Today is World Mental Health Day so I thought it might be helpful to start looking at the solution rather than looking at the problem.
Here are 6 tips that you can use in your daily routines:
After waking up, start with a helpful routine, sit up and remind yourself that you are exactly where you should be and there is nothing that needs to be done except from crossing your legs in a comfortable position and observing your breath. The moment you wake up, your mind starts functioning, starting the long learnt programmes that you have learnt through your experiences. Don’t block these programmes, simply watch your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. The reason we do this is not because we are trying to attain anything, as you are already that thing that you want to attain, rather because we have developed unhelpful patterns. When thoughts rise, try to observe them and if you are starting to follow those thoughts, acknowledge it and bring yourself back to observing your breath.
After you have finished your session of becoming closer to the present moment, the day should be heading in the same direction as the practice you had in the morning. It’s helpful to sit, doing what we call meditation, as these are the moments when we give ourselves the time to focus in developing awareness. In reality we could bring this practice into every moment we experience, It’s a process of remembering to use this tool when we have stepped out of being aware.
If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or depression, this process should be much easier for you to recognise. When you are going through these awkward times of feeling anxious or depressed, you have moved away from the present moment and into a moment of past or future. If we can look at anxiety and depression in this way, we will see that what we have labelled an illness is in fact a blessing, a guidance to help us.
When we identify with the ego, we create a world of separation and when we experience this world of separation we become scared. We then have the need to protect the self, the “I”. You are not separate from the environment you inhabit, this environment is you and you are the environment. Don’t fool yourself in thinking you are better or worse than anyone around you, you have the same abilities to be aware, to experience life, this present moment.
Just allow things to be as they are, you are the observer of life and that’s it. You don’t need to have opinions or judgements, just allow it to be as it is. If you can develop this attitude towards the moments that pass you, you can be sure to start developing a sense of peace.
As soon as you see yourself stepping out of the present moment, the good news is that you are aware.