September 4, 2011

Exercise, a Power to Manage Our Emotions?

When it comes to my emotions, I don't do too much hiding and pretending.

I do keep the details of my dis-ease symptoms to myself. It is a lot less scary that way. For me, given I my concerns about "what others think of me."  I find I can better educate when I do it one-on-one when I feel safe with people. I would rather they know me, before they know my diagnosis.  

I tell people that I have an anxiety disorder.  

In my meetings, I find I am a clear minority. Anger, depression... those seem to be quite common. For a long time I have been keenly aware that anxiety is one of the least talked about emotions. Only in larger groups with lots of recovery, do  I find people in the anonymous program settings are willing to speak about it. Most folks prefer to talk about anxiety in the past tense.

I believe in utilizing the aid of HP's divine assistants, professional therapists.   My meetings are important to me,  but because of our upcoming move,  I have been looking for opportunities that strengthen me to graduate from therapy with God's assistants.  

Anxiety is a very "needy" emotion, especially I'll need to walk a tightrope between our current home and a future unknown one.   I have been aware since this past winter that I need to advance to  relying more on go-everywhere HP as primary therapist. 

In searching for Inner Strength,  I discovered a short series of Yoga therapy  for people with anxiety. I thought I would not make yesterday's first class, as we had plans to leave for the weekend. Husband's health concerns had him wanting to stay closer to home. As I flexed to go with the new flow, I realized I could make it to the Yoga meeting. 

 At the meeting, I learned how much I had craved to be with like-emotioned people. We spent an hour sharing, making eye contact too as a dozen of us shared about what fear and anxiety meant to us. A whole room of people speaking openly about what they want to make room for in their lives, outside of the anxiety that so plagues them.  

I am amazed at how sacred our first meeting was. 

Several people (men!)  shared about anxiety, even sharing about insomnia.  Tears in the room as people realized that they had desires for their lives and grief that their passions were out of reach.  EVERYONE shared--it was amazing. Were these folks just nervous extroverts? I don't think so. I think it was a moment for me in which I got an important program principle. Sharing ensures that we are not alone.  We all need to be able to communicate with others who can relate to our issues, who are seeking to apply tools to their own lives and are not trying to fix us. 

We were in good hands, with a knowledgeable therapist. We were eager to use her yoga expertise to learn how to use some God-given aspects of our physiology as a tool for dealing with the tiger we had allowed to take over our lives. We took back our power over anxiety with relaxing, balancing and strengthening yoga postures. We also were reminded that taking care of our physical health is important in creating conditions for emotional stability. 

This is  addressed in EA in a particular Just for Today that reads, Just for today I will take care of my physical health; I will exercise my mind;  will read something spiritual. 

But I learned more details  in my Yoga therapy session.  Exercise is one way to take care of our physical health. Yoga in particular is exercise that can help with the restorative sleep so essential for good cognition. Too, eating well-spaced nutritious foods is good for the body-mind. 

Being made aware of the science behind all this... got me very close to agreeing with the newbie who has been challenging me... to examine more closely our EA belief:  that we are powerless over our emotions. 

What do you think?   If exercise, good nutrition, and good sleep hygiene are mental health aids, then are we truthfully  NOT powerless over our emotions? 


  1. I know that exercise is most definitely needed in my life to help with my anxiety! I think my thoughts and feelings can be instantaneous and I cannot control them. BUT. I can control what I DO about them. And I am always in a much better place when I have eaten right, gotten enough sleep and exercised.

  2. What a wonderful share, thank you! That class sounds like it was wonderful. I have to agree with Marcia, I believe I am powerless over my emotions, but I do have control of how I react or use those emotions. I also find if I slack on either exercise, eating well, or sleeping... making healthy choices of dealing with my emotions becomes more difficult.

  3. Thanks Marcia and Simply Me, for your easy stride with the first step.

    I so agree with your experiences. I have choices about what do DO regarding my emotions. And acceptance is a powerful starting place. And any day I neglect the self-care of good nutrition, exercise and good company.. I can easily find myself in a strange neighborhood!


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~