Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fear, Doubt, and Worry Controlling Your Life? Time for Courage, Power and Strength!

The brain, it is theorized, is set up evolutionarily to be more in tune with negative input - stressful events, scary scenarios, ruminating worries - all seem to settle into the mind with ease.  Positive feelings of strength, power, courage and confidence take more work.  This is thought to be an evolutionary holdover from the days when we needed to be very wary of our environment - from weather to wild animals and other dangers, it was important for the brain to pay attention to scary things- to record and track all events that seemed to have danger involved.  We don't have those same needs anymore - no more saber-toothed tigers hiding behind the trees, or a need to track and understand weather patterns, so we can tell when a big storm is threatening.  However, we still have that brain.  It is still paying attention to danger.  This makes it better at attending to those things it considers threatening - bills piling up, relationship challenges, difficulties at work, etc.  Now, our thoughts are scarier than the external world!

I have heard that for every negative thought, you have to think of 2 or 3 positives to equal things out.  While the math may not be so exact, in theory, this is correct.  We have to try harder to get the brain in tune with all of our strengths and less in tune with the scary stuff around us.

1)  Breathe:  Let's begin with a breath that announces victory!  Ujjayi breath translates to victorious breath.  This is sometimes called the Darth Vader breath.  I think it sounds like the sound of the "ocean" when I put a shell up to my ear.  Try the breath with help from this video:  http://www.yogajournal.com/video/video/ujjayi-breath-learn-yoga-breathing-technique/

2)  Meditate:   Hold palms upward on the knees or thighs. As you inhale, breathe in strength, power, courage, confidence.  As you breathe out, release any barriers – worry, fear, anxiety, doubt, frustration.  Say the words, "I bring in courage.  I release fear." Then, just breathe in strength, power, courage only.  Leave the negative side out and focus solely on the powerful statement and breathing it in.  At the same time, imagine the palms having powerful magnets pulling and attracting in the courage and confidence you seek.  Fill your internal space with these strong energies.  Stay as long as you like. 

3)  Relaxation:   Relaxation is the time when the mind and body build strength and grow stronger.  Muscles break down with exercise.  The mind gets worn and tired from thinking.  Giving yourself time to relax, builds strength and power in the mind

and the body.  Settle into a reclined position on the floor or bed.  Quiet the mind and focus on feeling the body completely relax.  As it does so, you will feel it seeming to melt into the surface beneath you.  Surrender completely to that melted feeling.  Quiet and still the mind.  Before coming out from the position, feel the renewal of strength and power physically present in the body and also in the mind.

4)  Cognitive Behavior Therapy:  Use the meditation above as a thinking exercise throughout the day.  Say, “I am strong and confident.” as you breathe in.  Say, “I release doubt and fear.” as you exhale.  Find the right words to fit your needs and repeat throughout the day – often!  Or, just keep breathing in the strong and powerful words alone.

5) Power Poses:  Headstand or handstand - these are considered the king and the queen of the asanas/poses!  If you are not ready for the full pose, there are ways to get there gradually, allowing your body to strengthen gradually until you are strong enough for the full pose.  

6)  Chant:  Jai!  Pronounce this chant as "J-uh-yee"!!!!  This is a victory chant.  Do a fist pump with it and feel like you are gaining on and winning over the fears and doubts that have been holding you back!  Repeat often.

Now, you are ready to gain control over those fears and worries and feel strength and confidence! Practice daily.  Questions?  Need assistance? Contact me:  circleofstoneswellness.com

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