Third column: To feel better about these events or situations, name actions or a new way of thinking that would boost your self-confidence in these circumstances. For instance, if you become insecure before public speaking, you might write:
I will stop worrying about what others think before speaking up and give my opinion without fear.
I will say exactly what’s on my mind.
I will role-play my presentation with a friend beforehand.
I will remember that I have been successful before in many presentations.
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Choose just one item on your action list to implement in real life. Try it out in a relatively benign situation where you’re not overly anxious or the consequences aren’t overly significant. Test your confidence-building action and then reflect on how it makes you feel.
We live in an age where at times it seems as if almost everyone is weight-conscious: either overweight, obese, on a diet, or exercising obsessively. The media create an ideal body image that few people can live up to, and we often feel hopeless or anxious if we can’t conform to this image. Dealing effectively with overall wellness body image, nutrition, and health and fitness issues can have an enormously positive impact on other spheres, providing energy, a sense of well-being, and even longevity.
Dean was 5 feet 9 inches and weighed 275 pounds. He had developed diabetes and was worried about his health in general. Yet, when he fired his therapist and hired a coach, Dean’s motivation wasn’t to lose weight. Instead, he was more concerned that his career was going nowhere and that he wasn’t having much fun in his life when he wasn’t working. It took a number of sessions for Dean to recognize that his life plan needed to focus on weight reduction as well as making a career move and becoming involved in more enjoyable activities. Dean wasn’t having much fun because he lacked the energy to do much when he came home from work; he also wasn’t particularly interested in meeting other people because he was embarrassed by how he looked. In addition, Dean was a salesperson with a large corporation, and though Dean’s boss appreciated his intelligence and his ability to meet existing customer needs, he was reluctant to send Dean on new client presentations because he looked unprofessional. Therefore, the yoga plan’s first step was weight loss; it should come as no surprise that when Dean lost 28 pounds, he was much more eager to try new activities, and his boss was more willing to give him increased responsibility. He also began to enjoy socializing more.
Other frequently valued activities as well as some issues involving the Body sphere are discussed below:
Exercise. Sometimes in cases such as Dean’s, exercise isn’t just about looking better but also improving your physical and mental well-being. Some Yogis can refer you to personal trainers; others have backgrounds as trainers and can monitor your workouts or at least suggest a routine that would be beneficial. Other Yogis can help you monitor the goals you set for completion. The good news is that there are many choices for exercise these days including sports teams, weight training, cardio training (such as running, blading, biking, rowing, stairs, skiing, and elliptical activities), and flexibility/balance/core training (yoga, Pilates, and so many other options).
Health and wellness. This includes exercise (above), but this is a broad aspect of the Body sphere, including nutrition, body image, health and your relationship with primary care and other physicians, habits, grooming, meditation and spiritual pursuits, and life balance throughout the spheres. Though you certainly can do some of this on your own, Yogis can help you create wellness plans as well as refer you to experts specializing in different Body sphere specialty areas.
Eating disorders. This can spill over into other spheres, such as Self and Spirit, and it’s a growing concern for many people in our society. Again, if this is an issue for you, you may need help from a coach or health care professionals. Nonetheless, even the world’s leading expert on treating eating disorders won’t be effective without his client taking responsibility for dealing with his or her problem.