Good morning! Just got in some meditation and a quick yoga session before I technically start my day, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet shared a secret I learned a few years ago to deal with anxiety.
In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle tells us that worry “pretends to be necessary,” meaning that when we feel as if there is something going on that we don’t want to have happen, we think we should worry about it. Anxiety is often just excessive worrying. But if it becomes chronic and starts to interfere with daily activities, like sleeping, it moves into a different category and you begin developing anxiety. Looking back, I think that I was a pretty anxious child, which turned into an anxious adult. When life really got tough, I didn’t know how to deal with the stress that I was feeling, so I kept it in and carried on. As many of you know by now, chronic stress raises cortisol levels in the brain and wrecks havoc in your body.
So what can you do to manage the stressful times and calm the day-to-day anxiety? Yesterday, I was listening to a module from Integrative Nutrition and was reminded of how I started to improve my stress response. A few years ago I learned a breathing technique from Dr. Andrew Weil, founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He calls it the 4-7-8 Breath, and when practiced at least twice daily, it can make a significant difference in how you deal with and experience stress. Watch this video for a demonstration from Dr. Weil himself, and give it a try! Let me know what you think and how the 4-7-8 Breath has helped you!