On Thanksgiving morning I was reminded of the sadness and dispair that still exists in everyday life. In between the publications of our beautiful parades and treasured football games and in anticipaton of our excessive yet greatly appreciated meal was an equal reminder of the pain many of us suffer through the Holidays. Through the repetitive commercials on depression and anxiety and the promise that perscription drugs will fix the problem. Couple that with the list of possible side-effects ranging from sexual side-effects, blood disorders, abnormal bleeding, seizures, lymphoma, thoughts of suicide and death as a possible result . I decided to research the statistics and found alarmingly that depression accounts for roughly 18% of our country’s chronic diseases, and that it would be the 2nd most common dis-ease GLOBALLY. I also learned that anti-depressants, much like anti-biotics aren’t working as well, thus the doubling of drugs to help bridge that gap the anti-depressants miss. I am not negating the need for anti-depressants through this post, I know many people who have had positive results, and many more who have not. Just simply pointing out that these should not be viewed as a life-long solution. (Can you imagine taking mind altering drugs for the rest of our lives? That makes me sad.) We suggest lifestyle changes for the long term solution.
So what are the options, where do we start? Wait for it……. Change your insides, and begin to see improvement over the next 6 weeks. By the introduction of specific thoughts that change our body chemistry. Did you know that our thoughts cause our bodies to secrete hormones, we can’t help it. If you change your thoughts, you change your body chemistry, you can’t even stop it from happening. And it happens immediately. Certain behaviors change us, too. And that’s a FACT. I remember when my yoga teacher, Michael Johnson, began talking to me about these ideas years ago. I truly thought, “PLEASE tell me the thoughts to think, teach me the behaviors. I’m in!” The deepest transformation of my life began…..and absolutely NO HARMFUL side-effects(affects). Just a natural Bliss and Peace that ran to the core of my body, and eventually became my natural state of mind. Oh yes, plus the sore muscles (that were more lean and defined) from deepening my yoga practice, reminding me I was not only getting happier, but healthier inside and out. My own waves of panic and anxiety began to lift, replaced by moments of happines, love and joy so intense, it would scare me sometimes…lol
Begin a yoga practice with a qualified teacher, and the beauty is, with committed and balanced effort it just starts happening, naturally. Everyone is now contemplating the New Year, the start of something new…rather than giving up something this 2011, add something instead. Add the element of lightening-up. Get rid of anxiety and depression (it’s a symptom not a disease) by taking control of your mind.
Start with this: Begin to contemplate Love and Kindness towards yourself and others. Think of how much you really love your life, even if there is sadness or struggle. Think of how much we love our families, friends and community. Think of how we would all like to see more kindness in the world. Then, rather than waiting for more love and kindness to come to you, be the lovingest kindest one. Even if you are faking it a little at first, shovel it out to everyone, especially yourself. Cut some slack, see perfection in imperfection…take time for yourself. Take a yoga class at The Yoga Studio in Shelby Twp., or any of the amazing studio’s on the east-side, Santosha Yoga (Chesterfield), Bodhi Seed (Mt. Clemens), Body Mind Studio (Richmond), and the west-side’s Red Lotus Yoga and the new Yoga Planet (near The Village). We are all here to change the face of anxiety and depression, to irradicate it, to make it a thing of the past..NATURALLY
Lisa Tokarz, ERYT200 and Founding Director of The Yoga Studio of Shelby has been a constant dedicated student of yoga and Dharma for 18 years. She has 5,000 hours of teaching experience that extends over a 10 year career as a yoga teacher and life coach. Her playful, uplifting and sometimes silly spirit teaches her students that REAL happiness exists inside all of us. “We learn how to groom and nurture our mind and body from the inside out, like a gardener tends to a field, he prepares the soil, that is where the richest transformation comes from. We cannot continue to live the way we are, hoping to change the outside and ignoring or medicating the inside, it simply doesn’t work that way,” says Lisa, “and that’s a FACT.” Peace