From your favorite yoga teacher with the least amount of inner peace possible, I bring you a sampling of my irrational fears that invade my tiny psyche throughout the day:
- Possibility of being in a car accident where I slide under the back end of an 18-wheeler that leaves me paralyzed and without any of my faculties (oh yeah, we’re starting this one off good!)
- Getting flattened by a rogue truck on my evening run.
- When I wake up in the morning and walk downstairs to a dark, empty house, I immediately brace myself to be greeted by 50 men with knives.
- Randomly being afraid that one day when I’m old, all my hair will fall out. (But of course!)
- Any time the elevator door takes longer than half a second to open, I immediately think it’s stuck and the whole thing will just spontaneously burst in to flames.
- I’ll think… my car is getting old and I’ve had SUCH good luck so far, I’m way overdue for a diasater. It should just stop working any day now. Like, I’m afraid I’ll be driving down 275 and the transmission will just fall out onto the street.
Why am I enumerating the many different absurd situations I mentally play out in a day? Because I know I’m definitely not the only one who does stuff like this. In my yoga classes, I always encourage everyone to put a distance between our physical selves and the thoughts/distractions that arise in our practice/lives. So, to almost see our experiences as if they were happening in a neutral space, not your personal one. I preach it in class, but always have to remind myself to do the same. This habit works for the daily annoyances that have The Frazzle Effect: rush hour traffic, missed your coffee this morning which set you off to a grumpy start, forgot to pay the cell phone bill, wanting something you can’t have right now, etc. When put into perspective, most of these worries are frivolous, and they rarely serve us. Usually when we let negativity tail-spin out of control, it leads us down other, even more ridiculous thought processes like, “What if my transmission falls out of my vehicle?!” I don’t think that’s even anatomically possible (anatomically? mechanically? sure). Creating that “distance” takes the pressure off the situation and allows you to see more clearly, that way you can get in to a more positive frame of mind.
Since my neurosis is so extreme ;-), I usually tell myself to knock it off and mentally take stock of all the things I’m grateful for:
- being able to get out of bed and walk on two feet
- a healthy mind and body
- family and friends with the same
- a partner I adore and makes me laugh daily til my stomach hurts
- yoga/being able to teach it
Then I can sit back and think that life is pretty good… and I probably won’t die in a freak accident. 😉