12 Powerful Ways Spirituality Can Ease The Pain Of Depression And Anxiety

Mindfulness exercises you can practice anywhere and at any time.

12 Powerful Ways Spirituality Can Help Manage The Pain Of Depression And Anxiety Unsplash: Xan Griffin

It isn't always easy for those suffering from mental health issues like depression and anxiety to seek or find the kind of help and support they need at all, let alone in the specific moments they need it the most.

Luckily, while spirituality in and of itself may not prevent anxiety and depression from rearing their ugly heads within your own, there are many ways to channel strength from spiritually and mindfulness exercises no matter where or when you need them.



RELATED: What It Feels Like To Have Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time


"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The first time I heard this quote from the French philosopher, I paused for a long while to take in what felt like a catastrophic and transformational revelation.


Knowing that I’m really a soul trying to make my way through this human drama of life shifted everything. A new force greater than myself was able to guide the way, but only when I remembered to stop, practice, and listen.

I wrote the words down on a note for myself in my iPhone so I would have them readily on hand during those moments when I will inevitably forget to do exactly that, and doing so has been game-changing.

Here are 12 powerful ways I've learned how to ease the pain of anxiety and depression with the help and support of spirituality and mindfulness exercises.

1. Pause and be present

When you get upset, disappointed, or angry with someone, pause so you can initially just be present in the moment. This state of being helps you to choose how you will respond to what’s happening.


As humans, we often react impulsively and emotionally from our hurt rather than being mindful of what else is going on.

Pause and ask yourself what the lesson is here, what you are seeing now that wasn’t available before, and how you want to show up in this moment with integrity, speaking your truth without regrets.


2. Slow down

When we slow down, we actually speed up with the awareness of seeing the whole picture. We remind ourselves that we don’t know the whole story, and that there are always at least two sides.

It’s easy to make incorrect assumptions or false projections when we’re rushing from our human ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response as our self-protective instincts kick in.


Slowing down helps give you space to process your human experience, while allowing you to truly approach the issues from your soul.


3. See with compassion, patience, and understanding

Spiritual eyes see clearly by living from these core virtues. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with what’s happening, it just allows you to choose how to best respond without getting into the drama of attacking or being defensive.

You can be hurt or angry, but taking these emotions out on someone means you’re taking it personally, blaming others, or attempting to control things. You wouldn’t want to be on the other side of that drama, so how can you powerfully show up when you’re too angry to see straight?


Ask yourself what the compassionate response would be, how patience would sound, and whether or not you're sure that you understand the whole picture yet.


4. Take responsibility for your part only

To be the change you wish to see in the world requires accepting 100 percent responsibility for how you respond to any given set of circumstances. This is where you take back your power to create the circumstances you want instead. Your responsibility is to be true to yourself from the highest part of you.

While everyone is responsible for their own part in how things are, we have no control over the way others behave, and what tends to create heartache is the way we've responded to someone who didn't meet our expectations of them.

When you dwell on all that wrong with someone else, you take away their opportunity to take their own part of the responsibility.


Instead, try asking them this: “I’m confused why this is your choice. To me it means you _________. Can you please share your perspective, because I think I’m either missing something or not understanding you?”


RELATED: 10 Things To Do When You’re Ready To Overcome Your Depression And Anxiety


5. Distinguish between the emotions of love versus fear

Marianne Williamson said, "Love is what you’re born with. Fear is what you learned here.”


When emotions come from fear, they create anxiety and depression. Feelings of self-pity may come from fear of being a victim. Feelings of neediness may come from fear of abandonment. Feelings of shame or blame may come from fear of judgment.

When you connect to your spirit, a calm surrender allows you to handle the deeper emotions that are closer to your truth, such as sadness, betrayal, loneliness or anger. Feeling what’s more authentic gives you strength.


6. Connect to your internal values

We spend our daily lives rushing around with schedules so busy there's little time left for us to look within. Everything is focused outward on our endless to do lists, responsibilities, and commitments, but prior to "doing" anything, we must access our "being." Unless your being is aligned with what you value, getting even the most positive results can feel empty.

Being true to your divine nature is what gives you purpose, joy, and fulfillment. Find what makes you come alive and follow that.



7. Take moments of quiet

Finding your inner calm comes with practicing mindfulness meditation, during which you’re able to recognize your fears more clearly.

In the middle of your day-to-day business, take five minutes of quiet stillness to hear your inner voice and let go of the outer voices telling you what you should do and how you should think.

These exercises are easiest when you fit them into your normal routine on a daily basis.

  • In the shower, listen to the sound of the water, and feel the soapy water on your skin.
  • On your drive to work, listen to music that inspires you or books that open your mind to new ways of thinking to get out of your box.
  • When you wake up, grab five minutes before leaping out of bed to set your intention for the day. How do you want your day to be? Hold that intention so your spiritual vibration attracts it throughout your day.


8. Be in gratitude

Give thanks for what you have been given, such as the health you have, and your friends and family. Gratitude produces an energy within you that feels good and elevates you to a positive vibration.



RELATED: The Zodiac Signs Who Crave Inner Peace, Ranked From Most To Least


9. Ask for what you need

When you refuse to ask for what you need, you remain closed to what you could otherwise receive. Relationships are about giving and receiving. When you are doing the "will of God" (or of whatever it is you identify as your "higher Source"), you’re practicing loving one another, and this is a way you are giving to the Divine.

Asking for guidance to show you the way to ease your anxiety and depression requires being open to receiving that support.

This is the dance you take part in all relationships, including the one you have with yourself.



10. Be an observer with curious wonder

Remember how you would look at something for the first time as a child? The first time you saw beautiful bright yellow flowers that later turned into wish makers was magical!

Then you were told those dandelions weren’t flowers, but just weeds. But did you know that it wasn’t until humans created lawns in recent centuries that we began to call dandelions weeds? Prior to that, we saw them as beautiful flowers.

Spiritual eyes see beyond towards beauty and recognize that your intention can change the way you see anything.



11. Have faith in what you cannot see

We live within two co-existing worlds — spirituality and science. In one, you must believe it before you can see it, while in the other, you must see it to believe it.

A new reality opens when you can see that these perspectives do not oppose each other, but exist side by side.

Depression and anxiety come from a place of "black and white". I’m right, and you’re wrong. But what if both of us are right in our own experience, and the only one I can change is my own?

Believe that the Universe is on your side, follow your heart, and trust in yourself to create what is possible.


12. Remember that you are never alone

We often feel alone when anxiety and depression consume us, but knowing you are spiritual means knowing there is a part of divinity residing within you and within your direct communication with God or your higher Source. We each hold a fragment, a spark that allows us to co-create the life we desire with our free will. You can think of it as a creative spark from the Creator.


When you connect to this part of yourself as a spiritual being, you will know you are never alone. The lone “footprints in the sand” are not yours, but those of the Source that carries you when life becomes too much to bear.

Spirituality is an inner compass that can help ease the pain of anxiety and depression.

We have a divine power within to heal ourselves. Believe in you.



RELATED: How To Use These 7 Spiritual Practices To Improve ALL Relationships


Carolyn Hidalgo is a spiritual life coach with a vision of living judgment-free. You can visit Carolyn at her blog or contact her through her Facebook page.