Stress is a perceived state. People experiencing severe stress will notice changes in their bodies: headaches, stomach problems, possibly panic attacks, disrupted sleep and more. Contemporary understanding of body-mind connections for people experiencing stress highlights the possibilities for overcoming the symptoms. The first step in change is to decide to create space and time to take action.
BREATH~BODY~MIND practices are simple but powerful evidence-based techniques for improving physical and mental health. I now offer Breath~Body~Mind practices in all aspects of my work.
Understanding the effect of threat on individuals:
The perceived threat stress engenders activates hidden beliefs linked to a person's defences. These unconsciously held beliefs are then energised by fear and result in behaviour patterns that hinder rather than improve wellbeing and relationships. Nira Kfir, an Adlerian psychotherapist formed categories of defensive behaviours from behaviour patterns she had observed over many years. She devised four types: control, pleasing, moral superiority and avoidance. One or two of these categories might be familiar, here are some illustrations of them. People may enjoy taking control and the pay off of pleasing others, however when taken to extreme there is no space for time off and leaving someone else to take the strain for a change. Meeting people who engage in moral superiority and may express it through continuously taking the moral high ground or self-righteousness are likely to loose rather than attract friends. Those people who choose avoidance as an aversion to stress may find themselves stuck in an isolated place with little to feel joyful about. Change comes through a decision for life to change. Calming the body and soothing the mind is a helpful place to start.
Calming and Soothing Mind and Body
Psychotherapist Bob Armstrong noted that "the mind controls the brain" in a lecture he gave in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 2011.
Contemporary research in yoga as a key to mental health has provided powerful evidence to show that learning to take control of the breath is the starting point. As living beings we must breathe to sustain our existence. Choosing to breathe in a pattern or sequence is the starting point of the mind taking control of the parasympathetic nervous system. Combining the breath with movement and sound, such as in Dru Yoga, increases the benefits.
Shortly I will be providing Body~Mind~Breath workshops, which are evidence-based, in the Glasgow area . The practices involved are designed to optimise the mind and body's capacity to sooth, overcome stress and stress related illnesses by bringing our stress (sympathetic) and wellbeing (parasympathetic) nervous systems back into balance.