Yoga Day Special: Understanding Our Worries

This Yoga Day, let us expand our understanding of ourselves, including what worries us, and how we can manage those worries.

yoga day image, guy meditating in worry to show ways to do focused yoga

Two friends, Anita and Esha were having a conversation over coffee. Anita looked worried. When asked what was wrong, she said what many of us must have felt at one point. Some of us may also be feeling this way as we read this.

‘Everything worries me. Every decision I make, I overanalyse. I worry about everything. It’s as if the overthinking will never ever stop. I feel anxious all the time, and I haven’t been able to get anything done on time. It’s really affecting me.’

Esha listened, and gently comforted Anita, saying, ‘We all are consumed by the overthinking monster every once in a while. It’s okay, you can manage this. Trust me.’

‘How? I have tried relaxation techniques. It helps a bit, but only temporarily. Yoga usually helps me but these days, even that is not helping.’

Esha went in further and said, ‘How about you try this yoga to control the mind, and manage? Yoga won’t help much unless you know what you wish to manage through the Yoga practice. Whenever you find yourself on one of your overthinking sprees, see which one type seems to be bothering you:

Anita listened with curiosity and nodded. Esha continued:

‘If you constantly find yourself ruminating over past decisions, past mistakes and bad feedback, you are most likely a past analyser.

‘If you constantly find yourself worrying about the future, and anticipating problems which don’t really exist at present, you are most likely a future analyser.

‘If you constantly find yourself over analysing any decision, and find yourself unable to actually make a decision, getting in a state of analysis paralysis, you are most likely an over-analyser. ‘

Anita seemed to have found her problem as a gleam of recognition came into her eyes. ‘What to do when I find myself into one of these states?’

Esha went on,

‘For the past analyser, scheduling a ‘worry time’ during the day might help, where one sits with these feelings of worry, and find out which of these worries can be solved, and which can be left in the past. The ones which can be solved can be dealt in a head on way.

‘For the future analyser, visualisation exercises might help, where you imagine yourself overcoming these anticipated hurdles. This small perspective shift can help a lot.

‘For the over analyser, understand that perfection is a myth, and that mistakes are part and parcel of life. Any path we take, we can always course correct. There is no need to analyse each and every detail- trust that you can figure things out as they come.’

As Anita listened to this, she felt her anxiety ease up a little. The knots in her mind slowly started to loosen up.

We all must have been in Anita’s state of mind. Overthinking.

Wondering why our relaxation techniques, and a disciplined practice of yoga isn’t helping.

Wondering when will this overthinking monster leave us.

The key to make the best use of our abilities is to understand what kind of worries consume us, and our minds, and finding ways to manage those. Yoga isn’t just about asanas and postures- it is an active practice of understanding ourselves, and finding the best possible way to make the best use of that understanding of ourselves. Yoga encapsulates practices of introspection, and practices to make that introspection meaningful, such as meditation, visualisations, and countless such centring practices.

This Yoga day, let us remind ourselves that we have an incredible ability to manage our minds. Yoga when done with a sense of purpose, and with the right focus and with the right technique, can help us become calmer and more centred individuals. In turn, we can become individuals who are in tune with our inner and the outer world, leading to professional and personal success, peace and prosperity. What’s more, now we can Overcome the Overthinking Monster.