivated.

On the one hand we can reflect that there is a certain wisdom in those moments, that of knowing that no matter how hard we try to get satisfactory stimuli, fame, money, power, knowledge, etc., none of these things will bring us lasting happiness, since everything we accumulate we will lose over time, besides striving is not a guarantee that we will succeed, surely we will have failures and disappointments, then why even make effort to get out of bed, and undertake new activities?

All these thoughts combined with the thoughts that arise from the losses and failures that we have already had in the past, and the present thoughts about what we lack, what we want to be and aren’t, etc., can cause sadness, disappointment and frustration to arise.

We all want to feel happy without having to make a tremendous effort to get, fight, acquire, protect, pretend, etc., and we can do it if we just stop doing what has us trapped in depression: believing our thoughts, feeding them , and obsessively review them until they generate destructive emotions.

The only thing we have to do is to stop struggling with that inner dialogue that tells us what we should be, do, or constantly judge us for not being good enough, successful, intelligent and so on. Stop listening, ignore it and let our minds rest in the stillness of being aware here and now.

At first that voice will intensify by wanting to be heard, only thoughts that arise out of habit, but as we ignore them these will become less frequent.

Instead of paying attention to them, we direct our mind to the sounds that surround us or to our breathing. Whatever is happening in the present, here and now, is an anchor for our mind to rest.

Stop identifying with depression and the thoughts that produce it, is the way to find peace of mind.

Sometimes it is very difficult not to let ourselves be carried away by thoughts and emotions, so a useful method is to focus our attention on the beneficial things and actions that other people are carrying out in the world, and to rejoice in the help they are giving to other humans or animals. Feeling empathy for others makes us feel good. Let’s try to focus on helping those around us.

Balancing your life

Today I want to offer you methods and tools with which you can balance different areas of your life; emotional, social, cognitive, etc.

One of the imbalances that we all suffer and yet consider normal is in the attention. Our minds are constantly distracted with thoughts about the past or the future and with an endless inner dialogue. When we are able to stay present and with a silent mind we can concentrate better and experience greater mental clarity. The problem is we do not know how to train our minds to improve attention. Today already in many Western countries are taught the techniques developed in Asia for training this ability.

By being vigilant in the present we can also be aware of thoughts and emotions that we experience habitually and recognize which of those are virtuous and not virtuous. Through methods to develop empathy, compassion, patience, etc. we can also begin to live an ethical life, making us responsible for the impact of our actions and words on others and the environment.

The development of emotional intelligence is crucial as suggested by Daniel Goldman. Since this type of intelligence is leading us to manage our emotions with wisdom and knowledge related to establishing good society, thus opening the doors to reach our goals, to live a meaningful life and bring benefits to our community.

Likewise, the development of wisdom is important for the development of human beings. Not only rational intelligence and emotional, but also a deeper wisdom about the reality of how it is that we exist. Recognizing that we are interdependent with everything around us, that we are impermanent and because of this we can transform ourselves into better people, changing our negative habits and cultivating positive ones. And the wisdom of the awareness that we are going to die and be separated from everything we value and appreciate, which helps us to put our priorities in place and leverage our lives in the best way possible.

“Explore Your Mind” by Ven. Robina Courtin. Spanish translation by Alma Ayon

In late January I had the wonderful experience of being the translator of the Ven. Robina Courtin for a week during her cycle of teachings in Bogota. It was a challenge since she speaks quickly, but I learned a lot being so close to her because she is an exceptional person filled with inspiring qualities. I think her teachings were fabulous and very suitable for our contemporary society.

Here I share the first conference entitled “Explore your mind” which was given at one of the best schools in Bogotá.

May you enjoy it and if you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

 

 

 

Ego…Do you have one?

