It doesn’t matter.
The process is the same.
Have you ever tried to tell a friend or family member how helpful yoga or meditation can be? We get asked all the time how it helps. Here’s how:
(8 yoga practices at the bottom)
It doesn’t matter if you:
have trouble sleeping
feel anxious or depressed
get emotionally exhausted
have tight muscles that cause hip/back/knee pain
have chronic pain and stress
have frequent bouts of fear and doubt
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances.
Because everyone experiences stress and how you respond to stress impacts your entire system.
If you love the rush of anger, pain and tension. Carry on.
But if you avoid uncomfortable things, get anxious for unexplainable reasons, are sick from lack of sleep or tired from dealing with tension and pain. Then it helps to know what’s happening in your body and how a little practice and focus could help!
I know, some people will say their situation is unique. A rare case. Doctors are baffled. You’ve tried everything. It’s different. You probably are unique and fascinating so no offense but years of medical research indicate that your nervous system is somewhat predictable. (and even if you are rare, relaxation is always recommended with prescriptions)
Here’s what IS the same: Your nervous system is agitated.
When your nervous system is agitated for any reason, it releases EXTRA boosts of cortisol and adrenaline to help you survive. Great! Survival is good.
But if you’re actually not in danger, then you’ve just launched onto the hormone hamster wheel of: ‘what just happened, what’s about to happen, oh no, how do I go back, stop it, go forward?!’ All. the. time.
The cause is not the issue just yet. This isn’t counseling, it’s retraining the stress response. Let’s take a look at the process.
FEAR causes Agitation.
What if you could disrupt this process?
With a little FOCUS (focus on choices under stress)
Focused response occurs
Peaceful feeling remains
Your nervous system needs a signal that’s everything’s okay. And I promise you this…simply saying CALM DOWN is NOT the answer. In my 20s, if anyone told me to calm down, THAT ignited flames in my heart that wanted to set their hair on fire.
Of course I wanted to feel calm and peaceful!
But all I knew at the time was that I was usually uncomfortable, worried or afraid. I would get short of breath for no reason. I would start sweating and feeling like I was going to pass out and my limbs would go numb and I couldn’t talk because I was trying not to vomit. Yes, for some reason, my body was panicking. That was MY reaction, yours could be sleep issues, tension or pain.
Here’s why the circumstances don’t matter.
If you’re nervous system is agitated, regardless of cause, it needs a new signal. Something to focus on. Here are some useful options I’ve gleaned over the years from the yoga practice.
1. Hold still. Really still.
2. Close your eyes
3. Exhale slower, more often.
4. Repeat something comforting to yourself
5. Get into flow state more often
6. Talk to someone
7. Walk barefoot outside
8. Smile (with all your facial muscles, then relax them)
* if you want more info or scientific evidence of these, just ask.
These soothing moments create a few moments of peace.
And your system will remember that peaceful feeling.
An hour or so later it can still recall that peaceful feeling.
That’s why you feel great for hours and days after a yoga or meditation session.
It’s like brushing your teeth.
You clean them every day, twice a day, floss, rinse, swish, cleanings. And you do this forever.
Consistently. They don’t STAY clean and pearly, because … life.
Give your nervous system a rinse, a swish, a cleaning, every day, twice a day.
Consistently. It won’t stay smooth and pearly forever either, but at least twice a day it will feel calm and peaceful.
And unlike your teeth… your nervous system can store those peaceful feelings and reconnect with them when it needs to.
Your teeth can’t make themselves shiny again.
Nobody can do this for you. We provide the space, the tips, the techniques, the encouragement.
You just have to brush consistently.
Thanks for reading,
; ) Suzanne
- If you’re pregnant, or know someone who is, email us and we’ll send you a free PDF with more specific information on practicing yoga and easing stress while pregnant.
- If you want to sleep better, or know someone who does, here’s a link to a free guided meditation. You’ll have to download the app and it’s totally worth it. It’s free.
- If you want info for the next Yoga for Anxiety class in September, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org