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One of the biggest mistakes we make when we are prone to depression and anxiety is to unknowingly do things that feed our likelyhood of experiencing them .
Thich Naht Hahn in The Art of Power gives us the advice of not allowing negative emotions the chance to manifest.
The unconscious mind, he says, can be viewed as a ground with many seeds. These seeds are emotions and emotional states such as jealousy, joy, hate, worry, sadness, and despair. They lay dormant in the ground of our unconscious mind until we activate them. Every one of us has the seeds of good and bad emotional states, but depending on how we nourish each of these seeds, our lives will be different.
When we expose ourselves to certain things, or we are unknowingly exposed, the seeds are watered, they start to grow, and then they become more prominent in our normal waking mind, taking shape and real form in our lives and the lives of those we love. Yet, we often don't realize that we can CHOOSE which of these seeds to water.
So what can we do to water the more positive seeds?
1) We can try to choose an environment that waters the seeds we want watered, at work and at home.
2) We can try to choose the right people to water those seeds by being selective about who we surround ourselves with. Choosing a good supportive system and a good spiritual community is often part of this.
3) We should try to not water the seeds that we don't want to activate. This might include making choices about social media, what movies you watch, what things you talk about with your friends, asking for help when you find yourself doing things that are not helpful.
Therapy often helps with these choices.
How can you apply this metaphor to your life?
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This page is about how self-compassion and mindfulness and skills such as forgiveness, kindness and compassion can help us with depression and anxiety.