Stop Escaping Negative Emotions

It is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year let’s remember that true mental health is not just the absence of illness. It is the presence of Mental Wealth, which comes from tapping into the infinite abundance of joy and peace within. 

At times we may feel like we are in a bliss deficit, but there is a surplus inside every single one of us. Yes, it may be covered up with tragic life circumstances. It may be buried under the weight of negative thoughts and mental habits that we’ve picked up from others. But if we peel back the layers, if we remove the grime and dirt, the light inside us will shine brightly through once more.

The thing we have to remember is, everything we do to make ourselves feel better — junk food, drinking, shopping, gossiping, smoking, gambling, binge watching, scrolling on social media, etc… — is actually making us miserable. We think these things relieve stress, but they really rob us of our innate ability to become joyful and stress-free on our own. They are like happiness crutches, but they don’t work in the long run and they hobble our emotional regulation. 

It’s still OK to enjoy those activities if you want to, but they will cause problems if we start to rely on them for our lasting peace and happiness. According to the latest research, no activity destroys our mental health more than social media. It is the addiction that is the most universal, most acceptable, and most destructive. Social media use is not only directly tied to anxiety and depression, but it also leads to other addictive behavior like excessive drinking. (More on how to live authentically in an increasingly fake and digital world in my latest podcast)


Here’s What I Want You to Do This Week:

Notice what kind of emotions arise in you when you use social media.


Usually when we are on our phones, we are hypnotized by the content. We lose all self-awareness and we become entranced. It’s why we are living through what is called the attention economy, because our focus and awareness are the prize. So take back your power by bringing back some of your awareness onto yourself.

Notice while you’re scrolling what it’s like to be fixated on the phone. Notice how you’re breathing. Is it long, slow and deep breaths? Or is it shallow, choppy, irregular, and holding your breath? What are your thoughts? What are your feelings? Is there tension anywhere in the body? Can you release that tension? Is the content you’re watching valuable to you? What does it provide you? Will you remember it tomorrow, or is it just wasting time? Do you even remember what you were just looking at five minutes ago?

The human brain is not designed for screens 24/7. Worse yet, trillion dollar companies are spending billions of dollars to figure out how to hijack your brain and keep your attention despite your intentions. But there is hope, we can fight back, we can resist.

In my book, Digital Ego, I lay out how we can overcome mindless scrolling. In this book, which is especially important for the young people in your life, I talk about:

  • What the digital ego is and how to dissolve it
  • How to take a digital detox to reset your brain’s happiness chemicals
  • How to release the stress we accumulate from social media distraction
  • How to live authentically in a world of filters, bots, frauds and phonies

Technology is a tool to serve us, not the other way around. Together with a little bit of wisdom, awareness and practical steps that we can all take, hopefully we can make Mental Health Awareness Month a thing of the past. (Here are the 13 most loved quotes from the book, Digital Ego)

Much love,

P.S. In my new YouTube video, I talk about how to view time beyond the memory and imagination of our brain. I talk about how we can step out of our head, step out of our clinging mind, step outside of time, and surf the waves of presence.

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