One of the definitions of self-confidence is “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities and judgement”. And some of the antonyms are diffidence, insecurity, self-distrust, self-doubt.
What really steals our self-confidence?
Sometimes it is very small remarks, actions or gestures to little boys and girls in their innocence. The seemingly harmless talk or action by parents, relatives, peers, friends, sow a seed of inadequacy, feeling of not being loved, feeling of being “less than” the other person, and so on. Sometimes it is serious unpleasant experiences which impacted the boy-child or girl-child negatively. Because as we grow up, we are not taught how to deal with negative emotions, they pile up, ferment until the body and mind can’t handle them anymore. Then they manifest into insecurity, self-distrust, self-doubt… The more the mind keeps replaying what people said or did the more it gets validated, and it is brought to life.
As we grow up, for as long as we have not purposefully done any program to rid ourselves of negative emotions, they stay, and the play in the mind becomes more “sophisticated” as well, it goes to another level. At the teen level, the behavior you see is about wanting to prove yourself to the world, to show people that you are better, more beautiful, aggression creeps in, selfishness creeps in anger, and before you know it delinquency of sorts sets in. Ultimately unhappiness and depression come.
At the adult level the negative emotions continue to manifest in different shapes and colors. It creeps up in family relations as lack of peace, lack of love, lack of togetherness… It creeps up in work relations as aggression, arrogance, being insensitive to others, fueling fights, abuse, or selling oneself to seek favors, etc. In church relations it creeps in as jealousy, gossip, ill feeling towards others. The list goes on…
In all these situations yoga does help. Remember “Yoga” in all the past 13 articles refers to the regular practice of a combination of yoga stretches, breathing exercises and meditation. As you’ve been following from the previous articles, regular practice of Yoga brings inner peace, calmness, self-discovery, self-confidence, self-worth. Peace of an individual leads to improved relations within the family, community, nation, and ultimately to world peace. Art of Living programs present the opportunity to make 2019 a year of good change.
More next week…
YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH
Continuing on “Why Meditate: 25 Signs For You to Start Meditating for the Next 40 Days” by Sejal Shah, Sri Sri Yoga Teacher, YACEP, Art of Living Teacher, NYU Post Graduate Medical School approved Yoga-CME retreat facilitator, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Homeopath.
Fourth to eighth signs…
“4. It feels like you’re always short of time.
If you keep feeling that you have too much in your hands, your calendar is always full, your day begins very early and ends too late, and there is very little time to do what you really want to do, meditation can help you find balance. While finding time to meditate may seem like an extra burden, the boost that meditation gives to your mental well-being may help you get everything else done faster and better.
5. You scowl a lot.
“A child smiles naturally 400 times a day, an adolescent smiles 17 times, and an adult does not smile at all,” says meditation Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This is because babies are stress-free. The purpose of yoga and meditation is to put a smile on our face, in spite of all the stress and tension we face in our day-to-day life.
6. You cry often.
If you find yourself tearing up at the slightest provocation, small failure, or setback, work pressure, or somebody’s minor opinions or criticism of you, meditation can help you become more emotionally resilient. You might be wondering why certain people are always smiling and laughing when you seem to be sad all the time–maybe they’re practicing meditation!
7. You either brood and analyze or plan and fantasize too much.
You find yourself caught up in past regrets or making future plans, either feeling bitter, angry, or anxious and worried. Overactive mind is a sign of stress. Meditation is known to bring the mind into the present moment and give you the ability to enjoy the moment as is.
8. You struggle even to make simple decisions.
When you find yourself asking either your spouse or friend to take small everyday decisions like what to wear, which restaurant to go to, which coffee to order, or what food to make, meditation can help you become more confident in what you want.” I trust we all relate to these signs, either on us or on those around us. Meditation maybe the answer.
YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH
While we’re still on the mental benefits of meditation, I wish to take a moment to appreciate the increasing awareness about wholistic yoga (yoga stretches, breathing exercises and meditation) in Botswana, judging from the inquiries we receive at Art of Living, especially the referrals from medical doctors and practitioners of mental wellness.
The reality is that meditation is a practical tool that addresses problems from the depth, not superficially. As you’ve seen from the previous articles, its benefits cut across many medical conditions but also just promotes a very good state of wellbeing. Let’s consider the next mental benefit of how meditation is the best tool to remove bad habits like smoking, or over indulgence in alcohol, for those who have an earnest desire to stop.
Meditation is good at helping get rid of bad habits because it creates or raises self-awareness. It reaches unimaginable depth of one’s core of existence, that only brings out the truth about us and our situation. It takes one past the delusions that one tends to hide behind to remain in a comfort zone.
When the truth gets revealed to you, there’s no argument or debate, no bias, no judgement, no justification, no need to defend yourself, it’s just the truth! This is unlike when someone tells you of your weakness or shortcoming. This is what makes meditation effective, and it becomes a lot easier to deal with as well as eliminate the habit from its root cause.
Consequently, you’re able to see the reality about life without that bad habit. Imagine how many lives, families, marriages, careers are destroyed due to bad habits by children, spouses, parents, workers, friends and so on. All is not lost, as meditation provides you with the chance to claim back your purposeful life.
Related to the benefit of breaking habits is that of breaking addictions. Meditation gives a natural “high” much better than the destructive “high” from drugs or alcohol which just leads to a regrettable crash. Meditation does not only deal with the addiction, but will also deal with the root cause of the addiction, presenting a longer lasting solution.
On 25th May 2019 at 3.30pm there’ll be a live Peace Meditation with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the Founder of Art of Living Foundation as part of his yearly peace initiative of “I Meditate Africa” – www.bit.ly/VoiceOfAfrica.