exercise, health, stress, virus

We Can Win.

Facing the threat of the Coronna Virus we find ways to overcome fear and stress. Home isolation and social distancing increase the trauma for us all, but courageous people are fighting back in so many ways.

I am so glad so many found support and inspiration from these sessions of calmness and serenity.

The first blog post in this series explained the importance of correct dynamic breathing. It also took us through the proper breathing techniques for the health of the mind and body.

The second blog post concentrated on Awareness, which involved a short pleasant daydream. The reverie helped you become aware of your body and accept its sensations without judgment.

Now Session 3: RELAXATION

We have practiced the first two Pillars of the Breath and Awareness and can now enjoy taking control. 


There is a simple way to peace and calmness in your life. In these traumatic times, you can overcome the fear and stress. and also help lessen a dear relative’s or friend’s fear and anxiety.

First, let’s think about the word ’Relax.’  It’s all very well someone telling you to relax, but the big question is, ‘how?’. ‘How do I relax?’   What techniques can I use to become – relaxed? An easy way is to replace the word ‘relax’ with ‘loosen.’  The mind will readily accept that latter word.


LOCATION

Find a quiet time and place; maybe your loved ones will join you in this exercise. If not, find some small space. We live in a time of lockdown, so space can be sparse with a family around you. I can speak from experience as until eleven years of age I lived up in a one-bedroom flat with my parents, sister, and a lodger. So I know how precious space can be. So let us begin the journey to peace and serenity.

RELAXATION

Once you are in your quiet space, close your eyes, and breathe deeply using the belly breath.  Let all extraneous noises just fade away. Think of nothing but your Internal Dialogue, spoken within you not out loud. By the way, when you want to move, do so, don’t question it.

Once comfortably settled, breathe in using the belly muscles, and as you breathe out, say to yourself inwardly not out loud. ‘I am now loosening the muscles in my scalp. I am calm – relaxed – confident. Here you can now understand the word ‘relax.’ Now bring your attention to your forehead. Say the words inwardly, ‘I am now loosening the muscles of my forehead. I am calm – relaxed – confident. Let your thoughts drift down to your eyebrows, your eyes. On the out-breath say, ‘I am now loosening the muscles of my eyes. My eyes are relaxed. I am calm – relaxed – confident.  Remember to breathe in through the belly and on the out-breath. Now loosen your cheeks, say to yourself inwardly, ‘I am now loosening the muscles of my cheeks. I am calm – relaxed – confident.’ Now Let your mouth open slightly, letting your lower jaw drop loosening your chewing muscles. Say inwardly, ‘I am calm – relaxed – confident.’

Speak to the various parts of your body in the same way. the shoulders, upper arms …  elbows … forearms … wrists … hands. Be aware of your fingertips and loosen them, feel a sensitive pulsation under the skin. Do this for the rest of your body, your chest … diaphragm … belly. Be aware of the gentle rise and fall of your belly with your breathing. Now bring your attention to your buttocks … upper thighs … calves, ankles … feet right down to your toes. Do keep instructing your body using the repeat the words ‘I am calm – relaxed – confident after each section of your body. You are taking control of your body and your mind as you ‘loosen’ the muscles and instruct your mind with your Inner Dialogue.

Now bring your attention back to your spine and loosen up all the muscles in your back using the same methods.

Again, always remember to repeat the words, ‘I am calm – relaxed – confident.’

Now you have reached a state of calm and peacefulness, we can repeat our visualization exercise, used in the two former sessions. Imagine a scene that is pleasant to you, maybe the forest suggested in the photo above. Imagine you are entering the forest, see the sun dappling the path, feel the warmth of the air on your cheeks. If you wish, look up as you become aware of birds singing in the branches above you. See the vibrant color of their feathers.

In the distance, there is a quiet glade. You see a log, a comfortable place to sit in the sun. Become aware of the quietness of the forest; feel you are a part of that peace and serenity. 

If you fall into a slight slumber, that’s okay, enjoy it, as you will awake to feel refreshed and alert yet calm and serene.  


I hope you enjoyed this Third Pillar – ‘Relaxation’ Here you may cease judging as you become a parent to your mind and body. You can begin  to love yourself as you experience a depth of calm and confidence through using your own mind and body, your Self.  As this happens, so that love flows out to others without judgement.

Do practice. Years ago, I needed to find peace within myself. These techniques worked for me. The Fourth Pillar, dealing with ‘Positive Thinking’ – ‘Releasing the Negativity’ is coming soon. If you liked this post, please visit my website. Love, Katy

Katy Walter’s Website

corona, covid-19, exercise, health, stress

Breathe Away Your Fear and Anxiety During This Troubling Time

Understandably, there is much fear and anxiety suffered due to the terrible Coronavirus spreading across the globe. The threat is real and you should respect all safety precautions. However, the fear and anxiety can be controlled if not fully eradicated.

Here is an easy breathing exercise to help you through this time of fear and anxiety. First, it is okay to be anxious. I was, and still am at times, but I managed to deal with it using techniques from my many years as a psychotherapist.

Feelings of fear and anxiety can sometimes be lifesaving. They are nature’s way of alerting us to act physically and mentally to real and perceived threats. However, we can use techniques to overcome the fear, feel calm, and still act in a way appropriate to the threat – in this case the virus that is impacting our lives in so many ways.

You, your partner, family and friends can start using these techniques today. kids especially love it. Practice with them, and watch them reap the benefits.

THE LOCATION

Ideally, you should practice when lying down, but even by sitting in a comfortable place you can achieve beneficial results. Use the floor, bed, or couch. Once settled and relaxed, rest your hands lightly over your belly – or ‘six-pack’ for those with more lean and muscular physiques. Your hands will serve as a check as to whether you have taken the full breath correctly.

THE EXERCISE

Many people have got into the habit of breathing air into the upper chest then unconsciously tightening the chest muscles.  Wrong! Just like these exclamation marks, this heightens anxiety!

Instead, breathe deeply through your nostrils, not your mouth, and take the breath through your chest and as if down into your belly. On the full breath (see diagram below) you will feel your belly rise beneath your hands. Gently push your hands up. You will feel the sides of your bottom ribs expand. This will prove to  you have made the full correct breath.

Correct Breathing Diagram

Next, gently breathe out from the belly up. Don’t collapse your chest; just allow the breath to come up from your belly, up into the chest, along the throat, and out through your nostrils. Repeat, but never strain.

This form of breathing is calming and works wonders for your mind and body. You may have to practice a few times,  but you will benefit greatly once you’ve mastered it.

THE WARNING

Do this gently. Do not hold your breath or strain. People with respiratory problems or hypertension should be particularly careful. Also, do not try this whilst standing since the relaxation may lead to a fall.

This style of breathing will come naturally with a little practice and help lower and control your blood pressure. The rewards of correct breathing are remarkable, and can reduce anxiety, aid digestion and bowel movement, and sometimes improve memory function.


I hope you find this simple breathing exercise useful. Over the coming weeks, I will post more professional advice on how to cope with the stress of this troubling time. If you want to find out more about me and my work, then visit the Katy Walters Website. Please keep yourself safe.

Katy Walters Website