A Spiritual Perspective on Anxiety and Depression

A Spiritual Perspective on Anxiety and Depression - Art of Living Retreat Center


We have to remove this label we put on ourselves: ‘“I have anxiety”. You should say you had. Never say it in the present tense. “I have anxiety.” You might have had anxiety last week or yesterday or an hour ago, but it is gone. You know, we should put this very strongly into our consciousness. We have to move with the moment, with the time, and not label ourselves. This is very important.


Where do anxiety and depression live?

How many of you think your mind is inside the body? How many of you think that your body is inside the mind? Our body is actually inside the mind, because our mind is bigger. This is prana, and prana means life energy. When this life energy within us shrinks, that’s when people get depressed, and if it shrinks every further, if the pranic body or mind shrinks smaller than your physical body, then you can even have suicidal tendencies. It’s like you’re wearing a jacket that is too tight–what is your natural tendency? You take it off! This is what happens.


Strengthening your pranic body

When you do kriya and pranayama, your pranic body, your subtle body, becomes stronger. When you are happy, it expands. Whenever you have been happy in your life, you have noticed it is associated with a sense of expansion. When you are happy, something within you is expanding, right? When you are miserable, what is the feeling? Something within you is shrinking. Our prana is something in us that expands and shrinks, and we need to know and learn about it. This is why spirituality, yoga, meditation, and all these techniques are worth knowing.


Once you know about the thing inside of you that expands and shrinks, and you are a little proficient and controlling it, then irrespective of the situations around you, you can keep it expanded. This is how you become unconditionally peaceful, and in unconditional love all the time.


This article is not intended to be substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world.  He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.



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