Blog

yoga-benefits-mental-emotional-physical

Why Yoga? How Yoga impacts physical, mental and emotional health.

The latest research is showing us that yoga benefits mental, emotional, and physical health greatly.

Sometimes, when we think of yoga, we think of super flexible people bending into crazy contortions. However, the most therapeutic forms of yoga are very far from this.

To me, the real benefits come from moving the body in a healthy manner and learning to connecting to the core aspects of oneself.

There are infinite definitions of yoga. However, Bija Bennett, author of Emotional Yoga, explains it simply when she says:

“Yoga is the art of linking to all parts of yourself – your body, your thoughts, your awareness, and your emotions. Each time you attempt to link with any aspect of yourself or your world, you are doing yoga.”

Yoga connects you to every aspect of your being through the vehicles of breath, movement, and meditation. Cutting-edge research in neuroscience is confirming what ancient yogis knew; yoga is a complete system that allows you to shift habitual patterns in astounding ways that can profoundly impact your thinking and your physiology.

Yoga has been shown to regulate hormones, restore natural circadian rhythms, increase heart rate variability (a key indicator of health), and rewire the brain. This is no small feat.

Yoga also works to help rebalance both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. By doing cross-lateral movement, you are repairing functioning to your brain and improving communication between both hemispheres.

The practice of yoga, breathwork and meditation helps shift the mind from rumination and fear into clarity and calm. Therefore, yoga provides an effective means for addressing depression, anxiety, PTSD and the chronic stress that is so prevalent in our modern society.

Yoga benefits us on the physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual levels to effect lasting change. As you connect and link to all levels of yourself, you are internally facilitating powerful mind-body communication that can radically change your life. You may discover that you sleep better, find more balance through life’s ups and downs, and feel more fully alive than ever before.

Additionally, your emotional life will reap the benefits. Bija Bennett says:

“As you connect with your emotions, you begin to accept them for what they are, instead of resisting them. You begin to explore your perception of reality – the fears and habitual responses, which you believe to be real. This exploration initiates a shift from a defensive reaction to a more conscious action.”

Overall, you will find that a consistent yoga practice provides a sense of internal spaciousness. This spaciousness will leave you feeling both calm and empowered, knowing that you have the always have the ability to make choices for yourself and your relationships. In turn, this can help you be more proactive, productive and effective in your daily life.

Most importantly, yoga benefits can be for everyone. One of my teachers, Amba Stapleton, says:

“If you have a spine, you can do yoga.”

Even if you are simply watching your breath as it enters and exits your lungs, you are doing yoga.

Certainly, not all types of yoga are appropriate for every person. There are many different styles of yoga out there, and some are more conducive to therapeutic work than others. When choosing a yoga class, be sure to choose something that is a good fit with your physical ability level and accommodates to any special needs you may have. Chair yoga is surprisingly effective for many people, whereas other people require a highly rigorous practice. Whichever style you choose, know that a properly suited yoga practice can benefit your entire system.

You are never without choices. With careful attention, you can shift your physiology and emotional responses over time to discover a life that is more deeply fulfilling and enjoyable. Now that you know how yoga benefits mental, emotional, and physical health, there is no reason not to give it a go.

Yoga is a cutting-edge approach to mental and emotional health. If you have tried other approaches and are interested in experiencing something different, please reach out. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation so you can see if yoga in therapy is a good fit for you.

Ho’oponopono: A mindfulness meditation to heal the thoughts.

Ho’oponopono is a powerful meditation practice, based in Hawaiian spiritual tradition.

As humans with active minds, we can be extremely harsh with our self-talk and inner dialogue. We may say cruel or hurtful things to ourselves, or we may think negatively about others

As a species, our brains have become more efficient over time by learning to categorize and label.

However, inadvertently we have also become trained to judge and compare. It’s a natural reflex.

It’s a tendency that has been helpful in our survival, but it can do great damage to our psyches. Being overly judgmental is a corrosive stance that can eat away at you over time.

