Equanimity: How to Maintain a Neutral Mind

Equanimity is the ability to be present with whatever is happening, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral, without reacting to it. It means you’d have the same, non-emotional reaction to cleaning the garage, eating dinner, or watching a dog in the park.

Emotionally, you’re okay with whatever happens.

Equanimity is different from apathy. Apathy is the state of not caring. Equanimity is about not suffering or worrying needlessly.

Equanimity is great for boosting success. You’d never give up on anything that mattered to you!

Equanimity is challenging to develop, but doable. We develop preferences throughout our lives. It’s not easy to avoid being triggered by these preferences. The more you practice, though, the more equanimity you’ll develop. It’s not just a state of mind, but also a skill.

Practice these techniques to gain control over yourself and your life through equanimity:

  1. Meditate. Few things can provide a peaceful mental space like meditation. You learn a lot about how your mind works. You also learn that your thoughts and reactions to the world are separate from the world.
    • You begin to see that everything in life is neutral. It’s only your reaction to it that gives it a particular meaning.
  2. Stop emotions in their tracks. Your mental state is constantly veering off in emotional or negative directions. It’s your job to bring it back on track. Accept the emotion and then let it go.
  3. Avoid judging. When you judge, you’re creating emotions. Judging someone’s house, clothes, or even a tree misses the whole point of equanimity. Equanimity is about acceptance. The moment you judge it, you’re not accepting it as it is. When you want something to be other than what it is, you’re not at peace.
  4. Non-judging doesn’t mean tolerating. Some people jump to the conclusion that equanimity means putting up with everything. That’s not true. Equanimity means taking care of your business but doing so without unnecessary emotion.
    • You can mow your grass without being annoyed by it. You can do your taxes or have a difficult conversation with a calm and peaceful mental state.
  5. Eliminate the drama from your life. Does your job create a lot of misery in your life? Do you have a friend that’s constantly draining you emotionally? It might be time to make a few changes. Your life should be viewed as a sacred space. Be wary whom you allow to enter and stay. Control what you can.
  6. Practice. Try to remain in a smiling, peaceful mental state throughout the day. See how well you

  7. Can do this while doing your household chores, driving to work, and waiting in line.
    • Start with easy situations. Then, move on to more challenging situations, and eventually, everything becomes easy. Life provides endless practice opportunities.
    • When you feel yourself becoming bothered, relax your mind and body. Focus on your breath. Imagine you’re watching this scene in a movie. Then, just do what needs to be done without any internal drama.

Equanimity is the ability to avoid reactivity. With equanimity, you’re not attached to a particular outcome. You accept the situation and deal with it. Emotional reactivity is unnecessary.

Equanimity is powerful, because it gives you the ability to persist and handle difficult situations with greater ease. You’re open to success and failure, because you’re not emotionally attached to the outcome. This is real power.

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