Mental Yoga: how to develop psychological flexibility and stretch our emotional muscles

• Acceptance. Pain, sadness, anger, regret is all a part of life. Accepting negative emotions and experiences, rather than trying to control or eliminate them, is a healthier way to approach the complexities of human life and establish a good foundation from which to make better decisions. Acceptance breaks the vicious cycle of having anxiety about the fact that you are having anxiety.

• Curiosity. A curious mindset allows you to observe your negative reactions without judgment and see what you can learn from them. Curiosity engages your sense of logic and inhibits emotional “gut” reactions, allowing you to learn from these situations and identify intelligent next steps that lead you towards your goals.

• Commitment. Once your mind is freed from the exhausting struggle that comes from resisting or stressing about emotional states, it is easier to commit to the right actions or behaviors that lead you towards the things that you value most.

As with any practice, mental yoga takes practice, a commitment to one’s own self/process. The flexibility that we learn through this practice gives us the ability to be fluid, to move freely and easily through our lives, so then we can truly do the work that is our destiny.

I once a heard the teachings on how we must learn to control our minds, so that the mind works for us and we do not become a slave to our thoughts, the unhealthy thoughts that show up…how to understand the subtle bodies of the mind, the positive, the negative and the neutral minds. An important understanding for me is how to understand that just because a thought comes into my brain..it is not necessarily the truth; how do I use my mind to determine what is and what is not? One very important aspect of this is to say to oneself “is this the truth”… and then again am I absolutely sure “this is the truth?” …it is important for me to be in that stepping back place and to not be reactionary, reacting impulsively may not always work out with the best results.

Question for the inquiry: Who would I be without my story?

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