These past few weeks, we’ve all experienced deep sadness, anxiety and distress as we’ve watched alarming unrest and a disquieting pandemic upend the world. These are trying times, and it can be difficult to keep our spirits up and find joy and optimism in the midst of so much sorrow and loss. Yet we must.

Why? Hopelessness and pessimism can be detrimental to our well-being. Yet, painful feelings are not dangerous. Burying them can be. Learning how to be consciously aware of your emotions helps you neutralize the painful feelings within and lets you transform, even heal what you can feel. See my practice “Allowing Feelings” to help create a more positive outlook even in difficult circumstances.

Several now iconic studies by groundbreaking researchers, covered here in The Atlantic, show that having a positive outlook makes people more resilient—both physically and mentally. The benefits of these qualities are clearly connected—and very real.

Of course, we can’t control the events of this year, which will change us forever. But we can control our response by making conscious choices to strengthen our system and bring resilience to our body-mind. Embracing a whole-system approach allows us to create healing on all levels of who we are. Making personal well-being a priority is the first step. That’s why I developed “Audit Your Wellness,” a personal wellness quiz to help you assess your current mental, emotional and physical state of well-being (see more below). It will help you power your life into wellness with key strategies you can use for personal transformation and growth.

During my career as a yoga therapist and wellness consultant, I’ve come to believe taking a positive direction towards your own personal well-being really works; even if you don’t think you’re an optimist, you can nudge yourself in the right direction and make small changes to guide how you think and feel. It will make a difference. It will help you become healthier and more resilient. Read on to see all the ways to do this and live a deep and meaningful life—even in the midst of uncertainty.






Image: AGEIST Magazine

Happy? Sad? Here’s Why You Need to Embrace Both Emotions

Last week, nine different popular magazines (think Esquire, GQ, Vogue and more) sent me emails featuring the “best sad movies to watch right now.” Yes, tearjerkers are hot, and not just because we want evidence it could always be worse. Negative emotions and positive emotions both help us grow, for different reasons and in different ways. Learn more in my column in Ageist magazine.





Power Your Life to Wellness

Long before modern science validated the connection between the mind and body, ancient thinkers believed these systems influenced each other. My personal wellness quiz is designed to take all dimensions of the mind-body ecosystem into consideration and assess your current state of wellness in five dimensions—body, energy, mind, behavior and spirituality.  Once you complete questions on each element, I’ll give you a summary of my findings and key tips and ideas you can use for personal transformation and growth. Take “Audit Your Wellness” here.





Good Mind-Body Medicine: Heal What You Can Feel

The only way to lead a full, authentic and actualized life is to allow yourself to nurture your feelings of pain and fear as well as your feelings of pleasure and joy. Once you make a conscious decision to interact with both your positive and negative emotions, you can heal what you can feel, and this is good medicine. Here is an effective and time-efficient practice to try that will help you allow yourself to feel.





Wellness Yoga: Breathing for Emotional Focus

New science behind the ancient art of breathing is covered in the book Breath by science writer James Nestor. As one of the greatest secrets of yoga, breathing can change your life. Here is a pranayama practice you can do (pranayama is conscious breathing), to expand your lung capacity, build courage, endurance and immunity.





What You Should Read

Staying optimistic when everything seems wrong is easier said than done. The New York Times has some remarkably helpful advice on how to be hopeful about the future, even when the present seems totally negative. They also point out this has been such a difficult experience for everyone, and to look to the experts for pointers for easing out of lockdown—namely war-zone and trauma experts. The Harvard Business Review has some weighty guidance on building resilience in the face of a crisis. As an advocate for meditation to stay calm and centered, I found The Wall Street Journal’s self-help article, “Sick of Cleaning? Turn It Into Meditation,” not only highly informative but also highly entertaining. After all, meditation is already one of my favorite pleasures. Happy reading!









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Bija Bennett brings real-time restoration to all audiencesCopyright © 2020 BijaB, All rights reserved.

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