Anxiety & Stress

Anxiety often creates a higher heart rate, distracted thinking, and fearful reactions.

Basic Tips

Slow heart rate with deep, mindful breathing. Lie in Savasana and slow down the metabolic rate. Listen to slow, beautiful music and visualize yourself in a slow steady dance with your heart.

Be more physical. Activate the heart rate.

Be slower.  Meditate. In other words, pay attention. Fast or slow, you can’t outrun anxiety.  It needs to be cared for and loved, not ignored.  If you don’t know why you’re stressed, then ask it why it’s here now?  What does it have to teach you?  What are its gifts?

Laugh….especially at stupid things. Force yourself with fake laughter at first.  Make a friend do dumb “ha ha” noises with you.  Take laughter Yoga. Watch ha ha movies.  You might be so stressed-out you cry. That’s good too.

Get a pet. Pet it. Treat it as you need to be treated.

Make time for massage. If you cannot see someone, do it on yourself, especially soles of feet, palms of hands, back of neck and head.  (Ayurvedic notes below for specific oils.)

101 Reminders: Avoid caffeine and sugar, both of which deplete the body.  Of course this goes for drugs, smoking, hours of TV, endless loud noise, and bad company.  Much as we might be addicted to these intoxicants, they take us down and compound anxiety. Go to sleep earlier in the night when possible, if insomnia attacks link to insomnia notes.

Learn basic information about the chakras. Learn to clear and clean them, which will balance the physical mind-body, which are just the tip of what’s going on below in the energy levels. Balancing the chakras brings hormones and therefore emotions into balance. ( Read “Energy Medicine” by Donna Eden; the ancients–Leadbeater, and A. Bailey.)

The body goes into stress when the short term issues of anxiety are not addressed, which activates the body into breaking down through various systems: digestion, high blood pressure, headaches, loss of appetite, and/or over-eating are a few first line of defense  functions.

For long-term, serious care, take a class in Pranayama, Yoga breathing techniques.

Often there are nutrient deficiencies, especially Vitamin B’s. Taking a B complex helps reduce damage to the immune system, improves brain function, and reduces anxiety

“Prescription For Nutritional Healing” by Dr James and Phyllis Balch.
“Spontaneous Healing” by Andrew Weil, M.D.
“Yoga and Ayurveda, Self Healing and Self Realization” by David Frawley

Basic Ayurvedic Tips for Anxiety & Stress

Anxiety is often associated with insomnia, and is a vata imbalance.  The following remedies pacify too much vata:

Warm bath of ginger and baking soda.

Drink almond milk.  Soak 10 raw almonds overnight, peel skins, place almonds in blender, adding 1 cup warm milk, add pinch of ginger, nutmeg & saffron.

For anxiety with a racing heart, drink a cup of fresh orange juice and I teaspoon of honey, with a pinch of nutmeg.

Give yourself a massage, or get one.  Do a trade.  Vatas use sesame oil, kaphas, corn oil, pitas use sunflower or coconut.  It’s most effective before bed, especially if you rub some in the scalp and soles of feet.

Meditate, focusing on the inhale & exhale.  Adding a soft chant such as “Aum” or “So-Hum” with each inhale-exhale is very calming.

In Ayurvedic medicine, feeling hopeless or helpless is dangerous because it deprives the immune system of support from Ahamkara, this is literally the ‘I am of a body, mind & spirit.’  “This ‘I’ that is mine has an indwelling voice, a fragment of Universal Soul, that is to be lived to its fullest if it is to repay the debt of receiving life.” * Dr. Robert E. Svoboda

Selected Yoga Poses for anxiety and stress.

For anxiety, opening the heart, feeling that you lift up into life is a great antidote:
Bhujangsana – Cobra Pose
Ustrasana – Camel Pose
Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
Matsyasana – Fish Pose
Bitilasana – Cow Pose and Marjaryasana-Cat Pose
Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose
Parivritta Janu Sirsasana – Revolved Triangle Pose                                                Supta Baddha Konasana

For Stress, often calming the body, pulling it back into its home, feeling the foundation, listening to the rhythm of the breath, helps to feel more in control, more present, and able to take the next steps.
Savasana – Corpse Pose
Salamba Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand
Halasana – Plow
Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Fold
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby
Uttanasana – Extreme Stretch or Forward Fold Pose
Janu Sirsasana-Head to Knee forward Fold
Pincha Mayurasana-Feathered Peacock Pose
Viparita Karani  and Viparita Dandasana-Supported
Adho Mukha Vrksasana~Handstand