Updated: May 4
"Out of your head into to your body"
How often do you experience anxiety and mental fog where your mind never seems to stop? Thoughts seem to be all-encompassing and seem to feed off each other, creating a spiral of negative thoughts? Such signs are often accompanied by a number of physical symptoms in the body. This can cause a heaviness in your stomach, numbness in your hands, tingling or heat in your throat or chest... and many other symptoms. One thing that can be incredibly helpful in these situations is to get out of the "head" and into the body using a bottom-up approach. This is how we regulate the nervous system, using the body to send safety signals to the brain.
Brahmari Pranayama - Bumblebee Breath This is very effective, especially if your anxiety likes to live in your chest. You don't need to close your eyes to practice this, just take a deep breath and on the exhale make a sound (hum) HAM, like a bumblebee. Feel the hum and subtle vibration in your chest. Connect with that sensation and keep your awareness of what is happening in the body. It is also this breathing that activates the vagus nerve, calming your nervous system and putting you into a state of relaxation.
Self-hugging It is very effective if you are feeling insecure or need comfort. Simply hug yourself, you can place both hands on the outside of your arms and gently squeeze them with your palms. This pressure creates a sense of safety and can help bring you back to your body.
Thigh tapping Thighs and lower limbs are said to be ruled by Vata dosha in Ayurveda, so when we feel anxious and our Vata is high, Ayurveda recommends doing asanas (yoga poses) that target the thighs for awareness and grounding. The simplest exercise, if we can't do asanas, is to simply press the palms of your hands to tap your thighs, this helps bring you back into your body and out of your "head."
Back and forth swing Rocking or rocking back and forth has long been something people do when they feel anxious. Swinging actually releases endorphins and can bring the nervous system back into a state of regulation. You can do this while sitting or standing. Notice the feeling in your body as you rock back and forth. Notice how your nervous system shifts into a greater state of rest.
Shaking out Shaking or even dancing is a powerful way to release trauma, stress or anxiety that has built up in the physiological system. Tremors come from the limbic part of the brain that stores emotions. The shaking sends a signal to the brain that the danger has passed, and the body can turn off the fight-flight response. Shaking helps shut down the body's response to trauma and lets you know it's safe.
Always listen what your body wants to tell you ✨️