Using Breathing to Let Go of Anxiety and Stress
Since we are going to be talking about Anxiety and Stress for 7 episodes, I think it is important to first take a look at the issue before we try to change it, so here is my question that I want you to contemplate: What is Anxiety and Stress?
Here is my answer, as I start with stress. To me stress is when we are rejecting, resisting, pushing away, or saying no to life. We may not like what someone said, we may not like our job, we may be angry at someone or how life has turned out for us, we may not like how we feel, we may think this should or should not be happening or that life is not fair. All of this is rejecting what is happening in life with some sort of mental/emotional resistance. Any level of resistance to life distances us mentally/emotionally from life, out of our body and into our thinking mind about our perceived unhappiness, and this distance, or dissociation causes stress because our mind, body, and spirit are our of alignment.
Anxiety is a byproduct of this stress, or rejection from life, as when we are disconnected from our body and in resistant thoughts, our attention is not focused on our body feelings/sensations, so we are not available to experience our feelings to allow them to process and naturally let go. This causes a build up of emotional energy like pushing an emotional beach ball under the water to put it out of mind, and sooner or later pressure builds up from pushing so many more under that they all suddenly explode to the surface with overwhelmment. If we simply were present to our body sensations and allowed them to be fully there and experienced, then stress would not build and anxiety could not exist.
We can use our breathing to re-calibrate our system back to an aligned and calm homeostasis. Our subconscious mind runs all of our automatic body functions (including our breathing), our survival systems, long term memory, emotions, and our creative imagination. We do not breathe relaxed and calm unless our mind perceives life as safe. We can use our conscious mind to connect a bridge to our subconscious mind by consciously overriding our automatic breathing cycle of stress. When we feel stressed, look around and assess if it is safe. If not make yourself safe. If it is safe, sit down and focus on breathing in slow deep breaths fully into your diaphragm. This may take some practice, but when you master this it will send the message to your mind that it is safe, and your mind will send the safe signal to your brain, and your brain will send the relaxed/harmony/growth signals to your body to relax.
As well, since stress and anxiety are caused by resisting and rejecting life, if we focus on our breathing and body sensations, allowing and accepting them, we are simultaneously allowing and accepting life rather than resisting it. This simply drops the whole resistance structure that supports stress and anxiety to exist, because they are a byproduct of resistance, and when we ALLOW what we feel, resistance simply falls away and lets go, and then we become available to our body feelings and intuition to guide us in life away from disharmony, and towards harmony. We can then consciously use feeling to co-create with life.
I will leave 2 questions for you to contemplate:
How does stress and anxiety manifest in your life?
Where in life do you resist?
NEXT EPISODE: Using Movement to let go of stress and anxiety.