In my work as a yoga teacher, I meet a lot of people who are chronically stressed out and exhausted.
The symptoms include things like increased irritability, inability to focus, weight-gain and insomnia which almost always has a negative affect on their relationship with family and co-workers.
The cause of this chronic stress has a lot to do with our increased exposure to pain and suffering via the internet and social media. Our “news-feed” feeds us a constant diet of war, disaster, terrorism, violence and other traumas, and we take it all in. It’s just too much for us to digest. How could it not have an effect on our wellbeing?
“It's very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
There are two very simple things we can do to alleviate some of this unnecessary suffering. Taking a cue from the Classical Yoga practice of tapas, which traditionally would involve fasting and moderating your diet, we can engage in regular “media fasting” — shutting down our smartphones and computers for a period of time every day, and even take a whole day off every now and again.
Another thing we can do to proactively reduce the stress in our lives is learn how to self-regulate our nervous system through some very simple breathing practices. Watch the video below and take 2-minutes to breathe and relax periodically throughout your day! The practice starts at 1:48.
Photo source: http://www.sunrefugee.com/vancouver-island-canada/