Mental Health and Living in the Present Moment
The much venerated ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said, “If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the present”. It means living in the present brings instant peace and happiness.
When you understand the secret of living in the present moment, happiness will never be an illusion anymore.
Probably that is why it is called the ‘present’, a gift to mankind. Living in the present moment means “mindful living” or mindfulness, which is now an integral part of the treatment in any mental health center.
Why practice mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness has both physical and mental benefits. Scientists and psychiatrists alike have now discovered the many benefits of mindfulness.
On a physical level mindfulness can:
Looking from the mental health perspective, mindfulness can treat:
A lot of patients coming to mental health centers bring a lot of pain and agony from their past. Living with those thoughts could be really tough. So, easing the pain of such patients is the first step in the treatment process. Combined with other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapists also teach them mindfulness as a key element in the treatment. With the practice of mindfulness, the patients get a grip of the irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts.
Visit any center for mental health in California and you will find various techniques being used to teach the art of mindfulness to the patients. They are:
Mindfulness meditation: It is a simple meditation technique where one is given a simple mantra to chant. You allow your thoughts to wander without any judgment. Just remind yourself that whatever happens to you at the moment is right for you.
Observing Body sensations: In this technique one has to notice any bodily sensation and not pass judgment on it.
Experiencing emotions: Experience your emotions quietly without being judgmental. See every emotion pass by without being judged as good, bad etc.
Urge surfing: It is a technique where one copes with the cravings for addictive substances or behaviors. The cravings are simply allowed to pass while noticing the various changes in the body during the process.
Practicing these simple techniques alone has delivered many from stress and anxiety with more and more people are adopting them by the day.
Sovereign Health Group thrives at treating patients with various mental illnesses with a comprehensive treatment program offering advice on how to increase their wellness and happiness quotient in daily life. For further questions, please contact (866) 954-0529.
Perfect love casts out all fear. Love and peace are one in the same in that one cannot exist without the other and one is always the product of the other. Peace and love abolish fear and their presence makes all things possible.
Fear is the anti-belief that something good can arise from your situation. Fear is the stumbling block that makes you so sure your world is one of torment that you don’t see the good that is there for you. If fear is in your heart, you can only communicate to others through fear and then fear is likely to be the only thing returned to you.
The fears in our lives are often so deeply rooted that we will go to such extremes to hold onto them, even though these same things are destroying our lives. By identifying yourself as a tough person, by acknowledging and embracing that you are a sickly person, and by denying there are things in your life to improve, you are embracing fears and accepting their effects as who you are. Fear, being the result of darkness or lack of light, is terrified of the truth because it knows that truth will simply make it vanish. When the light is turned on in a darkened room, the darkness doesn’t leave…it ceases to exist.
If you identify yourself with these darker thoughts, you will find yourself not wanting to hear the truth because it tears at the core of who you think you are and creates a misperception that you will lose yourself if you open yourself to the truth. The reality is that you are not what the fear has taught you that you are and there is nothing to lose, only your freedom to gain. Fear strangles and limits. Truth caresses and grows.
Anything that teaches through fear or uses fear in any way, is not from God. This truth is so simple, yet it unhinges most of what we have been taught. Any religion you pursue, any teaching you listen to and any concepts or ideas you hear can be looked upon with that truth. If something does not agree with this truth, it is in error in some way. It’s best for you to know that God does not teach nor command through fear, sacrifice, temptation and suffering. The concept of an actual loving and peaceful God nullifies much of what was written about the judgmental, paranoid, vengeful and ill tempered God of the Bible and many other books. Knowing the truth that God is an actual loving and peaceful being, helps you to more easily identify and focus on those few things that are truthfully written about him.
Peace is the absence of fear. Fear cannot motivate you to find peace. When you find yourself working hard to find peace, you can get blinded to the fact that its your own busyness and efforts that ensure you won’t find it. Peace is the total lack of any effort or work because it is always there and has never left. Peace is pure tranquility, stillness, gentleness and quietness and is the total absence of work, tiredness and effort. If you are working or using effort to find peace, you are ensuring you never will because peace is the total opposite of the work and effort you are using to find it. By learning to stop and by learning to set aside the man-made concepts of working to reach peace, you will learn and see that peace exits as it always has existed and it is patiently waiting for you to stop and just allow it to enter your way of life.
Peace and love is the final result of our journey back to God. There is not one among us who will not achieve this. There is not one person you know or have heard about that will not eventually return to God after having allowed the light to enter and having dispelled all fear. Total forgiveness is the result of removing fear. Unconditional love is the result of removing all fear. Total knowledge and awareness of God is the result of removing all fear.
Discovering your peace is a wonderful thing. It’s a holy thing and a treasured thing because it is really the only state of being that God acknowledges that truly exists. Holding onto your peace is often an entirely other thing. Often we let the slightest change in our environment or the smallest of words, totally obscure peace from our lives. Many of us can testify to having had the most wonderful day, morning or moment and then see all our peace and contentment disappear the moment we allow something in the world to affect us.