Just as we blame ourselves for not being better or doing better, we blame others for not doing better or being better.

Often, if a client is having a hard time practicing mindfulness and becoming aware of his or her thoughts, I will teach them the Ho’oponopono Meditation Practice.

This practice provides a concrete “protocol” for becoming aware of negative, hurtful, or judgmental thoughts and then shifting your thinking.

Generally with mindfulness, the idea is to notice the thought, acknowledge it, and then let it go.

However, this meditation takes it a step further by offering an opportunity for healing the thought or thoughts.

It works on the mental, emotional and energetic levels.

There are 4 simple steps to this Ho’oponopono practice. If you find yourself having a negative or judgmental thought (about yourself or others), then give this a try.

It goes like this:

In your own mind, say to yourself:

  1. I’m Sorry
  2. Please Forgive Me
  3. Thank You
  4. I Love You

This is powerful stuff! First of all, just saying “I’m sorry” (even to yourself) can help you shift away from blaming yourself, trying to justify your actions, or looking for evidence about how others may have caused your actions. When you say, “I’m sorry,” you are acknowledging and accepting responsibility for your part, without judgment.

“Please forgive me,” helps solidify the apology into a concrete act. It’s a direct request to move on from it.

“Thank you,” is an acknowledgment and acceptance of the previous steps. It allows you to move forward in gratitude.

“I love you,” is setting the path for the new direction. It sets a tone of a peaceful, happy heart. This energy undoubtedly radiates out to others, and generally is received and reciprocated.

Doing these 4 steps in the Ho’oponopono can work wonders in your life. The key is to practice it very regularly (as much as possible!).

Blaming yourself or judging others does not make us feel good deep down. Even though many people do it in an attempt to feel better in the moment, it usually has a negative effect over time.

This meditation practice has the power to help you develop self-compassion and forgiveness.

Thoughts have the power that you give them. Why not use your thoughts to build yourself and others up, instead of tearing down.

I also want to note that this meditation is not intended to shame you for having negative or judgmental thoughts. We all do — it’s okay! It’s normal and natural, and it happens to everyone.

This meditation is also not intended to “push away” the so-called bad thoughts or feelings. Instead, it is a spiritual process of noticing, acknowledging and attending to the thoughts in a mindful way.

Want to learn more practices like this one? Contact me about individual work. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if mindfulness-based therapy is right for you.

empowered-life-choices

Ten Questions for Making Empowered Life Choices

We all make choices everyday.

Debbie Ford, author of The Right Questions, says:

“Choice might just be our most precious gift”

In my work as a mindfulness-based therapist, I would have to agree. Much of what I talk about in session is around choice. Part of the work is shifting perspective from a place of choice-less-ness into choice-full-ness.

With that comes a great deal of responsibility. It is with a sense of choice-full-ness that one must own their actions completely.

When you own your choices, actions, and outcomes, there is little room for blame or other avoidance strategies.

You accept that you can make choices that support and affirm your being, or you can make choices that disempower and derail you.

You can make choices that enhance your vitality, or you can make choices that increase your suffering.

It’s really up to you.

Inevitably, some discomfort will arise when you are making decisions about matters that are close to your heart. And thats okay — it’s part of being human! Discomfort can be a sign that you are fully alive. It’s an indicator that you are getting out of your comfort zone and taking a risk.

Maybe you find yourself at an important life crossroads. Or maybe you are just trying to make decisions today that will improve your tomorrow.

Either way, I recommend asking yourself these questions anytime you are faced with a choice.

These questions are from Debbie Ford’s book, The Right Questions. You can use them to get clear on your motivations for making a certain choice, or you can use them to clarify if a certain choice will support your best interest (or not).

Here are the ten questions:

  1. Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future, or will it keep me stuck in the past?
  2. Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?
  3. Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?
  4. Am I looking for what’s right or am I looking for what’s wrong?
  5. Will this choice add to my life force or will it rob me of my energy?
  6. Will I use this situation to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?
  7. Does this choice empower me or does it disempower me?
  8. Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?
  9. Is this an act of faith or an act of fear?
  10. Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?

