THE BLOG

Angry, Impulsive Yoga Teacher?

06/15/2015 04:16 pm ET | Updated Jun 14, 2016

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Okay so that's a bit of a harsh title and definitely a sentence you don't usually see, but if I'm honest, I absolutely have aspects of these behaviors in my nature.

I've always had a tendency to be impulsive and hot-headed. I would often react to situations instead of pausing then responding. My mum's words ring in my ears from a young age, "You must think before you speak!"

I can't deny that in the past I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this side of me as it has definitely brought me both laughter and tears. There's always been a sense of needing to control and then finding myself agitated when things haven't quite gone my way and feeling frustrated at not managing my emotions better. I realize in hindsight the only person affected by this is me. These days I'm much more conscious of these traits and how unhelpful living like this has been for me, because there is no freedom in it, just limitations.

So let's get to the crux of it. We all have parts of our personality, if we're honest, we don't love. However I truly believe that we should accept the good with the bad as no one is perfect. Let's not quash these personality traits but learn to manage them to bring out the best in us, not the worst. Through teaching yoga and practicing mindfulness, I definitely find these aspects of me easier to manage.

Becoming mindful about the power of our words

With all this to consider, the mind can be a pretty powerful force if left to run wild. In the words of Gandhi, "Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny." The more we accept this, the easier it is to focus on catching those thoughts early on and turning them into something positive, or certainly to stop us reacting in a negative or sometimes hurtful way.

I'm much more aware now of my emotions, especially the negative ones, and I'm learning to stop, just for a moment, to assess the path I'm about to take. This gives me more control over my thoughts which allows me to make more positive choices which in turn benefits those around me. Realizing I have the choice to be more present in my interactions and decide on my next thought, word, course of action and so on, creates freedom and space in the mind. Easier said than done sometimes, especially when the mind jumps around like a box of frogs, but through mindfulness I'm learning how to control it.

What are the most effective ways you have found to control your thoughts, emotions or change unwanted behavior patterns? I'd love for you to share advice by commenting below.