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Spiritual and Mental Yoga Exercises to Avoid Depression and Unlock Your Potential

Updated on February 27, 2012

Why We Don't Naturally Know About Spiritual or Mental Exercises

How often do you pay attention to your thoughts? Most of us just go about our everyday business without ever considering what we're thinking about. Personal and professional development doesn't happen by accident. It is only through a conscious and purposeful effort that we can acieve any real mental, spiritual, or even financial growth.

Many people today are just beginning to realize that they never received any type of training as they grew up that would lead them on how to become a productive, happy and healthy human being. A person typcially isn't given any tools throughout their life that would guide and direct them toward a life of success and happiness so they have to be searched out, yet most people never do this because we're led to believe that it all comes naturally.

So, until you choose to desire something different in your life you generally don't go after it. Also, it isn't until we notice that we're unhappy with or in our life, if we notice, that we even want things to change. We often just react to our emotions by trying to make them better through a multitude of ways - which is not always the best or healthiest way.

In Yoga, using scented candles, incense, or sitting in an area under a pergola when doing mental or spiritual exercises or practicing your poses, are all helpful ways to encourage relaxation so utilize them anytime you like. You can always use these moments as mental pictures later for when you don't have access to them.

The following exercises are not the poses that we often think of when we hear or see the word Yoga. Instead, these are the exercises of the mind and spirit, the unseen part of our nature that makes up the rest of our being. Our physical self and the life we currently live are the result of our thought patterns, habits, and lifestyle.

Mental Exercises

Exercise #1: Meditate - briefly or lengthy, and at any time

Take a moment to get comfortable and calm yourself. Then, close your eyes or look just past or beyond the situation or person immediately in front of you (or whatever it is that is upsetting you) and wipe your mental screen completely clean. This will become easier as you practice but if you're unable to make your mind a blank, then use a positive mental picture instead. I often like to use the picture of a daisy because it's simple and easy for me to conjure up. For some, quietly counting slowly to ten works too. Our ultimate goal is to learn to develop control of our thoughts and emotions so that we can positively respond rather than react to a given situation or making changes in our life.

Once you have achieved this empty or simple screen, you are able to step away from everything. Then, Instead of automatically reacting to life we can choose to respond to it or a given situation instead. This helps you achieve a neutral, mental posture. Then, whatever it is in your life that you seek or desire, like changes, higher awareness, or something that's upsetting you, you are positioned to listen and respond. With a blank or simple screen, you can now write anything you want on it... it's your choice.

The goal of this exercise doesn't come easy for many at first simply because no new skill is easily attainable without practice. You may be able to provide yourself a blank screen easily, yet can you do it whenever you want to or when you're really upset? Can you easily change the negative thought you have about something into a positive one? This is the key.

Practice meditation often throughout the day. Pay attention to your thoughts and see what you're telling yourself about a situation or person. Is it negative or positive? It's important to focus on the positive things instead of fixating on the negative ones... and there is always a positive side to everything. Just remember 'Yin Yang', it's the symbol for the natural and spiritual law that reminds us of this.

Exercise #2: Be Aware - listen to your internal dialogue

What are you telling yourself? What do you say to yourself all day long? Have you been listening? Do you pay attention? It's important to know what you're telling yourself because it's truly a matter of life and death to your mental and spiritual health, as well as to your physical body too, because that eventually suffers also.

Learning to recognize what you're telling yourself all day long is important. How much negative emphasis is there in what you're thinking about? How much positive? Your goal is to have more positive than negative. This takes lots of practice too, but over time the positive way becomes your new habit. Once you begin to write these positive things on your mind, positive things flow out from your heart.

Really, really pay attention here because at first you may not realize that your thoughts are actually negative and hurting you. One of my old habits that drug me down and kept me into financial debt was that I always mentally pictured myself falling back on a credit card thinking, 'I can just always use this if I don't have the money for what I need' - or I thought I needed. I discovered that there were many things I really didn't need and that I really was just living a little above my means. Once I discovered this I stopped doing it and finally got out of debt.

Spiritual Exercises

Exercise #1: Pray - connect with the Spirit

Anytime you are praying, even if it's a brief utterance to yourself, you are connecting to the spirit realm. Whether you envision or believe that you are connecting to God, the Creator of the Universe, or a Supreme Being, you are connecting to the energy that lives within each of us. This energy is the collective force that holds and sustains the very essence of our being.

Through meditation and attention to your thoughts, you are able to focus more and therefore discover great things about yourself, nature, and the creative force within you. It's important to have this focus because whenever we give over our minds, where thought and spirit merge, to random thinking, our lives often become a random mess that take us on an unintended course or journey. We end up simply following wherever the wind takes us instead of leading by being the Captain of our ship, our bodies.

Since our thoughts dictate our emotions, and not the other way around, it's critical to our well being to give ourselves and others positive affirmations. The vibrational tones as well as the actual words of ourselves and others can either be a creative or destructive force in our lives. This is why it's all important to hear your own internal dialogue as well as listen to the words that come out of your mouth. If either are destructive, you must change them. This way, you can move the ship (your body) towards a more meaningful, happy and successful life.

Exercise #2: Energize Yourself - discover and tap into the Creator's gifts

The Creator of the universe has given us many wonderful gifts so everything from the uplifting and healing vibrations and tones of music to all of the other ways of nature's loving beauty can be a part of our meditation and prayer. The use of these and other such gifts, like the Gifts of the Spirit as spoken of in 1 Corinth. 12, are beneficial for spiritual growth whether looking to obtain God's loving presence or imparting wisdom and knowledge for the common good of all.

Next, tap into the creative power within you. You are made up of bio-electric and electromagnetic energy. Once you are able to realize the power you have within your mind, body and soul, you will discover the control you really have over the success in your life.

In summary, anything that helps you grow closer to obtaining love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and harmony and universal enlightenment and truth in this life, can be a part of your spiritual and mental exercises.

With these basic Yoga Mental and Spiritual exercises at your core you can obtain the success you've always dreamed of. Each moment or day that you spend on any of these positive things will turn your life around. So, rather than continuing on any further negative and unproductive path in life, through the prolonged habit of unhappy or predominant negative thinking or choice of harmful patterns or ways, take the time to meditate, pray, and connect to the positive energy force and Creator within you!

Note: If you find that you're still having a great deal of difficulty with any of these exercises after practicing them awhile you may be experiencing an overload of certain brain chemicals in the body so you may wish to seek some professional help.


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    • Cheri Schultz profile image

      Cheri Schultz 8 years ago from Midwest

      Great Hub - I totally enjoyed reading it and I practice and believe the items you wrote about. Beautifully written!!!

    • kaloomba profile image

      kaloomba 8 years ago

      I'm glad you felt inspired and are on the path of peace... I love you too

    • profile image

      daniele 8 years ago

      that was so beautiful my dear, really inspirational! I am on the path and feel at peace.....Thank you, I love you