You can use any (or all) of these questions when faced with a choice. Some of the questions may apply to certain situations more than others, or some of the questions may not resonate with you at all.

My advice: use what works for you.

I personally find all of these questions to be powerful opportunities for reflection. I have also found that when I check my choices against these questions, I end up feeling more empowered and less uncertain. These questions help reduce my anxiety while propelling me toward what I really want.

I hope that these questions will serve you well as you work to build your ideal life. May they guide you to an inspiring future.

Still need help making some big life decisions? I can help! Whether you are thinking about a career move, ending a relationship, or making some big lifestyle changes, I am here for you.

Through the process of inquiry, we will get to the bottom of the matter and develop a strategy that will leave you feeling more confident in the decisions you make.

Reach out now.

self-sabotage

Here’s Why We Self-Sabotage

It can be so frustrating when we know we self-sabotage, but we don’t know WHY.

Perhaps you find:

  • You keep dating the same kind of person that is wrong for you
  • You keep ending up in a job you hate
  • You keep sabotaging your own efforts to get fit and lose weight
  • You keep losing your temper, despite your best efforts not to
  • You give up when things get hard, again and again

If any of this resonates, keep reading.

From my experience and training, I think it can be pinned back on one thing.

The subconscious mind.

What does the subconscious mind have to do with it?

Well, it likes to keep us safe.

I’ll say more about that…

The subconscious mind is the part of the mind that runs the “programming.”

It’s the habits, patterns, and tendencies that are hard-wired into us.

How do they form?

We become “wired” in certain ways from a very young age. It is based on survival techniques we employed to keep us safe and help us get our needs met.

We relied completely on our primary caregivers when we were young. Therefore, getting our needs met from them was of the utmost importance.

We needed them to feed us, clothe us, and provide us with shelter. We also longed for touch and attention.

Those things kept us alive, and the strategies we used to get them became hardwired into our subconscious mind.

Now let me tell you a secret about the subconscious mind (and this is important!):

The subconscious mind doesn’t like change.

It doesn’t like it at all.

Why?

Well, change poses a threat to the subconscious mind. The subconscious likes to use the strategies it knows. It favors the familiar.

Doing new things is threatening to the status quo.

The subconscious would rather things stayed the same, even if they aren’t working that well.

It’s a creature of habit. It likes what it knows.

This is why you may find it hard to change an old pattern or habit that isn’t serving you any longer. This is why you unintentionally self-sabotage.

Likely, the subconscious mind is running an old program that no longer fits. This is so frustrating to the adult self.

It may seem obvious to your conscious mind that things need to change, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to do things differently.

You are probably getting the point here:

The subconscious mind is wired to try and keep you SAFE, no matter what.

So, don’t beat yourself up if you keep repeating the same (unhealthy) patterns again and again.

The brain contains billions of neurons that communicate with each other. The neurons and neural pathways that you use all the time only become stronger with use.

Chances are, the old pattern or habit you are trying to kick has become very strongly embedded in your brain’s wiring.

When a set of neurons get activated, they become intricately connected. It becomes a whole sequence that is more likely to repeat in reaction to that type of circumstance or event in the future.

Thus, in order to change things once and for all, you’ve got to uncover what the trigger is and then re-wire your brain for new habits and patterns. Ones that will serve you well for who you are now.

The good news is that we have the help of the latest research in neuroscience. This research shows us that the brain possesses neuroplasticity, meaning that the the brain’s structure and wiring can be changed or molded by experience.

The research also informs us exactly how we can effectively re-wire new habits, as some experiences are more impactful on the brain than others.

This is exciting stuff!

The bottom line: Things don’t have to stay the same forever! You have the potential to stop self-sabotage and change old, outdated behaviors that no longer fit.

