What is a stable mind?
While reading a summary of the second discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, I came across what the definition of a stable mind is. In our dictionaries and on different sites on the internet, there are many definitions for it. Some define it as one which is not subject to wild swings of emotions while others say it is one which does not tend to struggle with the unknown. Some even go as far as defining what stable is and what the mind is and derive the definition of a stable mind by merging the two.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, a man with a stable mind is one who strives to gain perfect control of the senses. He is not affected by adversity, has no fear or anger, takes things as they come, is free from attachment, free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace, and moves about without egoism. In short, a man with a stable mind is one who is conscious of his real nature thus he does not let his ego rule over him. He does not see the need to pretend to be what he is not but strives to take control of his strengths and weaknesses and uses it as an advantage to build himself hence he finds peace and liberation.
How to know you have a stable mind and its importance.
There are a lot of people out there who think they have stable minds but, the sad reality is that they do not. One thing you should know is that ” A STABLE MIND IS A FOUNDATION TO LIBERATION.” Thus, you are not free unless your mind is stable.
People feel their minds are stable yet they do not have clarity in their thinking, are stressed out all the time even if they have not undertaken any strenuous activities and their anxiety levels are always at its peak. When you experience some of what I have mentioned above, it is like a warning sign showing you that your mind is not as stable as you think.
Having a stable mind is very important because it is the pathway to finding inner peace. It also enhances clarity in thinking.
When your mind is stable, it is easier to make decisions and come up with ideas. It also enables you to spot loopholes in matters and come up with solutions for them.
A stable mind leads to finding inner peace hence you can take things as they come. You have total control of your emotions, so you do not allow things to get to you easily which frees you from all kinds of stress and anxiety.
Exercises and activities for developing a stable mind.
People practice activities like yoga to develop stable minds. But aside yoga, there are other activities which we can relate to in our daily lives, most of which we did not know help to develop stable minds. An example is performing selfless actions.
When a person is selfless, he is more likely to be at peace compared to someone who is not. When you become concerned about the plight of other people, especially the ones who need help and you go out of your way to help them, you automatically feel happy and at peace. If you perform “selfless actions” to gain recognition and praises, you would not feel this peace or stability I am writing on.
Remember, ” A LITTLE EFFORT BRINGS IMMEDIATE PURIFICATION TO THE HEART.” You will only feel happy or at peace when you do these things over and over again from your heart and not for personal gain and when that happens your mind would gradually develop its stability.
Another way of developing a stable mind is by cultivating the habit of contentment. Contentment means a state of happiness and satisfaction. I believe most of us have heard the statement ” be content with what you have.” It is true, being content improves your mental stability. I am not saying that do not aspire to be more than you are. You can dream, be determined and work very hard to reach the level you want. But note, whatever action we take in an unhealthy way has a negative impact on our lives. If you envy someone and try to be like them, you would end up failing drastically, leaving you miserable and draining the positive vibes of your mind thus making it unstable.
Cultivating the habit of contentment is necessary for mental stability because it frees you from envy, jealousy and all the bad things that come with it. When you become so envious or jealous of someone, there is no happiness left inside you, the envy or jealousy sucks it all up leaving you miserable. You hardly get any sleep neither do you come up with any bright ideas. In some cases, relationships that took years to build, end up getting broken, leaving you empty and alone.
When you are content and want to improve, you seek the positive pathways to achieve that improvement or goal. You are free from misery, and your relationships and bonds are safe from getting broken. Also, your mind is safe from becoming unstable.
Accepting life as it unfolds and changing our perspectives on how we interpret our experiences. When we go through bad experiences, it sometimes causes us to curl inside our shells and not see life the way we used to see it before. But living in denial and hiding from our fears does not change our past.
We go through experiences to help shape our lives; Our past experiences can sometimes serve as a source of inspiration to someone, others may take pieces of advice from them most especially the mistakes we made that caused us to fail one way or the other.
When we face obstacles, we look back at our past experiences, and when we see all that we had to go through to get to our present state, we gather the strength and confidence we need, to overcome our present obstacles.
You must remember that to succeed you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you. That “thing,” can be your past experiences… The ones you try to hide from and pretend never happened. They can be your stepping stone to greatness. Every great person has their own story. In all those stories, there is one thing in common; they accepted life as it unfolded and changed their perspectives on how they interpreted their experiences. They patted themselves on the back during the good times and made something out of the bad times. They did not let their past experiences especially the sour ones ruin them. That is what makes the difference between someone at the top of the ladder of greatness and someone at the bottom.
You must not allow your past experiences to break you. Instead, change your perspectives, accept life as it unfolds, celebrating the good times, and making the best out of the bad times and when you do that, you will gradually grow the level of your mind’s stability.
Lastly, learn to cultivate the habit of detachment and living in solitude. In this world we live in, it is easy for a person to grow attached to another. It may be due to the happiness, satisfaction or benefits they gain from them.
When we become attached to someone, we build a god-like picture of them in our mind’s eye. We begin to see them as our only source of hope, happiness or peace. In short, they become our world and our everything. As a result, we become blind to their negative attitudes. These attitudes can gradually become toxic and destroy us in the process, stealing our mind’s peace and stability.
One thing about living in solitude is that it draws you away from all the chaos and stresses of life.
It also enables you to evaluate your life.
When you live in solitude, spotting the bad nuts among those you associate yourself with becomes easier; They may be the people who are always saying and doing things to bring you down.
You are also able to detach yourself from people you may have grown attached to overtime. Living in solitude enables you to see people for who they are. You are no longer under the influence of the mental picture you made of them; you see how they took advantage of your attachment to treat you negatively and how you failed to notice it.
It is good to be around friends, family, and people in general but sometimes, it is best to hide away from all the fun and chaos to clear your head, evaluate your life and make yourself a better person.
When you adopt this behaviour, you will save yourself and your mind from negativity and maintain as well as increase its stability.
There are a lot of things that go into developing a stable mind. The list goes on and on, but, I hope with the few things I have listed, you can start your journey of gaining, maintaining and improving your mental stability.