Saturday, July 10, 2010

a shift in perception can change your world

have you ever noticed how powerful it is to change your perception of a situation?

i've seen a powerful theme emerge in friends and clients - and that's a tendency to look on the dark side of life.  and i've done it too.  it's so easy to get caught up in the negative.  have you ever tracked your negative thoughts?  it's something i always  suggest to people dealing with anxiety, immense stress or just feeling overwhelmed.  we can have hundreds of negative thoughts a day!  it can be as simple as waking up in the morning and your first thought is ugh, i so don't want to go to work today or something more extreme like hearing really bad news or getting down over a missed job opportunity. 

i used to obsessively focus on anxious symptoms.  if my stomach hurt, or my head was pounding, or my breath was quick i would immediately panic and 'just know' that any minute i was going to have a panic attack.

it ruled my life.  i literally waited for the symptoms to occur.  and when they didn't, i tortured myself waiting for them to surface... predicting that they would pop up at any moment. 

something i just started doing in my classes (and feel that i'm really going to continue) is that after our practice, when everyone is peaceful in savasana, i ask them to take a moment to focus on how their practice has made them feel.  whether your yoga leaves you energized, tranquil, chill or just clear headed, taking a moment to focus on how good you feel can feel totally foreign to some of us!  every chance i get i take a mental inventory of how good i'm feeling - whether sore from a kick ass workout or relaxed after yoga or energized after teaching a heart pumping class - i wanna remember those feelings.  i want to go to the good feelings more often so when something negative or unfortunate does pop up, i don't find myself dwelling on it.

try it out next time after you get your yoga on or right as you settle in for the night.  think about 3 really good things you felt throughout the day or did.  create awareness around the positive in your life.  begin to focus on the good... and watch the negativity start to fade away. our attention to it will no longer fuel it. 

3 things i appreciated today:

1) i taught a killer fun yoga class that left everyone drenched (including myself!)
2) rocked it through a spin class right after and pushed myself to the limit - i felt amazingly strong after
3) feeling totally relaxed and energized for a night out on the town with some friends

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