Need help stopping self-sabotage and learning to re-wire old habits and patterns? I can help! Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to learn how.

life-change

The #1 Question You Need to Ask Yourself if You are Struggling to Make a Change

Change can be hard.

If you are the kind of person who can generally set your mind to something and make changes with ease, then you may get especially frustrated when one particular problem or area of life continues to challenge you.

Sometimes the changes that matter to us most are the hardest to make.

If you find that no matter what, you just can’t make the change you desire, then ask yourself this:

“What do I stand to lose by making this change?”

It seems counterintuitive—but asking yourself what you stand to LOSE if you make a healthy change can help you understand why you might be unconsciously self-sabotaging.

Often my clients are at first confused when I post this question to them. I’ll ask, “What do you stand to lose if you make _______ change?”

They’ll say, “I’m not sure what you mean. I don’t think there would be anything to lose.”

On the surface it seems like there aren’t any down sides.

Then, I explain more saying, “Okay, what would you have to give up if you you were to make this change?”

Once we drill down a bit, we get to the good stuff. This may take several rounds of questions, but eventually we get there.

Like, “Well, I guess if I weren’t sick all the time, I’d have to give up being taken care of (and getting extra attention from) my spouse.”

Bingo! There are some benefits to things staying the same.

(In this case, there are benefits of being sick. Getting well would have unintended consequences, such as loss of special care and maybe would require the ill spouse to go back to work full-time).

Sometimes we get extra love and care from others when things stay the way they are.

Think about the child who might pretend to be sick, just to get taken care of a bit more than usual (think popsicles, chicken noodle soup, and movie marathons on a school day).

While this is more of a temporary example, it still showcases the benefits of being sick that we can all relate to.

Often times people stall in making positive health changes because there are some benefits to being sick.

Beside extra TLC, there are many other potential things people would have to give up if a change were to take place.

Sometimes, there is the realization from some people that their current life situation allows them to feel justified in their feelings (such as anger, resentment, or depression).

If they were to change, they’d have to give that up. Then, who would they be without that thing they’ve held onto for so long?

Commonly, making healthy changes would mean taking responsibility for your life rather than feeling justified in blaming it on circumstance.

Pain, struggle and dissatisfaction can be addicting.

Notice if you may be unintentionally holding on to any of these things and letting them keep you from what you really want.

Staying the same can offer protection.

For example, sometimes it can feel safer to be alone than in relationships with others.

Notice how staying the same might keep you safe from attracting a partner (which you say you want, but actually it terrifies you).

Or perhaps you are afraid to change your diet and lifestyle because you believe the extra weight will keep you safe from unwanted sexual advances.

If you’ve been objectified, assaulted, or abused in the past, it makes sense that you’d be afraid. (If this is the case, it may be good to see someone who works with trauma and can help you heal).

Whatever the reasons, it may be hard to realize the truth about a pattern you’ve been letting run your life for years.

However, it ultimately lays the groundwork for REAL, lasting change.

Even if you’ve spent a portion of your life letting fear hold you back from being healthy, happy or fulfilled, it’s never too late to reclaim what you really want.

By asking yourself this simple question, you can see the unintended consequences of making a change.

If you feel stuck in a rut, or need help uncovering your hidden barriers to change, I can help. Part of my job is to help you see your blind spots and develop a plan for moving forward.

Interested in learning more? Please don’t hesitate to reach out. There is nothing to lose.

Reach out now.

Stress and the Nervous System

Here is a great article on stress and the nervous system. http://upliftconnect.com/stress-its-not-in-your-head-its-in-your-nervous-system/

In this article, yoga and breathing are listed as some of the most beneficial ways to relieve stress and impact mood through working with the nervous system.

In my Psychology of Yoga for Anxiety and Depression workshop on Nov. 4th, you will learn specific strategies for reducing stress and alleviating anxiety and depression using yoga and breathwork.

We will go into depth about how to help restore emotional balance by understanding the nervous system.

