Resilience, burnout, exhaustion, stress.... Who is not affected? Even among children and teenagers the numbers of stress and burnout sufferers are increasing. It seems that we as a society are going in a completely wrong direction. That can be a bit of a concern, can't it?
I'm not saying that yoga is the cure for all our physical and mental problems. But why yoga helps you become emotionally stronger and more resilient is what I explain in this article.
Difference of Resilience and Emotional Stability
Both Resilience and Emotional Stability relate to our mental health and well-being. They are interrelated, but are defined differently and are distinct concepts.
Emotional Stability, in contrast to Emotional Lability, is the distinct ability to control one's emotions. It does not mean that we repress the emotions or are not allowed to have any, but that we learn to deal with them in the here and now, learn to accept them. It also means that we learn to perceive them correctly and to stand by them - even the so-called "bad" emotions. Emotionally stable people are better able to deal with stress and pressure.
Someone who is described as resilient can recover better after stressful or traumatic experiences than someone with less resilience. Such a person also adapts more quickly to new situations and comes out of challenging situations stronger. Those who are emotionally stable may have better tools at their disposal to foster resilience. Because an emotionally stable person is less likely to be completely thrown off course by external circumstances, and has the ability to quickly overcome failures and setbacks.
What characterizes a person with emotional stability?
Emotionally stable people are described as follows:
- Solid personality development
- Grounded character
- Emotional intelligence
- Good self-awareness
- Self-reflection / introspection
These are all elements that also flow into yoga. After all, yoga is not just a purely physical "thing", but a holistic system that rests on 8 pillars.
Just because someone can touch her or his toes or stand on their head doesn't mean that they are emotionally stable persons.
Yoga doesn't just consist of yoga exercises (called asana), but the yogic principles and values can also be used for personal development. During a normal group class, where you mainly do yoga exercises, you don't usually come into close contact with this side of yoga. To do this, you have to delve a little deeper into the subject matter, as you do in a yoga teacher training course, for example.
If you would like to deepen your knowledge of yoga with us, for example in our various modules of the Alignment Yoga Teacher Trainings, you will also learn about "yogic" tools for personal development. Among other things, this involves self-reflection, self-love and self-care, learning to ground oneself and work on healthy self-awareness, and learning to respect and accept oneself and one's body.
What characterizes a person with no emotional stability?
An emotionally unstable person is more prone to
- inner turmoil
- self-doubt to self-hatred
- Rapidly changing emotional world
Those who are not emotionally stable are usually perceived as emotional, vulnerable and unpredictable and are unfortunately often and wrongly judged by the outside world.
Especially if there is also an AHDS or ADS present! This is not the topic of this blog, but I will come back to it in a separate article, because AHDS and ADHD meet us more often than you think and many people suffer hidden.
Emotionally stable people therefore tend to appear calm, level-headed and self-confident. They don't just play it up on the outside, they really feel that way on the inside! They can filter, analyze and control their emotions better. But this does not mean that they are uncaring people - because there is a big difference between equanimity and indifference!
Now the question arises...
How do I get into Emotional Stability: Howe does Yoga help?
In addition to yoga, which I'll get to in a moment, we have psychology, which addresses this issue. By working with a good therapist, you can develop understanding of yourself, your feelings, thoughts and emotions. You learn to understand why you tick this way and not another. So a psychologist helps us in personality development and introspection.
Today we know from trauma therapy research that memories or even trauma are also stored in the body and can be healed through bodily experience. And this is exactly where yoga comes in. Through specific yoga exercises we can release negative experiences and trauma through the body and calm or heal the nervous system. This physical aspect is not reached in a pure talk therapy.
Through yoga you experience what emotional stability feels like in your own body and mind. You experience "up close and personal" what inner peace and tranquility are. This positive self-awareness makes it easier for you to initiate change processes that bring you even closer to this inner peace and calm.
It is well known that positive change processes succeed most easily when you can associate a positive experience with the change process. If you experience yourself that you can bring about such peaceful feelings and states of inner calm and balance in yourself without having to take any external substances, you will know that it is all within you - it is all there already and just needs to be nurtured. And that motivates!
Through specific yoga exercises, the breath, and mental exercises like we do in yoga, we can directly influence our nervous system.
We bring you down from the fight or flight mode that leads to nervousness, inner turmoil and stress and bring you into the rest and digest mode. This mode of the nervous system is active in emotionally stable people and brings the balance you desire.
For us at The Yoga Place Zurich, it is important that you feel relaxed after a yoga class. It may certainly also challenge you and make you sweat a little. But if you're exhilarated and jittery after the class, you haven't gotten into rest and digestion mode.
Then it was just a good work-out, but not the work-in that we want to achieve with yoga and that ultimately leads us to more calm, peace and balance and thus to more emotional stability and resilience.