The human mind is a labyrinth of emotions. You may often ponder about your past experiences and, by doing so, create a mindset that reacts to future events accordingly. The mind is a river of thoughts, which is flowing constantly. Your thoughts decide the state of your mental and emotional health.
Ayurveda and Yoga have given paramount importance to your ability to draw your attention inward—to look at your own mind that is not only generating the thoughts but also constantly changing the neurochemistry and various physiological functions.
The Sanskrit term for “mind” is Manas, which means to think, ponder, analyze, and decide. The six negative emotions (Shadripu) that weigh you down are the following:
Over-Attachment & Intoxication
These toxic emotions can make you bitter, inflexible, and rigid. The practice of Ayurveda and Yoga is a powerful form of behavioral medicine. They can teach you to be flexible, not just in the body, but in the mind. The very first sign of spiritual growth is to be kind, accepting, and forgiving without holding any grudges or resentment.
Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate process to release feelings of resentment. The very first step toward self-realization is to accept things as they are and practice forgiveness. It frees your mind from the bondage of the past and the future. It cultivates infinite flexibility, which is the very secret to immortality.
Acceptance is not a passive or weak trait in your personality, but it makes you resilient and spiritually strong. It is recognizing a process or condition without attempting to change it. When you see and accept things as they are, you train yourself to be nonjudgmental, which leads to a stable intellect.
Any fear of acceptance and rigidity makes it almost difficult to practice forgiveness. Carrying old grudges, resentment, bitter experiences, and pre-conditioning makes your mind a stagnant puddle, which is not able to drain and flow properly.
These are all human emotions, but as you become more self-aware and work on self-regulation, you are able to correct the faulty patterns of your instinctual behavior. It is the way you train your mind to accept or feel accepted. Your lack of ability to accept people and situations often creates walls of false ego, isolation, and anger. Vedanta tells you that the world that is full of form and phenomena is an illusion, and you must rise above your sensory experience to understand the true nature of reality.
Below are the best ways to practice being self-aware, structuring a daily practice of self-regulation, and becoming more accepting and forgiving.
Develop a habit of detaching yourself from the experience for a few seconds. This will blunt the edge of the emotion you are experiencing. This is a conscious act of dispassionate detachment that creates a buffer between the outer and inner worlds. This can be done with some deep breathing or a quick one-minute meditation. The key is to do this in moments of joy and exhilaration, as well as anger and sadness. This prepares your mind for a state of equanimity.
2. Channel Opposite Emotions
Bring in the opposite emotion (Pratipaksha Bhavana …Yoga Sutra): Counter anger with love, fear with faith, and loss with gratitude. Bringing in the opposite, but positive, emotion helps you change your perception of a given situation. It can make you optimistic, resilient, and energetic. Toxic emotions take away your energy, and positive emotions restore your vitality down to the cellular level. It is a habit that you should cultivate to be present, listen, and choose a sacred response.
3. Express Your Feelings
Discuss, talk, or journal your feelings. If you cannot do it yourself, find a friend or a sounding board who can help you understand your pain, fear, or anxiety. You will suddenly realize that you are giving more power to the offender to dominate your mind and body. As you accept, forgive, and release the pent-up emotion, you feel powerful and happy.
4. Be Patient
The world is full of challenges and imperfections. The more you dwell on those situations, the more you limit yourself from experiencing freedom and joy. There is no perfect solution to every challenge, but time is a great equalizer, and patience is an expression of timeless awareness.
Reflect upon what has happened and explore the reasoning behind why people behave in certain ways and how your reaction can make the matter worse. Practicing a gentle pause, giving them the benefit of doubt, and converting your hurt into compassion toward them remedies the situation.
6. Practice Understanding
Understanding your own personality, belief systems, upbringing, and conditioning is one of the main obstacles to acceptance and forgiveness. You acquire traits from good or bad role models and, hence, you have to be careful about the company you keep or your sensory experiences. Choose your friends wisely and look for spiritual qualities in their behavior.
7. Practice Self-Love
The last and most important is self-love. It is not narcissism but a constant act of personal growth with meditation, pure foods, exercise, and a positive but purposeful lifestyle. Healthy people are more likely to be happy and forgiving.
Empower yourself with a let-go attitude and create lightness of being. By inserting these practices into your daily routine, you will become resilient and self-aware. The goal is not to detach from emotion, but rather to understand the basis of emotions and, using these tools, to learn from them for spiritual fitness.