Feeling down? You’re definitely not alone.
Mental wellbeing is at the forefront of national headlines. In fact, one in every five Americans has moderate to severe mental illness. You could accurately say that the past year has had a huge effect on these figures. Many families are struggling to put food on the table. Others are feeling overworked.
The physical and personal disconnectedness of quarantine has also made maintaining friendships and family connections so much harder. Compassion has even taken a backseat.
As the world eases back into a new normal, your physical and mental wellness may take a while to catch up.
Why? First, the stress of the global pandemic is very raw. You may have personally lost loved ones or have witnessed the grief of others.
According to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, facing these challenges can leave us feeling stuck, lost, and fearful. That’s a problem.
Is your house built of sand?
Losing your personal foundation is common in this fast-paced world. But there are extreme side effects to losing the connection with our true nature.
For example, isolation may cause us to feel a bit less patient with each other. Others might even have gotten to the point where they feel hurt, or even hateful.
If you’re feeling this way, you may benefit from the advice of Eckhart Tolle, who urges us to rediscover our essential identity.
What is essential identity?
Eckhart Tolle states that essential identity is the root of your being.
“You are not in the now; you are the now. That is your essential identity — the only thing that never changes. Life is always now. Now is consciousness. And consciousness is who you are. That’s the equation.”
Matthew 7:24 offers a useful parable for explaining essential identity:
“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
According to Tolle, our essential identity is the “rock” that no type of adversity can wear down. He explains that reconnecting with our personal foundations can boost our resilience against life’s challenges.
You can condition yourself to accept the things you cannot change — and build up your strength to achieve your deepest goals.
The first step in this process is recognizing whether your “house” or personal foundation is made of sand or rock.
Here are some signs it may be time to rebuild your personal foundation:
● You’re feeling burnt out from work and family life.
● You are insecure about sharing your struggles versus your accomplishments.
● You haven’t been feeling fulfilled, no matter how successful you seem to the outside world.
● You’re longing for the freedom to express yourself, but afraid of what others might think.
● You often feel tired and haven’t been taking care of your personal health.
How to rebuild your foundation
The first step to rebuilding your personal foundation is to acknowledge that you need guidance and support. The type of help you need can come in many forms. These can include speaking with a therapist or life coach, seeking out a friend’s advice, or perhaps consulting with a physician.
Here are some easy ways to kickstart your self-discovery:
Experiment with meditation
Mediation is a well-known stress reliever. It can lower chronic conditions as well as your level of anxiety. Some have even found it to lower the risk of depression by minimizing harmful and self-defeating feelings.
You don’t have to practice meditation in isolation either. Check out beginner meditation classes and groups near you.
Incorporate more exercise into your routine
It’s no secret that exercise benefits everyone. It’s a great way to rediscover your body and mind while serving as a healthy outlet for daily stress.
With public spaces opening up, you can once again begin exercising with immediate households and friends. If you’re looking for a change of pace, you can also seek out local groups that focus on a single activity, such as biking or cycling.
Whatever type of exercise you choose, make sure to consult with a physician if you have any preexisting conditions.
Put down your phone
Having trouble focusing at work and home? Simply limiting your time on social media or endless scrolling through news can do wonders.
Digital distractions may also be wearing down on mental health. Start giving yourself peace of mind by limiting screen time and turning off phones and tablets before bedtime.
Discover essential identity by doing
Tolle’s advice may be helpful if you’re looking to put yourself on the right path in regaining your essential identity. Remember this — adversity is not permanent.
You have the strength to dig deeper and uncover the rock of who you really are. It is challenging, but you can take that first step.
Don’t limit your options to what others may be doing, either. Always seek out certified professionals for any medical issues, and don’t be afraid of comparing your options.
So many of us have been disconnected physically and personally for so long. Now is the time to start rebuilding your personal foundation.