When I encounter negative emotions or thoughts, one of my first attempts to pull myself out of the darkness is pratipaksha bhavana, or cultivating the opposite. This term comes from the Yoga Sutras and is applicable in so many different ways in daily life.
So this practice challenges my mind to think of something positive to counter the negative thought or emotion I just had. And truly, when I can remember to put it to use, it works. The real trick, I find, is trying to practice pratipaksha bhavana when my mind ‘wants’ to be angry or ‘wants’ to be sad. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes my mind is in such a mood that it wants to stay there and suffer! It’s ridiculous!
What are your pratipaksha bhavana success stories? Challenges?
With the recent covid fear and anxieties one can be really over exhausted by negativity. In such difficult situations its highly important to stay positive and hopeful. When someone expresses their worries or fear or if we ourselves are in that mood slowly I shift my attention to my breath & start to focus on my breathing. Its a huge positive action overall. When that shift happens I am more balanced & centered while going through any negative emotion or situation.