3 Ways to Release Anxiety (That You Haven’t Considered Before)

3 Ways to Release Anxiety (That You Haven’t Considered Before)

Though anxiety is one of the most common emotions in our society, there is a physicality to it (shortness of breath, pounding heart, sweaty palms) that makes this feeling big, scary, and tricky to handle.

The fight-or-flight response helped our ancestors survive daily life across the ages, and is biologically programmed into our minds. Modern times don’t require this response, however, and anxiety can become debilitating when we are really just trying to manage our weekly routine.

Here are three ways you can begin to release the grip of anxiety on your mind and body.

1. Give anxiety a welcome mat.

Most of us try to deal with anxiety by either resisting it (pretending like we aren’t feeling anxious), reacting to it (running around frantically or yelling at family), or avoiding it (disconnecting altogether by over-eating, drinking too much, or watching marathon sessions of TV).

Feelings show up in your body to tell you something. Denying the emotions that you’re having, i.e. feeling anxious, is tantamount to denying your own personal reality. You can’t listen to the lessons from your body if you’re busy refusing the experience.

Lean in and accept what’s true in your body in this moment. From the space of acceptance, you can operate more calmly and clearly.

2. Treat anxiety like an ugly suitcase.

Sometimes, anxiety comes along for the ride. No matter how you’ve tried to calm yourself, anxiety is still there. In this case, I say carry it if you must, but own it. Don’t let it own you.

Just like Eckhart Tolle says, “Worry pretends to be necessary,” anxiety pretends to be in control. All of your emotions are created by the thoughts in your head, which means anxiety is created in your mind. Anxiety does not have the power to overwhelm you without your permission.

Just remembering that you are, in fact, in charge and can consciously direct your thinking is significant. Carrying through on that when anxiety shows up is really powerful work.

3. Use anxiety as a superpower.

We all have our own particular handful of situations, fears, or stressors that cause anxiety to flare up. Get to know these triggers intimately. These are bread crumbs along the way of getting to know and understand yourself better.

When you consider anxiety as a guide instead of a demon, it becomes your superpower. When does anxiety arrive? What patterns do you have around anxiety? What is anxiety trying to steer you towards or away from?

Becoming your own compassionate witness will allow you to leverage your powers for awareness and consciousness around who you truly are.

Anxiety does not have to be your enemy. Learn to acknowledge it and embrace it as a resource and guide for building on your consciousness, self-care, and personal strength in times of adversity.
Written by Kelly Hanlin-McCormick
Information taken from – www.doyouyoga.com

 

Trouble relaxing in Shavasana?

Trouble Relaxing in Shavasana? Here’s a Simple Practice that Can Help

What if you can’t relax—even after lying in the corpse posture for ten minutes? Unwinding is easier said than done—especially when you’re hyped up on coffee, negative emotions, hectic schedules, looming exams.

Maybe you know this scenario: your body is settled in shavasana, but your mind is up and running—fighting traffic, or revising a fight you had with your husband (this time, you win). Vaguely, you visualize your breath sweeping from your head to your toes and up again, but mentally you’re miles away. At some point, you stop drifting and notice: your abdomen is locked, your hands are clenched in fists, and your shoulders are hiked up to your ears. What happened?

The problem is that you’re going through the motions with a hyperactive mind. As a result, you can’t give the relaxation process the attention it needs to work its magic. The key to success? Focus on the breath. According to the yogis, it’s the bridge between body and mind. Chances are, if you focus on breathing slower, deeper, and without pause, you’ll quiet your mental chatter and calm your nervous system. Then your mind and your muscles will surrender naturally.

The Practice

Start over: Lie on your back in shavasana (the corpse posture) with a cushion under your neck. Place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest. Before you have a chance to think, tune into the movements of your body as you breathe. Notice the feeling of your breath emptying your lungs as you exhale, and filling them as you inhale.

Next, check to see if your chest is moving. If so, relax your rib cage and focus on breathing solely with your abdomen. Let the inhalation and exhalation be approximately equal in length.

Gradually deepen the breath and slow it down: On your next exhalation, gently engage your abdominal muscles and push a little extra air out of the lungs. Then, let your abdomen rise slightly higher as you inhale.  (It might be helpful to count your in and out breaths in even ratios—starting, perhaps, with 3:3, then moving up to 6:6—whatever is within your comfortable capacity.) Focus on this exercise for several minutes.

Then begin to weave the breaths together, reducing and smoothing out the pause between inhalation and exhalation.  Work with this practice for a few more minutes. As you settle into deeper breathing, your thoughts will begin to fall away as you embrace the present moment with a sense of comfort, peace, and ease.

When you are ready to come out of shavasana, bring your revitalized breath (and nervous system) with you. Roll onto your left side and stay there longer than usual  (don’t pop up, give yourself a head rush, and run blindly to your next destination). Take several of the same slow, deep, unpaused breaths here. Then sit up slowly and prepare to greet the world.

 

Excerpt taken from:  www.yogainternational.com AUGUST 26, 2015    BY SHANNON SEXTON

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is a slow, stretchy practice where we aim to stretch not just the muscles but also the fascial connections of the body.  Yin Yoga allows us to access the deeper tissues such as the connective tissue and fascia and many of the postures focus on areas that encompass a joint (hips, sacrum, spine). It is perfect for beginners and anyone who does a lot of cardio and weight lifting to help with increasing flexibility and calming the nervous system.

Some of the benefits of Yin yoga are:
  • Calming and balancing to the mind and body
  • Regulates energy in the body
  • Increases mobility in the body, especially the joints and hips
  • Lowering of stress levels (no one needs that)
  • Greater stamina
  • Better lubrication and protection of joints
  • More flexibility in joints & connective tissue
  • Release of fascia throughout the body
  • Help with TMJ and migraines
  • Deeper Relaxation
  • A great coping for anxiety and stress
  • Better ability to sit for meditation
  • Ultimately you will have a better Yang practice.

Yin is a great compliment to other styles of training and your own personal life, because it brings long periods of time in an uncomfortable position, which then asks you to learn to “be” to “accept what is” in that given moment. Something we can all benefit from in our daily lives.