In today’s modern and fast-paced society, there appears to be no escape from experiencing the negative aspects of stress. Although some stress is important and does help us to survive or react to potentially threatening situations, the stress we experience mainly these days, is different to when we had to fight for food or react instinctively to save our lives, our stress comes from having too little money, too much work, being overloaded with daily demands, or a combination of all these.
For those who study the gentle discipline of yoga, stress can be greatly reduced as health improves, our minds becomes clearer and more focused, there is less fatigue and vitality returns. Feeling good inwardly can and does help to counteract the problems we face in life. As we progress within our own individual practices, we become more confident and positive in our approach to life although there are additional means of improving our abilities to cope with stress still further.
Why not create a yoga journal and track every aspect of your daily practice? Buy a book which has blank pages so that you can capture your progress every day. When you are purchasing this book, choose one which appeals to your senses, make it a joy to write in as then you are more likely to keep this up. List the postures you have done that day, make notes how the practice went. Pinpoint areas of difficulty or areas where you have excelled.
Write down any thoughts, feelings including negative thoughts, concerns and behaviors such as:
Checked bank account and realized I had overspent. Could feel myself panicking. Why did I just buy that new outfit?
Someone left the lid off the juice at home and it got knocked over. I felt really fed up and angry. No one else ever bothers to clean up.
Feels like everybody is demanding too much of me at work and at home. I feel tearful and unappreciated.
Charting these types of feelings or occurrences can help to identify stress triggers or hot spots, which will create feelings of frustration or negativity. Once a pattern forms within the yoga journal, it is easier to realize and acknowledge the sometimes seemingly trivial areas of your life, which typically seem to curb your potential to develop further.
A yoga journal should be an extension of your practice and will help you to improve mind body and spirit in a natural and yet productive way. Make your yoga journal available to others as well, this will help those around you to see how you are really feeling, understand what is important to you and perhaps be a little more sympathetic when they see what your triggers are especially if they are the culprits.
This yoga journal highlighting your yogic experiences will also allow you to look back and see clearly how far you have progressed on your journey to self-discovery and enlightenment.