I just left yoga class and was super inspired by something my teacher, Julie Pasqual, said so I felt the need to share it. Her theme throughout class came from this saying, "When you complain, you're signing a contract for sadness." Wow. The reminder that we can control our level of happiness hit me hard.
I wrote about Deepak Chopra's Happiness Formula (see post here) a few months ago, which explains that we all have a set level of happiness that can go up or down depending on a few things – economical conditions and voluntary choices. The simple act of eliminating complaining is a voluntary choice that's not easy to do, but the simple awareness of the act helps.
Throughout class, Julie asked us to replace our complaints with thoughts of gratitude. As we held difficult poses for extended periods of time, she would remind us that instead of thinking about their level of difficulty or how hot it was in the studio, to think three thoughts of what we were grateful for.
I focused my class on the thoughts of my practice, love and opportunity. My yoga practice on and off the mat has changed me as a person by helping to lessen and control my anxiety, see the world through eyes of compassion and keep my ego in check. I focused on the love and support I have from my husband, family and friends and the opportunities I have through my work.
"When you complain, you're signing a contract with sadness. Replace your complaints with thoughts of gratitude."
Trust me, it's hard, but it's necessary.