Anybody else out there feeling stressed?
How does stress manifest in your body? For me, it’s tension in my right shoulder that is instantaneous. It quickly morphs into head tension and the grumpiest of grumpy feelings. I notice myself becoming agitated, more reactive, and less tolerant of others.
Some of the women I’m talking with about managing stress say things like:
-I’m eating all of the time
-I can’t eat
-I can’t turn my brain off to go to sleep
-I could sleep all day
-I’m pissed off all of the time
-I’m lashing out at the people I love
-I’m experiencing panic attacks
-My anxiety is through the roof
I feel you.
Who could have predicted, when all of this started, that 2.5 months later, we’d still be living with such uncertainty? Who could have foreseen our small businesses and churches being closed, sports and recreation being cancelled, schools shut down, with the vast majority of us pivoting to work from home?
We are living in unprecedented times.
We need tools to take us through the overwhelm. Yes, through it.
The only way past something is through it.
The tool that I’m most drawn to to move through emotions is meditation. As I said, I’ve not been in a good place lately. My mind is chattering away and I feel like I’m losing ground. The only thing that can bring me back to peace is meditation.
Please know that meditation doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s not about the right cushion, perfect candles and background music, a shrine of crystals and sage. Meditation is simply sitting quietly with your thoughts, allowing them to pass by without fixation.
So many times my students will resist meditation at first because they think it’s about shutting off the mind. It’s really no such thing, nor could it be. It’s not possible to turn the mind off. Meditation was once explained to me like this:
Think of your thoughts going by like cars whizzing by on a highway. Just because they’re passing, it doesn’t mean you need to jump into each one. You can allow them to pass and let them be.
It’s the same thing with meditation.
“Oh. There’s a thought. There’s another. And another.”
I can let them glide by without jumping on the bandwagon with them.
If you’d like to experiment with meditation, here are some tips to get started:
-Keep your eyes open softly gazing at the floor or close them
-Consider using a mantra or a sentence over and over. One of my favourites when meditation is new to you is; “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
As the mind wanders, bring it back to the mantra. You could also try something like ” I am perfect health.” “I am peace.” or whatever fits.
Meditation doesn’t have to be fancy. I just has to be.
Blaise Pascal (a famous French philosopher) is credited with saying;
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,”
Once you allow yourself to settle into a regular practice of sitting daily – be it for 5 minutes – 15 minutes – or 50 minutes, you’ll come to crave that little space in your day to quiet your mind.
Some of the benefits of meditation include:
-clarity of mind
-a reduction in anxious feelings
-healthy blood pressure levels
One of the tools that I use to in conjunction with meditation is essential oils.
Because they work within the limbic system or emotional centre of the brain, they can provide calming relief in times of stress. Combined with meditation, they have an incredible power to create a shift. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
What I’m loving now is doTERRA’s yoga collection, consisting of 3 blends perfect for meditation.
Arise – helps you to rise up and meet your life. Arise encourages acceptance of all parts of your soul.
Anchor – offers steadiness in times of upheaval and uncertainty. Anchor encourages you to walk the path before you with faith and courage.
Align/Affirm – calls the soul back to centre. This blend helps to shift heavy energies and facilitates feelings of love, openness and trust.
I don’t know about you, but I sure could use some of that in my life. Especially now.
Grab your own yoga collection here to get started.