Stress, depression and anxiety effect our levels of energy, social relationships, ability to deal with each day and our degree of peace.
Each day we are around challenging situations. Some people are very effected by driving dramas. Others are able to stay calm in that context but can be very shaken up by a comment from a co-worker. How do we navigate this?
Be aware of what hits your stuff or pushes your buttons. Often, it is the same type of situation or comment that creates a reaction. What is the underlying pattern?
Combining insight from psychology, philosophy and meditations, breathing and yoga stretches can be very effective in working through racing thoughts, falls into discouragement and daily frustrations. Remember also that these situations are our teachers and our lessons. We think we’d only be peaceful if we were away from them, but they are there to show us something about ourselves.
Byron Katie says, “An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy. It’s a gift that says, “Get honest; inquire.” We reach out for alcohol, or television, or credit cards, so we can focus out there and not have to look at the feeling.
And that’s as it should be, because in our innocence we haven’t known how. So now what we can do is reach out for a paper and a pencil, write thought down, and investigate.”
There are a number of breaths that are helpful to remove agitation and racing thoughts.
One powerful breath is the complete breath. Most of us do chest breathing and raise the chest and shoulders. In the complete breath, we start with first filling the abdomen.
If you ever watched a baby breathe, you can see how the abdomen rises. The diaphgragm expands. You can practice this by putting a little pillow on your belly and feeling it rise. Then feel the ribs filling out to the sides as you continue breathing. Finally the upper chest completes the inhale.
Suspend (or hold) the breath in for five to ten seconds and then reverse the process when you exhale. As you complete the exhalation, feel that you are pushing out all the air similar to twisting a towel. Hold the air out for five to ten seconds.
Continue this for three to five minutes. If the mind starts to wander into worries, anticipations for the next day or other concerns, just gently bring it back so you feel and hear your breathing. Don’t beat yourself up , but just bring yourself back.
Throughout the blog, you’ll be able to read articles that cover various meditations, breaths, yoga kriyas, philosophical quotes for inspiration and ways to manage daily stress by increasing your awareness. In the midst of problems, we tend to magnify their weight. We lose perspective. I recently created an online course with yoga, meditations and breathing tips to assist with depression, anxiety and stress. You can read more about it here . Also, if you are a therapist or nurse, you can get 3 CEU credits.
There is a buddhist meditation where you sit with your own problem and then imagine the whole class of other people in the universe that have suffered something very similar. For instance, if you can’t see your children the extent you’d like as the result of a court decision, it can lead to great depression.
Meditating on how you are part of a class of others who also are unable to see those that they love due to either legal or other reasons, connects you to a whole class of people.
This helps to release you from your aloneness and increases compassion. Of course, you can take steps to go back to court, but the meditation is a door to a different level of understanding.
I’ll be posting regularly with tips, case studies and hope everyone will feel free to comment as well as send me an e-mail.