I had the idea for Wellness Wednesday's a while ago, since my day job is a licensed mental health counselor...aka a therapist. My goal is to inject some of my education into this blog.
So speaking of intentions, I have been trying to take a yoga class at my local gym regularly every Friday morning before work. The instructor is amazing and somehow really makes me connect with my breath - whereas typically I'm holding my breath and squishing my face as I contort my body into different poses. Anyway, each morning we set our intention at the beginning of the practice. Lately my intentions have been to send peace and love to certain people/animals, but other times (including today) my intentions are to be grateful for what my body is able to do. I try to practice acceptance versus feeling frustrated that I'm not as agile and lithe as the cute chick in the sports bra and lulu's next to me.
Acceptance. One of my favorite things to talk about in therapy with clients. I blame my DBT training...more on that later. I have found that I can be thankful and grateful for the way my body is able to move and flow through poses, for it's ability to slide out from the warm bed at 5:45am to walk to the gym for a class, even for the way it tells me I'm pushing too hard or my form is off. I have found that embracing my abilities versus criticizing my limitations has allowed me to feel more of those beautiful effects yoga has to offer. I'm able to leave an hour-long class feeling rejuvenated and positive. I'd love to say "this is the secret, do _________ and your judgmental ways will be gone!" but I honestly can't pinpoint when things changed with my attitude. I will say taking a class with an instructor you connect with makes a major difference; I don't worry about what he/she will think of me or if he/she will think I'm a total spazz at yoga - I just allow myself to focus on me.
I should also mention it's important to recognize how much energy we devote to those negative feelings that pop up. It's so much harder to be angry than it is to just let it go and be. why beat myself up over not being able to do something? Why can't I instead be grateful for trying, or recognize my ability to almost do something?
The take-away? Be grateful for what you can do, versus beating yourself up over things you're unable to do. Practice acceptance.