How Do You Respond?
With each experience, especially potentially stressful events, we have a choice how to respond. We can respond in fear and worry, which results in an agitated mind. Or, we can respond with a calm and focused mind. The choice is yours – one causes more stress and the other results in more peace and calmness.
Understanding our mind and how it works is fundamental in lowering our stress levels. Agitation will always exist, but there are ways we can understand it better. There is agitation that is unavoidable, due to facts you can’t change. On the other side, there is also agitation born of misconception, imagination and memory. Once we realise this, we can begin to avoid unnecessary suffering. One way that we start to really notice our responses is through a regular yoga practice. As we hold postures and remain still, we have an opportunity to observe the comings and goings of our emotions. It is a reminder that yoga is ultimately about working with the mind.
When we begin to comprehend how the mind works, this is the initial step that eventually leads to knowing yourself as distinct from the mind and its fluctuations. In the end, this reduces our suffering. Balance your emotions with a regular yoga practice. It helps to diffuse emotions such as impatience, anger and hostility, which are linked to stress related illnesses. There are many other things you can do for stress relief. Take up a hobby or activity that you’ve always wanted to. Alternatively, go on that trip you’ve always wanted to. Once you get out of your regular routine, you’ll discover different things about yourself that you never knew.
Start observing your responses today. Remember, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts before you instantly respond. Be perceptive with what is happening in the mind. This will make you feel more grounded and thereby reduce stress.
By Sarah Hunt, Yoga Instructor at The Dan Roberts Group