Connecting with Yourself to Fight Anxiety and Depression

Despite having every modern convenience at our disposal and many luxuries our ancestors could only dream of, many of us still struggle with anxiety and depression. You don’t need an official diagnosis to be suffering from these conditions. All you might know is that you’re feeling sad, anxious, and disconnected from others.

In his new book, Connect: How to Find Clarity and Expand Your Consciousness with Pineal Gland Meditation, best-selling author Ilchi Lee explores how re-establishing a connection with yourself can be a great way to deal with anxiety and depression.

Why Are We So Sad and Anxious?

It’s this disconnection many of us experience that can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, and those feelings can cause an underlying sadness.

“There are more than two billion Facebook users worldwide with approximately 300 friends per user, but loneliness has surfaced as a greater public health risk than smoking,” Lee wrote. “People may have a lot of social media friends, but they don’t have that many true friends to turn to in real life, to talk to and share their hearts with comfortably.”

It can seem strange to think of yourself as disconnected when all day long you may be in touch with people through texts, emails, and social media. But the majority of these interactions aren’t in-depth—they are superficial. And if you’ve lost your connection to yourself, you have lost your best friend. It can be like trying to find your way out of the wilderness without a compass—you have lost your guide in life so it can be hard to navigate your way.

“Once you understand that disconnection is the underlying cause of your problems, then the solution also becomes clearer. All you have to do is mend your broken connections,” Lee writes. “Recover your connection with your body, your connection with your true self, and your connection with people and the world.”

If disconnection is one of the reasons for your depression and anxiety, the solution might be learning how to feel at home with yourself again, just as you did when you were a child. You can do that by getting a clear sense of who you are and what you want out of life.

Channeling Your Inner Child

Do you remember what it felt like to be a young child? You didn’t care what anyone thought of you—you dressed how you wanted to dress, and you spent your free days doing what you loved. You gave little, if any, thought to how others perceived you. You just followed your bliss wherever it took you.

To get in touch with the younger you, you may want to try meditation. There are many different methods of meditation you can use—the key is to make sure you are quieting your mind of all the thoughts and emotions that swirl around constantly throughout the day. Our minds are busy places, and meditation can be just the break you need to stop that constant internal chatter for a while.

“Meditators try various methods to rid themselves of those thoughts,” Lee wrote. “Some meditate while staring at a point drawn on a wall or at a flickering candle flame, some continuously focus on a koan, some repeat a mantra or specific phrase, and some concentrate entirely on the breath coming and going from their bodies.”

While controlling your breathing and concentrating on your mind can help you focus while meditating, Lee recommends taking that practice to the next level with energy meditation. With this, you feel the energy around you, inside of you, and outside of you. Focus on the energy that permeates our world.

The best way to begin with this exercise is to start small. Concentrate on one area—the hands can be a great place to begin—and try to feel the energy there. As you get better at opening your mind to the energy you feel, you can expand to different areas of the body.

“If you just sit there with your eyes closed, distracting thoughts will arise in your mind as you revert to your thinking brain,” Lee wrote. “But if you focus your awareness on the feeling of energy and keep focusing on expanding that feeling, your tangled thoughts will fall away before you know it. You will be fully immersed in yourself.”

When you’re in your meditative state, things will become much clearer to you. Make sure you pay attention to what your body, mind, and soul are trying to tell you. The clarity and inner peace you’ll gain should help dispel some of the depression and anxiety you feel.

Remember, you’re a work in progress—and the battles you’re fighting right now are only temporary. Everything can, and will, get better if you take a step back and do some inner work.


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Ilchi Lee’s Earth Citizen Organization Watering SEED for Health

Ilchi Lee has always looked for simple ways people can maintain their health on their own. He maintains that we need to take responsibility for our own body, mind, and spirit.

Lee has created many mindful exercises in order for individuals and communities to accomplish this. They are all bundled into his Brain Education method. But he’s also created new ways of thinking about health, as well as non-profit organizations that promote healthy, mindful, and sustainable living using his methods.

One of these is the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO). From its U.S. headquarters in Cottonwood, Arizona, ECO trains leaders who bring Ilchi Lee’s important lifestyle tools and philosophy to their local communities. As part of this effort, ECO started its SEED for Health national campaign this year.

The premise behind SEED for Health is that it only takes making small changes to your lifestyle to create big results. The campaign provides ways to manage four key areas of health, your SEED: Stress, Exercise, Emotions, Diet. It is spreading these seeds of wisdom through ECO’s online and offline networks.

