It’s an all-too familiar feeling for me: tingly hands and feet, spaced-out and foggy mind, and a racing heart. Physically, I’m fine. My brain, though, is convinced that the world is coming to an end.
Anxiety sucks. Anyone who’s dealt with it knows that. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to manage it, including mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. In fact, a recent study shows that mindfulness can be just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating anxiety and depression.
That’s one of the reasons I teach. I’ve seen the power of these practices in my own life, so I know this stuff works. I love sharing it with other people, and some of my favorite moments as a teacher have been hearing back from students who let me know they’ve used these techniques and felt better.
Here’s one of my favorite practices for getting into my body and steadying myself:
- Sit on the floor if it’s comfortable (you can also do this in a chair or in bed).
- Press your hands against the floor or your thighs. Feel all the points of contact between your body and what supports it. Let yourself feel heavy.
- Once you feel grounded, place one or both hands over your heart. Feel the rise and fall of your inhales and exhales without trying to control or slow them. Continue to breathe, just noticing how it feels.
- Feel your heart beating under your hand. Just like your breath, don’t worry about the rate, just notice its steady rhythm.
- Cycle your attention through these three sensations: grounding, breath, heart. See if that helps you let go of some tension and clear your mind.
I’ll be teaching a four-week series in June, with a focus on helping you release tension, get grounded, and quiet your mind.