A Mindful Approach to Emotional Balance and Well-being
It is perfectly natural as a human being to feel 100 different emotions during the course of a day. True happiness is the result of how we respond to these occurrences. Difficulty and suffering arise when we stop feeling or when we become disconnected from our actual experiences. Similarly, when we become over identified with a “story of me”, we tighten the reigns on a identity of suffering and separate self. For example thinking “I am such a depressed person, I will never get out of this state.” Or, “I am in so much pain, no one understands me, and I will never be able to enjoy my life again”. Or lastly, “I am such a “bleep up” , there is something terribly wrong, and if only I could figure it out and fix it. Once that happens, I can be happy and fulfilled”.
The good news is, there is great hope of liberation from this form of suffering. Once we understand the truth of this predicament, the nature of self and impermanence of things, we can begin to relate to our human condition with compassion and wisdom. With the aide of a meditation practice, combined with additional simple “body based” practices established in mindfulness and compassion, emotional balance will arise naturally without our incessant striving for it. We will be able to directly observe the way the mind and self create this painful and stressful existence and then we can thus observe the moment to moment dissolving and liberation from this added layer of suffering and isolation.
A mindful approach to living includes:
- greeting each day and moment with curiosity, taking time to savor our experiences,
- forgiving ourselves and others for mistakes, big and small,
- appreciating pleasant experiences and adopting an open hearted acceptance of the “less pleasant” ones
- practicing compassion and nurturing connections
- making peace with imperfections, inside and out
- embracing vulnerability by trusting self and others
- accepting and appreciating that things come and go
- truly caring for ourself and taking responsibility for our own well being and considering the same for others
Research studies have shown that a well grounded mindfulness practice has the potential to create changes in brain regions and brain activity that correlate with and results in:
- improved concentration, insight and creativity,
- increased acceptance, coping strategies and well-being for those reporting chronic pain,
- reduced stress, anxiety and relapse associated depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia.
- Increased decision making and abstinence in those with substance abuse, histories
- and increased empathy and other-centered thinking and action
So, do yourself or someone you know who is suffering, a favor, a real favor, share this information with them.