AAHH! Hi everyone. I’m alive. Over the past few weeks I have had to put my nose to the grindstone (or whatever the expression is) to study for the GRE. If you don’t know what the GRE is, it’s like the SAT for master’s students. Though it doesn’t seem that certain grad programs rely heavily on them, it is still required as part of the application process for some schools. I have been studying for the past 6 weeks but the last two have been the hardest. As always, the guilt, stress and anxiety set in and I started to feel that any waking moment spent not studying would make me fail miserably. I don’t know why I get like this, when a few distractions would be better for brain health anyway. It’s something I really have to work on. What do you all do when you need to/should take a break from something really important but feel guilty about doing so? Am I just weird and this doesn’t happen to anyone else? Anyway, I hope you’re all well and I will be writing more soon. Leave a comment and let me know how you are. xoxo!
Will there ever be an end to stress? This thought recently popped into my mind because I tend to stress about the future. Don’t you? I set goals and then tell myself I can relax once they’re reached. Sometimes it works. For instance, I studied my brains out and finished my Anatomy course then I took some time off. Or another example is, once I pass this milestone in life, everything will fall into place and will be perfect. Like, once I finish my degree, I will be set and on my way and I won’t have to worry about anything. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.
After meditating on this for a while, I realized that it’s true in some cases: there can always be time to relax and there will be times when you will feel set in life. But there won’t really be moment when you realize everything is perfect because things fell into place exactly the way imagined and you can “just be” for the rest of your life (unless, of course, you maybe win the lottery but that opens a different can of worms and possibly new problems if you don’t know how to handle it…I digress…but wait, that’s just it! :)) The truth is, once life is in order, there will be other problems and issues to deal with. There’s always something, right? It reminds me of the famous words of John Lennon: “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” You can stress and plan for the future, but there’s so little of the future that is actually in our own control. Most of the stressing is unnecessary. The point is to be open to everything and leave room for change. Don’t put on blinders to the rest of the world. Being staunch on plans can only make for missed opportunities.
Amidst all this craziness that makes you feel like you need a vacation to throw your cares away and ease your mind, I have one suggestion: meditate. Treat to yourself. Take a little time to turn everything off, unplug and just be. There’s really nothing better than being on vacation and if you can go on a mini mental vacation every day, you will begin to feel mentally lighter and happier. Meditating and quieting the mind for even 5 minutes a day can ease stress and loud noises going on in the head. It opens you up to good mental health, inspiration, greater ambition, passion, etc. This is only part of the many reasons why meditation is so important. Besides, what bad can happen when you set aside time to stop thinking?
Spend five minutes each day meditating. Breathe in and breathe out and focus on nothing else but that. Your mind and body will thank you.
We have all experienced times in our yoga practice where we might physically be in tree pose, for example, but find ourselves mentally drifting and making a list of the errands we have to run after class and wishing there was a pen and paper around so as to not forget. Or sometimes, if you’re like me, you find yourself thinking, maybe even stressing, about the pose your in, rather than letting your body do the work and just being present. Yesterday morning, as I was practicing yoga, particularly when I was in Warrior II, I found myself thinking a lot about the sensations going on in my body: whether I was deep enough in the pose, which muscles I could feel working, wondering if my feet were properly aligned, I could go on, but I think you get the point. Basically, I was stressing and fussing.
Once I became aware that my mind was completely garbled, a voice suddenly rang out from somewhere deep inside saying “get out of your head!” Aha! This was like a yoga kick in the butt for me; a wake-up call from my subconscious to stop thinking. I paused for a moment to understand what just occurred and magically felt my mind go silent. The silence and stillness in the room became beautifully apparent. Those magic words bubbled up from the inside and made a world of difference for the remainder of the morning’s practice. I felt my face ease up, my body lightened, the tension in my neck disappeared, and there I was, suddenly feeling like I completely embodied the Warrior II position. And, I began to smile. It was pretty cool.
It became my mantra for the day and it made me think that not only does this pertain to yoga, but to life in general. When times are tough, it’s much easier think through a difficult situation if you take a deep breath and get out of your head, so you can stop stressing and act with clarity. The next time you find yourself in a stressful, worrisome situation, rather than staying clenched and stressed, try to remember to get out of your own head. Or maybe, if you pay attention, your subconscious will bubble up with a similar mantra.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Love!