It's the storm before the calm... of summer...
End of the school year can become overwhelming and cramp your style; whether it's finals you're studying for or if you're the parent, all the paperwork for summer camps, grooming for parties, 'fun', graduations and oh such wonderful and so many recitals! It's all awesome and we're so grateful, but at the same time, it's a lot to handle!
Look out for these 3 signs of toxic stress in your (or your child's) life:
Social slights can happen anywhere! Especially in this day and age when we're drowning in social media; people can feel happy if they get likes or lonely when there are no likes. Online dating can also contribute to the many virtual social snubs. Snubs to downright bullying isn't just on social media and on the playground: it exists in presidential campaigns, workplaces, and even ironically, in yoga studios! Keep reading to learn the science of emotional pain and what you can do about it.
Taming the wild bear mind takes some work. It's a skill and skills need to be practiced to stick. One part of taming the mind is to notice all the thoughts; likes, dislikes, guessing what others are thinking, judgements, planning, future forecasting, imagining the worst = anxiety, wishing things were different = resisting the present, and of course, the ever-popular wishing for a better past = depression.
Every family has struggled with the smartphone dilemma... They're also great for doing homework on, for finding incredible resources for research (even the library of congress is in the palm of our hand!).
The dark-side is that teens (and adults) are increasingly compulsive when it comes to smartphone use...
The truth is we need a little of both. It's the ability to move fluidly between pessimism and optimism that keeps us well.
Both pessimism and optimism can be strengths and weaknesses. For example, you need pessimism in the law or medical profession. We can't miss anything.
However, tip too much to the pessimistic side and it's miserable, perhaps partly explaining the high rates of depression and suicide among the law and medical profession.
Optimism is obviously more fun and feels happier. However, being overly optimistic can cost you. For example,
We do it all day and all night. We do it from the moment we're born to the last gasp before we die. Breathing. We don't think much about it but it happens to be one of the most powerful tools we can have for altering our mind states. Remember a time when you were scared or anxious? Maybe you were breathing fast or holding your breath. Remember when you were cuddling a puppy or your baby? Perhaps, you can remember how calm and slow your breath was. Breathing is special in that it can be conscious and unconscious.
Why should you have a breathing practice?
Did you ever notice that when you're having family drama and a friend comes over, all of a sudden the spell can be broken and you wonder what the heck everyone was so upset about? *Remember that each passing moment is that... passing. Remember that we're all here now and then we'll all be gone someday. In this context, remind yourself of what absolutely matters the most. This is the great reminder, greatest common sense advice, that we all forget, all the time.
Someone told me once you can't be angry and grateful at the same time. This is absolutely true! Try it yourself! It's a powerful antidote to anger and I'll take any tool I can get to tame anger because, as Aristotle said, "Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
If we could just integrate and infuse these ideas of valuing mind body medicine, including healthy relationships, clean eating, exercise, and sleep into our culture, and I believe this is happening, slowly but surely, we could have a massive impact on quality of life. The advantage here is that the program includes not only the science of meditation, but healthy eating, relationships, exercise, and sleep. Although it’s a lifelong practice, you’ll experience the powerful changes immediately and that will filter into your work and personal life. It’s the opposite of taking a pill or drinking alcohol to regulate mood; the effect is real but smaller at first, increases over time, and the side effects are all positive.