Anxiety. I said it. We all feel it, whether it’s obvious for you, or not right now. The world is reactive. WE are reactive because that energy is contagious. While planning and preparing is helpful…. worry is not. Worry gives us a false sense of preparation when in fact it does nothing but set us up for unnecessary pain.
Yoga teaches us to live in the present moment. That you never actually have a problem in the present moment. We’re either anxious about the future, or regretful about the past. The time and space right now has many of us alternating between these two extremes and many are ignoring all the things that are good right now. We are spending time in worry… when we could be enjoying all that is good.
Worry puts us in fight or flight……when there is no real imminent danger. If you’re a constant worrier, imagine the fatigue that your body is facing. Stress can be a helpful emotion when there is real immediate danger. We need that sudden influx of energy and chemicals to send us sprinting away from the danger. Think of saving a child from an accident or running from a wild animal….we need a lot of energy to successfully avoid a big problem.
When we worry (even over little things), that worry sends the same chemical responses to our body that the bear attack does, slowly but surely using up all of our precious energy that we need for real and immediate problems. We simply can not live in this state forever. It drains us.
My teacher Abbie Galvin used to say “you don’t want to learn how to swim when you’re drowning in the ocean.” If you don’t train yourself daily and strengthen your techniques to handle stress, you’re in a big pickle when big life events surprise you. Practice your stress reducing techniques daily so you can handle the world.
How do you get yourself out of constant worry?
1) Ground yourself first:
How you start your day will determine the rest of your day. Wake, water, meditate, write or yoga will drastically enhance your day. Wake, worry, caffeine, social media, emails and news……will crush you.
2) Practice mindfulness:
Notice emotions in the body. What do they feel like? What does stress feel like in the body? Where do you feel it? The more you are able to tap into physical sensations, the quicker you will be able to respond and get yourself out of unnecessary stress states.
Notice the third cup of coffee, the stress eating, the yelling or any maladaptive behaviours that are tied to the stress response. Ask yourself if you really want to do these things and if they’re helpful.
Practice pranayama. Even 5 minutes a day will change you and recalibrate your central nervous system to better handle life’s stressors.
4) Watch your poisons:
Media, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gossip, overeating, overworking, poor sleep, poor company, etc can all lead to a very anxious you.
5) Add your vitamins:
Positive thinking, faith, affirmations, writing, meditation, yoga, movement, nature, nutrition, vitamins, water, good supportive company will save you.
Remember that “I am just an anxious person” is a lie. No one is born this way. We learn these behaviours. And the good news is….they can be unlearned. Practice good techniques daily and you can handle this….ALL of this.
“Your emotions are important, you should have them, but they are not a good source of measure. You have better techniques than that.” – Abbie Galvin
There’s a lot of good things going on right now. Summer is here. Supportive programs are here. We are able to see people right now. Some of us are becoming scared of people. Did you ever think you would be scared of people?! We NEED people. We need community and NOW is the chance to see them. Now is the time to gather. Now is the time to practice together and now is the time to enjoy all that is good. There’s no need to worry about what might happen in the future, hiding away from others when we have the go-ahead, right now, to be together. We never know what the future holds for us and human connection is necessary for us to thrive. Go be with your people. Hike with your friends, visit your family, go to an outdoor class. Relish in the now. The now is good. Stay in the present moment, its all we have.
With Love, Karla