With all the horrible, tragic events going on in our world, it is easy to absorb the energy from these events. Even if you weren’t directly affected, watching the news and feeling sorrow and empathy for the many tragedies will create anxiety and affect your energy. It is important during times like these to take the time to relax and release any anxiety or tension. Try these 2 techniques to release anxiety.
Breathing exercises are effective to release stress. Usually, we take our breathing for granted, but, with practice on this technique, you will have a great tool to use.
First, I want you to lie on the floor and put one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in and then breathe out. Did the hand on your abdomen rise and expanded the most? If not, you are doing shallow breathing. To use breathing effectively, you need to practice abdominal breathing.
Practice abdominal breathing for a few minutes. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and that as you inhale you are filling it up with air. Keep your hands on your chest and abdomen to see where the expansion is. Now that you can do deep breathing practice the following techniques.
Breathing for Letting Go of Tension
1. Inhale and say to yourself, “Breath in.”
2. Hold your breath a moment before you exhale.
3. Exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself, “Relax.”
4. As you hold your breath for a moment, notice any parts of your body that you are holding tension. When you exhale, feel the tension leave your body.
5. Practice this for five to twenty minutes at a time.
6. Practice it in non-stressful situations a few times a day. When you are comfortable with the technique, practice it in stressful situations.
Use of a Mantra
A mantra is a short phrase or word that requires no special tools to use and over time can transform your consciousness. It is a simple spiritual practice that you can put into practice starting today.
“A mantram or mantra, as it often called – is a powerful spiritual formula, which, when repeated silently in the mind, has the capacity to transform consciousness. Eknath Easwaran
Select a mantra that works for you. There are mantras from all the religious traditions, and I have listed several examples below. Once you choose a mantra, silently repeat it. Repeat it while you are walking, while you are falling asleep, or while you are doing your chores. That is, it!
When you are stressed, repeat it, until the anxiety passes. Over time, it will become more and more powerful for you. Gandhi called his mantra, “His staff of life.” Start today to choose one, begin silently repeating it and you will have a staff of life.
Om mani padme hum
“The jewel in the lotus of the heart.”
Pronounced: ohm maa-nee paad-may-hoom
Ave Maria or Hail Mary
“Ave Maria” means “Hail Mary” a mantram in honor of Mother Mary
My God and my all.
This was a phrase that Saint Francis used in his prayers
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
The Jesus prayer
Kyrie Eleison or Lord have Mercy
“The Lord as the source of abiding joy.”
Barukh attah Adonal
“Blessed art thou, O Lord”
Pronounced: baa-rook aa-taa aa-doh-nai
Ribono shel olam
“Lord of the Universe”
Pronounced: rib-on-oh shell oh-lam
The name of God.