Techniques to lower Stress and Anxiety
Lowering stress and anxiety begins with our breath. After all, our breath is what denotes life or death. From our first breath to our last, we are considered a live being. People often state that it is with our first breath that our spirits enter our bodies and we begin this journey attached to a human body. Spirit form is often referred to as the ultimate freedom, while we human beings seem to be dealing with many types of stresses while living within a body.
This time of COVID is amplifying these challenges as humans face illness and possible death by exposure to a virus that cannot be seen and does not seem to be easily found by testing. This along with the changes brought about the limited interactions and social distancing practices have resulted in record levels of stress being experienced by most of us. Suicidal ideation levels in young people and adults have increased to an estimated rate of 25 % of young people contemplating suicide and 11% of adults considering this same destructive but permanent release from the body. The actual rates of suicide are thankfully not close to these numbers but even thinking of ending a life is a painful pathway to explore.
My goal is to help find ways to decrease the stress people are feeling today:
Conscious Breath-The first technique is to take in what is called a conscious breath. This means taking in a full breath way into the lungs and extending the breath into the stomach. Try imaging that the breath is coming in from all side of the body and from above and below the body. Keep breathing in until the body feels full. Then release that full breath out of the lungs but also out of your whole body. Imagine it leaving the body from all sides and all directions around the body. Repeat this exercise until the body relaxes. This allows us to feel connected to the energy around us and stimulates the body to relax.
Get out for even a 5-minute walk- once outside and moving our bodies return to a more natural state of being in fresh air and of movement. Walking and talking with a friend or singing and/or listening to music increases our feelings of connection to ourselves and to nature and to others.
Develop a new hobby of painting, drawing, writing, playing a musical instrument or anything creative. Allowing creativity to thrive teaches our bodies to stop the stress reaction and to move into a fun and productive mode of being.
Pet an animal or learn a new language. People who own pets live longer. Learning a new language stimulates the brain and helps prevent dementia.
Put on a yoga tape and start a yoga practice. Yogi’s are none to demonstrate a calm and peaceful energetic field.
Pray or mediate –this will raise your vibrational level so that you have some distance from the everyday challenges of life.
Let me know how these practices work for you and think about contacting me for a personal session for help during these times of COVID and uncertainties in the world.
- Janet Whitney, MA. LMFT.