Self Help Sanctum

fulfill your self

Meditation Basics

What is Meditation?

Life is demanding, with numerous calls on our attention at any time. For all its benefits, technology has made life even more demanding; with cell phones and the like we truly seem to be open to the world 24/7.

In addition to the multitude of external demands the supercomputer that is our mind spends much of its time behaving like a nagging child, pulling our attention this way and that, never giving us the space to truly think.

Meditation is about disconnecting from all the noise, external and internal, and giving yourself the time and space to simple "be". Imagine your mind is a computer connected to the Internet, constantly sending and receiving data. Meditation is taking it offline for a while to allow time to tidy its filing system; deleting what's not needed, identifying what's important and moving it to the desktop, and filing everything else for later retrieval.

On hearing the word 'meditation' many people picture an enlightened guru sitting motionless in the lotus position for hours on end chanting some obscure mantra. Sure, this is one (extreme) version of meditation, but there are many other forms, and the key to success is finding one that works for you. This article introduces the basics of meditation. (more…)

Understanding Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The Modern Epidemic

Despite modern life offering unprecedented technological benefits, and medical science being able to cure or alleviate many more physical ailments than ever before, somehow "happiness" seems more elusive than ever for a growing number.

Stress, anxiety and depression are a modern epidemic affecting literally millions. The effects of these debilitating conditions are made even worse by the stigma they carry.

If you're unfortunate enough to suffer a physical problem friends, family, colleagues invariably rally around with offers of help. If you're unfortunate enough to suffer a mental problem those same people frequently keep their distance as though you're highly contagious or somehow responsible for your suffering. (more…)

Facing Difficulty

A Coping Strategy for Dealing with Life's Problems

The question of meaning, purpose, or why we are here is one we've all surely asked at one time or another. Given that physical death (and maybe taxes) is the only certainty of this incarnation it is a question without answer in a purely materialistic framework.

Instead we must seek a solution through Spirituality. If we accept that at essence we are immortal Spirit temporarily journeying the earth plane in a body of atoms and molecules then clearly it is in the Spiritual journey that our true purpose lies. (more…)

Finding Happiness

Happiness and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. Without sorrow there would be no such thing as happiness. And vise versa. Both are emotions of the incarnate form, devoid of intrinsic Spiritual significance.

The Spiritual concept of life is as an opportunity for experiential growth. Pleasure is not its primary purpose. Buddhism teaches that life is suffering, with the cessation of that suffering as its goal. Perhaps it is the ability to recognize the ultimate insignificance of earthly trials and tribulations and to rise above them that is meant by divine happiness. As Kipling said, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…” (more…)

Coping with Depression and Stress

I am no psychologist, but I have suffered from depression and stress for as long as I can remember. I therefore present the following framework based upon my first-hand experience, observation and reflection in the hope it may in some way be of help to my fellow sufferers.

Depression is something that will inevitably be your close companion throughout the journey of life. It cannot be beaten or banished, but it can be managed and controlled through knowledge and understanding. There is no reason why those of us with depression cannot live fulfilling and successful lives. (more…)

Improving Self Esteem

What Is Self Esteem?

Self esteem (or self worth) is a measure of how valuable a person considers him/herself to be. If we have high self esteem we feel good about ourselves, and tend to live life positively. However, many people suffer from low self esteem, believing themselves to be of low, or no worth.

Self esteem is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent,” “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame.[1] Smith and Mackie define it by saying “The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it.”[2] (more…)

Letting Go

Let’s just be glad we had some time to spend together Kris Kristofferson

Letting go is hard. The loss of a loved one. Preparing to leave the safety of school. A child leaving home. A relationship drawing to a close. Retirement….. The list is endless.

Most or all of us have faced or will face one or more of these events in the course of our lives. The first of the four Noble Truths of Buddhism states that life means suffering. Even in the midst of our happiest times lies the reality that our happiness is transient. And when it passes we experience sorrow, perhaps fear. (more…)

The Introvert Personality

A Definition of Introvert

Introversion is the tendency to focus one's attention towards the inner, mental world rather than external, physical "reality".

Introversion is a natural characteristic occurring in about 25% of the population according to psychotherapist Dr Marti Olsen Laney in her excellent book The Introvert Advantage. Dr Laney offers a further definition of the introvert personality, ie that introverts are those who draw energy from the inner world of ideas and emotions as opposed to extroverts who thrive on external experience and interaction.

Introversion is not something we have or not, rather we all occupy a specific point on an introvert extrovert continuum.

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Dealing with Guilt and Regret

Too often we are dogged by the dark clouds of guilt and regret. Regret is the feeling of wishing we had (or not) done something in the past different than we actually did. Guilt is feeling bad, or even disliking ourselves, over some past act or omission that caused unjustified hurt.

Dealing with Regret

Time, as we perceive it, is linear. What is done is done and can never be undone. The most powerful man on the planet cannot change by one iota what happened a fraction of a second ago. Given that, stop worrying about the past. You’re only wasting precious energy that ought to be channeled into now.

We all experience feelings of regret at some time in our lives. Since we don’t always (ie never) perform perfectly, after any event there will be feelings that we could have done better. (more…)