If you listen long enough, most spiritual teachers will start to talk about the mind as having ‘seeds’. All the ‘seeds’ in the mind have different vibrations. There might be seeds of fear, seeds of self-criticism, seeds of boredom, and seeds of compassion. In our minds, we have the power to be in hell or heaven.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s second principle for transforming suffering is to water the seeds of positivity. He says that if we focus on what is positive in us, it will grow without much effort.
When we are constantly focused on the things we are worrying about, the worry only increases as often we don’t have solutions for these problems. They are just problems. He suggests finding the positive parts of self and focusing on those.
Of course, this is not an overnight solution for all mental health issues, but it does offer a research-based practice to engage in if you choose to.
Check out Kristin Neff’s work on Self-Compassion and research on mindfulness for more info.
Let me know in the comments if you have practiced compassion.
Reference: Thich Nhat Hanh. (2014). No Mud, No Lotus. Parallax Press: Berkeley, California. p. 62.