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.
Finally. 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.
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.
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…
Ah, Christmas, lovely Christmas. Full of joy, full of sparkle, full of giving.
Full of panicked shoppers, full of to-do lists a mile long, full of demands on your time, full of making polite conversation at parties and socials with colleagues and semi-acquaintances and relatives you haven’t seen all year… Read more…
Fight, flight or freeze? Which one is your go-to reaction to stress and anxiety?
In our pressurised lives and busy, over-stimulating culture each and every day our body and mind is constantly bombarded with physical, emotional and mental stimuli – information, time demands, unexpected events…
Whether it’s constant deadlines, an over-flowing email inbox, an over-bearing boss, the daily commute, hearing your child is ill at nursery, looking after ageing parents, hearing/reading about injustice and violence in the news.
And add to this the more nebulous psycho-social pressures and fears which gnaw away about the state of the economy, your finances, your job, losing your home, fear of missing out, comparing your life with others’ …
… all of these provoke a stress response from your body.
And if you’re particularly sensitive to your surroundings and what’s going on around you and find it difficult to relax and unwind then your body’s stress response will more quickly tip you into feeling overwhelmed … and keep you there. Read more…
The to-do list is too long. The emails keep coming. That oh so 21st century phenomenon of FOMO (fear of missing out) is gnawing at your soul.
There’s so much going on in your life that you’re not getting chance to give yourself that precious quiet, me-time that you know in your bones that you need to keep functioning, let along enjoy life!
I know how you feel. Putting pressure on yourself to do everything and do it perfectly and do it now. To read every interesting book, follow up every interesting article on social media, to just be Ms Perfect.
And I know where it leads. To overwhelm. To a feeling of nervous-system overload and exhaustion. To a mind which can’t focus, a digestive system which can’t digest, and a body which can’t rest. Read more…
Your mind is whirring. Jumping from this place to that. You’re finding it difficult to focus.
Your jaw is tense. Your shoulders are up around your ears. There’s a feeling of contraction and tightness throughout your body. You’re barely breathing.
You’ve got that familiar feeling of not being quite able to put your finger on what’s wrong. An uncomfortable feeling you’re forgetting something; that you’re missing out on something; that something bad is going to happen; that you’re just not going to be able to get everything done that you need to.
Your to-do list is a mile long, and as soon as you cross one thing off another three get added! There’s always something to do, someone to speak to, some problem to sort out, some deadline to meet; some occasion to go to; some fun to be had… The list is (seemingly) endless.
And if you do manage to make some precious quiet-time for yourself, then your whirring, busy, planning, judging mind seems to get even louder! Frustrating!
So many people who come to my yoga classes tell me that they find it difficult to switch off, or, at the other end of the spectrum they’re so exhausted by all the busy-ness they just fall asleep as soon as they lie-down for the guided relaxation. Read more…