4 ways to overcome restlessness, fear and anxiety
There are days when we wake up and feel demotivated. We question our purpose, why we are here and could feel that there isn’t much meaning to any of this. During these times we are not aligned. Not aligned with our hearts. These are the times when restlessness, stress or fear might be creeping up and without a doubt all our energy is in the mind. On the contrary, when we tap into the wisdom of the heart, there are no doubts, everything is calm and clear. We realize that first and foremost our purpose here on earth is to experience the now fully. To be present, to share and to connect. To learn the lessons that each moment is generously offering us, if we have the stillness to notice and listen. How present are you in your everyday life? Or are you too busy anticipating the future or worrying about the past? It sounds easy….or possibly too simplistic, that our purpose is to be fully present. But actually it is one of the most difficult things we can achieve. This is the path of mindfulness and what every spiritual teaching attempts to communicate. Here are some techniques to help centre you, so you can reconnect with your heart, rid fear and anxiety and become fully present so that you can experience the beautiful unfolding of life: 1. List Three Good Things Every Night This is a gratitude practice rooted in Positive Psychology, where you list three good things that happened during the day. Focus on things that went well during the day, things you enjoyed and appreciated. Remember to include a short sentence on why this was the case and how the situation made you feel. Example: “I received a nice email from my client Jane, she expressed how happy she is to be working with me. Its so rewarding to see that my work is being acknowledged. I felt uplifted and motivated.” TIP: Buy a journal especially for this and keep it next to your bed so that you don’t forget. The practice of writing (as opposed to doing it on your phone) has a bigger impact, as it can be healing and cathartic. This gratitude practice will surely elevate your mood, open your heart and help decrease stress and anxiety. As an empath this was a lifesaver for me! It helped me to manage my mood swings and contributed in reprogramming my thought processes to focus on the positive and all the good I have in my life. I can’t recommend it enough! 2. Practise Loving Kindness Meditation This is a meditation practice that originates from Buddhist teachings, whereby you cultivate a feeling of love in your heart and then you extend wishes of loving kindness to different groups of people (i.e. “May you be happy” / “May you be healthy”). As with the gratitude intervention above, this is also scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve your mood. It also helps in moving the focus from the mind to the heart. A research study I did, whereby I created my own meditation program, which included Loving Kindness, fear of uncertainty decreased, while authenticity and hope increased. 3. Visualise your heart opening and softening When you are consumed by stress or fear, notice your body’s physiology. It has contracted and you feel constricted and small. This reaction leads to supressed emotions in the body, tension and stress. Your heart has most definitely closed. The good news is you can reverse this with the power of mindfulness and intention. Start by straightening your back, lowering your shoulders and opening your chest. Now visualise your heart opening and softening. You can do this by picturing your heart opening like a beautiful flower. Imagine that the flower is turning in a clockwise movement and is emanating a soothing white light. By doing this, you are opening your heart chakra and you are softening up to whatever it is you are experiencing. This technique will help release supressed emotions, tension and stress. “Eventually it will become quiet enough so that you can simply watch the heart begin to react, and let go before the mind starts. At some point in the journey it all becomes heart, not mind. … The mind doesn’t even get a chance to start up because you let go at the heart level.” ― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 4. Practise Heart-centred breathing When you feel overwhelmed, place your hands on your heart and think of someone you love dearly. An uncomplicated love….could be a child, your partner or even a pet. Focus and send your breath to that area and you will start feeling a warm tingling energy emanating from your heart’s centre. By doing this you are consciously moving your focus from your mind to your heart. This will decrease anxiety and giving you a feeling of inner peace and calmness. If you practice the above consistently you will notice your mood stabilizing and improving, fear and anxiety will start diminishing, while you will find it easier to be present and fully experience the now. The practice of grounding is where you walk barefoot on the earth’s surface and electrons are transferred from the earth to your body. This has numerous scientifically proven health benefits such as reduction of inflammation, stabilization of cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and improved sleep. Grounding helps us to centre ourselves and recharges the life force energy within, reminding us of our sacred connection with nature.