Keeping it Together: A Guide for Modern Times
“Only you know when you’re using things to protect yourself and keep your ego together, and when you’re opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is – working with it rather than struggling against it.” These words of Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron have tided us over many a rollercoaster moment.
Many of us may find ourselves being over-emotional when we need to keep it together the most. Studies show that emotional imbalances occur when an individual’s senses, emotions and thoughts are not aligned. But change is constant, and the sooner we accept this, the easier it is to find tools to cope.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and if you’re looking for effective ways to improve your Emotional Quotient, here’s a good place to start:
Understanding an emotion is different from feeling it. It’s tough to break past patterns and let life happen without the need for anxiety-driven control. By learning to identify and observe one’s emotions, it becomes easier to act, not react. Yoga is a powerful antidote to stress as it balances the nervous system and improves awareness of mind and body.
*EAT* intelligent foods
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, repeatedly says:
“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.”
This is also true when it comes to what we choose to eat. Natural, fresh Sattvic food that is easily digested and wholesome helps one feel happier and more active.
While you can accommodate Rajasic food (spicy, bitter, dry or salty) and Tamasic Food (over-processed) in small doses, take the steps to change your food habits and include more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, natural sweeteners and other Sattvik foods in your diet.
*LISTEN* to your body
Your body is a wonderland. And when there’s a disruption in our body clock, because of stress, insomnia, travel or something you’re dealing with, it can wreak havoc on emotions. When was the last time you really listened to your body’s needs? Start finding ways to realign your inner chi: take a walk when you’re under pressure, limit your coffee intake, make a habit of going to bed early.
*JOURNAL* for creative expression
Get yourself a journal, put on the Sounds of Himeya soundtrack, grab a cup of tea or wine, and pour your heart out! Currently promising on this front is Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal method. As this article from The New Yorker explains, “The Bullet Journal is designed to embrace the chaos that is life, to help us become mindful about how we spend our two most valuable resources in life: our time and our energy.” Definitely worth a try, if you ask us.
Monitor your breath throughout the day to be in sync with how you feel. Meditative breathing techniques like the 5-4-3-2-1 will focus your senses while the 4-7-8 helps you fall asleep.