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Yoga in Practice: Helping Negative People – Part 2

Selfishness, hoarding, and gluttony are hard to sleep with. Greed drives us insane, and over consumption causes grief. Helping others does not require money. Selfless service will help those in need just fine. Sometimes an encouraging word, a thank you, or a compliment, is worth more than money. This is because you showed recognition and gave a feeling that becomes self worth.

How many times do people hold back on giving thanks,
praise, and mutual respect to others? No wonder the divorce rates are so high in some cultures. It is because no one wants to give, forgive, or try to understand anyone including their wife, husband, or family members.

No one wants to accept the blame for anything. Everything is the fault of some ‘wrong doer.’ We are living in the new age of blame. How often do you hear about teachers and parents blamed for trying to do their job?

When you see someone change his or her attitude around for the best, it does restore your faith in humanity. If we cannot forgive, we become negative and hostile, too. Below is a formula for helping negative people, and you may learn a little more about Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, (the path of devotion), in the process.

Smiling is contagious and puts the unhappy person “off
guard.” Remember that negativity is also contagious, but smiling is an “equalizer.” It is very hard to get mad at a happy person. Think pleasant thoughts and do not let yourself come under the spell of gloom. It is easier for most of us to smile than to frown all the time.

Listen emphatically, but do not take problems that are not yours to heart. I know a person whose favorite saying is, “It’s not my problem.” Always remember that you do not have to take on the problems of the world, on your shoulders, to be a good listener.

If you feel this person is dragging you down, give yourself a break. Just because you want to help – that doesn’t mean you have to write a suicide pack with him or her. You have to know your own tolerance level for being around pessimism. Too much pessimism and negativity can have an adverse effect on anyone.

Look at “wartime behavior’ as a prime example. People are scarred for life by atrocities, brutality, poverty, starvation, battle fatigue, constant fear, and imprisonment. This is a haven for negativity to flourish in. This is much like the mind-set of a pessimist.

© Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher.