Suzanne Wylde, triyoga therapist, offers some simple yet effective techniques you can do at home to help tackle challenging and often stressful situations.
In times of uncertainty and upheaval we can face a mixture of strong and sometimes unfamiliar emotions. This can be especially tricky if we have never been taught how to work through these feelings in a conscious way and we can feel overwhelmed as if by formidable and invisible forces. Here, I will take you through a couple of the simpler techniques you can use even in the hardest times, to help you regain your footing and act effectively and authentically. If an exercise intensifies your feelings or you feel overwhelmed, take a break and try one that makes you feel more grounded instead.
Big yawn and stretch
- Have a big yawn and stretch.
- Now exaggerate it. Open your mouth really wide and make a sound as you sigh or yawn loudly.
- Repeat this as many times as you like, moving your body in the way that feels good to you.
Taking a moment to fully recognise how well you are doing
In this exercise, we’re going to say a short phrase to ourselves to acknowledge our worth and to feel self-acceptance and self-love. If the phrase seems too much or wrong you can change it – as long as it is still positive.
- Close your eyes, breathe deeply and in a relaxed way.
- Let a feeling of warmth and love grow in your chest and spread throughout your body.
- Say to yourself, “I am good, I am strong, I am enough” and breathe in and out slowly and deeply.
- If anything comes up to block that, just accept that part of you, whilst also knowing you can feel a level of self-love and self-acceptance also – there is space for both within you.
- Repeat the phrase “I am good, I am strong, I am enough” the number of times that feels right.
- Let the feeling of warmth, self-acceptance and self-love move around your body any where it is needed. It can even encompass difficult emotions or areas of your body you have a hard time loving.
- When you are ready to end the exercise, take a deep breath in and out and open your eyes.
The following exercise is one that you can learn now, but you will have to wait until the next time you feel tempted to act or speak in a way that you do not feel reflects your best self, to use it. Learning to create a space instead of an unkind word or act, can help us work through our own emotions cleanly and avoid pushing them onto others. This is especially important while seeing more of each other and helps us to improve our relationship with ourselves.
The reason this skill helps us to reduce our stress and anxiety is that, if we let those feelings come out in the wrong way, we may feel better in the short term, but in the long term the shame or guilt we feel as a result makes us feel even more stressed or anxious.
Allow yourself to stop doing, saying or thinking the thing you know does not reflect you at your best. Stopping mid-sentence, stopping a discussion or action – stopping doing anything that is not positive is always OK.
Within this pause you may need to leave a room, scream into a pillow, write in a journal, exercise or take a few deep breaths. Try to find the most effective way to channel the energy that is used to coming out in a negative way, into a positive, or at least neutral, direction.
Practise, experiment and, again, be kind to yourself.
You can do it.
I hope these exercises have helped you a little. It is worth bearing in mind that within every weakness is a strength, if handled appropriately.
For example, our anxiety may be related to artistic sensitivity, fear may lead to insight and preparation, worry may tell us what we care about. None of these things should have there ins, but all can be valuable in their own way. Similarly, the tough times we are going through can be helpful for increasing resilience and letting go of things that are not working for us.
I am offering coaching sessions with triyoga and have been enjoying helping people embrace the challenge of the time.
Suzanne has been involved in alternative health from the age of 16 when she began to practice tai chi and qi gong. She went on to study a five-year degree in Chinese medicine, gain experience in China and work both for the NHS and in private practice. At triyoga online, she is offering coaching sessions to help people embrace the challenge of the time.