There’s no ego it’s just a concept, but often we experience it as a voice within us that constantly complains, judges, evaluates, craves, escapes, desires or rejects. Actually what happens is a constantly arising of thoughts related to these mental afflictions. But if we learn to observe these thoughts without judging them again and evaluating them, we see that they are ephemeral, they  arise and pass. As we train the mind to be in the present accepting things as they are, without paying attention to these selfish thoughts, we will start finding freedom and discover an inner wisdom.

It sounds easy, but how to do the habit of not following compulsively our thoughts? On this site I present a number of methods to release our ego-grasping and find peace of mind and emotional balance. I recommend starting with these methods.

 

 

 

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We must not fall into the trap of thinking we have an ego and it’s like an enemy that lives within us and we have to attack and eliminate, this only causes suffering. Nor should we try to stop thinking, that’s not the purpose of mental training. We let thoughts arise but we don’t follow them. In the space between one thought and another, there is a space of clarity and silence in which we can rest and from there we can see how a new thought arises in the space of the mind but we don’t follow or believe it. If the thought says “you’re doing it wrong,” “I can’t”, etc. don’t believe him, let it manifest and pass, and stay mindfully present. Rest your mind and your body in its natural state.

 

Have you experienced what happens when you don’t follow your thoughts?

 

Is the mind or is the world the source of happiness and pain?

We all seek genuine happiness, but appearances are deceiving and we end up searching where it’s not. Some of us believe that if only we had more money, health, a family, children, power, fame, sensual pleasures, etc., we would be happier. But we don’t realize that all these things are impermanent and lack the ability to give us lasting happiness. The only thing that can give us that happiness is training our mind to:

 

1.  Live an ethical life that benefit those around us.
2. Develop mental calm, presence and single-pointed attention.
3. The cultivation of emotional balance and the development of deep wisdom.

 

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Photo: ©AlmaAyon

Therefore, it is important to be aware of what motivates our actions. To the extent that our motivations focus on ourselves and are selfish, the result will be our suffering, why? If we analyze this, we realize that when we want something for us, we get attached to it and begin to defend ourselves, to compete with others to get it, and once we have it we are afraid that it will be taken or lost, so we take a defensive attitude.

To the extent that our mind attaches to ideas, desires, things, people, situations, etc., and as you feel aversion for all that stand between its desires and their objects, the result will be mental afflictions such as anger, jealousy, selfishness, etc, and an afflicted mind is an unsatisfied unhappy mind.

 

The Mind is the Source of Happiness

To the extent that we desire fewer things and appreciate what we have, and as we release the attachment and aversion, and dedicate ourselves to cultivate a peaceful mind and emotional balance, to that extent we will find true happiness that doesn’t depend on external stimuli or objects, situations, praise or recognition.

And how do we achieve this? Training our mind gradually. To begin, take a tour of this site, explore and put into practice all the tips, advice and strategies I have shared in previous posts. Also sign up to receive tips and resources on your email.

 

Your Turn

Do you have any examples that have given you certainty that the mind creates our experience?

 

Happy 2016!

Dear healthy minds,

I’m writing to wish you a very happy new year!

The resolutions I suggest for this year are cultivating greater peace, attention and developing a good heart. Let’s resolve to create habits of being happy, better organized, empathizing with others, live consciously in the present, with peace and tranquility.

But this will not happen by magic and less if we keep repeating the same patterns of the past year. We have to develop new habits and maintain them.

I know what you’re thinking, that’s very difficult and requires effort, but think for a moment what it would mean to practice non-stress and being less anxious. Don’t you want to feel relaxed, calm and peaceful most of the time? This would be fine, right?

It’s all about this! to cultivate habits that make us feel good and happy long term.

The good news is you’re not alone. Here at Peace & Mind we are a community of people who seek the same and we recognize the importance of training and developing our mind.

One of my goals is to write more about various topics, that can inspire my readers (you) to be free and independent and use their free time meaningfully in the projects that make you happier as well as offering you strategies to live a meaningful life.

Your Turn

What is your most important resolution for this year?