Holistic Lifestyle - Cognitive Restructuring through Yoga
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
How I moved house, quite my job and relocated with a sense of calm. My old self would have had a panic attack of the unknown but this time I had a relentless drive. What changed? Yoga!
First up, let me say I don't believe in a positive or negative mindset because as humans we get both thoughts daily. It is not possible to eliminate all negative thoughts from our mind, however we can learn to accept and choose again. When something triggers us into a negative mind frame, we can take a step back to view and gain a new perspective or focus. It's important to remember that, thoughts are not facts! So if you get negative thoughts, acknowledge it for what it is, a simple thought and it can be changed by shifting our focus.
We all have come from different backgrounds and had different experiences, these experiences shape the way we feel and act. Our minds are programmed at a young age and these can shape our thought processes. The way we think about ourselves, others and situations. This is called COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR.
90% of our happiness is to do with how we see the world. Is your "physical environment supporting our mental health"? And what can we do to change it. Sometimes we need to change our physical environment and sometimes we need to change our perspective. Shifting your cognitive behaviour in a more productive way will produce more Dopamine (the happy hormone), resulting in reducing blood pressure, improving the immune system and becoming more productive.
3 Quotes to help perspective -
"Without rain there are no flowers"
"Like the moon, It's just a phase"
"The sun will pass through the clouds and shine again"
These are all reminders that life is not black or white, good or bad...it reminds us that time like seasons pass.
Where does yoga come in?!
Yoga is not just a physical practice but also a philosophy. By physically moving our body in and out of Asana, we can shift our mind. Movement releases neurotransmitters such as endorphins. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood.
By releasing these positive hormones we can then gain a new perspective; which relates to the philosophy of yoga. The philosophy guides us to release control of the ego and become more intuitive to our authentic self. This therefore builds self confidence within, rather then looking for outward pleasures or conformations. Knowing ourselves and being present in the moment, stops us from worrying about the past or future. It allows us to take in what is happening in the now, evaluate and choose where we want to focus.
1) Identifying the feeling, acknowledging when you're feeling anxious and why.
2) Accepting the feeling lead us to understand why we feel a certain way. This often takes courage because once we acknowledge what we don't like, we have to change it or live in self denial which will tear your soul apart.
3) Choosing again, choose to be in control of your emotions instead of being reactive. Almost everything in life is uncertain, so unless we restructure our minds we will always be in a state of anxiety. The key is to program our minds with a feeling of hope, faith and choice. So even if we find ourselves in a uncomfortable situation, we know that we have the choice to leave the situation and that it will not last forever. Some might say, it happened for the greater good.