Helo guys, to be honest, lately with all the covid crap, I see a lot of people suffering from depression or anxiety. A part of that is obviously the solitude that constant lockdowns brought on us and the uncertain economic future for most of us. Perhaps you lost your job, or you have friends who are suffering and you can’t help them. So, here’s a few ideas… please, don’t take this as a definitive guide, I’m no therapist…merely just someone who has gone through similar things.
If you have a rational mind like me, you’ll find it rather hard to devote yourself to such a spiritual concept like meditation, or even if I cross a line here…buddhism. Let’s break this down a little and think about it differently. If you had some psychological issues in the ‘dark ages’, who would you consult? Let’s say you have a catholic priest, a local butcher, a blacksmith and a buddhist monk to choose. My choice is clear.
First of all what’s the ‘western’ meditation? I mean we in the west have slowly adopted meditation as a practice, but not the religion as whole. If you just look at the real raw basics – meditation is nothing less than giving your body and brain some time off. That’s what you most certainly should do. First of all, most meditation practices will teach you a routine thing. For example, you breath in and count one, breath out, count two…and so on, this is to put you in the present, your mind has to concentrate on not losing count and your body has clear proper breathing that’s deep and relaxed.
I bet my ass, that this is what a shrink would recommend you for an anxiety attack!1nfi – 3000 B.C.
Sometimes our anxieties and depressions come from frustration of not achieving something, or craving what others have. That could be material, or just being more like the others, or perhaps having a happier life…
Now this, bhikhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is craving which leads to re-becomming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there: that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becomming, craving for disbecomming.One of the noble truths of Buddhism
Cravings move us forward, but if it overwhelms us, it creates a frustration, which all leads down to a spiral of all kinds of emotional troubles. Now, imagine you’re in a local shop, which carries something you love so much, a treat you can’t resist. For me, that’d be a proper bottle of Australian wine…for you it could be cookies, or donuts, whatever… (Yea, I heard this metaphor somewhere, bear with me). Now, you crave this treat of yours and that’s what makes you go and buy it. You get to consume your treat, your lips touch the glass and… that’s the best you can get right? Will you feel better anytime later after you consumed it all?
Just don’t push yourself way too hard, sometimes a craving is just your mind playing on you and it’s not something you need so desperately, set your sights to something more realistic, or create a routine that’ll help you reach some kind of fullfillment. Oh, perhaps I missed my point being a little overwhelming here, what I want to tell you is, that buddhism and meditation is more than just spiritual blabbery… It’s bog-standard psychology…just written a few centuries ago.
No, not the ones by Google … It’s good if you create some kind of routine and stick to it. It will create an emotinal trigger that will tell your body ‘hey you achieved something, now enjoy your day’. Now this could be just as simple as waking up every morning and shaving your face… (or whatever part you prefer). Or it could be something more demanding, like running 3 km. Whatever floats your boat, just set a goal and stick to it.
We live in an age that’s full of information…and these days most of them are bad news. But that should not stop you from digging, there’s a whole lot of learning portals, like Alison.com, where you can get some new skills.
Learning and especially achieving the end and perhaps a certificate on your course will just the same way give you a sense of achievement.
This may sound like a spiritual blabbery again…but go outside, see world, hear sounds, see colours. All this will help you. It will not cure your mental problems, but hanging around in a forest is far more beneficial than staying in your bed all day.
This is not selfish, you have first to be healthy, to be able to help others. It’s not wrong willing to give yourself time to heal and time to get well. It’s not wrong to tell your friends to sod off if you’re not in the mood. Put yourself first, your rational mind should tell you the same thing – it’s fine and you do deserve it. Remember if you’d ever work in rescue, like lifeguard or whatever, you’ll be taught to put the person, you’re saving in danger instead of yourself, effectively using them as a bumper… Why? Because what good is a dead savior? If someone’s wounded, they can be healed, if they are wounded more, they can still be healed…if you’re both wounded, you might die in a high tide under a pier… see?
There’s a crazy ammount of resources online a whole world filled with people, who will love to help you, if you reach out to them. Grab some courage and do it…
And if for some reason you decide to pickup meditation as a habit, let me recommend you this app. It worked wonders on my own health and I bet it will help you too…
One last tip… if you feel down, or you frequently do, one thing you should consider is making a gratitude journal. This is basically a diary, or calendar, or just a plain piece of paper, where you write everyday a sentence like “I’m grateful for…. because”. Then when you feel down, you scroll through these and should realize that life’s much better. These could be anything from ‘I’m grateful for my blanket, because it keeps me warm’ to ‘I’m grateful for my friends, because they keep me up when I feel down’… to complex philosophy, or material stuff…or your pets.
Disclaimer…if you’re reading this and you really feel the need, don’t be shy to ask for help. Contact a healthcare professional and don’t do anything stupid. Also… this is just a bunch of random thoughts…not a self-cure tutorial… take it as just that… with a grain of salt… or two.1nfi – right about now.