Today I would like to share with you a reading of an article which is an excerpt from “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by the 14th Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“Everyone knows that physical pain is bad and tries to avoid it. We do this not only by curing diseases, but also by trying to prevent them and by trying to keep our physical immunity strong. Mental pain is equally bad, so we should try to alleviate it as well. The way to do this is to develop mental immunity…”

I hope you enjoy this reading and take some time to work out how to learn to love and look after yourself.

Watch the video below, or scroll further down for a transcript instead.

What is Mental Immunity? – Video Transcript

There are some articles that just have to be shared, and this is one of them, and it’s by the Dalai Lama, need I say more.

So here it is, I am going to read it to you:

Everyone knows that physical pain is bad and tries to avoid it. We do this not only by curing diseases, but also by trying to prevent them and by trying to keep our physical immunity strong. Mental pain is equally bad, so we should try to alleviate it as well. The way to do this is to develop mental immunity.

Mental immunity is just learning to avoid the destructive emotions and to develop the positive ones.

First, we must understand the mind — there are so many different states of mind — the diverse thoughts and emotions we experience on a daily basis. Some of these thoughts and emotions are harmful, even toxic, while others are healthy and healing. The former disturb our mind and cause much mental pain. The latter bring us true joyfulness.

When we understand this reality, it is much easier to deal with the mind and to take preventive measures. This is how we develop mental immunity.

And just as a healthy immune system and healthy constitution protects your body against potentially hazardous viruses and bacteria, mental immunity creates a healthy disposition of the mind so that it will be less susceptible to negative thoughts and feelings.

Think about it this way.

If your health is strong, when viruses come they will not make you sick.

If your overall health is weak, even small viruses will be very dangerous for you.

Similarly, if your mental health is sound, then when disturbances come, you will have some distress but quickly recover. If your mental health is not good, then small disturbances, small problems will cause you much pain and suffering.

You will have much fear and worry, much sadness and despair, and much anger and aggravation.

People would like to be able to take a pill that makes their fear and anxiety go away and makes them immediately feel peaceful. This is
impossible. One must develop the mind over time and cultivate mental immunity.

Often people ask me for the quickest and best solution to a problem. Again, this is impossible. You can have quickest or you can have best solution, but not both. The best solution to our suffering is mental immunity, but it takes time to develop.

One time I was talking with Al Gore, the American vice president. He said that he had lots of problems, lots of difficulties that were causing him a great deal of anxiety. I said to him that we human beings have the ability to make a distinction between the rational level and the emotional level. At the rational level, we accept that this is a serious problem that we have to deal with, but at the deeper, emotional level, we are able to keep calm. Like the ocean has many waves on the surface but deep down it is quite calm.

This is possible if we know how to develop mental immunity.

My thoughts..

What a great article, the last bit about being able to stay calm emotionally, despite having problems to deal with, is sooo important, it’s the ideal way to navigate around all the curved balls that we have to deal with in our lives.

Another way of  saying this is – you can’t built a shelter in a storm, so the best way of building your shelter or cultivating resilience and calm is to find what works for you, whether it is meditation, mindfulness, getting out into nature, mindfully walking, embracing breathing techniques, or journaling.

So often it takes time and determination to look after yourself.

We think ‘we’ are not important, only everyone else is.  I am like a stuck record when it comes to this subject, if we don’t take care of ourselves then we can’t take care of anyone else.

So please, please take some time to work out how to learn to love yourself and look after yourself.

That’s my sharing for today.

Feeling troubled or stressed? Find a way to manage stress and anxiety by discovering a solution that works FOR YOU.