This is cutting edge work, with an emphasis on the neuroscience of yoga. Register now by emailing me at jenna@jennagriffith.com. Space is limited.

Workshop Info:

Time and date: Saturday, November 4th, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location: The Wellness Center of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, CA
Investment: $50

Description:
Join psychology and yoga specialist Jenna Griffith in exploring the different types of stress, anxiety and depression and why treatment is not a one-size-fits-all. Weaving the ancient wisdom of yoga with current evidence-based treatments, this workshop offers an introductory glimpse into how to tailor your own practice or assist others using yoga. Ideal for professionals or anyone struggling with these issues. Beginners welcome!

You will gain:

~A deeper understanding of the neuroscience behind stress, anxiety, and depression

~A deeper understanding of how yoga and breathwork impact the mind/body

~Safe and effective methods to support mental health with yoga

Pre-Registration is required. To register, contact Jenna Griffith at jenna@jennagriffith.com.

How to Re-Energize Yourself in Five Minutes (or less!)

I’m about to share with you one of my favorite ways to re-energize yourself and recharge your battery. What I love about this practice is that it can be done quickly. It’s a simple process that only requires one thing: sunlight.

This exercise can be done inside or outside. If you live in a place that is consistently cloudy part of the year, then this may be more challenging. However, even if it’s bright but cold outside, you can still practice this through a sunny window. Ideally, you’ll be able to be outside somewhere in nature, but do what you can!

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Plant your feet on the ground and stand up tall.
  2. Feel the support of the surface beneath you.
  3. Take in three slow, deep breaths while feeling the soles of your feet.
  4. Begin to feel the sunlight on your face and body, letting it warm and comfort you.
  5. Imagine that you have an empty column or battery-like shape in your core. This column runs along your spine from your tailbone up the top of your head.
  6. Now imagine that with every breath, the sunlight begins to charge up this inner battery, from the bottom up.
  7. Keep breathing and using your imagination, allowing the sun to power you up until your “battery” is full.
  8. Once you feel fully charged, take in a couple more deep breaths to soak up the energizing effects of this practice.
  9. Allow your eyes to open, and go about your day.

I hope you find this exercise useful. I’d love to hear about your experience in trying it out!

Health Kick or Eating Disorder?

An article in the UK-based Independent outlined 6 warning signs that your health kick might be an eating disorder.

The six signs are:

  1. Do you feel preoccupied with food thoughts?
  2. Do you have rigid rules around food?
  3. Do your rules affect your mood?
  4. Do people close to you notice your extremity?
  5. Do you categorize foods as good and bad?
  6. Does food dictate what you do socially?

When I first saw this article, it really hit home because I have experienced all of these warning signs. What is scary about this kind of eating disorder is that it’s easy to fool yourself (and others) into thinking that you’re doing something healthy.

When I was in my early 20’s, I went on a slew of health kicks. It began innocently enough as I was trying to resolve some diagnosed health issues. I believed that I could greatly improve my health through my diet. (I still 100% believe that diet and nutrition are critical parts of health — mental, physical and emotional).

I tried raw, vegan, and “clean” eating. While I felt better at first, I began to rapidly feel worse. I lost a lot of weight. I made an emergency visit to the doctor because I thought something was terribly wrong with me. In hindsight, I was having a panic attack, but didn’t know it at the time. My health habits were causing a high amount of anxiety.

They took my weight at the doctor’s office and I weighed 105 pounds (I am 5’6” so that is definitely too low to be healthy). I had just come off a 5-day juice cleanse. I my mind, it was something to be proud of. I was taking control of my health. When I told the doctor, she was critical and suggested I put on more weight by lifting my restricted way of eating and adding in more variety of foods. I wrote it off under the guise that Western doctors don’t know what real health is. I thought they were all just brainwashed to believe in the merit of the standard american diet, while I knew better than that. I left the doctor’s office feeling frustrated and misunderstood.

