The Number One Cause of Emotional Suffering, According to Mother Teresa

I think we all can agree that emotional suffering is one of the hardest struggles to deal with in life.

Whether it’s anxiety or depression, or a feeling that life is rather meaningless, these negative emotions can make life tough to handle.

It’s even harder to figure out how to actually respond to them. Is it better to embrace them? Or should you just avoid them and get on with your life?

This is where Mother Teresa takes a different approach. In a brilliant quote, she explains that loneliness and feeling unwanted is what causes these negative emotions, and that the only way out is through love.

Check it out here. Below that we talk about 10 strategies you can use for bold self-love.

Mother Teresa on best cure for loneliness and despair

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

10 strategies for bold self-love

To counter those feelings of hopelessness and despair, self-love is one of the best strategies you can use.


Because it doesn’t rely on any outside forces. As Buddha said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

And don’t worry, you don’t have to be different to be worthy of self-love. Your worth is your true nature, a core of love and inner goodness. Loving ourselves isn’t a one time event, it’s an endless, on going process.

Here are 10 steps to enfold yourself in affection and appreciation.

1) Take time to meditate in the morning

Meditation simply involves focusing on your breathe, as it comes in and as it comes out. When your mind wanders (and it will wander), just gently return your focus back to your breathe. When negative emotions arise, simply accept them and continuing focusing on your breathe.

2) Take time to journal

So many of us are busy and cluttered in our thought processes. Taking the time to write about what you’re feeling can give you enormous clarity. If you do this every day, you’ll start to feel more clear and focused with who you are and what you want in life.

 3) Talk yourself happy

Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. When you notice yourself participating in self-criticism, stop for a second and reframe what you’re saying to be something more positive.

4) Get emotionally honest

Binge eating, drinking, shopping etc are just ways to avoid what’s going on. Mindfully breathe your way through these emotions and learn to accept them.

5) Expand your interests

Get active, try something new. Go places you’ve never been. You have the right to an awesome life.

6) Be willing to surrender

Breathe, relax and let go. You’re not in control of everything. If you can control something, then take action and do your best, but if you can’t, there’s no point worrying about it anyway.

7) Be patient with yourself

Let go of urgency and fear. Continue trying your best and as long as you’re moving in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how slow you’re going.

8) Take time to be grateful

Write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. Train your mind to be grateful. When you stop and appreciate the world around you, it will make an enormous difference to your mindset on life.

9) Accept uncertainty

Suffering occurs when we attach ourselves to something that we want to be fixed. The truth is, life is in constant change. Accept this and embrace whatever the universe throws your way.

10) Be real

Stop comparing yourself to others and embrace who you truly are. As the great Osho quote says:

“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I.” – Osho

Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.

Here's what you'll learn:

• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.

• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).

• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.

• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.

• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.

Check it out here.



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