Recent events in this country have disrupted my sense of peace. How about you? Here are a few resources to help cope with the experience of stress, including a link to an instagram live meditation I shared this morning.
5 Tips to Cope with Political Stress
- You are not alone. I acknowledge you feel stressed. Acknowledge that what you’re experiencing is part of being a living, breathing human with a beating heart with the beautiful capacity to feel deeply. What’s happening can feel jarring, like mentally, emotionally, and physically receiving the impact like shockwaves. You are not alone in experiencing the impact of stress.
- Breathe. Inhale to a count of 4, pause with a full inhale, slowly exhale to a count of 4. Repeat 5 times or until you feel more relaxed. Start and end your days with this mindful breathing, and use anytime you you want to a calm body and mind.
- State of Mind and Body. Stress is a state of mind and body, which can be shifted and shaped. How you feel and think is temporary. Take a break from negative images and thoughts. Limit your intake of anything disturbing Turn off the news/social media. Instead of watching repetitive news stations, read or listen to your news. I opt for the 20 minute weekday morning Start Here podcast. Choose an activity that floods the brain with positive thoughts. One of my mindset shifters is laughing at Friends reruns. What makes you laugh and feel happy? Get out of your head and into your body. A vigorous yoga class with challenging poses does the trick for me. When my practice invites me to focus on my breath, my physical sensations, and a positive affirmation or mantra, I fill up with positivity and crowd out the negativity. A positive mindset practice is protection towards letting negativity pentrate your mind and body. Choose to deflect negativity like teflon, not have it get stuck to you like velcro! Do what you love! Getting out in nature is another fav activity. Do what you lifts you up, which nutures your body, mind, and spirit.
- Connect. Reach out and connect to another person. Facetime and audio messages can feel more intimate than texting. Joining a virtual zoom yoga class can help you feel less alone. I teach zoom yoga classes and we do a mood check before class. In my free/donation livestream meditation and yoga classes on the Insight Timer app, I do a quick check in before and after class where students can share comments and questions in the chat box. It is amazing how connected we feel as if we were together in a community class.
- Meditate. A regular meditation practice can train the brain and nervous system to be less-reactive to stress, to cultivate a calm, neutral state of mind. Anger, fear, worry, sadness are all real emotions worthy of our acknowledgement and compassion. My meditation and mindfulness practices have taught me, when uncomfortable emotions arise it’s a warning bell reminding me to pay attention and check in with myself. “Ok self, what’s really going on? Let’s breathe, sit, and pay attention to this exact present moment.” Imagine stress makes its appearance like your hand in a boiling pot of water. The more you practice being in tune with your physical sensations you’ll notice the temp of that water before it even starts simmering then you stop and drop everything for a selfcare break. What happens is we don’t pay attention and before we know it we’re reacting like our hand in boiling water and primal, freak out stress kicks in. Noticing what is triggering stress can signal you to change course and learn lessons to avoid those triggers. Meditation and mindfulness is the practice of paying attention. Give it a try! Here is a link to a short meditation and a brief commentary about spirituality and politics on my Instagram page @spirituallyfityoga: click here.
CURIOUS NOT FURIOUS: Lastly, after meditating and doing all the things to calm your body and mind, from a centered state and with clear thoughts, ask yourself if there’s an action you can take which aligns to what you believe is right. Stress can often be telling you that you care deeply about something. Pay attention. Are you being called to be of service? Channel your energy towards a cause or allow a passion project to arise. Stress can be a powerful way to motivate you to make a difference, to support a cause that really matters to you.
An additional resource I found helpful: click here
Was this article and the meditation helpful? What are you struggling with? What are YOUR tried and true methods for coping with stress, especially during this current political climate? Please share to benefit and support others. Leave a comment below. Thank you being here. Peace out 🙏🏽 Amelia Andaleon
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