This week has been a really interesting week for me, actually the last few weeks, and I want to talk about why because I think everyone needs a little bit of this.
Over the last few weeks, I have been noticing a lot of anxiety coming from people around me and not just people I know. I am an empathic person, it's probably the main reason I came upon the path I have for a career, and as an empath, I feel a lot of what's around me, I used to be greatly affected by it but over time have learnt how to stop that from happening. But anyway, I digress. So to the point, it has made me think a lot about my life and my past and if you know me, this comes as no surprise, but if you only know me as your Yoga teacher or perhaps we've never met, then you might not know the amount of anxiety I experienced in my teens and 20's and even some of my super early 30's (I'm still in the early '30s lol) I experienced a lot!!!! I won't go into the how or why just now (that's for something I have in the pipeline which I'm getting very excited about!) What I want to tell you all is that anxiety, these days, is rife especially for people in my generation and any of the younger ones and unfortunately most people don't even know they're experiencing it. It can be mistaken for tiredness, sickness or even simply given the label of stress, which it is, but people poo poo that label because it's thrown around so much.
So firstly, how can you recognise if you're suffering from anxiety? it doesn't have to be the big things like panic attacks, although that's a sure sign! Perhaps you're constantly run down? well, that's stress/anxiety causing it. Too much cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body actually lowers your immune system!
Maybe you're having trouble sleeping, dreaming all the time, and just feeling exhausted.
Maybe the little things get under your skin and you ruminate over them for hours!
any of these and more could be symptoms of anxiety and I really want you to recognise this and do something about it now.
You don't have to go to the doctors and get therapy, although I think that's great to do. You can make small changes, here are the ones I recommend.
The 8 Steps To Happiness
1. Less time on social media! This is the biggest even if you're not a social media junkie. It shows such a fake life that it's no wonder we can't live up to it! Try limiting your time and unfollowing anyone you feel doesn't support your happiness in life.
2. Breathe! This is huge, as big as lowering social media use. Take deep meaningful breaths whenever you can and as much as you want throughout the day.
3. Be present. By this I mean stop and smell the roses occasionally. Not literally, unless you have roses lol. Just stop and look around you sometimes, especially when you're out, the world is a beautiful place!
4. Be compassionate. First to yourself then to others. Perhaps try writing or meditating on a compassionate thought in the morning something like "I am enough" and then send a smile to a stranger in the day. I've now gone so far as to be compassionate to animals but that is because I naturally got there, I just realised one day that I couldn't be kind to myself if I was eating something that had experienced so much pain and this has had a HUGE impact on how I feel, but I'll leave that for another day.
5. Meditate. This doesn't have to be sitting cross-legged for 20 minutes (I don't do that) it could simply be sitting on the tube with your eyes closed and breathing for 5 minutes. or sitting at your desk and taking 10 deep breaths, focusing on that movement of your breath.
6. Get out in nature. I personally love to go to the woods, it's my super happy place but even if I can't do that I just like to go for a walk down the road. You can play music if you like but I actually like to just stay very focused on everything, including the loudness of London. I notice it less when I take the time to hear it. Sounds odd I know, but try it.
7. Write a journal. I used to do this every day when I was suffering very badly with anxiety but now I don't need to journal quite so deeply, instead, I just write little notes down on what I'm grateful for.
8. Exercise. This was my biggest relief in the beginning! it's why I got so into Yoga and it's why I teach it as I do now because I find the body responds so well to being taken to a point of physical challenge. If you make yourself stay in that challenge and surpass the urge to give up it's so rewarding! it's why I don't let you give up in class lol.
Even if you don't think you suffer from anxiety then do these things anyway, it's just good self-care and will give you so much more energy and love for yourself and others.
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