Stress is part of daily life. No matter who you are, where you come from or what path you are on. And it’s all relative. One person’s stress is another person’s walk in the park, right? Should we, or could we, judge another person’s stress by our own? Without first walking a mile in their shoes? I think not…
So, where am I going with this and what has it got to do with yoga? I’d like to think it’s about taking responsibility for our own stress and our own actions to as great an extent as possible. Here’s some tips I’ve picked up through my practice along the way, and ways you can apply to your own stressful situations.
Thoughts are thoughts. Don’t attach to them too much. Try labeling them; recognise them as thoughts and see if you can find space between the workings of the monkey mind and the rational truth!
Be in the moment. The multi-tasking myth comes to mind here and OK, sometimes it’s a case of having to multi-task! But learn to be disciplined – little tips like checking your emails every 20 minutes rather than when they ping in, turn off your phone when you can and give people your full attention. Give yourself permission to fully enjoy the things that are important to you.
Remember your breath! In Sanskrit we call this the prana (the life-force energy) – so much more appropriate don’t you think? Your breath is always there for you. Notice how when you feel stressed, your breath becomes shallow and irregular? Physiologically speaking, you have the power to bring balance to the nervous system by regulating your breathing.
Have a little patience. We call this loving kindness (Metta) in yoga terms. Firstly extending patience and love to yourself. Accepting yourself and learning to love who you are. For all that you are. We can then extend this loving kindness to others. Accepting them and letting go of any negativity or anger we hold towards them.