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How to fight the 5 mental states that hold us back in life....

(Source,, Shi Heng Yi, Shaolin kung fu master)

These teachings are derived from the Shaolin martial arts culture and philosophy, which is about 1,500 years old. There are many things you must work on within to help have a better connection between your mind and body.

1.Sensual desire

Sensual desire is when there is a strong craving for something that would stimulate at least one of our five senses. Sensual desire may not always be bad unless it steers us away from a personal goal. A good way to overcome sensual desire is to think about the long-term consequences. Think about how this action would serve you in the long run.

2. Ill Will

On the other side of the spectrum, Ill will is when there is a total rejection of something due to strong dislike. It could be a relationship, person, environment, situation or activity. Even though it is natural to have negative emotions, refusing to face these ill wills may impede our emotional growth and our ability to move forward in our lives. To overcome our avoidance of ill wills, we must reach down to the root of why we don’t like something. For example, why don’t we like confrontations? If we dig deeper and we realize we don’t like to feel vulnerable when confronting someone about our issues, we can take this self-realization as an opportunity to work on ourselves and grow.

3. Sloth and torpor

Feeling stagnant in life with no motivation to change can be defined as sloth and torpor. It may be felt as defeat, self-hate or pity, lack of motivation, depression or any emotion that doesn’t allow us to work towards our goals and livelihood. It can be a mental prison that may be hard to escape from. To help escape, you must first figure out what made you become “imprisoned”, work on these issues then you must refocus on your goals and re-inspire yourself.

4. Restlessness

When our mind is going 200km/h, we become restless. Our minds may be full of anxiety, overthinking and self-doubt. Buddhist also call this “monkey mind” where your thoughts are jumping from one branch to another, with no real focus. This can develop high levels of anxiety and frustrations. To help overcome restlessness, it’s good to first acknowledge it while it is happening, accept the thoughts and feelings then move on. Meditation can be a great way to help relieve restlessness and anxiety as it clears your mind to achieve a peace of mind.

5. Skeptical doubt

When we begin to question ourselves our abilities or decisions, this is where skeptical doubt comes to play. Second guessing our actions can become a wall to achieving our goals and being our best self. A way to overcome skeptical doubt is to use it to our advantage and try to think of why we have doubts. Do we need to go over our options? Dissect them to confirm they are the right decision for us? It does not hurt to reconsider our abilities, decisions or options to help achieve our goals.

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