Calm is infectious & empowering,
Anxiety is infectious & destructive
Our energy, your energy, my energy impacts & affects others. When we watch people laugh, we laugh with them. I have cried & cried with laughter watching the famous clip from the legendary duo, Laurel & Hardy, when Stan cannot speak or sit up for laughing, it is totally infectious & such a fine example of another person’s energy affecting our energy. The other side of this is the “energy vampires”, when people have the ability to suck our enthusiasm, hope & happiness right out of us.
The above examples are a great ways for us to see how infectious joy & laughter is & the same can be said for calm energy & anxious energy.
Energy is felt, we are energy.
We are 6/7 months into the Covid 19 global pandemic & the uncertainty lingers. Rules & guidance is constantly changing & this pro-longed exposure to feeling unsafe can take its toll on our emotional & mental health. Personally, I often feel overwhelmed.
Our freedom has been really impacted, to meet family & friends, to talk (without a mask), to watch films, go to theatres, listen to bands, go to festivals & watch musicians play.
To listen to music live, to be with like-minded people in these creative gatherings feeds our soul.
We can accept that for now, there is a new version of our life?
And, can we manage the fear differently?
Can we find any calm in the midst of this & allow that to spread instead of fear?
So, what is this calm thing? Can we help each other if we all feel calmer?
I feel I could include a Brene Brown quote into everything I write or talk about & to quote her here, from her podcast Unlocking Us,
Brene describes a calm person as someone who “brings perspective into a complicated situations” & has “the ability to manage complex emotions”
She always nails it.
So how can we find our way to calm?
Limit the News Feed
I do this & have done for a few years now & it massively helps. I used to go to bed crying (seriously) as I struggled to remove & process the images & injustice from my head that I'd seen on the news.
Maybe scan the headlines online & only once a day? I believe that we cannot process the volume & distressing news content that we are presented with multiple times as day.
Once you have limited your exposure…the next step is to….
I don’t think I will ever not urge you to start meditating.
Let’s dispel some myths & stereotypes about meditation as it only adds a block between you & calm I hope you will find it to be such a powerful tool in your life.
Ok, so your mind will wander – this is normal & this is why I recommend a Mantra – a tool for your mind to attach to instead of your thoughts.
I meditate every day & do so in a chair, not on the floor, not crossed legged & only slightly levitating..
I use a simple silent mantra (So-hum) & the majority of the time I dance from “thought to manta, mantra to thought” but…..
& this is so important, the benefits are found outside of meditation.
When you start to practice, try to cultivate a softer approach to meditating, by that I mean, avoid any expectations of the time you spend meditating.
I often say the phrase “it is what it is” & it helps me to drop expectations of what my meditation should be like or to look for an experience as these are all actions of our mind.
We need to meditate now more than ever. And it is this that will be your ticket to calm-city.
I use & love the app, https://insighttimer.com/
It has a timer setting so you can do a 5 minute or 20/30 minute meditation or more without having to check your watch or phone for the time. I have mine set with a lovely chime to end the meditation & there are lots of beautiful free guided ones too.
Get into the habit of taking 1 slow breath into the belly before you respond in a stressful situation or if the person you are talking to is unloading a lot of their fear.
This 1 slow breath will allow you to respond & not react. It will give you a sense of control & interrupts the usual constriction & tightening of your muscles when facing anxious situations or people.
This 1 breath is your gap. Your window of perspective.
Now you have a precious moment, a precious moment to process & consider your response.
Fear breeds fear, as we know. What is powerful here is that the fear could stop with you.
You have to opportunity to bring perspective & respond. Maybe that moment allows you the time to suggest a new perspective or approach?
Within yoga philosophy, it is said we are here to serve & help others. The cornerstone of yogic philosophy is "not to harm others & our-self " - Ahimsa. Your calm could be of service to anyone you meet throughout your day, it may end up helping someone who could be emotionally on their edge.
If you feel your place of work or work colleagues perpetuate feelings of fear & anxiety, take a look at my other blog about Anxiety at Work.
In my yoga sessions, I focus on the breath, get in touch if you would like to join my sessions on-line email@example.com
So there are just 3 steps to helping you work towards calm.
Limit the news, Meditate & Breath
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