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Spiritual things to do to gain control of UR self

Dr Roshan Jain

Senior Consultant - Psychiatry. Deaddiction. Psychotherapy

7 min read

The need to gain control of ourselves is needed, now more than ever. It’s one of the common problems or reasons for seeking help. Individuals are overwhelmed, stressed and burned out with work and life stressors. All issues are unpinned by seeming lack of control. Perhaps, we have surrendered ourselves to the external elements like; technology, to consumptions (of food & substance), our senses, desires and eternal aspirations. We either overindulge to the point of obsession or experience guilt and avoidance of the said behavior. Moderation has become a difficult task.

As we know, anything that we indulged in repeatedly tends to become a habit or take an obsessive form and inherently go out of our control. e.g., with food consumption, we either gorge or are marred by guilt and our diet to starvation. Our loss of control is such that we require guided motivation to eating mindfully and stopping when we are full.

Mobile phone use is another example when compulsive picking, checking and updating has taken over our waking moments. With TV, the binge-watching of series on multiple OTT (over the top) platforms has become all too common! Now platforms are designed to be addictive for people who are already attuned for excesses. A common thing people can relate to is – regular drinking of alcohol invariably leads to out-of-control binges and then a state of dependency or addiction.

It seems that we have developed a tendency of becoming addicted to everything we do, partly because we give up control only to aspire to regain it.

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What is self-control?

The idea of self-control is confusing as it can address mere behavior, thoughts or both. The modern psychological definition of self-control is an ability to control the behavior to delay gratification, avoid temptations, resist unwanted urges and achieve a goal. These are again targeted to external while paying little attention to internal processes or triggers.

Instead, let’s think about self-control more holistically and aim at synchronizing the external realities with the inner world. For this, we need to look inward, mobilize internal resources and work towards harmonizing our thoughts and feelings with our behavior.

From time immemorial, humans have pursued spiritual journeys to address existential angst and to understand the purpose of our being. These journeys are unlined by one a commonality, of looking inwards to gain awareness of thoughts, feelings, emotions and our reactions to external stimulations, as well as our connectedness to people and the world.

What is spirituality?

Spirituality has varied connotation, too many; it’s about having a sense of purpose and direction in life, a sense of connectedness, togetherness or being part of something.  To me, spirituality is nothing but getting a deeper awareness of our thoughts and feelings, as this is a prerequisite for serenity and state of harmony with everything. It’s about being self-aware and deeply connected with oneself.

These questions will lead U down a road where U will think more in-depth about URself and allow URself to notice things about URself that will help U achieve fulfilment.    

Seven ways to attain spiritual harmony or spiritual control of UR self

Write, speak & introspect. As Buddha rightly quoted, ‘What we think we become’. We are our thoughts. But to become, we must have an awareness of those thoughts and associated feelings. Expressing what is on UR mind will help U to attain clarity and focus. As unattended thoughts (about events and challenges) can leave you muddled and unable to make sense of your feelings. They can act a hindrance to your growth.

Get those thoughts out by writing. By writing down UR thoughts, you may be able to think clearer and move forward. Writing will cement your thought process. Importantly, thoughts committed to paper are available for reflection at a later time and your leisure!

Vent or speak with a friend or family member. This will help you unburden and bring a deeper understanding of oneself. Only problems there is that friend or family member might be biased and advise before they listened, and force you to accept an issue before understanding it.

For deeper introspection, consider speaking to a mental health professional. They are trained listeners who will facilitate an uninterrupted of following thoughts, and where and when necessary will steer others in a direction to maximize the efficacy of meaningful interaction.

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Leave UR comfort zone – travel. This may be paralyzing for some, as uncertainty can be anxiety-provoking. Remember, the magic happens when you step out. So, travel more, as the experience can do wonders for your growth and relatedness. Travel can give you time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

Additionally, it will allow U to identify and weed out stressors and get back on track to a harmonious life. Where possible travel alone and choose serene activities, meditate, or even take a vow of silence. The plan is to return refreshed and renewed!

Be positive: Seems simplistic but think! To be positive, it’s important to acknowledge negative emotions, as avoidance will only make it worse – becoming more potent and lasting much longer than they should. Acknowledgement is a prerequisite for acceptance and change! When U eliminate negativity and re-frame how U think of certain things and situations, you’ll notice yourself being more positive, relaxed and in a happier place. How can it be done? Try and observe the negative emotions, associated physical sensation, make no judgement or opinion and allow them to pass unhindered. In other words, being mindful is linked to sound psychological health!

Try yoga.
Yoga is a time-tested physical technique that can help improve your strength and flexibility, and above all, spiritual wellness, by mindfully performing a series of dynamic and static postures. Yoga recalibrates the emotional and physical strains on your mind and body alike. Besides, yoga is known to lower UR stress, boost UR immune system and lowers UR blood pressure, reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Yoga deals with illness as well as contributes to wellness. In short, it helps attain a sense of harmony.

Take time to meditate.
Meditation reduces the wavering of the mind, improves clarity and bring that needed tranquillity. Meditation can help you cultivate an ability to focus on things that matter and empty your mind of the irrational clutter. Being mindfully calmer from the outset will allow for a more in-depth perspective on evolving moments or situation. An ability to focus better can enable to be better at the work, study, relationship, or the conversation you have.

Meditation enables better introspective & reflective abilities. When one meditates their more profound sense of joy and validation and self-worth comes from within, bringing them into a position of giving more than expecting. This can bring freedom from dependency on the other, thereby making relationships more flowing. And the more you are connected to yourself, the more you find your value or worth, the less you need others to give you that or have that external validation that is so craved in our current social media scenario.

They say it ‘easier to meditate on a mountain top rather than in the city’. Now that may be true, and but while you manage your time and daily tasks in busy city life, it is crucial to devote time to connect with yourself. Meditate upon waking, during your lunch break, or before you go to sleep. Take 5 to 10 minutes to meditate once or several times each day. Fitting mediation and relaxation into your lifestyle will free your mind and foster a stronger relationship with UR spiritual wellness.

Explore UR spiritual core.
By exploring your spiritual core, you are merely asking yourself questions about the person you are and UR meaning.

Ask URself:
Who am I?
What is my purpose?
What do I value most?

These questions will lead U down a road where U will think more in-depth about URself and allow URself to notice things about URself that will help U achieve fulfilment.

Consider talk-therapy or psychotherapy: Therapy allows for deeper introspection, looking for meaning in your life and analyzing occurring patterns, thereby helps you see that you have control over your destiny. Talking to an independent objective, a trained listener who has deep interest and understanding of human emotions can have unmatched benefits. A therapist can facilitate an uninterrupted follow of thoughts, and where necessary, steer them in a direction to maximize the efficacy of interaction and raise awareness, an essence for happy and healthier emotional life!