Have you ever caught yourself playing the same negative conversation over and over in your mind or found yourself thinking about a time in the past that made you sad? I hate how these random thoughts can sneak into a perfectly good day and can turn happiness into gloom with little effort.
I have never let the past bother me before but a little over a year ago something happened that changed that. Since then, thoughts started popping up that I couldn’t just shake away. They lingered and flooded my mind.
I tried to distract myself but I just couldn’t get a handle on the sadness that my thoughts were bringing me. Finally, I decided to treat my negative, unproductive thoughts like clutter. The thoughts still enter my mind sometimes, but now I can control them instead of letting them control me.
What I Did
I approached dealing with my mental clutter the same way I faced my physical clutter. I researched different tips and tricks, practiced a variety of ideas, and did what felt right for me. Yoga was the method that intrigued me the most and that has brought me the most benefit.
My Experience with Yoga
Over the past 15 years, I have practiced yoga sparingly. I always enjoyed it but for some reason, I never made it a priority and I never fully committed myself to practicing.
This past month I incorporated yoga into my daily routine and I have been very pleased with the positive effects. I am currently taking 2 classes a week and practicing on my own with what I have learned for at least 15 minutes the other 5 days.
I Found What I Was Looking for and MORE!
I gained more control over my thoughts
Yoga has given me the foundation I needed to get more control of my thoughts. This past year I wasted more time than I care to admit lost in negative thoughts. Yoga has allowed me to become more aware of how to focus my attention and recognize thoughts before they spiral. The thoughts still pop up but now I can acknowledge them and choose to redirect my mind on so I can remain in the present.
I’m more calm and relaxed
Practicing yoga, even for a brief amount of time leaves me feeling very calm and relaxed and that feeling stays with me! I even wake up feeling much more relaxed than I did before.
I’m more patient
This probably goes hand in hand with the calmness but I have noticed it takes a lot more for me to lose my patience. Being a stay-at-home mom, this in itself is enough to convince me to continue to practice yoga.
I’m more flexible
This past year I have been having discomfort in my lower back. Most likely brought on by stress and/or from carrying my toddler around. I found out that my insurance company offered a free virtual yoga class for back health and I started attending right away. After the first class, I noticed a significant improvement and after the second class my discomfort was gone! It felt great to gain flexibility and no longer be in pain.
I feel stronger
The Vinyasa Yoga class that I just started has challenged me and includes a workout-like feel which I have enjoyed. The day after my first class I could feel some soreness. Toning my muscles wasn’t my goal but it is a nice side effect.
To Sum it Up
If you’re looking to clear some of the clutter from your mind so you can feel happier and lighter, think about adding yoga to your routine! I have noticed a world of difference in a short amount of time.
Do you practice yoga? What do you enjoy most about it? I would love to hear about your yoga experience.