The So-Called 'Healthy' Habit That Makes You Feel Continuously Trapped & Overwhelmed

You're trying to outrun something, and you don't even know you're running.

Finding your path to freedom Polina Kuzovkova | Unsplash, StockSnap | Canva

It is tempting to believe positive thinking can release you from pain, but positivity alone cannot help you bypass your emotions. Avoiding these essential steps can impede personal growth and well-being and leave you trapped in the cycle of spiritual bypassing. Understanding the importance of self-reflection and emotional processing is crucial.Β 

The process of trying to avoid pain or reflection using "spiritual" tools, like yoga, meditation or simple positive thinking is often called "spiritual bypassing" and it can hinder your physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health


By bravely acknowledging and confronting your oversights, fears, grief, and disappointments, you open the door to greater harmony, flow, and transformation. This journey may not be easy, but it's a path that leads to your best self and a life filled with new possibilities.

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Eight ways to break the spiritual bypass habit that keeps people stuck

1. Bravely face your fears

Are you ready to face your fears? Are you ready to start breaking down the walls you have put up to avoid your inner pain?

Remember, this process is not complicated. It's about taking small, manageable steps every day, no matter the fear that might arise. You've got this.


2.Stay grounded with breathing

Breathwork is a great tool for staying grounded, calm, and relaxed. Look for a practice that will help you breathe slowly and deeply. It will create a safe environment for you to do your work. You might find coherent breathing helpful.

Coherent breathing is a simple breathing technique that can significantly impact health and well-being. It involves taking deep, controlled breaths at a rate of six seconds per breath. Try this type of breathing if you are struggling with stress, anxiety, low mood, or other problems to see if it might help.

To practice the coherent breathing technique, follow these steps:

  • Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down.
  • Place one hand on your stomach.
  • Breathe in for four seconds and then out for four seconds. Repeat this for one minute.
  • Gradually extend your inhales and exhales to five seconds, then six seconds.

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3. Stay active, stay present

Exercise is an important tool for staying present. You can access your body, emotions, and quiet mind when you are present. You will find it easier to make decisions because you will have greater clarity. What activities do you enjoy? You might like running, dancing, working out at the gym, singing, gardening, doing yoga, or practicing tai chi.

Think for a moment as to what for you are the most satisfying and enjoyable activities that help you to feel joy, balanced and motivated. What helps you to enjoy being in your body?

@soulfullymeshaa Every moment not spent stressing about tomorrow or reliving yesterday is a moment where you are truly LIVING πŸ’« RIGHT NOW is where life is happening, love πŸ’• #blackwomenhealingjourney #staypresentinthemoment #remainpresent #selfdevelopmenttips ♬ Fortunate Carriages JAYBeatz - JAYBeatz

4. Identify your emotions

Your emotions can guide your daily life, help you find flow, and tell you whether you are on the right path. They can also help you determine if you are caught in a cycle of spiritual bypassing. Your feelings will reveal if your ego is trying to avoid the important issues in your life.

The more chaotic your emotions are, the more likely your ego will go to extremes to avoid the truth. This is when you are in the greatest danger of practicing Spiritual Bypassing. Getting real with spiritual bypass will reveal new paths for your life.

5. Get real with the true you

You need to be honest with yourself to break down the barriers in your life. Identify what is truly important to you. What are your goals in life? What do you desire so much that you are willing to confront your fears and refuse to let them hinder your dreams?


Happy woman on the beach is getting real with spiritual bypass Ground Picture via Shutterstock

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6. Rewrite your story

How do you describe your life to your friends, family and colleagues? What are your excuses? What are the lies you tell about yourself?

Are your dreams your dreams? Is there something else you want to do that you are too embarrassed to share with others?


Try writing down exactly what you would like to do in the next few years of your life. What will it look like? What will it feel like? What will people say about you? Is this what you want?

7. Learn the enneagram

The Enneagram is a great tool to help you be the best version of yourself. If you take this modality/teaching seriously, you can avoid the pitfalls of Spiritual Bypassing.

Enneagram and spiritual bypassing daniela_designs via Shutterstock


The Enneagram reveals nine different lenses through which to experience the world. Most Enneagram teachers believe we are given one of nine different lenses to experience the world. This is why people will notice different things when there is more than one person in a room.

Our personality type shows us where we get stuck when stressed. It also shows us a path towards presence when we can access wisdom from the three centers of intelligence: body (sensations), heart (emotions), and head (quiet mind).

The good news is you have all nine Enneagram types in you. As you get healthier in your type, you get stronger in all nine Enneagram Types.

8. Commit yourself

Making real change in your life takes time. Moving beyond our fears is not easy work. A great way to help you is to find a friend, family member, or professional to support you.

  • You want a person who knows you and whom you can trust.
  • You want someone compassionate and honest.
  • You don’t want a person who will tempt you with Spiritual Bypass.
  • You want a person who will help to bring out your courage.

The time has come for you to embrace your courage. It's time to be honest with yourself and move forward, even if it feels risky for your ego. Commit to deep learning whether you choose the Enneagram or other tools and teachings.

While a Spiritual Bypass may be tempting, it will only slow your journey to better physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. To move beyond Spiritual Bypass, you need to be willing to face all your fears, insecurities, anger and confusion.

Getting real with spiritual bypass will reveal new paths for your life. Are you ready for the adventure?


This is long-term work! It's not easy, but the rewards are amazing. With the support of family, friends, professionals, and your inner commitment, you can make lasting changes in your life. It's worth the effort.

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Roland Legge is an author, certified spiritual life coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.