” If you listen to your body when it whispers….you won’t have to hear it scream.”
John, an engineer, felt very angry and anxious at work. He felt that his boss hated him. He suffered from back-aches, headaches and upset stomach. He felt very depressed about going to work. In addition to working with his psychologist, a friend suggested that he learn meditation from me. As he worked on his meditation practice, he was surprised to note a wide variety of physical symptoms, such as butterflies in his tummy and tension in his neck and shoulders.
John, now knows, that relaxation is just a by-product of meditation; the primary goal of meditation is to understand the mind, to understand that stress manifests and comes from our thoughts, stories and the way we choose to look at life. Feelings like anger and anxiety are signals and, often are present as tension or pain in the body. He realized his moods are created by his perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs - what he says about something or someone.
The first step I taught John, was to listen to his body – because much of our strong feelings like joy, anger, anxiety and pleasure are felt in our body. Fortunately, John was a regular yoga practitioner, and it was easy for him to understand the signals and respond to them. He was able to learn to relax his body within a few minutes by paying attention to the tense areas of his body. He leveraged anxiety and stress to focus on his work and learned to let go when he came back home. His regular walks and yoga practice helped him find the balance. His headaches and backaches have reduced significantly and he is getting to sleep better too.
Mental training for toughness and resilience is about:
Here are 3 simple steps you can do to listen and respond to your body!
Do these regularly and you can see the improvement in your heart and brain and see progress in how you handle anger, stress or anxiety. In future articles, we will discuss the role of posture and, our perceptions and attitudes, thoughts, feelings and stories to change our moods.
a guided finger meditation
Engage your senses with soothing music, guided imagery and a labyrinth tracing activity which leverages the power of touch. Click the album cover to learn more.