A diet for happiness
If you often feel stress, anxiety, sadness, it could be partly due to your media diet. By Molly Furzer
The practice of yoga asanas (postures) teaches us to be aware of our body, our breath and our mind. This is what makes physical yoga practice different to other forms of exercises – because at the same time that we are forming poses we are practising mindfulness.
Taking your yoga practice off the mat and into your daily life can mean practising mindfulness in how you treat yourself. Do you have kind and loving thoughts about yourself? Do you feed yourself nutritious foods that make your body strong and healthy? Do you surround yourself with people and things that are positive and make you feel happy?
One key ingredient in many people’s lifestyle is television. Practising mindfulness when watching TV can be helpful in determining which programs make you feel good, and which programs make you feel worried, fearful, stressed or sad. It’s worthwhile going on a TV diet for a while, eliminating viewing of programs that upset you in some way, to see if your mood improves.
It’s likely that after a few weeks of your TV diet you will find new and fulfilling ways to spend time – like catching up with friends, exercising outdoors, reading books or spending some quiet time in meditation or journalling. So not only do you avoid unpleasant TV-induced feelings, you create some good feelings through healthy and fun activities.
The same idea can be applied to magazines, radio stations, books and websites. And if you’re on Facebook, you can think about hiding the “friends” who are often negative or upsetting in their status updates.
Once you have started on this path, you can really start to identify where in your life extra kindness and love is needed to be shown to yourself. After all – if we cannot love ourselves, we cannot love others or receive love.
Molly Furzer has been practising yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007. She teaches gentle yoga to adults and Kids & Family Yoga in the Rainbow Kids Yoga method. She also leads Laughter Yoga classes and offers Intuitive Healing.