Our mental health and state of mind are entities that are often ignored amidst our hectic lifestyles. Struggling to realize our everyday ambitions and goals, we are often faced with a situation of an identity crisis which has the potential of spiralling into a depression. One often tends to associate depression or mental health issues with medical treatments and science. We can be pleasantly surprised to find significant answers to mental health issues entwined and imbibed from religion.
Modern Lifestyles- Depression and Identity crisis
With an everyday life of living with the same routine, one tends to start resonating with what they think they are supposed to be in the real world. They have a sense of lacking a personality or identity of their own while living a life that was shaped for them to live by those around them. This feeling of having become someone that we are not; by the chance of having been in an atmosphere where one thing leads to another for us to identify with being what we exist to be, this is the onset of an identity crisis. Eventually, this inability of being able to recognize yourself can be very depressing. Depression can be rooted in several other causes as well. Understanding and accepting this, is the first step, fundamental to anything else. Only then can one start working towards resolving these issues.
Hinduism – Curing depression
Hinduism offers several ideas and notions to understand one’s mind and its behavior when faced with certain external situations. The core principles of Hinduism can be life transforming if absorbed and applied to an individual’s life in its truest and purest form.
Depression and identity crisis are often related to a sense of twisted reality. Hinduism offers a clear perspective on the nature of reality and that of God. In Hinduism, it is believed that there is just one God who is formless, limitless and eternal. This infinite God includes everything that exists including the seen and even unseen parts of reality. To understand this principle of Hinduism, we need to understand ourselves. Before we were born, we were formless just like the entire reality before it came into existence from absolute state of nothingness. Just like every drop of the ocean is an integral part of the ocean and we can point at any drop and call it to be the ocean. Similarly, if the Braham (one true God according to Hinduism) includes everything that exists; then even we are the Braham, in a very logical way. We are also limitless and eternal like the nature of reality. Look at all that you have achieved since you were a baby. There isn’t one thing that you didn’t bring into your existence that you really wanted. But sometimes, while playing this game of life we get so engrossed in the role we are given that we forget our true nature. We forget who we are and that’s when this principle of Hinduism reminds us of the true nature of reality.
When going through the immense crisis of self-awareness and loss of joy in life we tend to magnify our own problems by constantly living in the mind. Hinduism showers us with the blessings of the Vedas which have the keys to unlock immense wisdom and knowledge through self-realization. These scriptures also focus on making us understand what real happiness feels like and why it is important to be able to differentiate between temporary and everlasting happiness. If we really study these scriptures, we can easily understand that our mind is just a tool that we have an option to use in order to enrich our lives. Usually, in this modern world, where people are more dead than alive, we never really explore ourselves on the inside. Even the external world is often left unexplored because our heads are constantly glued to a screen. Due to this, we have become a tool of the mind instead of the mind being our tool. Once we master the art of understanding and observing how the mind governs and impacts our life, we can take control and start living lives which are filled with meaning, content and true and everlasting happiness.
The Bhagvat Gita is a magnificent Hindu scripture which enlightens us to lead a life full of love, compassion, satisfaction, and happiness. It touches the depths of our soul and reignites the fire of oneness within all of us.
It is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita that when we are faced with a problem, we often choose the solution which satisfies our mind while caring less about the right solution to the problem. So if we start using this teaching and add it to our decision-making skills then we can really understand how often we choose biased and impractical solutions to problems which could have had a very simple and straightforward solution. The Bhagavad Gita also imbibes within us the message to let go of expectations while performing a particular action. We can only perform any action in the best way possible if we are happy and excited enough to do it without any expectations. When we let go of expectations, we teach our mind to focus on the task at hand and not on the benefits of performing that particular task.
Most importantly, one of the core principles of Hinduism which can help to enlighten one out of depression is really simple to understand. All it says is that we should live in the moment and not in the mind because it’s important for all of us to see how beautiful our existence is! Gratitude is what we lack; which leads us to ignore the present moment and hop into the never-ending loop of the mind. The mind is nothing but a storehouse of data that we collected in the previous moments. It keeps repeating that data over and over again and we keep listening to it; whilst beautiful moments slip right by us.
If something doesn’t exist at this moment and we keep fantasizing about it then all we really are; are the slaves of a mind who chooses to live in a fantasy. The Gita tells us to break free, because you; are not a slave. You are infinite. Go splash the oceans, stomp the mountains and reach for the skies because you know it; you can and you will. Go out and conquer the world for the world is yours to conquer.