Jun 6, 2022

Emotional Hygiene


After a long break, I restarted my Yoga practice yesterday morning. At the end of a 45-min session, instead of feeling calm and relaxed, I found myself extremely agitated and angry. The surface-level reason was due to the feeling of disappointment when I realized that I couldn't do a few asanas that used to be so comfortable a year back. As I pondered over this feeling, it made me angrier with people, situations, and circumstances of the past year that were beyond my control. "It's because of all of you that I lost my consistency with Yoga practice", I blamed, which added more fuel to the fire. The anger took a while to subside, and then I felt extremely bad for having had such a negative outpour after my practice.

This morning, the Yoga practice felt refreshing. The struggle continued, but I took it in my stride and decided to progress without getting upset about the loss of strength and stamina. After breakfast, I picked up the book I'm reading currently - Om Swami's "Mind full to mindful".

The chapter on emotional hygiene opened my eyes to a plethora of insights. This particular statement from the book was an aha moment for me - "It's when you do the moving that you realize how much is inside you."

The author has shared how we come to realize the sheer volume of physical clutter we have accumulated ONLY when we shift homes. If we are in the same home for years, the clutter keeps piling up inside numerous cupboards and shelves. We may not notice them or choose to stay distracted amidst the clutter.

Similarly, when it comes to our minds, as long as we continue with the same routines without any retrospection, the emotional clutter tends to pile up. When we decide to move things around even a little bit, the clutter suddenly falls on top of us. My sudden burst of anger yesterday was one such release. And now I feel relieved that the bottled-up emotions came out. It also helped me understand and value the pain of loss - years of effort.

With the same logic, it now makes a lot of sense to experience the emotions we (women) feel in the 4th week of the menstrual cycle. It feels like a mental detox to periodically clear out the unwanted emotions. If these are not cleared, they tend to bottle up and manifest as serious physical ailments.

Journaling is one of the most effective ways to process our emotions regularly if you enjoy writing and pouring out your feelings without any self-criticism or self-judgment.

Talking to a confidante (spouse / close friend) is also super helpful. Prayers, meditation, observing your feelings and thoughts regularly, spending time with plants or pets, etc are a few other ways to clear out the unnecessary baggage we carry in our minds.

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