No effort is necessary in finding peace or holding onto peace, because peace is always patiently waiting there for us. One the other hand, consistent and sincere effort is necessary in handing over all the thoughts and ideas that we allow to obscure our peace. You worked hard to build these obstacles to peace and so there may be some effort in removing them. As with God and love, peace never leaves, we just put things in its way. After obscuring our peace, we say it has left us, but it hasn’t…we have simply obscured it. Eliminate the unpeaceful thoughts and peace is right there where it always has been.
Let’s follow some of my thoughts and see how this works. I will walk you through a moment where I perceived a problem in my life. My thoughts are shown like this:
I have become upset about the way somebody has treated me. In doing so, I no longer feel at peace.
When I realize I am no longer at peace, I remind myself about many of the truths I have discovered. Some things I often remember are:
The first thing to do is to hand over all non-peaceful thoughts to the Holy Spirit so that he can judge them, refine them and then either dispel them because they are simply not real or return them to you as they really should be.
This thought that I am somehow losing something, I place in your hands to correct.
This thought that others are inconsiderate, I place in your hands to correct.
This thought that the situation will never be resolved, I place in your hands to correct.
This thought that the world is against me, I place in your hands to correct.
This thought that he will never be healed, I place in your hands to correct.
A key focus on really getting past many issues that return, time and time again is to see and understand that you are often holding on very tightly to what our society and religion has declared as Our Rights. Your right To Be Angry, will distance you from God, as will your right to not forgive…your right for vengeance, your right to be upset, your right to hold somebody else responsible, your right for man-made justice, your right to hold onto your man-made rights, etc. etc., etc.
As long as you hold onto these dark rights, you can never truly forgive…you can never truly get past an event and you can never truly be at peace. It can appear difficult to give up your right to hate somebody that has done something to you or to a loved one, but it is one of the most important steps you will have taken to breaking the cycle of events that occur over and over again in your life. You don’t have to like what a person did or is still doing, but you can learn to separate the person from the actions they are doing and know they are not one in the same.
I give up my right to be upset at her.
I give up my right to not forgive him.
I give up my right to thinking they should suffer for what they have done.
Say it…mean it and know that the Holy Spirit hears it, has been waiting for it and will heal your mind about it. The bottom line is that as long as you desire to hold onto these dark rights, you are also choosing, planning and accepting the situations that occur so that you can practice and languish in that dark right.
There is nothing you can do to heal the way you think and feel, other than to be willing to let your mind be healed. You can’t fix it by yourself. If we did know how to fix our own perceptions, we wouldn’t be in the situation in the world that we are. By being willing to change, you are opening the door for the Holy Spirit to remove the blocks and obstacles you have set in place between yourself and the light. By choosing peace, you are allowing God to heal your perception of this world.
I choose to see things clearly.
I choose to see things differently.
I am willing and open to hear and see the truth.
The healing of your mind happens. The extent of your faith may limit this, but there is no way to prevent it. It is what God wants for you. For every microsecond that you are truly open to being healed, God is there, healing your mind, opening your mind and patiently waiting for the moment he is allowed in again. You might not see it or hear it as is occurs, but later that day, later that week, you will notice you are reacting differently to that situation that bothered you so much before. You will find that you see people differently than you did before. You will experience the realization that your healing occurred… not as a loud fiery boom in the sky, but as a gentle and peaceful growing within you. Peace and everything that brings about peace is everything that is not loud and distracting. Peace is gentle and calm, as is the method God uses to heal our minds.
Another good thing to remember is that you only receive whatever it is that you truly desire to give, so whatever you want for yourself, give that thing and then you shall have it as well. Jesus said it best when he said we should love who we perceive as our enemies and pray for them. Would he have you pray for the hopeless? Would he expect you to keep seeing them as enemies? Your prayers for them do matter and they do help to open their hearts more so that God can work with them. In sharing this desire about them, you have forgiven them and have opened your own heart more and God can perform more healing in your life as well. You get what you give because in giving, you are also discovering and accepting what God has already given you.
I extend peace and wisdom to you whom I thought was against me.
I desire that you be happy and at peace and that you would bask in the warmth of total forgiveness and love.
Your happiness is my happiness. I extend my love and forgiveness to you.
God, Love and Peace have never changed, and are always exactly where they always have been…inside you all the time…a part of you that is you. Holding onto your peace is simply a series of methods you use that help you remember this. Your methods might not be the same as mine and my methods might not be the same as yours, but the overall spirit of wanting peace, love and forgiveness in our lives is the same. You can and will find ways to hold onto your peace because that is what I want for you, it is what you want for you and it is what God wants for you. It’s impossible for you not to be able to hold onto your peace if that is what you truly desire because your will and Gods will are one. Both you and God want peace for you and both you and God want you to return home.
I extend my peace, love, forgiveness, health, faith, patience and wisdom to you all.
Gretchen Rubin, "Outer Order, Inner Calm"
Gretchen Rubin discusses her book, “Outer Order, Inner Calm” at a Politics and Prose event at Sixth and I in Washington DC.
Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. Unfortunately, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work for all of us. In Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room For Happiness, Rubin helps us tailor our approach to order and organization to suit our own particular challenges and habits. By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, we’re able to create the order that will make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what’s realistic for most people, Gretchen Rubin suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment—one that helps us to create the lives we want.
Gretchen Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, in more than 35 languages; and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has a highly ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Rubin started her career in law, and was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/
Produced by Tom Warren