Tag Archives: Anxiety

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…

Yoga for uncertain times

Stormy weather ahead
Stormy weather ahead!

One word, one date. Brexit, 24 June 2016. And a whole world of fear, anger, frustration, and incomprehension opens (…insert your feelings here!).

I’m still feeling shock, anger and fear from the UK EU Referendum result and the follow-on effects of the disarray at Westminster – the back-biting, back-stabbing and vacuum of power.

And I can tangibly sense the disbelief, worry, confusion, rage and fear that has spread through the UK (and beyond).

We’re living in uncertain times – wherever you are in the world. Read more…

My attempt to make sense of today’s UK EU Referendum result

I choose compassionAt 7am today I heard the news: the UK had voted to leave the European Union.

I felt sick. I felt shaky. I couldn’t quite believe it (although, sadly, part of me could believe it all too readily).

These last few hours I’ve felt all sorts.  A lot of anger – at the lies which had been told during the campaign and anger at people for believing them. I’ve called that 52% of the British public who voted leave stupid, narrow-minded and bigoted. I’ve asked my husband where shall we emigrate to, because I don’t want to live in this narrow-minded country anymore.

It’s been quite an emotional morning! I’ve felt sick, angry, ashamed and very judgmental.

But you know what? I don’t want to feel this way.

It’s always in our power to decide which thoughts to follow.

So I decided I wanted to try and understand what’s going on. Read more…

Are fear and anxiety a natural response to life?

Brain
Our highly sophisticated brain is always scanning for dangers in our environment

Now, there’s a claim. Fear and anxiety are a natural reaction to being alive?  Blimey, that doesn’t sound very positive does it?!

But if we delve a little deeper into this idea it makes a lot of sense – and empowers us to take control of how we react to life’s challenges.

It’s about the human being’s survival instinct.  Ancient (wo)man had to be on a constant state of alert to the very real dangers around them – being hunted by animals, attacked by other tribes, being on the lookout for poisonous berries, and venomous insects in their environment.

As our bodies are vulnerable (we don’t have sharp teeth or claws to attack, our skin doesn’t have protective covering of scales or fur) human beings have always had to use their mind to develop ways to protect us or defend ourselves.

Over thousands of years our brains have evolved into a highly sophisticated tool which is on a constant state of alertness. But over these thousands and thousands of years the threats to our existence have very much changed. Read more…

A simple tip to calm your mind

Let the stormy skies of your mind clear with relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Let the stormy skies of your mind clear

I can’t relax. I can’t switch off. My mind is constantly racing. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t sleep.

These are some of the common phrases I hear from my (new) yoga clients, as well as friends and family.

A feeling of being out of control. Feeling edgy. A feeling of foreboding. Mind skittery. Body tense and achey.

I know how it feels. I’ve been there. I remember many a night when I lay awake with that feeling of not being about to shut up my mind. Of it being in control of me. Of not knowing how to even start to make it quiet.

Take back control through your breath

But I want you to know that it IS possible to take back control of your mind. To find peace with your mind. To be able to release the thoughts and find ease.

And it all starts with your breath. Read more…

Four steps to let go of guilt and let yourself relax

guiltyFinally. You have 30 minutes with nothing scheduled.  Some precious me-time alone. Time where you can just do what YOU like. Ah lovely…

But then, you remember the bins need putting out. Ah, you forgot to answer that email. Hmm, you haven’t spoken to such-and-such for a while may you should give them a ring.

And you start to feel guilty for not getting on with stuff which “needs” doing.

Guilt strikes

Feeling guilty. It usually comes with an unhelpful dose of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. That nagging feeling you should be doing something else instead. The knot in the stomach. The tension in the head and shoulders. The chattering thoughts.

The guilt comes with an extra whack when we’re doing something just for ourselves. Some aspect of self care that we know we desperately need but we somehow find difficult to allow ourselves to have. Quite time away from the kids and family.  Time to go for a walk and get some fresh air at lunchtime to get out of the office and  away from the ever-refilling email inbox. Saying a gentle but firm “no” to looking after the grandkids at short notice when you had some me-time planned.

And we either cave into the guilt and prioritise others’ needs or the guilt consumes us and we don’t enjoy what we’re doing.

Sound familiar? Read more…

Breathe back to balance

Breathe here now - relax with calming yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Breathe here now.

You’re tense. Overwhelmed. You can’t think straight. You don’t know where to begin. You’re feeling irritable, frustrated – angry with yourself and the world! Tense jaw, shoulders and you’re barely breathing. You can’t focus.

Your life is out of balance. You need this to change.

I know how you feel, I’ve suffered from stress in the past myself and a tendency to anxiety is ongoing for me. Read more…