People often approach the subject of mental illness with trepidation and fear. However, recently I read a blog article by Danielle Hark called 7 Myths That You Shouldn’t Believe About Staying in a Mental Hospital that gives readers a more realistic picture of what staying in a mental health facility is like.
Danielle describes her own short stays in several facilities as a far cry from the “creepy monochromatic clinical space filled with zombies and screaming people” that is perpetuated by the movies. She paints a more down-to-earth picture of real people learning to cope.
Her article inspired me to share coping tools from a yogi’s perspective, to help break free from the myths that hold us back from experiencing real wellness.
What influences us
As sentient beings, we are impacted by our surroundings throughout our lives. TV shows, movies, politics, the news, popular music, and the conversations we have—including what we see and hear in our minds—all affect our consciousness. Sometime these influences can lead to suffering and or confusing.
Trying to be detached so that we don’t become too overwhelmed is a great challenge, especially when it comes to the influence the mind has on us. We’ve all experienced how hard it can be to bring stillness and peace to the mind.
A little perspective goes a long way….
Yoga teaches us that just as we wear a pair of jeans or a winter coat, we, the eternal living being, also have on a physical covering—the body. The body we have can also be compared to a machine or a car since we use it to do things and to get us places.
Just as we wear external garments like pants and jackets, we also have undergarments, which in this analogy would be the mind. We can’t see it, but we experience the mind’s presence and flickering, unsteady nature. However, we are not our minds, as evidenced by the fact we can change or try to control our minds.
Through yoga we can come to experience the peacefulness and freedom from fear in knowing that we are actually spiritual beings, distinct from the physical body and subtle mind.We are the soul within the body which gives the body life and consciousness.
A yogi sees the deeper aspects
True Yogis see all beings as spiritual and recognize the need to not only take care of their own physical, mental, and emotional health, but also their spiritual well-being, in order to be happy and fulfill their true purpose.
This way of seeing our true selves gives real meaning to our human journey. It helps us get through the hard times, when our bodies are out of balance or sick and our minds are troubled. It gives us a way to stay steady and focused through life’s ups and downs.
Wishing You Well