“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” -Lao Tzu
We’ve all been there. Even the things that normally make you happy begin to bring you down. Worst of all, you can’t seem to understand why.
So you give it time, let it take its course, and just when you think you’ve escaped the funk, something drags you back in. You know it’s happening but you can’t stop from slipping back under.
What’s happening here is simple. Something—be it your job, peers, or general lifestyle—is contaminating your mind. You’ve lost track of the calmness you know you possess and it’s like your mind’s been tricked.
You’re stuck in a painful and decisive delusion that causes everything to be toxic.
It’s time to wake up. Seriously, the snooze button is off-limits.
You only come to find yourself in these types of negative situations because you’ve let your mind take control. It may seem like other people and circumstances are to blame, but everyone is responsible for their own mental state.
Life will never stop throwing you curve balls. The only solution is to change how you internalize and deal with them.
Since completely escaping your mind may seem a bit radical, at the very least, you must correct your thinking.
Our minds are like oceans. Like the tides, thoughts come in and then retreat back. When your mind is stuck, the ebb and flow of your thoughts are all negative. Each new thought process makes the negativity even stronger, creating a snowball effect.
Luckily there is a solution, and you innately have it.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras suggests that there is a jewel of pure consciousness within each of us that is waiting to shine through the clouded mind. By intentionally concentrating away from negativity, and instead focusing the flow of thought on something pure, that jewel will become apparent.
Even if you have to fake it at first, you can teach your mind to ignore negative thoughts. The mind works both ways; the flow of thought can be a snowball of positive energy too.
This being said, I invite you to give meditation a try, even if you think it’s not for you. Stretch a little first to loosen your muscles and connect with your body. Sit in a position that’s comfortable for you and take a few deep breaths—or as I like to say, reboot your mind.
When you reboot your mind, you are clear of the past, empty of regrets, and focused on something positive. You’re simply present, connected, and peaceful in the moment.
Don’t stress if your mind starts to wander while you’re meditating. Just notice it and pull yourself back to a place of awareness.
It helps to focus on a specific point or place so that your meditation practice is an active experience. This place, or the inner-jewel, varies between us all, so it is up to you to find your own. By focusing upon this inner-treasure, your mind will feel less inclined to go down a negative path.
If you find yourself struggling to find this place, meditate on the sun, moon, or water. Pretty soon this type of meditation will teach you your own unique meditative dance. You’ll feel less easily pulled into a funk when things go wrong outside you, and positive energy will seem more natural.
By learning to live in absorption of this meditative place, you’ll help your problems slowly dissipate. Your funk will fade into a sense of peace that you can nurture every day by connecting with body and your breath.
Photo by HePa_Gera