We all know that these are fragile times. I’ve heard so many people saying that one of the hardest things to deal with right now is the anxiety that feels like it’s coming at us from all angles - and many have been asking how to use yoga to manage it. I’ve dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and I know as well as anyone what a terrible cycle it is and how impossible it can feel to pull yourself out. The world is always an uncertain place, but with so much anxiety afflicting the day to day lives of every single person on earth, I wanted to share with you some of the strategies I use in my own life and my practice.
It often doesn’t make sense to people that someone with a regular yoga practice can struggle with anxiety. Aren’t yogis supposed to be relaxed? And sure, a regular yoga practice can be incredibly helpful for anxiety - but, unfortunately, anxiety can make it difficult to do most of the regular things in your life, especially when...
We’ve all been there – If I could just X, then I would have Y. If I could finish second series, I’d be satisfied with my practice. If I get that promotion, I’ll be stable financially. If I find a partner, I’ll have everything I want. All I want is to be stronger, more flexible, pregnant, successful, rich, less busy, skinny, strong, enlightened, or whatever in order to be happier. We all do this with everything: work; personal life; health; even our spiritual practices.
Here’s the thing, though: You’re already at the place that you’re trying to get to - you are there. We all are, in fact. Whenever you reach your current idea of where you’re trying to get to, you’ll always find another “there” in its place.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t have goals, but rather saying to be happy where you are and what you’re doing now. Let wherever you are now be...
The struggle ends when the gratitude begins - Neale Donald Walsh
If you want to create more good in your life, you need to start recognizing and being grateful for the good you already have. People who are grateful lead happier lives - it’s that simple. Being grateful contributes to resilience and the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.
Gratitude puts everything into perspective - you can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously.
You get to choose gratitude now. Gratitude is not just about being thankful for the good things in your lift. Rather, it is about being thankful for everything in your life. Practicing gratitude helps direct energy in a positive direction and away from ruination about what isn’t going well, and often what isn’t within your control.
So, reframe your struggles. You don’t have to wait until you make it to the other side. Look at how you are being challenged and think of how much you get to learn and be thankful.