Even before I started working with Be Embodied, LLC, I would go to hot yoga classes and work through the movements and stretches, and while I was not yet self-aware enough to notice the specific effects yoga had on me, I did notice that I felt happy after the class. When I started to learn about yoga, meditation and mindfulness, especially as a person who has struggled with anxiety, it seems overwhelming. I thought, “How could I ever train my mind to think like this?,” because I was so used to NOT being in the moment, but rather being anxious about the upcoming hours, days, etc. However, I pushed myself to remember mindfulness mantras during difficult times. I started to focus on my breath, take note of where I was sitting or standing, what my body was touching…All things that helped to bring me back to the present moment and made the things I was anxious about seem more so like manageable activities and less so like looming tasks. I felt like I could handle it, and that feeling was (and still is) so important to me. Today, although my anxiety is not nearly as extreme as it was several years ago, I still practice mindfulness and do relaxation meditations to get the most out of my days and to cope with the worrying thoughts that still pop up. Mindfulness and meditation can help clear my mind and refresh me at any time of day, not just before bed. Through these practices I continue to learn new things about myself and have become more appreciative of small, seemingly minute things. I have also learned that it is both normal and okay to struggle with being mindful or doing a meditation, but I can truly say that learning how to inwardly focus my attention and simply sit with myself for a few moments has been one of the most helpful things I did for my mental health.
18 May 2017