ECO says, “Changing our lifestyles for better health is possible and enjoyable. We can make this change easier and even more powerful by caring for each other in our communities together.” They believe that “health is our natural right, and a healthier world is the greatest legacy we can leave behind for the next generation.”

Local ECO leaders are actively promoting SEED for Health through Healthy Living events in conjunction with Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi centers and through donations of Ilchi Lee’s book on healthy living, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation.

Watch ECO’s campaign video if you’d like to learn more about SEED for Health or visit the campaign website,

Ilchi Lee Keynote: Know How To Use Your Brain Operating System

Ilchi Lee Keynote:

I’d like to welcome you to this Ilchi Lee Keynote. In this lecture, we join Ilchi Lee in Boston for a talk he gave at the premiere of his film, Change, the LifeParticle Effect.

In this his first public lecture in Boston in over six years, Ilchi Lee discusses how being aware of and focusing on our energy allows us to utilize our brain’s potential to the fullest.

Why Ilchi Lee Emphasizes the Brain So Much?

Ilchi Lee emphasizes the brain because it is the thing that creates and controls every aspect of human life. Health, feeling and experience, physical movement, motivation and purpose–all of these are based on brain activity. All life can be improved by better use of our brains.

In the past, humanity has tended to ignore the brain because it was poorly understood and under appreciated. But human understanding of the brain is exploding, and now is the time to utilize that knowledge to our best advantage.

All of the answers to life’s challenges reside in the brain. If we can release that potential, I believe that humanity can solve many of the world’s difficult challenges. This is also true for you on a personal level. Do you have too much stress in your life? Relaxing your brain waves can have a profound effect on the stress reaction in your body. Do you have relationship problems? Examining the addictive emotional patterns established in your brain will help you begin to change them, which will in turn to change your interactions with others. Every human problem is created in the brain, and so is every solution. Through better understanding and care of our brain, we gain greater confidence and the capacity for mastering all our life skills.

Why Brain Centered Education

The brain is the beginning and end of your life. As your brain waves are first activated, your life is activated as well. When your brain waves cease, your life comes to an end. Your whole life is recorded and stored in your brain as conscious and subconscious memory. In addition, your brain contains the history of millions of years of evolution, as well as the characteristics and abilities that are unique to human beings.

The future of all humanity depends on how well we use our brains. The brain is the greatest common denominator of humankind. If we all use our brain to pursue health, happiness, and peace, the lives we and our offspring experience on Earth will become much more meaningful and beautiful.

5 Fundamental Ways To Use Your Brain Well

All the work of my life has been founded on the realization that the power and potential of our brains are phenomenal beyond any ordinary imagination. Thus everything I wish to share is based on the principle of using our brains well.

Many neuroscientists take the position that we are our brains. There is a truth to this statement, but in practice we must live from the more obvious perspective that we have brains. The point is that we must use our brains to have experience, to create, and to interact with others.

Psychologists have long recognized that our conscious egos are engaging only a tiny fraction of the total information being processed by our brains. I encourage you to regard your unconscious brain as the wellspring of creativity. Therefore I offer the following principles for using your brain well.

Move Your Body

Unlike other parts of our bodies, our brains are encased in the hard shell of our skulls – so we can neither touch them nor see them directly. However, our brains are made up of many areas that control different parts of our bodies, and different areas of our brains interact very closely with each other. Consequently, by moving our bodies and stimulating our senses, we can activate and integrate wide areas of our brains.

We can stimulate our brains through our bodies. All information we receive through our five senses, all actions accompanied by movement of bones and muscles, and all the foods we consume daily affect our brains. Appropriate exercise increases the flow of oxygen and production of growth factors, contributing to the growth of new brain cells. It also increases the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which play an important role in effective cognitive functioning.

Most of us have fixed patterns of behavior and exercise. That is why we end up habitually using certain parts of our bodies, without even realizing it. Typically, our brains access only those parts associated with our customary behaviors. If we use muscles we rarely use, and move our bodies in directions in we seldom move them, idle brain areas awaken and are activated. Yoga, Asian martial arts, dancing, etc. all include many novel bodily movements that are very good for stimulating the brain.

We cannot produce good results, no matter how excellent our designs and plans, if our bodies fail to support us with sufficient strength and energy to carry them out. Fortune and opportunity are available to everyone. Some people are able to seize those opportunities; some are not.

Work to develop a body full of vitality. Make it so that your body can support the goals you set for yourself. Keeping in good shape cannot be done by thought alone. It requires constant training of muscles, bones, and heart. Staying in shape not only promotes good health, but it is also an effective way to develop self-control, responsibility, willpower, and integrity.

