Life is short and we all want to live the best one we can, how do we do that? Exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, love well, take care of your physical and emotional health, and if you’re lucky you’ll live to a ripe old age.This is easier said than done. On certain days, I find myself eating junk food, vegging out, staying up late, and not exercising. Boy do I pay for that. My stomach feels bloated, I don’t have much energy, I get angry at myself for putting inches on my hips, and negative emotions get the best of me, worst of all I just don’t like myself. Luckily, this only happens occasionally, but when it does, it’s a bummer. Then I remember that I’m only human, and sometimes it’s ok.
Having emotional harmony is essential to all facets of life. If we’re unhappy, our career, relationships, and personal happiness are affected. We need to have internal strength and stability to live a productive life. Unfortunately, external influences don’t necessarily encourage the most productive habits for inner tranquility. That’s why it’s our responsibility to cultivate a practice that supports and nourishes us throughout our life long journey.
This past summer, I developed a love of Qi Gong which is a mind-body-spiritual practice that enhances our mental and physical well being by integrating posture, movement, correct breathing, self-massage, sound, and deep focus. Simply put,.Qi means (“subtle breath” “vital energy” or “life force”) and Gong means (“skill cultivated through steady practice”). Every morning I spend at least 5-10 minutes working on a Qi Gong routine, and I can’t tell you how much more emotionally balanced I’ve been feeling. In a nutshell this means that all of my diverse energies (Qi) move and flow together with total integration and balance.
Now for some background information about our emotions as they relate to the Qi in our bodies. When the movement and shifting of energy escalates to a certain point, we can usually identify it as a feeling/emotion, such as love, anger, sadness, discomfort, etc., all of which are experienced internally. Usually, one’s strongest emotions are felt in our neck, shoulders, and chest, though our organs and body parts hold emotional energy as well. These are the areas where stress accumulates, that’s why we sometimes feel stiffness and discomfort there. When this occurs, it signals to us that there is an imbalance in our body prompting us to take notice and act. Our goal is to bring our bodies back to a state of equilibrium or balance.
- We need to become aware of what is happening inside. We should NEVER ignore or hide from our feelings, we experience them for a reason. So pay attention to the most subtle movement of energy within. Many times the teeniest feeling can effervesce into an important emotion.
- Many times when we experience something unpleasant, our mind/body tries to protect us by changing the subject or mentally trying to bring our thoughts to a different place. With our emotions, there’s really no place to run, where ever we go, our feelings are sure to follow. The only way to deal with an unresolved emotion is to own it in the present. The practice of Qi Gong helps us to do this by allowing us to experience energy and feelings within ourselves.
- When we’re finally able to devote our energy to emotions, we can begin to accept the feelings we experience and own them. This enables us to the overcome obstacles that prevented us from being balanced and whole.
- Of course, life has its ups and downs, we can’t always be happy and positive, that’s the human condition, however, once we accept this, we can get on with our lives. Our painful emotions will eventually dissipate and heal.
Looking for more information about Qi Gong, I used this site as a reference
Before I close, I want to share one more self help tip with you that I learned from Kelli Alaina of Balanced Teacher Life. I keep a journal to help me stay focused and positive. Below is an example of what I write, and it only takes about 5 minutes.
- What was awesome about yesterday?
- What will be awesome about today?
- When I lay down to sleep tonight, I want to…..
- What is one action I want to take, change or improve today?
So dear teacher friends, I hope that you can find a little time in your busy schedule to do this too. I promise, it’s well worth it. I’d like to close with a quote from an ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, whose words of wisdom explain emotional balance.
“If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future. If you’re at peace, you’re living in the present.”
By the way, the holidays are one of the most stressful times for many of us, our students included. If you’re looking for something to bring smiles on the faces of your students, this little resource will do the trick. Also find a New Year’s Resolutions Resource and a Winter Literacy/History Bundle…..Just click the images below.
This is part of our December Teacher Talk….Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our link-up
Margo Gentile says
Thank you, I really needed this! I’m not in the most positive mood, and reading your post has helped. I’ve been meaning to start a journal for quite a while. I think your self-reflection questions will give me the impetus I’m seeking.
Margo…So glad this will be helpful. Thanks for telling me.