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Yoga, Neck Pain, and Being Intentionally Positive

by Beth on November 29th, 2010

The need to be intentionally positive came to me very clearly the other day in my yoga class.  It was the day before Thanksgiving, so our teacher asked us to focus our thoughts on gratitude.  I thought about how grateful I was that I was healthy enough to practice yoga.  And that’s when I realized my neck wasn’t hurting anymore!

Almost 2 years ago my neck started hurting.  It felt like a pinched nerve.  It was pretty bad for a couple of weeks and then it got better, but it didn’t go away.  Any time I turned my head to the right I would feel the pain.  It was worse if I looked up to the right, so I especially noticed it when I was doing yoga.  I learned to live with it, but it was always there, bothering me.  Until it wasn’t!  But when did that happen?  I don’t think my neck has hurt for months, but I didn’t notice until last week!

It is hard to stop thinking about what pains us, physically or otherwise.  Yet when we aren’t in pain we take it for granted.  We don’t appreciate, much less notice, the positive nearly as much as we notice the negative.

As a mother (and a psychologist) I know it is better to reward my children for their good behavior than to punish them for their bad behavior.  But let’s be real.  When do you notice your kids?  When they are quietly doing their homework or when they are screaming and chasing each other around the house?  And what about at work?  Do you notice when your employees are working diligently or when they turn in a project late?

Our brains are wired to focus on the negative, but we can make a conscious effort to shift our attention to the positive.  Keeping a gratitude journal helps us focus on the good things in life.  Or we can set our calendars or cell phones to alert us during the day to take a moment to count our blessings.  Anything to make it intentional.

What about you?  Do you have any suggestions for how to be intentionally positive?

From → Gratitude, Mindset

One Comment
  1. Francesco Frova permalink

    Great piece of advice, Beth!!

    Sometimes I feel so out of place when in the workplace I go to some manager with the sole purpose of praising somebody else’s work; and it is very easy to notice how unconventional it is for them by their responses!

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