As the months went on, I noticed that I had stopped with a lot of my regular social activities because I felt people didn’t understand (or support) my way of eating. I didn’t want to have the pressure of being around “bad” foods, so I just opted out of social events or dinners with friends all together. I was lonely. People began to express concern, but again I ignored it because I thought they just didn’t understand.

This loneliness eventually led me to binge on the “bad” foods in private. I would obsess over obtaining the object of my craving. Once in hand, I would start eating it and couldn’t stop. I had all sorts of justifications and rationalizations for this, including, “if I finish it all tonight, then I won’t have any tomorrow (or ever again).” This kicked off a whole cycle of guilt and shame. Many of you reading this may know this cycle well.

However, once I was able to recognize that the stress, shame and guilt began to outweigh the benefits of my health kick, I knew it needed to change. It didn’t happen overnight, but I am fortunate that I had the tools, resources, and support to shift my habits. I slowly began to ease back into an more balanced approach to eating again. However, it wasn’t until years later that I realized that my “health kick” was really a form of an eating disorder.

My advice: check out this list and see if anything strikes a cord. If you recognize some of these warning signs, be really honest with yourself about where you’re at with it.

If you notice someone you care about displaying some of these, then it may not be easy to approach that person about it. Likely, they will defend their choices in the name of health. However, keeping an eye out and letting them know you are there is a great starting point.

Disclaimer: I would never want to discourage people from eating more cleanly and avoiding processed foods (for the most part). I think it’s always a good idea to add in more organic, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as high quality meat (if you eat meat). I would also never want to encourage friends or family to judge someone’s healthy lifestyle as “disordered” without having a clear understanding of what an eating disorder looks like. Sometimes it’s hard for people to develop healthy habits because of a lack of support. I would not want to contribute to this lack of support for a healthy lifestyle by writing this article.

Here’s the invitation:

Step into a healthy relationship with food.

  • A relationship where you don’t obsess or stress over food.
  • A relationship where you don’t need to label foods good and bad.
  • A relationship where you are able to ask your body what it needs and nourish it appropriately.
perfectionist

Meet the Perfectionist — Is This You?

I find that many of my clients (often unknowingly!) suffer from Perfectionism.

Confession: it’s easy for me to spot in others because it is something that struggled with for most of my childhood and into my late twenties. I have done a lot of work to unravel the tightly wound persona of the perfectionist (and it’s still a work in progress).

So what is perfectionism, and why does it matter?

  • Perfectionism can result in a rigid mindset, where the expectations do not fit with the situation.
  • Perfectionists can only like themselves when they do something well.
  • Perfectionists are so self-critical and hard-driving that they push themselves beyond what is reasonable.
  • The perfectionist’s greatest fear is being exposed as incompetent.

These traits are problematic because they create significant stress and pressure in the perfectionist’s life and can cause  a cascade of physical, mental and emotional problems.

If you are a person who struggles with anxiety, addiction, or trauma then this sneaky persona may be at play.

The perfectionist is all wrapped up with attachment to certainty and control. In theory, if you can control your environment and circumstances, then you will be safe. (This is what the perfectionist believes, at least). And it makes biological sense! If you have experienced trauma (major or minor), then your primal brain has learned to try and control things as much as possible so that you don’t have to experience that trauma again. It is a survival mechanism, designed to keep you safe.

Once you begin to recognize and identify the patterns of perfectionism, then you can consciously choose to act in more empowering and productive ways.

The problem with a perfectionist mentality is that it stomps out happiness, joy, and spontaneity. The perfectionist has adopted a rigid way of thinking that is driven by the pressure to be perfect and do things perfectly.

As a perfectionist, you believe that you have to earn your worth and value as a person. Your identity is equal to what you have accomplished or achieved. When your self-esteem and identity are attached to these external factors, then anxiety and depression can result. Your self-esteem will rise and fall along with whatever you attach it to.

A common example I see with many of my female clients is with weight. Self-esteem is attached to the number on the scale, thus creating an emotional roller coaster ride from hell.

