Many people, myself included, turn to spirituality to help with their depression, though I didn’t realise it at the time. My mental heath was not the first reason I started on my spiritual path yet it has without doubt had an impact. My new understanding of life, death, balance, nature, my ego, etc has definitely satisfied parts of my mind that were previously unhappy.
In my humble opinion, yes spirituality can cure depression and I will outline here why that is. The first thing you need to know is that spirituality is the exploration of the inner self, including the mind. Depression starts and ends with the mind and so the greater your understanding of this, the greater the peace you can achieve.
This article covers from a spiritual standpoint some reasons why you might be suffering and then how you can fix it.
Step in to the fire of self discovery. It will not burn you. It will only burn, what you are not.
– Depression Is Often Linked To Expectation
I did find after much inward exploration (and reading of spiritual texts) that it is my expectation of life that lead me to be depressed. I expect the world to be a certain way, I expect people to act kindly towards me all the time. Unsurprisingly I was setting myself up for a fall because the world isn’t how I want it. The people in it certainly aren’t. So it is an expectation that I had created for myself that was the source of my disappointment and sadness.
Likewise becoming someone that fulfils others peoples expectation of us will cause issues. Maybe we don’t want to disappoint them in some way or want to fit in with our peers. The mind has a desire to be defined in some way by our environment – I am an office worker and I work 40 hours a week, for example. This kind of life is excepted by others and so we lean towards it as the ego wants acceptance. Start to take the world for what it is rather than what you would like it to be, or indeed what others expect you to be.
– The Ego Is What Suffers
Ego is the creation you think of as ‘yourself’. All suffering comes from the ego. Where do you think your consciousness lives? Behind your eyes? In your head? This isn’t you. It’s just another creation within consciousness itself. Explore your ego and you will be given a much needed perspective on yourself.
Explore the separation from your ego and realise ‘you’ are a construct of external factors. Where you were born, your family and friends, education, your sex, your disability or lack of, your financial start in life, plus many other things. These make up what you think to be you when really you are “that which notices all these things”.
This ego mind loves to be satisfied with compliments and achievements, that is to say it relies on the gaining of wealth, or things, or power and attention. It is also true that self worth and self esteem are creations of the mind and it does’t like anything that takes its power away, insults for example. Don’t worry this isn’t the true you, you are not your thoughts and you are beyond your culture.
Even on your spiritual path you can develop a ‘Spiritual Ego’.
– Accepting That Life Is
Buddhists tell us the realisation that life is suffering, that the two are intrinsically linked. The Four Noble Truths lay these out. I’m not a Buddhist but do agree with this thinking. Suffering is part of your healing and one of the reasons you have this life. “Smooth seas don’t make good sailors” as they say. To learn, grow and realise your true self involves suffering.
This is an important recognition to make when asking can spirituality cure depression. Meditation and mindfulness also are great tools for this, coping with the realisation that you’re going to suffer, and that you’re not alone in this, is key.
A spiritual path may also take you as far as exploring death. Your ego sees death as the end of something, the soul sees it as a transition to the next plane. Death has always been part of the deal, make your peace with it now, it is extremely freeing.
– How Spirituality Can Help
A spiritual path may teach you what it taught me – that we are beings of two parts, a part that dies and a part that doesn’t. It teaches me that my connection with my higher self and soul helps me rid myself of the ego and it’s tricks. It may alternatively teach you very different lessons, either way learning about yourself will make you grow. Can spirituality cure depression? Yes – therefore here are some tips to get you started.
- Firstly connect with your higher self – it does not associate itself with the minds issues which can lead to depression.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation.
- Above all be willing to let go of who you think you are, the phrase “you must lose yourself to find yourself” is very true!
- Read the books of great spiritual teachers, I personally can recommend ‘Polishing The Mirror’ and ‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass.
- Spend time with like-minded spiritual thinkers and learn from them.
- Likewise read about various spiritual or religious practices and implement the ones that resonate with you.
- Read ‘The Difference Between Religion and Spirituality’ here.
- Remember that your thoughts are merely passing by, let them come and then let them go. They are not you, you are not your thoughts.
- Keep a spiritual journal with all the revelations you have on your journey. Refer to these on the days you feel disconnected from spirituality – we all have those days.
Realiser is born from a dream to be in a realised state, a state of awaken. To be able to see the most obvious things having missed them for so many years. Subsequently I want to create something to serve as an example of how it could be. If only we might spend the time loving that we spend hating. Above all spending the time to be kind to others for no reason. You get the idea. I hope you enjoyed the blog on ‘can spirituality cure depression’. I will travel around doing what I can and would love for you to join me. Follow my path here…