In honor of International Peace Month – Today’s good news story is more new science on Alzheimer’s prevention! That should give us some peace of mind…
August has, thus far, not been a month that we can describe using the old term “Dog Days of August.” As I write this, I am wearing my fleece jacket over two Yoga shirts because I refuse to turn on the heat in my Yoga studio. I know we used to complain about the heat of August sometimes, but can we please have it back – just for a little while?!
There is a lot going on this month in the world. In the US, the number of COVID cases are on the rise again. In some states, mask mandates and social distancing are back and the possibility of no large indoor events is on the horizon.
These statistics are causing more anxiety in many of us. Most of us were happy that some restrictions had eased, and hopeful of an end to this epidemic, but that is not happening as quickly as we hoped. More people are getting sick and dying, and lots of families are worried.
August is also international peace month and the best way to bring peace to the world is to start much smaller, with ourselves. The more peaceful we are, the more we can spread some of that peace around. So, let’s begin with us.
We all know that being anxious and worried lowers our resistance to viruses, but how do we keep calm in this storm that is COVID?
Here are a couple of quick ways to lower our anxiety levels without a lot of effort:
- Breathe, grasshopper, breathe. I know it’s difficult to remember to use EFT (tapping), or a Yogic breathing practice to lower our stress when we’re “in the moment,” but we’re breathing anyway, so why not take a few deeper breaths? This is a simple tool, yet powerful. Deeper breaths help to lower our blood pressure and focus our minds. When we concentrate on deepening our breaths for a minute it will be easier to take whatever steps we’d like to further reduce our anxiety.
- EFT (tapping) is great for reducing fear, anxiety, worry, and much more, but again, when we’re in the midst of an anxious moment, a full tapping routine is most likely out of reach. We can, however, simply tap on the collar bone points which are on the inside edge of your collar bone on either side, or the thymus point (tap the top center of the breast bone). Just keep tapping until the anxiety level gets down to about a 2 or less on a scale of 1-10.
Once we are a bit calmer, we can then go into our meditation, or a breathing practice to reduce that stress even further.
A regular meditation practice can keep us on a more even keel throughout our day, no matter what’s going on around us. I encourage everyone to find a practice that works for YOU!
There is a meditation practice that has been shown to improve memory and concentration, as well as quickly reduce anxiety, called Kirtan Kriya. Kirtan Kriya is not like other meditations where the goal is to sit in stillness. During Kirtan Kriya, we sing, visualize, and use a hand mudra. We keep our mind occupied with all of these things, plus we are making new pathways in our brains by using more than one sense at a time. Singing, moving our fingers in a pattern, and visualizing all at the same time is good for our brains!
And, here’s a video where I both explain further and demonstrate some of the above tools. Enjoy!
Best of Health,