Stressed and anxious? Emotional? Holding on for your next holiday?
Then it might be time to look at how you can start bringing in a practise of mindfulness into your daily routine.
Did you know…
The American Medical Association (AMA) states that 80 percent of all health problems are stress related and can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, the Conservative Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 85% percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional aspect.
To treat any form of physical health related issue, we have to look at what stress is present within the physical body as well as the mind and the energetic and emotional bodies. Emotional wellbeing is at the core of our physical health.
So, what are emotions?
Put simply, emotion is energy in motion. Moving energy.
If you zoom in on the human body, you will see that fundamentally, we are actually a whole bunch of atoms which are made up 99% space and light (photon) energy. Although we cannot see this with our eyes, there is actually no distinct line between where we end and where the space around us begins. This means that there is no real separation between ourselves, other people and our environment. So when we feel something, we are feeling energy moving within our bodies. This could be from our environment or it could be something we are feeling from another person. There are so many options.
More often than not though, instead of simply feeling an emotion, we push it down because we don’t want to be seen expressing that emotion. This means that it becomes repressed in our body and if not released, creates tension within our body and mind.
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor states that “all emotions last for less than 90 seconds” and “if anything continues after that, it is because we have added our own story and chosen to hold on to the emotion”. Emotion comes and goes quite quickly and so if we are finding that we have emotion that is persisting, it is because we are choosing to hold onto it.
As a part of the work that I do as a Physiotherapist, I help people to learn how to sense and feel what’s sitting underneath the pain or symptoms that they are experiencing. And more often than not, it’s emotion. When the emotion is felt and expressed, the symptoms often go away (if the stimulus for the emotion is still there though, it’s possible that the physical symptoms could return). My work is helping people to develop an awareness of themselves somatically (self-awareness). The body acts as a messenger and the areas in which we hold stress are also the gateways to releasing that same stress. When we develop a level of self-awareness, and give ourselves the space and the environment in which to release the stress, it becomes easier to determine what we require in order to come back to a state of wellbeing. It is my job to create the space and safe environment for people to experience this.
Meditation and Breath
Meditation is an excellent tool for developing self-awareness. You can be lead by a practitioner such as myself, opt for an app such as insight timer where you can find guided meditations or try some techniques on your own. In this meditation video, I demonstrate a specific breathing style to assist in releasing repressed emotion held in the body. Often we don’t cerebrally know it is there, but a physical movement coupled with an intense breathing style helps to bring this emotion forward and release it.
The power of positive thinking
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become” Buddha
Our thoughts manifest themselves within our physical bodies. Think about a time where you have been worried about something so much it has made you physically unwell. Perhaps you have had to speak in front of a large audience or built yourself up to have a confrontational conversation. The mind automatically starts to go through all of the things that could go wrong, which means that our sympathetic nervous system (the part of our nervous system that is involved with fight or flight) starts to kick in. This can create nausea, anxiety and a stress response. The stress response can trigger the body to flood with inflammation often causing physical ailments. The fact that you can activate your body’s stress response simply by thinking means that you wield tremendous power over your physical state in every moment. Moreover, it means that you can literally manifest disease, or healing, by thinking.
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction.”
– R.C. Henry, Professor at Johns Hopkins University
Our thoughts are what create our feelings. Our feelings drive our behaviours and the choices we make in our lives. Therefore, in order to change our behaviours, we have to first change the way that we think.
Affirmations are a powerful way to reframe your mindset. “I am” affirmations in particular are the most potent. Did you know that our subconscious mind does not think in terms of past, present or future. If you affirm that you “want” something, then you get “the wanting” but you don’t really get the thing that you are wanting.
To get what you want, affirmations must be in present tense, such as “I AM happy” not “I want to be happy”.
Come and join Holistic Physiotherapist and Emotional Clearing Practitioner, Sigourney Weldon on a 4 week radical practical spirituality workshop series, starting March 18th at the A Life in Carlton North. During this 4 weeks, she will guide you through really SIMPLE tools and techniques that can be used to release both conscious and unconscious stressors from the body and mind. Why? So that you can become self empowered to manage your own stress levels and move through life with greater ease and flow.
We hope to see you there!