In June, we held a ‘Yoga for Stress & Anxiety’ workshop with wellness facilitator Katie Haire. We had a great turn out and learnt some great techniques to help manage stress & anxiety in our everyday life.
Katie shares below some of her top tips from the workshop to help you feel grounded and calm when life may get a little crazy.
- The minute you can name your emotion, you can process it and start to change it. It takes the power out of it. Try to expand your emotional vocabulary – we tend to just say I am “stressed” but is this accurate? Are you worried, nervous, unsettled, under pressure, fatigued?
- Try to avoid “I am stressed/anxious” labeling. But rather “I am feeling stressed/anxious” to separate yourself from the emotion.
- You can practice noticing by closing your eyes (or not if you are somewhere you don’t feel that is appropriate). Start at your toes, back of the legs, hips, stomach (notice if it feels tight, start to consciously relax it) the lower back, shoulders, arms. Notice the physical body, the neck, the head. Now notice the emotional space, what is your underlying mood, what is your internal conversations like – Kind? Panicked? Critical? Supportive? Bring to mind what you need to shift to bring you back to balance. Focus on lengthening your exhale, each exhalation a change to shift to let go. To come closer to that state of calm, quiet knowing. When ready, blink your eyes open, stretch the arms up and go about your day!
- Fastest way to calm down and access your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is to breathe.
- Sit up straight to give your lungs room to function fully. Breathe into your belly to make sure you your breath gets all the way down to the lowest section of your lungs to allow you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
- Focus on extending the exhale – this allows your nervous system to quieten down. See if you can count the length of the breath and get long each exhale.
- Breathing meditation – sit or lie down. Simply start to count your breath – I am breathing in 1, I am breathing out 1. I am breathing in 2, I am breathing out 2. Up until the count of 10 and then count back to 1. If you get distracted just return to wherever you last remember or start again. Do this for 2 mins and slowly start to build to 5 mins.
- Remember that everything changes. Think about the range of emotions you have felt that day, week, year, five years. Notice the changes. Things may take longer than others to shift but the emotion will eventually soften. While this may not change the situation you are in, knowing that you will eventually move through it can give you the fortitude you need to keep going.
- Power of positivity. Create your own mantra and power word/s. This is to positively reinforce the quality that you have to enable you to stop the panic and believe in yourself. Repeat this word/words as you slowly breath in and out.
- Shift your focus. Do a yoga class, go for a run, take a dance class, spend time with people you love (and try not to spend the whole time talking about your worry!) Give yourself some mental space and come back with a fresh perspective.
Join Katie in October for your favourite “Yoga for Desk Jockey’s” workshop on October 2nd 2019.
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