Understanding Fear and Stress

Every turn you fear is empty air dressed to look like jagged hell.
—Richard Bach

FEAR AND stress are very similar. They oftentimes feel the same. If we truly understand fear and get a clear picture of what is happening when we feel fear, we can oftentimes dispense with the need to fear things at all. We can make the fear disappear!

In class, when we begin our focus on fear, I start with this ominous sounding question: “Why do you think you are here?” I don’t mean to ask the students why they are here in this building on this particular day. I ask them why they feel they are alive and what they are here to do. What is their purpose for living and being? They commonly respond with answers like these:

Yoga Therapy

 For those wounded by civilization, yoga is the most healing salve.” -Terri Guillemets

“Yoga is a great way to heal your physical and emotional ailments,” says Erika Wynn one of a new generation of yoga therapists.

Erika has been deeply affected by yoga and its healing nature. She has taken over 1000 hours of training, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, alignment, and psychology to become not only a certified yoga instructor but a yoga therapist.
Trained therapists can work with groups or one-on-one helping clients overcome physical and emotional problems through yoga. Erika received her training through Centered City Yoga located in Salt Lake City.

Mindfulness Tips

“Wherever you go, there you are.”
-Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness has been used successfully to help people reduce pain, lose weight, enhance memory and cognitive function, develop healthier relationships, and perform better in athletic events.

In a study of menopausal women, those who took a mindfulness class reported being less bothered by hot flashes. They had better sleep, lower stress and anxiety levels, and a higher quality of life.

Wow, for being such an easy thing to do, mindfulness packs a powerful punch.  But what is it anyway?

Basically, mindfulness is experiencing the present moment – not worrying about the future, or fretting about the past. Mindfulness is being fully present in the now.

Mindfulness vs Multitasking

 

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night suddenly realizing that you made a mistake or forgot to do something the day before? Isn’t it crazy, that you can go all day and not think of something important, and then at 2:56 a.m., it hits you like a brick?

But what can you do about it at 2:56 am? You know you won’t be able to take care of it until morning, but that isn’t going to help you fall back asleep. As a matter of fact, if you are like most people, it will keep you awake thinking about it and – worrying.

To fix this, we must look at why this happens in the first place.

Meditation – Wire Your Brain for Success?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Not only does meditation reduce stress, but it also improves your mind by helping you learn and remember new things. It also improves memory and the ability to focus – permanently. In other words, meditation can wire your brain for success – here’s how . . .

While you meditate, your brain goes from the beta waves, which are the awake and alert brain waves, to the slower, more restful levels of brainwave activity called theta and delta waves. This is usually where the brain goes during deep sleep, dreaming, or deep hypnosis. This is also the time when the body undergoes its most restorative rest.1

While the brain is resting in these deeper rhythms, the body is at work. The immune system gets boosted and the body also repairs the damage done to it during the day, including healing cuts, bruises and internal problems that we may not even know about. This restorative state is also when the mind shuffles through the thoughts and experiences of the day, organizing data into short-term and long-term storage. 1

Breathing Techniques Reduce Test Anxiety and Increase Performance

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Have you ever been disappointed with a test score because you knew you could have done better but were just so nervous you didn’t do your best?
How about on a job interview, or when giving an important presentation?

When we are anxious or nervous our breathing changes from deep diaphragmatic breaths to shallow chest breathing.  This kind of breathing restricts oxygen flow to the cells of the body and may cause drowsiness, irritability and even headaches.

Parable of the Stacked Stones

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I love to bike, hike, and run in the hills and mountains of northern and southern Utah. I love the workout of going up. I love the thrill and speed of coming down. Best of all, I love the views I get when I reach the tops of the trails.
I particularly enjoy one trail that happens to be located only a few short minutes from where I live. Within minutes from home, I can find myself on a path where it immediately feels like no city exists anywhere nearby. I disappear into undeveloped terrain.

Managing the Waves and Leaks in Time

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When I was fourteen years old, I went to California with a group of kids my age. We went to Santa Monica Beach to see the ocean. None of us had been there before so this was a real treat for us. When we got there, we decided to try bodysurfing. We saw others doing it and it looked fun and much less difficult than regular surfing. Soon we learned how it was done and found ourselves out in the water preparing for the waves to come our way.

When a large wave approached, I started swimming as hard as I could, hoping to time it perfectly. I found myself riding the wave in toward the shore. Suddenly, the wave pulled me down, headfirst into the sand under the water.