Hi! It's been a while, I hope you have all had a good summer.
It's been a strange one for me and a bit of a roller coaster ride if I'll be honest. I had to deal with some challenging and stressful events which unfortunately spanned over the entire summer, and as a result, my anxiety (which I thought I had under control) reared its very ugly head.
It wasn't pleasant and raked up lots of bad feelings and memories from when George was ill.
On a positive note, after all the panic and drama, everything turned out well and even though it was not a pleasant situation to have to deal with, it forced me to come head to head with my fears and find a better way to deal with them.
I am now feeling much more grounded but still have lots of work to do.
This might not mean much to you, but if any of it does resonate, I would like to share a few things (as well as yoga!) that helped me through this stressful period.
This is my first point of call when I'm in panic mode! Pranayama is the practice of becoming aware of your breath and using it to enhance your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
As the yogic sages discovered thousands of years ago, the mind, body, and breath are inextricably connected. Your breathing is affected by your thoughts, and your thoughts and physiology are influenced by your breath.
For example, when your mind is calm, your breathing is deep and rhythmic, and your body engages its natural self-repair mechanisms. On the other hand, when your mind is caught up in fearful thoughts, your breath may speed up and become shallow, while your body increases the production of stress hormones.
Deep breathing such as pranayama helps to shift thoughts from fear-inducing scenarios to more positive expectations.
After just a minute or two of deep breathing, my overloaded head feels refreshed and so much lighter - it's almost like a mini detox for the mind!
I do try to meditate on a regular basis, but if I'll be honest I don't dedicate the time that I should to it and it's often just another rushed ritual that I need to fit into my day - which obviously defeats the object.
During this stressful period, there was one particular day when my anxiety was so out of control that I honestly thought I was going to send myself crazy! At this point, the only thing I could think to do was either lose the plot completely or go meditate.
I don't often get much quiet time on my own in the house, but on this occasion, George had gone to pick the boys up from school and had to call somewhere before coming home. For ONE FULL HOUR, I did nothing but sit and breathe (a difficult task for me, but surprisingly easy this day).
I can honestly say, I have never felt the positive impact of a meditation than I did on that day. The chaos in my head lost its energy and I felt calm, grounded, renewed. It was as though the incessant voice in my head (that would have me believe all sorts) lost its power, leaving space for the inner voice, my instinct a deeper knowing to come through and let me know that actually everything was ok.
From that day on, I tried to make the time to meditate everyday and found a meditation series by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey "7 days to release stress and anxiety"particularly useful.
3. Open up and let people in!
When I'm feeling stressed/anxious/depressed, I tend to shut myself off which of course only compounds the problem. Left to ruminate over my worries and fears, they then snowball out of control to the point where I can no longer separate the truth from the fiction. During that stressful time, I knew that I had to break the habit and make a conscious effort to spend more time with friends. The saying a problem shared is a problem halved couldn't be truer. Talking things through can help to gain some perspective and break the negative thought cycle - and of course, there's nothing better for the soul than a good old laugh with a friend.
THIS BOOK has been a game changer for me. I first heard about it on one of Oprah (love her) Winfrey's Supersoul Conversations podcasts. The author and spiritual teacher Michael Singer provides practical tips on how to silence the negative thoughts in your mind and allow these feelings to pass through you before they take over your life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone like me that is a natural worrier and tends to over think things.
POSE FOCUS SALAMBA SARVANGASANA
Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) has a soothing and calming effect on the nervous system and is the perfect posture to practice if you are feeling anxious or emotionally challenged.
BLOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
To support Blood Cancer Awareness Month we are donating 10% of all yoga towel and combo mat sales to Bloodwise until the end of September. To find out why you can read our story here.
We are exhibiting at the Om Yoga show Alexandra Palace on 19th - 21st October! 👏👏 To celebrate, we are giving away five pairs of weekend passes! Visit our blog to find out how to enter. Good luck!