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How to Cope with Being Alone

Hope CounselingHumans are inherently social creatures. We thrive from connections that we create with loved ones. And although there is a large spectrum of comfort with social contact, it is true that we all need to feel connected. When we are forced to be alone by whichever life matters have brought us there, coping with solo life can be difficult. Here are some things to consider trying during your streak of independence:

Have a happy mindset:

Most of our troubles are created by our frame of mind. Look at this as an opportunity to explore and learn more about yourself. You now have this time to devote to yourself! This really is true independence. Keep an open mind about meeting new people, and engaging in new activities. Happiness comes from within. Don’t make excuses!

Learn Something New:

What is something that you always wish you had learned? For me, I would love to learn how to play the guitar. During a time when I was alone previously, I learned how to knit. Take lessons or watch video tutorials online. Connect with others who have a passion for whatever it is you want to learn to do. They will love the opportunity to share their passion, and you will get to absorb their knowledge!

Adopt a Pet:

For longer periods of time alone, pets are great way to focus your need for connection. Dogs are great because they really love their humans. Their reliance upon you will help to give purpose to your day. If you can’t adopt a pet, volunteer at your local animal shelter. Walking the dogs is a great chance for you to get out, take walks, and connect with another being.  

Read:

This summer my goal is to read five new books. There is always something to be gained from reading. You’ll become more educated, pass time, and become a better-rounded person. Check out some classics like Huckleberry Finn, Wizard of Oz, The Catcher in the Rye, or The Great Gatsby. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau is about a spiritual quest to live independently in nature.

Exercise:

Imagine getting that body you’ve always wanted. Now you have no excuses. Wake up with the sun and just take a walk. Join a work out class. There is Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Spin, Zumba, Weight Lifting, and SO MANY MORE! Some big cities offer free exercise classes outside during the summer. You’ll look great, feel better, and you’ll seriously impress your loved ones next time you see them. See this story about a woman who took advantage of her time away from her husband to drop 100 pounds.

Pick up hours at work:

Focusing your extra hours into your work life will give you an extra cushion in your bank account. You will have more free money to pay off bills or save for your next goal. If putting in more hours at work sounds like the worst idea in the world, consider volunteering. It’ll still keep you busy, but you will have more control over your schedule and hours. You’ll be making a positive impact in the world as well!

Explore:

Go outside! It’s a big beautiful world out there! You won’t meet any interesting people by staying home. Get yourself a pair of hiking shoes and explore local state parks. Connect with nature by kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, or even just having lunch in the park.

 

 

 

How does yoga influence emotions?

Yoga: Helping To Heal and Balance Emotions

 

Yoga is a body, mind, and spirit practice. The word yoga means, to “yoke”, unite, or join together “at the roots”. In layman’s terms, yoga is the bringing together of every aspect of the person, and also bringing the practitioner to a place of oneness with all of existence. So when we speak of health, in yogic philosophy, we are speaking of complete health, body, mind, and emotions.

 

Yoga aims to place its practitioners into a meditative state, only focusing on the present moment, not the past or the future. In yoga, neither the past nor the future exists. There is only Now. So there is nothing else to consider. Since the 70’s, meditation and other methods of reducing stress have proven to have positive effects on depression and anxiety, and have been thought to be possible effective treatments. It is beneficial that the physical practice of yoga can be done in many different forms; from relaxing slow movements, to a more strenuous and vigorous style. There is a method of yoga practice for everyone, in spite of their physical abilities or disabilities.

 

Because yoga is a practice that just about everyone can participate in, it is available to those with emotional challenges and illnesses, no matter their physical circumstance. According to many reviews of what yoga can do for the physical body, yoga practice, if done consistently, can lessen the body’s responses to extreme stress; therefore, it may alleviate some symptoms of anxiety and depression. By assisting in reducing levels of stress and anxiety, yoga then helps to balance our stress response systems, which decreases our physiological responses. These physiological responses are the ones that usually raise our heart rate and blood pressure.

 

A 2005 German study on the effects of yoga, included 113 participants who had admitted to dealing with high stress and anxiety, major depression, and even bipolar disorders. These willing participants were all patients of New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital. All of the participants agreed to take one yoga class, and after that single yoga class, tension, stress, anxiety, anger, and fatigue, were reported to have significantly decreased. This decrease was measured by the Profile of Mood States, which is a 65 item questionnaire the participants answered before and after the yoga session.

 

Women who participated in a three-month yoga study also reported decreases in perceived stresses, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Of course, anyone dealing with deep emotional issues and illnesses should always seek medical attention. No one is suggesting to use yoga as a replacement for medical and psychiatric help; but instead as a supplement to any ongoing treatments one may be receiving.

 

As was stated in the beginning, yoga is about unity and wholeness, not exclusion; it aims to treat the entire person, body, mind, and spirit.