Life in the time of coronavirus. We are living through a remarkably stressful time, with global scope and interventions unlike any health crisis we have ever seen. With so many rapid changes occurring related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are understandably feeling anxious and stressed.
Have you ever tried to hold someone else’s mind in your mind? Let’s do it together right now. Imagine that one of your good friends or close family members is having a good day. Maybe they had a big success at work, maybe they got a good report from their doctor, or maybe they just had one of those days where everything seems to go smoothly—ahhh, those days are nice when they come along, right?
Anxiety can take a perfectly lovely, intelligent, capable person and turn them into a cowering, fearful mess. In fact, anxiety is infamous for its tendency to grossly over-exaggerate potential danger. To make its point, anxiety will hijack your nervous system and convince you that your life is in immediate peril, even when it’s clearly not. That’s just not nice. I think we can all agree that anxiety is a pain-in-the-patootie.
What do you do when you feel intense upset, anxiety, anger, or despair? Many of us want to get rid of the unpleasant emotions as soon as possible because unpleasant emotions are, well, unpleasant. We may look for a quick fix that helps turn down the volume on the unpleasantness or distracts us entirely.
Welcome to my video blog this week. Today, I’ll be sharing another mindful breathing exercise. Breath practices can be a powerful way to modulate stress by helping to calm and sooth our agitated nervous system. This breath is called the strengthening breath but I call it the weird twisty breath.
Did you know that gratitude is good for your health? According to researchers, people who regularly practice gratitude have better heart health, sleep better, are more likely to exercise and eat healthfully, and are more resilient in terms of emotional wellbeing. That’s awesome, right?!
Will you try an experiment with me? Read the following paragraph and check back in with me afterward.
“You’re a total idiot. Why on earth would you do something like that? You’ll never amount to anything because you can’t get your s*** together. Pull yourself together and stop acting like a big baby!”
When we are experiencing stress or high anxiety, significant changes happen in our bodies and brains, which can leave us feeling uncomfortable in our own bodies. Breath practices can be a powerful way to modulate stress by helping to calm and sooth our agitated nervous system. One of my favorite breath practices is humming breath, also called bee’s breath in yoga.