These feelings have affected most of us throughout this year of pandemic and often has taken its toll on our mental health – depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, can’t be bothered to work even when we have so much time, can’t be motivated to exercise or do yoga. Guilty that we should be grateful for what we DO have but just can’t summon up positive feelings.
Because this situation has gone on and on, it has put our sympathetic nervous system into a state of alarm for a prolonged period, when really it should only act as an alarm system for our bodies to tell us when we are in danger.
Prolonged tension caused by all this worry and anxiety about the state of our lives and the world literally ‘fries’ our nervous system according to Laurie Santos, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Yale University.
The result of this is negative impact on our emotional state but also physically impacts negatively on our immune system, our digestive system and our musculoskeletal system – so you get colds, indigestion and abdominal bloating, back pain, headaches and can feel stiff and achey too often.
However, there IS something you can do to help – that is to wake up your parasympathetic nervous system which works to calm us down.
How Do You Do That?
Breathe ….and focus on that breathing …… Simple as that!
Deep breathing is the thing that activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Deep breathing that takes in air right down to the abdomen followed by slow exhalation – just for 2 -3 minutes is enough to calm your whole body. BUT you need to concentrate ON the breathing while you are doing it – you can’t let your mind wander to other things in order to get the most out of this exercise!
A team of psychologists at Harvard found that we spend around 40% of our time allowing our minds to wander and not focus on what we are doing. Not good for the job we are supposed to be focussing on or the person we are supposed to be listening to and not good for our brains … which are made to do far too much work and that leads to all that emotional fatigue.
But we can train our minds NOT to keep doing this – it is just like training our muscles.
How Do We Do That?
Meditation is a great way. And, don’t think “That sounds too arty farty for me” or “I don’t have time for that” – it doesn’t have to be – don’t worry!
Meditation acts as an interrupter. When the mind goes over and over a situation because it is unable to find adequate resolution, it needs to be interrupted, and meditation serves this purpose.
By focussing on the breath which is ever changing and only exists in the present moment, the mind can learn to stand still and relieve the emotional chaos.
You have the ability to make meditating feel as normal as, say, making a mid-morning cup of coffee! In fact, you can make the coffee and meditate too!
If you need some help to get going, why not join the online live meditation sessions at www.aerodynamicyoga.com on Saturdays at 11am. Biscuits are optional!
Deep Tissue Massage is also a great help to relieve stress and we are delighted to tell you that Heather in the Studio under Avenue Clinic in Target Health Group hopes to open her doors for massage on or after April 12th 2021 and you can email to make an appointment to email@example.com
And, of course, if your joints are aching then a couple of treatments with the chiropractors will work wonders for helping you to stop slouching and feeling like you just can’t get going.
We look forward to helping you to kick start your new year soon and helping you to feel more positive and motivated – just give us a call!