Tag Archives: Anxiety

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…

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…