This creates an addictive cycle, driven by the pressure to “get it right.” This pressure can be so great that it takes over your life. You make it more important than your relationships or enjoyment of life. You put being productive at work or achieving your goal weight above your significant other, your friends, and taking care of yourself. This creates isolation and further anxiety and depression for the perfectionist.

As a perfectionist, you may also have to use food, substances, shopping, or work to numb yourself from your real feelings. This is how you effectively crush your ability to experience life fully. You attempt to carefully control what you feel and how much you feel it.

This is a lot of work — it’s exhausting!

You can see now that perfectionist thinking is a slippery slope. It was designed to keep you safe, yet it has unhelpful consequences that can take over your life.

Luckily, with practice and intention, you can let go of the perfectionist way of thinking. You can undo the unsupportive mental habits you’ve developed and create new (healthy!) ones.

I am a self-proclaimed Recovering Perfectionist, and I can help you on your path to recovery. I know what it’s like because I’ve been there.

I can help you see your blind spots because they were once my own. We often think that we need to push ourselves in order to be successful, but that’s simply not true! Once you open up and let go of what’s out of your control, you allow your creativity and passion to flourish. It’s a beautiful thing!

Are you a perfectionist? Take the free quiz here!

 

powered by Typeform

The Four (Surprising!) Anxiety-Provoking Personas and How to Recognize Them

Psychologist Edmund Bourne identifies the four most common negative self-talk “personas” related to anxiety. Do you recognize any of these four anxiety-provoking personas in yourself? Or maybe you’ve acted out ALL of them, at some point in your life.

The Four Anxiety-Provoking Personas are:

  1. The Worrier
  2. The Critic
  3. The Victim
  4. The Perfectionist

The worrier: You may relate to this one all too easily. The worrier is preoccupied with what could happen or go wrong. Worry is a largely unproductive thought pattern, yet we (as humans) are addicted to it. In many Buddhist and Eastern traditions, worry is seen as one of the roots of suffering. I would have to agree.

The critic: Ah yes, the critic. I have had some hard talks with my inner critic over the years. If you have a strong critic, you know that it likes to steal the show (and your happiness along with it). Nothing is ever good enough for the critic. Sometimes the critic and the perfectionist walk hand-in-hand (read about the perfectionist below).

The victim: The victim is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t personally identify with the victim persona, I’m guessing that you can quickly think of someone who does. The victim is a part I found myself playing a lot in my younger years. It takes a lot of work to shift from the victim into the empowered adult.

The perfectionist: Oh yes, my favorite! The perfectionist is a sneaky one. Often times, people with a perfectionistic mindset are unaware that this persona is in action. They may easily recognize the other personas within themselves, but the perfectionist remains hidden. This is because perfectionists see doing things ‘just right’ or ‘exceeding expectations’ as the norm that everyone should strive for. The perfectionist believes your sense of self-worth must be earned and reinforced. Doesn’t everyone feel that way? (Thinks the perfectionist).

It’s easy to see how these personas contribute to anxiety. When you often have catastrophic or critical thoughts, it’s not easy to be emotionally balanced. These pervasive personas may be continually robbing you of joy, happiness, and peace of mind.

The good news is: with awareness, you can identify, name and change these pesky parts of the psyche. You can move forward with your life, and experience freedom from anxiety.

 

yoga-benefits-mental-emotional-physical

Why Yoga? How Yoga impacts physical, mental and emotional health.

The latest research is showing us that yoga benefits mental, emotional, and physical health greatly. Sometimes, when we think …

Ho’oponopono: A mindfulness meditation to heal the thoughts.

Ho’oponopono is a powerful meditation practice, based in Hawaiian spiritual tradition. As humans with active minds, we …

empowered-life-choices

Ten Questions for Making Empowered Life Choices

We all make choices everyday. Debbie Ford, author of The Right Questions, says: “Choice might just be our most precious …