Our emotional states can fluctuate constantly and this can affects our overall wellbeing. The yoga philosophy teaches us that we must learn to control the modifications of our mind, therefore our emotions also. When our mind is at peace, we also experience emotional balance. Therefore we must always work on the mind to quieten the overactivity. There are many practices we can use to help us with this, the following are some which can be included as a daily routine.
GET OUTSIDE IN NATURE
Being in nature is one of the best ways to calm the senses, feel connected & inspired. When we are in the presence of others, we pick up their energy instantly and this can create a cognitive or emotional reaction, or in some cases affect our our energy (particularly for energy sensitive individuals). But when we are in nature, we are surrounded by pure energy and calm. Take a short walk outdoors, watch the sunset, go for a swim, gaze at the moon, take 5 minutes to sit in the sunshine with your eyes closed and breathe in the light and warmth etc. Whatever option suits you best, just let yourself be in the presence of nature & get some fresh air.
DO SOMETHING CREATIVE
Find a hobby that sparkles your creativity. This can be baking, cooking, drawing, painting, writing, sewing, building something, etc.... When we engage in actions that are creative, we feel joyous, connected with ourselves & focused. And learning to focus the mind on what we are doing in that moment means being present in the now. Being creative activates the sacral chakra (Swadisthana) which is the energy field of creativity and feminine energy. It also represents how we deal with emotions, especially towards ourselves.
Connect with the people you love. Whether you meet with a friend for lunch, or just have a phone call with a loved one, keep connected with people daily. This increases the energy in Anahata, the heart chakra & helps us to maintain healthy levels of trust, openness, acceptance & a sense of belonging.
DAILY PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Develop the discipline to exercise daily. On some days, it will be more gentle such as a yin yoga session or a slow walk. On other days, it will be more dynamic such as an intense cardio session, a strong Vinyasa flow or a weight lifting session. Whatever feels good for you on the day, get in the habit to move your body daily. Physical exercise plays an important part in our emotional well being. Be mindful not to push yourself & your body over the limit; exercise to respect yourself & to feel good, not to punish yourself.
Take 5 minute breaks throughout the day to focus on your breath. Set reminders on your phone so that you can commit to it. When we focus on our breath, we practice Pratyahara, sense withdrawal. This means we connect inward and become more focused on our internal world, away from the external distractions. Counting breathing technique can be very useful. Inhale and count to 5, exhale and count to 5.
The quality of our sleep greatly impacts our overall wellbeing. Just as the physical body is resting, the mind must also be at peace.
This also means letting go of any negative thoughts, emotions and cognitive patterns. We can do so by doing a short meditation before sleep or by journaling our thoughts and feelings. Going to sleep with a calm mind is very important.