Rested? Pondered over a cup of tea? Stared out of the window to watch the clouds? Stood and listened to birdsong? Went for a walk with no aim in particular – just for the love of it? Sat and let your feelings come and go with no judgement?
Recently? Not in ages? Never?!
If this isn’t something you regularly do, I’m not judging you! I know how difficult it can feel to pack into your days all the activities you need and want to do – let alone finding time to do nothing!
But … this do-nothing-in-particular time is actually really important.
And the fact it is usually overlooked and not allowed in our lives is contributing to the high levels of stress and anxiety as well as fatigue and niggly illnesses in modern life.
Why? Because rest is essential to bring our bodies and minds back into balance.
It brings our bodies out of the stress response which modern-day life puts us into, and into the relaxation response where our body can rest, digest and heal. Rest balances the nervous system and soothes the mind. Read more…
Busy, busy, busy. Are you addicted to busy? Out here, there and everywhere? Do you ever allow yourself time to rest?
Or, maybe it’s an internalised feeling of busy that you can’t stop, you can’t slow down. A feeling of over-stimulation from all the thoughts and feelings and images and memories and plans.
That’s the busy that gets me. Take my sensitive easily aroused nervous system taking everything in from my environment and processing it all, and add to it all the thinking and feeling and, blimey, do I need some quiet-time!
Trouble is that quiet-time can become another opportunity for your mind to work on the to-do list can’t it?
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…
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…
Someone recently asked me, “how do you shake off the guilt when you stop and relax”?
A very good question that got me thinking…
I’d posted a message on my Facebook page from Action for Happiness “Stop the Glorification of Busy” with the advice “It’s OK to give yourself permission to stop and do nothing. In fact it’s ESSENTIAL for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. So go on … be a radical and give yourself time just to be…”
But yes, it’s one thing having time to relax, it’s quite another allowing yourself to relax isn’t it? 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.
How do you get comfortable? No matter which way you sit the ache is there, the tingling, the throbbing, the snatching…
Whether it’s an annoying niggle or an ever-present ache or a pain which comes and goes, back discomfort/pain can be energy-sapping and nerve-fraying (I know, I’ve been there!)
The underlying discomfort is made worse by the feelings of anxiety and frustration that your body isn’t behaving itself, or maybe feelings of fear that the pain may strike at any moment and leave you temporarily incapacitated.
There are two ways yoga helps back discomfort/pain. Read more…