Monday, January 26, 2009

The Benefits of Yoga

photo found at Citytv
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE yoga! It always amazes me just how refreshed and rejuvenated I feel after doing it. It always seems hard to find the time, but when I do, even 20-30 minutes of it, I am always glad afterward. It feels like I have washed my slate clean, opened up the windows and let some fresh air in, and I get a burst of energy. Meditation is so important to reduce the stress in our lives.
An article on webmd says "Doing yoga may reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help your body to be more flexible. Several studies have shown that yoga has health benefits such as improving a person's sense of well-being, helping to lower blood pressure, and helping people who have asthma learn to breathe more easily."
Another webmd article lists all the benefits of yoga including flexibility, strength, posture, breathing, less stress- more calm, concentration and mood, heart benefits, and more. You can click on these links to view the articles in full.

Its been one of my new years resolutions to get back into doing yoga and I have been meaning to get started. I can tell that my body and mind has been CRAVING it because I haven't been able to shake the heavy, stressful, sluggish feeling that's been lingering around me the last couple weeks.

It can be difficult to find a good yoga show if TV is the way you want to go. There are a lot of really cheesy ones out there. You'll find the old ladies in the 80's outfits usually in the early hours of the morning, the hippies in Jamaica, the Hawaiians in full Hawaii gear, etc. I started out with the hippies because they were the most tolerable and least annoying.

However I have found a show on FitTV that I really like. Its called Namaste Yoga. I get it now that I switched my satellite service to Direct TV. The show actually has normal people in it! I have a DVR so I record the shows whenever and save a handful of them so that when I want to do the workout its already to go and I don't have to rely on the tv's schedule. I highly recommend this show for anyone that wants to do yoga in the privacy of their home. Here is a sample of what the show is like:

Many gyms also provide yoga classes if you would rather go that route.

Whatever your strategy for meditation, the important thing is to have one and follow through. It could be as simple as doing breathing exercises every once in awhile, or taking time to relax away from all the noise and chaos of our daily lives.

Maybe one day I'll be good enough at the yoga that I won't need the shows and I'll be able to do it all on my own, that would be cool. What kind of meditation techniques do you do?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gossip + Judgements = Broken Hearts

If you have read enough of my posts then you know that my anxiety stems from a deep rooted fear of being judged by others. I think it is in part a result from my childhood, because I grew up in a contentious home where we weren't very nice to each other. The problem with this fear is that no matter how much I tell myself that people aren't judging me, eventually the time will come when they do and I will hear about it. Its happened a lot to me lately.

In one scenario the way I raise my child and my relationship with my husband came into question by a family member at a family gathering. My family still hasn't learned to be nice to one another. I am scared of confrontation and usually avoid it at all costs by trying my best to be a peace keeper, letting hurtful things roll off my back. However in this case I lost it and snapped big time. I went off on this person and things got awkward really fast. Needless to say I didn't handle it the best way I could have.

People talk. They talk badly about other people all the time because it makes them feel better about themselves. Unfortunately I even do it at times. But can you imagine how those people would feel if they found out about what was said about them? Today I found out what other people were saying about me and my family, and it cuts deep. People that have no clue about my life, my marriage, my family were saying things that were really hurtful. It makes me really angry. I know that no matter what you do there is always going to be somebody that hates you for something. But it still hurts.

I have to see these people tomorrow morning and spend all day with them and I am getting very anxious just thinking about it. Its so silly but its as if I'm in High School all over again. Do adults ever really act like grown ups or is it always a popularity contest? I wish people were more loving to each other. It seems that the worst is always easier to point out than the good.

No confrontations will be made this time. Its a special event that I don't want to ruin by bringing it up. But it makes me feel like the spotlight is that much bigger on me.

I am surprised that the main feeling I have felt has been anger, followed by sadness. My heart has really been broken this week and it literally feels very heavy.

