When we are born we spend the first two years of our life only communicating heart to heart with our parents and loved ones. No words are said but the communication is direct. As we age, we develop our senses, which distract us from the heart-centered world from which we came. The heart, our soul, is the home of the Anandamaya kosha or bliss sheath. Here we are safe, full, complete and content.

Then, one day in preschool, we get hurt feelings – someone takes our seat or makes fun of us on the playground and we get crushed. Quickly we realize that this is not a safe world and we have to protect our feelings. So we employ our minds, the Manomaya kosha to protect ourselves. The mind has done a great job for all these years, building and adjusting a personality designed to protect the heart. This personality becomes our show, our personal movie that our minds have created. Our minds manipulate this movie to balance the needs and whims of mom and dad, siblings, employers and friends and soon we are spending much of our day juggling responsibilities in our movie to make everyone happy and OK with us.

We become the actors playing a role in this bad movie and are required to stay to the lines of the script. But who is writing the script? That depends on who is driving your chariot. If your mind has the reigns, the movie will be more concerned about what people think of the movie, than expressing the power and truth of your real message, your purpose. The real script, the one not bound by fear, emotion and the senses is written by the director, writer and producer which are all aspects of ourselves in the Anandamaya kosha – the bliss or heart sheath. When the mind passes the reigns of control back towards the heart – you become the director of your movie. If you do not like some character trait, some pattern of behavior or the whole scene of the movie, you can just change it. The director, from the perspective of the director’s chair is unattached to the script that the actors have become attached to. When you see yourself from the director’s chair – running the same behavioral patterns again and again you will become clearly and crisply aware of what needs to change in your movie – your life!

The mind uses fear, the senses and your emotions to keep all invaders out of your delicate heart space. Simply put, depression is when a sensitive person, who by definition has more innate access to the heart and soul than most people, loses access to the Self. The mind takes over. It tries to seduce you with its senses: money, power, fame, sex, so hopefully you will never notice that you have lost access to your Self. For a sensitive person to lose this deep access is very depressing. The mind rears its powerful head when it feels it’s losing control of its iron clad protection. It wields emotions like anger, guilt, jealousy and, when all else fails, FEAR to seal the doors shut, trying once again to keep you a prisoner, sentenced to play a role in a movie of illusion created by you to protect the delicate feelings of your heart.

As adults we do not need or want this kind of protection. We yearn to feel, to have access to our true self, to discover our passion and who we really are. This is the process of truly coming to our senses. Instead of being distracted by our senses and basing our happiness on the outcome of a world series game or newly released movie, we want to feel again. Here, the senses become avenues of consciousness transporting awareness from the mind to the heart, opening the gates of perception and letting out a glimpse of who we really are. The roadblocks in this process are our fears.

The fears are the last illusion of control of the mind. Once you confront a fear, doing the thing you hate and fear to do, you can move through it. Batman was afraid of bats. For him to become the superhero he is today, he had to embrace his fears. So he moved into a bat cave with the bats.

We can take on our fears one at a time, the small ones first, chipping away at them until we find ourselves fearless and free of our controlling minds.

There is one problem however, the patterns of behavior set up in the mind have an impact on the body – Oh yes the body! Just outside the mental sheath is the energy sheath where the prana, or life force moves. If the mind has the reigns, the flow of the prana is affected. If the prana does not flow freely, the whole subtle body system flow of energy comes to a halt. If the prana doesn’t flow, the 72,000 subtle energy channels called nadis don’t activate. In fact, they don’t exist if the prana doesn’t flow. Without the flow of the nadis the chakras don’t spin, and the spiritual progress comes to a grinding halt while the mind maintains control.

It gets worse – all fixable though! The Pranamaya kosha or energy sheath is the support system for the Annamaya kosha or the body sheath. Guess what? For the body to function properly, for the doshas – vata, pitta and kapha to balance and the seven dhatus (tissues) to develop and the gross channels (srotas) of circulation like blood and lymph to move, the prana must be flowing freely. The prana can’t flow if the mind is driving the chariot. The subtle energy system in charge of spiritual progress cannot penetrate the trappings of the mind, unless there is complete interactive flow between the body sheath, energy sheath, mental sheath and bliss sheath.

To do this we must also realize that our individual natures must live and flow in harmony with the natural cycles. Remember, birds fly south, whales migrate and leaves turn red and fall off trees. How do we stay in harmony with these ever changing cycles? This is a critical part of our balanced approach to the treatment of anxiety and depression. It is here that we see the connection to anxiety and depression of blood sugar, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, fatigue, and insomnia.

When we look at the body in this more complete picture, from the director’s chair, we can more easily identify the cause of these conditions and address them with more precision and ease. When your life begins to flow with the current downstream towards the ocean, as all rivers do, life becomes easy, and soon you will find yourself staring your Self in the heart – not questioning your new direction but empowering it.

Healing the cause of anxiety and depression is not a painful process of endurance and strain - but a joyful discovery of your true, never-changing Self.

Author's Bio: 

Intent.com is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others' intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra's daughter Mallika Chopra, Intent.com aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to Personal, Social, Global and Spiritual wellness.