The first thing that comes to mind is yoga. When we practice yoga everyday our bodies become flexible and we are able to bend down and touch our toes and scratch that sweet spot on the back we couldn’t get before.
How about yoga for the mind? How about stretching and letting go and practicing and breathing and holding poses (thoughts) for periods of time? Mental yoga! What a concept. If you have ever taken a yoga class then you know exactly what I am talking about. And if you haven’t – go take one right now!
Yoga is the practice of stretching and holding poses for periods of time and focusing on your breathing – a movement meditation that grounds you and balances your chakras. It is absolutely relaxing and worth a try.
Now let’s do that with our minds – opening up and letting in all the happiness that we all crave. Isn’t that what everyone says – when asked – what do you want – I want to be happy. Why are so many people unhappy? Are they really unhappy or do they just need to do some mental yoga to open up their minds and welcome in flexibility?
What does it mean to be flexible? More than willing to meet someone 30 minutes later than scheduled. It means to embrace life, live in the present, be open to change, be willing to accept what is, to be happy that you are breathing and your heart is beating. This is freedom. This mental wellbeing is what flexibility is.
This isn’t to be confused with accepting everything as is and thinking all is good and positive. There is a yin and yang to everything. With good is bad. With cause is effect. But imagine using the entire spectrum of emotions to move you towards those things that you value the most. Family, health, life… whatever is most important to you.
Stretch your mental muscles through acceptance, curiosity and commitment.
Accept negative emotions as opposed to trying to control or eliminate them. This in turn will help you make better choices and decisions and will reduce anxiety.
Curiosity allows you to observe and explore negative reactions without judgments that will cloud and impede the learning process.
Freeing your mind from resistance makes committing to actions and behaviors easier and allows you to be more open.
Negative thoughts should be accepted into your mind – then ask yourself why you are thinking that way and what is the outcome you seek by having these negative thoughts – then release them making room for more productive positive thoughts to enter.