So I am trying to sort through it all now and figure out how to deal and process all the feelings. Part of me wants to write these people out of my life forever. Another part of me wants to confront them with the situation as hard as that would be but I know that I am too sensitive and would lose a verbal battle and it would probably make the situation worse. Part of me just wants to up and move away so that I never have to deal with it. Running sounds like the easiest thing to do but I know that won't happen.

I feel like everything is just a big ol' mess and I have no idea how to clean it up. I know if I let it continue to eat at me then my fear of being judged gets more justification because look at how horrible it is when that happens! But how do you get over it and just not care?

I have decided to take a look at myself and stop the gossiping that I do of others and try to set an example for those around me. Hopefully I can stop whatever pain I may be causing anyone else. Somehow I need to learn to not care what these people think, no matter who they are or what they think.

Any one have any suggestions for me? I could really use some help right about now...

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Little Peace goes a Long Way

Right now I am all alone in my bedroom and all is quiet. The baby is sleeping, my husband is away giving someone a ride home, and I have been reading old posts from this blog and reading all of the warm heartfelt comments that readers have left me. I am filled right now with a real sense of peace. That's sometimes hard to come by, and with it being so much easier to complain about everything that is wrong in life, I thought it would be nice to note the good things too. Like peace. Even if it is only for a brief moment, before reality sets in again, before the baby starts to cry or the basketball game gets turned on and the chaos begins. Its a nice feeling, like I am right where I am supposed to be. And it's all of you who has brought me that peace, so thank you. Even though I have never met any of you, we are a tight little family in our own way where we can be open and honest. I read one post where I thought, oh no what if so and so read this and knew it was me? But then I realized there is something very liberating about being so open and honest. And I think opening up on this blog has really helped me because then I no longer have to bottle it up inside. Its no longer a secret. And that leaves me feeling at peace.

Wishing you all a little peace for your new year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Warm Welcome to 2009

Oh News Year Day is so wonderful. A fresh clean slate, a new year where anything and everything is possible. I love the feeling of getting a do-over. Getting to try again judgment free. And I have a lot that I need to do- over. Missed birthdays for example. I am THE WORST at remembering people's birthdays.

Although I must admit 2008 was pretty amazing for me. I started my family and that has changed so much for me. For Christmas I wanted to start some family traditions of my own, and incorporate some that I grew up with. We always had a formal Christmas Eve dinner where we got the nice dishes out and had the same favorite family recipes. Would you believe it that I actually threw a nice formal dinner and invited some guests over to share it with? Its like I was asking for the anxiety to be in my life! Sure I got anxious a little before they came over because cooking all day had made me not very hungry and I felt like there was so much food to eat. And they arrived before I could really prepare myself for the anxiety. But I just told myself to take it slow and only eat what I wanted to and I made it through. I don't want anxiety to control my life and not allow me to do the things that I feel are important. I believe thats its important to not avoid the things that may trigger panic attacks, but learn to manage your anxiety instead so you can live your life to the fullest.

Every year I make quite the list of New Year's Resolutions. I have maybe 5-7 different ones in all aspects of my life (spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, home improvements, etc.) It seems that a lot of the same ones make it onto the list each year but I usually tackle a few of them. And I think its good to reevaluate your life every once in awhile anyway.

"Reality is a reflection of the inner self." -Leza Danly, Founder of Lucid Living

My dad writes self help books for Sales People and in one of them he talks about making and keeping goals. He says that its so important to write them down somewhere and leave them where you will see them often. I agree. Out of site, out of mind, right?

CNN posted this video today about how to keep your New Year's Resolutions:

So I am curious. What are your New Year Resolutions regarding your mental health? I'll share some of mine as the video above mentions to get your family and friends involved:

  • Do yoga at least once a week or some form of meditation
  • Continue to blog as often as I can or have something worthwhile to say and network with other anxiety sufferers/learn from them
  • Continue developing my talents to boost my confidence and self esteem.
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