Tag Archives: Anxiety

Mindfulness & the senses

ship-harbour-boat drop anchor to calm your senses
Drop your anchor into calmer waters

Drop anchor into the sea of now through mindfulness and the senses.

Busy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.

There’s a saying oft used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.

If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now,  then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!

But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control.

I’d like to remind you that we all have five things which are always available to us to bring us home; to drop anchor into the sea of now.

Our senses. Read more…

Be kind to tension

be kind to yourself - release tensionWhere do you hold tension?

We all have a place where we feel it most.

It might be in your back; your jaw; your shoulders. It might be in clenched fists or tightness in the chest or throat or perennially clenched buttocks!

Maybe it’s become so habitual you don’t even realize you’re constantly holding a part of you tense.

For me it’s in my shoulders, throat and often my jaw.

Our busy, fretful, planning, judging, rarely-present minds create this chronic tension in our bodies.

So, it’s time to come out of your head and into your body.

Listen to your body and it will show you its wisdom.

And it’s definitely worth listening because often the whispers of tension will become shouts of pain or illness if we ignore them.

But, a word of caution. Read more…

The mindful way through stress and anxiety

Choppy waters - let mindfulness calm you
The waves of life can crash against us

When your head is full of thoughts. When you’re worried or scared. When you’re tired and just can’t be bothered any more. When you’re tense. When you’re in pain. When you’re so overwhelmed that you think you’re just going to go into melt-down. When burnout feels around the corner.

It can feel impossible to know what to do.

But there is something you can always do to help yourself. To reconnect back to yourself. To self-soothe.  To come back from the brink.

I know because I’ve experienced all of these myself.  The tension, overwhelm, exhaustion and whizzing mind.

They still sometimes creep up on me, but now I know what to do to stop them in their tracks and recover my equilibrium.

I take these 3 simple but powerful steps. Give them a try and see how they work for you. Read more…

3 yoga tips to stay calm this Christmas

Stay calm at Christmas with yoga
Stay calm this Christmas

How do you find the festive season? It can be enchanting. But it can also feel overwhelming.

If you tend to experience anxiety anyway, then you’ll know that there’s something about Christmas-time which can really aggravate and intensify the symptoms.

There’s nothing like an impending, immoveable deadline and yet-to-be-done Christmas shopping to get the stress hormones flooding your system!

And if (like me) you have a nervous system which is highly sensitive to external stimuli you’re more likely to experience the symptoms of anxiety.

And this time of year there are so many stimuli bombarding us: bright lights; crazy-busy towns, cities and shopping centres; parties and “dos” to go to; sugary & fatty foods; alcohol; Christmas shopping; the pressure to visit as many family members as possible; and jingly-jangly Christmas music everywhere!!! Read more…

Gratitude to lift your mood

Grey skyDecember. Full of joy and sparkling lights. Full of cold bugs, coldness and darkness. Every coin has two sides eh?

How are you feeling?

Me, I work up earlier than usual this morning. It was still completely dark. I wasn’t feeling full of joy, to put it mildly (more to do with being day 26 of my cycle than anything else: I know from charting my monthly cycle all through this year that days 25/6 are often the days my inner critic gets LOUD).

But I still took myself to my meditation cushion and sat and allowed whatever was coming up, to come up. It wasn’t particularly pretty. But, with mindful awareness I offered kindness towards myself and to what I was feeling.

I began my usual practice – focusing on the cool-in breath at the nostrils and the warmer out-breath. I gradually took my awareness down through my body to ground.

Feeling grumpy, I continued to breathe. Read more…

Get out of your head and into your body

Girl floating attached to a balloon
Occupying our mind we can often feel ungrounded

Where are you living? No, I don’t mean which town, or whether you’re in a house or apartment.

I mean, what space do you occupy? Do you live in your mind or do you inhabit your body?

It’s a good question to ask yourself because in our busy lives it can be all too easy just to occupy the top two inches of our body and live in the mind.

And when we live in our minds we’re rarely present. We over-analyse the past and fret about the future. We’re at the mercy of the to-do list in our heads. We lose perspective. We might fly off the handle at the merest provocation. We daydream, disappearing into our thoughts.

Occupying the mental plane of existence disconnects us from our body. Our breath becomes shallow and our muscles get tense and tight. We ignore our body’s needs to or even stop noticing them at all. Read more…

Mindfulness in action: a personal story

Meditation and mindfulness in action
Mindfully looking inside

So, last week was a bit of wobbly, weird week for me.

It started off great. I graduated from my two-year Dru Meditation Teacher training. I felt refreshed after a week off. I was looking forward to getting back to my yoga teaching – with that exciting “new term” feel. I’ve got new classes and workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives coming up.

But then I found myself not sleeping very well. My mind wouldn’t shut up. A Facebook post irritated me and I let it get under my skin.

I felt the “not good enough” button well and truly pressed. Read more…

Losing the comparison game? Let yoga & mindfulness help you

Scales of justice
Do you compare yourself and find yourself wanting?

The comparison game. Do you play it?

The constant comparing yourself to others? Not feeling good enough? Feeling frustrated, ashamed, or angry that your life, achievements, appearance don’t match up?

Don’t feel bad – we all do it and get that sinking feeling of being not-good-enough-in-comparison to someone else.

There’s something about our culture which promotes comparison.

The glossy magazines, the adverts showing unattainable lifestyles, the side bars of shame. The carefully curated social media streams designed to illustrate how perfect that person’s life is.

Every day we see images and message which press our “not good enough” button which leaves us feeling anxious and stressed and disappointed.

But it’s not good for us to think and feel this way. It erodes our self-esteem. Read more…

Two tips to help you learn to relax

Sunshine appearing from behind clouds
Let the sunshine appear in your mind

Ah, to be able to relax and let the world drift by.

To be able to switch off the tension and anxious thoughts and focus on the here and now.

To connect to inner peace no matter what the world sends your way, and remain connected to that sense of inner peace…

Perhaps you find yourself wishing you could feel this way but that inner peace feels an elusive dream?

Let me assure you dear one, that it IS possible. It is possible to relax at will. It is possible to let go of the whirlpool of thoughts whizzing around your mind.

It just takes awareness and practice. Read more…

What are YOUR symptoms of relaxation?

Relaxation in Southampton and Eastleigh: learn to relax like this sleepy kitty!
This sleepy one certainly knows how to relax!

Do you know how you feel when you relax?

This is a good question to ask yourself!  Without having to ponder it, do you truly know the answer?

So often we focus on the negative sensations we experience in the body – symptoms of stress or anxiety, symptoms of a health condition, or symptoms of something we don’t know the cause of.

That’s because these symptoms are pretty good at and making themselves known. Headaches, back pain, joint discomfort, digestive problems, insomnia, stiffness… They’re hard to ignore!

And, it’s perfectly natural to notice discomfort and pain – it’s our body telling us something needs attending to. Read more…