In the process of improving your physical condition, you can develop the power to look at yourself more closely and deeply, and at the same time to observe yourself objectively. This can lead to new discoveries of your true nature. It can also develop in you a new perspective that broadens your field of vision with respect to life’s possibilities and what you really want to choose.

Trust Your Brain

Your brain can do things you have never done before, even things of which you are unaware. Your brain has incredible power to find paths you cannot now see and to create paths you cannot find. But your brain will not put forth its full creative power if you keep only to those aspects of yourself that you have experienced and understood so far. Most people live within the limits of the self they have experienced and known. So they do not realize what they have not learned, they remain uninterested in things that they believe to be none of their business, and they fear to attempt things outside the scope of their own knowledge and experience.

Within your brains sleep amazing powers. Your brain contains infinite creativity. To release this creativity requires a strong faith in yourself. So believe fully in yourself. For many people, this is more easily said than done. At such times, one can shift perspective, even slightly, and try trusting your brain.

Having sufficient confidence – trusting your brain – is the first step to activating your brain. We can maintain a positive attitude when our confidence is alive and vital, and a positive attitude responds flexibly to information, increasing the speed at which we change and grow. If you are in low spirits because of past mistakes or poor behavior, or if you desire to change a habit, tell yourself this, “That was my brain as it was in the past, but not now. My brain can change.”

The moment you acknowledge your past experience – without being ashamed of it, denying it, or making excuses for it – the brain opens up circuits previously blocked by stress and starts creating new thoughts. Your brain is ready to ceaselessly change and grow. You provide your brain with a direction for that change by continually making choices and by putting your choices into practice.

It is you yourself, and no one else, who can erase the limitations, or “set points” in our brains. If you think, “these are my limits,” your brain will not try to work beyond those limits. If you keep the limits, it is like driving a car with the parking brake engaged and then complaining that you can not go as fast as you would like.

Ask Your Brain

The brain’s default mechanism is to act on previously input information or patterns. To make use of your brain’s infinite creativity, you must ceaselessly pose new questions to it. When questioned, the brain moves actively to find an answer. When you ask your brain new questions, it searches for new information to answer them, and it wondrously comes up with integrated ideas that connect separate informational elements.

Great human inventions have begun with questions. “I want to fly. I really want to fly! Is there a way to do it?” This led to many generations of people who experimented with aircraft. Today we can travel the world because these questions were asked by people and answered by their brains.

And the more honest and earnest a question, the more passionately a brain moves in its quest for answers. If you want an answer, be sincere and keep asking your brain. In some way, perhaps unexpected, the brain will provide the answers you will need.

Prove Yourself To Your Brain

While you need to trust your brain, you have to allow your brain to trust you. To secure the confidence of your brain, you must check yourself regularly, again and again, because we are all subject to all types of doubts and fears. It is not through your thoughts or words, but rather through your actions that you can really check yourself. Through your actions, you must show yourself what kind of person you are, persuade your brain of this, and win your brain’s total trust. If you think a lot, but do not act, it shows that your brain power is not yet adequate. Your brain is failing to send a signal powerful enough to move your body. No creation is possible without action. Nothing meaningful at all happens without action.

The trust of your brain cannot be earned in a day. Your brain’s trust is a form of energy, an asset that must be accumulated and managed carefully by investing a great deal of time and effort. You build faith in yourself when you continue to show devotion to what you do, beginning with small things and moving one step at a time to larger things. This growing faith, ultimately, quiets the brain’s doubts and fears, and enables the brain to reveal and utilize its powers to the greatest extent possible.

To win the trust of your brain, you must develop and exercise willpower. Willpower is the ability, once we establish a goal, to see it through to the end. It is persevering despite obstacles and pain encountered along the way. When you make up your mind and say, “I’ll do it,” our fear of the task will vanish, and your heart will feel lighter. We will use 100% of our energy because we will be free of conflict over whether to do the work. Once you truly make up your mind to do something, your brain, on its own, will make all the preparations necessary to accomplish the task. Then, quite mysteriously, conditions surrounding you will develop in a way that will make it easier for you to accomplish what you set out to do.

Aid will come to you unlooked for. Things that seemed to have only a small chance of working out will end up going your way. If something we intend to do is not working out the way we would like, we should check ourselves to see whether we truly have the willpower to reach that goal and remind ourselves what it was we made our minds up to do in the first place.

When, with willpower, honesty, integrity, and responsibility, you put your choices into practice, you earn the trust of your brain. Your brain will begin to listen precisely to what you say and serve you loyally. You will grow into a mature human being who continues to reduce the discrepancies and contradictions between thought and deed, between body and brain, and between the principles for life we establish and the lives we actually live.