Maintaining Mental Health With Yoga

Negative mental health has an impact on all our lives, it increases anxiety levels, maximizes our fears, leaves us more open to pain and makes us feel inferior. All negative emotions take root from the matter present in the subconscious; we do not have a negative attitude in our consciousness according to the principals of yoga.

We are all attached to physical things, people, certain emotions, concepts, and because of these attachments we desire certain outcomes or have a certain level of expectations. We experience conflict because we cannot reconcile what we think what we want and what our subconscious mind want. The aims of the psycho dynamic, psychological mental health and yoga are not very different they want to reconcile with desires and fears of the psyche with our conscious mind. Only through synchronization of the two minds can we begin to find an inner peace.

Our brains cannot cope well with turmoil our ego becomes confused by conflict and life’s constant frustrations and because the conscious mind cannot cope, it shoves all the painful parts of our personality into our subconscious. There it does not have to deal with them it is hidden from us and it is a type of defense mechanism, it stops us shutting down altogether. Unfortunately these repressed desires, hopes, conflicts etc are not removed or dealt with they can still cause havoc in our lives.

Every action has a momentum according to yoga principals, once a momentum is finished a seed of that momentum to memory is deposited in the subconscious, in yoga they are Samskaras and they are known as archetypes in psychology. Because the mind does not want to dwell on all the things that have gone wrong, the disappointments the failures it buries them in the subconscious which is a swirling mass of dark negative thoughts.

According to the Freudian school of psychology these fears come out in our dreams and we need a trained psychoanalyst to interpret our dreams so that we can reconcile the psyche and become mentally whole. Yoga has what is referred to as ‘antar mouna’ or inner silence which also releases the repressed negative thoughts through meditation. The difference being is that through yoga you can act as your own healer, you have to be fully conscious to reconcile the differences. This is different from Freud who believed that no individual person not trained as a psychoanalyst could heal themselves.

According to Swami Satyananda, when a thought comes into your mind, you do not have to take that thought up you can be a silent witness to it. If you become involved with that thought then once again it stirs up desires and conflicts, but you can choose to ignore the thought. You are taught to be aware of your unconscious mind when you are conscious by focusing in on it in meditation. Your psyche is the basis of all your dreams, your hopes and your deepest most repressed desires, by becoming in tune with it and recognizing what it wants you can achieve a sense of inner tranquility that will have a profound effect on your life because you have detached yourself from the ego, you can observe it dispassionately without getting embroiled in the conflict.

Yoga has the power to prevent and cure; it first of all restricts the amount of thoughts that get repressed into the subconscious because the ego is detached it cannot feel insecure, and the mind has less need to repress guilt and negative feelings because they have not arisen in the first instance. As there is not a constant trickle of negative thoughts down to the subconscious you do not have to deal with them. You can examine your ego without the attachments that normally occur and as you are not attached to your thoughts you can let them go and as the old thoughts that have held you back are rejected the mind becomes a blank canvas that can foster positive thoughts.

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