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  • Writer's pictureTracey L. Kelley

Self-Study: Mindfulness for Healthy Thinking

Generally, I'm a positive person. It's not that I haven't lived through tragedy, trauma, chaos, or pain--I just choose not to relive those experiences in my day-to-day if I can possibly help it.

Yoga is incredibly helpful for working through and past negative experiences (research supports this), but more on that another time. Many people rely on their yoga practice to continue to calm negative thoughts and emotions, and allow for the true self to emerge beautiful and whole. And yet, our brains are hardwired to protect us. In an interview I did with Dr. Mary Miller, she said your brain's "natural state is to find problems, keeping you on alert so you stay alive." Consequently, there are times when negative thought patterns may protect us, as long as we have a healthy way to move through the cycle and on with life. So it's helpful to make time for other resources to ease your mind; assure it there's no danger from the past, in your present, or lurking in the future; and be at peace. My current book selection is from Iowa author Dianne Morris Jones, who is a licensed mental health counselor and a Brené Brown "Daring Way" workshop facilitator. In her book Stop, Breathe, Believe, Morris Jones outlines a variety of ways to move beyond negative thinking and into more life-affirming thoughts. This isn't necessarily shifting the mindset from negative to positive (again, the brain has a mission to uphold), but to move past destructive, self-defeating thoughts to become more wholehearted and joyful. I'm in. Let me know if you start to read it as well, and we can discuss concepts!

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