Inside Yoga 241 (17/9/2018)
Bob Geldof was not the first person to say he didn’t like Mondays, though possibly the first who had a hit song with the title! Yet, why do so many of us dislike Mondays? Or, more to the point, should we be giving this unwelcome thought so much space and time to put us in either a bad mood or make us feel overwhelmed by the day ahead?
There is no doubt that many people feel this bad feeling when we wake up after, what was hopefully, a relaxing weekend. The heavy feeling that is Monday is simply something we could do without.
I get this feeling, not every week, but most weeks, and there are two methods I use to rid myself of this unwelcome feeling.
Firstly, the teachings of the Buddha focused on one major theme – that everything will change and everything is impermanent, which as you read this strikes you perhaps as obvious, we know this, but what we don’t realise is that however well informed we might be, we often ignore this wisdom and allow ourselves to be taken over by the thought. We then feel stuck in it, and feel crap, and don’t believe it will go away, ever!
What I find useful when confronted by such an unwelcome feeling and thought, is to remind myself that this feeling will end, and most likely, when the negative thought has gone, not a lot would have changed around me thereby highlighting that there was little to be concerned by! In other words, we acknowledge the thoughts and feelings associated with hating Mondays, accepting that we feel this way, but also remind ourselves that this feeling will go away eventually. What is important that we do not allow this thought to make us worse!
There are steps we can take, this is the second method, to help reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety which can hit us along with the thought that it is Monday. Some yoga practice, perhaps a physical practice of yoga asanas, will help, or perhaps a walk ( I find walking my dog in the morning does wonders for how I feel), because one of the problems with our thoughts is that by doing nothing the negative feelings and thoughts are allowed to fester, but something physical like yoga asanas, walking, running etc, helps to use kinetic energy (the energy derived from movement) to expel unwelcome energy of worry, stress and anxiety which could have been triggered by that one though: “I don’t like Mondays”.
The activity in itself, whether its yoga or a walk, does not address the negativity, but it deflects us from it and helps us to feel more energised and positive, and then we can deal with the same situation or situations which caused that bad Monday feeling with a freshness and clarity which will help us to deal with it if there is an action to be taken, or perhaps you will find that now that the negative feeling or thought has gone, there never was anything to cause the bad feeling! Everything was fine, you just don’t like Mondays.
Many of us always have stuff to do, so the other action that helps is to get on with working through the to-do list which possibly is at the root of the Monday blues. Job done, bad feeling gone!
This is not rocket science, but we are creatures of habit, and if we continue to feed our unwanted thoughts, matters can get worse. All we need to do is: first, remember that it will pass, and two, remember that there are actions that be taken to help move us through and away from unwanted negativity.
And then remind ourselves that Tuesday is tomorrow! Please note: apply this approach for any day of the week if you also don’t like (fill in with appropriate day)!
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