This week’s Intention is: “And Make Up Your Mind that for this Amount of Time there will be No Internal Disturbances or External Disturbances.” (This is a quote from Amrit Desai’s ‘Yoga Nidra’)
A client of mine reported how angry she was with one of her children. She was exhausted from the internal conversation that she’d been having with her daughter all week. She sat across from me (during our session) looking depressed and depleted. Depression was something that had been an ongoing struggle for this client.
That session plus things in my own life helped me to form this intention which can be very helpful when we find ourselves overwhelmed with negative emotions. Some people naturally change the channel in their brains when this happens, but if you have a genetic disposition towards depression and anxiety, the brain can become used to over-thinking problems and ruminating in search of finding optimal solutions that usually don’t exist. The research shows that individuals who can change the channel don’t get depressed, whereas those in the ruminating group are negatively affected. Their moods get pulled down and this can lead to helplessness and depression.
The goal then is to catch a negative thought at the beginning, for example “I’m a failure, I never get anything right”, and make the choice not to pursue that thought. By doing this you are training your mind to be less reactive to these internal disturbances, which can overwhelm and derail your mood. This skill works when you learn to catch the thought at an early point and work with it. Once you get fully engaged with a negatively charged thought, this technique isn’t as effective. When you can catch the negative thought, then you can try choosing to protect your emotional state by saying to yourself, “Right now there will be no internal or external disturbances.
Take a few moments in meditation to make this intention personally relevant, and try using it in your yoga practice or life today when negative intrusive thoughts come to mind.