In a recent global survey of Gallup’s 2018 Global State of Emotions report, analyzing data from more than 151,000 interviews with adults living in more than 140 countries, it was found that on average we are all “sadder, angrier, and more fearful,” than ever before!
Factually, this seems to be correct.
More and more people may be smiling less while worry, sadness, and anger have increased. We all know that negative feelings like anger, sadness and worry work against our body-mind-soul wellness and push us closer to major illnesses, including but not limited to, heart attacks, strokes, etc. They cause disengagement at the workplace too; for organizations are comprised of people and when people are sadder, they become less engaged.
At a time when global competition and depressed markets demand more engagement and better performance, causing a loop of one negativity feeding on the other!
Does that mean that there is no hope, that we are all going backward?
No, it does not. However, it does mean that there are quite a few things that we need to address urgently both individually and collectively. We have to remember that parts make a whole; being connected, we all affect each other at familial, organizational, national, and global levels.
The cosmos is auto-corrective, but it is not vindictive. It is organic, integrative and benign. Whenever humanity goes out of balance and breaks cosmic laws, things bounce back. We see this with pollution, global warming, natural calamities, reduced mind-body wellness, more conflicts, more disharmony within and without, and the like.
Behind everything that looks like a problem, hides an opportunity to learn and evolve in our professional and personal lives. Such surveys go by averages. However, an average is only a representation of general conditions and may be misleading. Even today, there are people in all locales who can smile, sing, exercise, meditate, love and serve way beyond most others do and they are happier with less. They are the “salt” of Mother Earth. When one discovers the joy of selfless love and meditation within, one’s dependence on outer things for happiness goes down. In the process one is calmer and better composed, one consumes less outwardly, which means a smaller carbon footprint. And it expands! Smile and frown, cheer and sadness; they are all contagious.
A single thing that we can do to correct many errors, is daily meditation.
We have to take a scientific and unifying, rather than a dogmatically-divisive and religious view here. We have to raise our self-awareness and move from, “having to being.” We have to build a balance within; to develop inner antidotes to whatever stresses disengage us. While being busy and active without, we have to be calm and happy within.
What makes or breaks a life is not what happens, but how we choose to perceive it. Perceptions form our attitudes toward ourselves, those we live and work with and toward what happens. All of these eventually affect our behavior. Perceptions and attitudes cannot be changed from the outside; we have to work on their root causes.
So, where are the roots? They are in the basic values we live by. We have to get the material-spiritual balance within us right. Desire to meditate comes from the realization of the need for this balance. The realization that what is available outside cannot satisfy one’s inner need; that the perishable body cannot yield the imperishable and everlasting joy that we all seek. Meditation, in turn, deepens this balance and consolidates it.
On rough roads filled with potholes, a vehicle with good shock-absorbers feels fewer bumps. Meditation acts as an effective inner ‘shock-absorber’ and brings us closer to our soul-identity; whose very nature is peace, love and joy. Before the soul-spirit union, the body-identified consciousness that we know as ego has to reconcile and unite with the soul.
Some things today are not good.
A few of them, such as global warming, (we can all see how the global-climate is upset), and the decline in average human wellness and happiness are alarming. To get sadder, angrier, and more fearful is a negative reaction. A positive response would be to introspect and take charge; to have fewer material desires instead of more. To be responsible in what we consume and throw away, to move closer to family, to practice calmness, to love and share more and most importantly, to meditate regularly twice every day. Dhyana, Hindu and Buddhist meditation, is the ultimate and complete cure that will change the way we think and see; which in turn will change how we feel, respond, live and behave.
Technology without wisdom can be blind and destructive. Technology cannot give us wisdom; meditation can and always does. Most people are living and working too much on the outside, and too little within. When people grow inside-out rather than from the outside-in, organizations and nations will do better. Life’s greatest gift is that we have opportunities, again and again, to reflect and reform if we are willing to learn from what we are experiencing and observing!
To end this, we must remember that the body cannot be well unless the mind is and the wellness of both is sustained by inner spiritual wellness. Being brain-friendly, exercise heals, love heals, peace heals, meditation heals.
Let’s get happier, calmer and more secure through daily meditation combined with balanced living!