When we are faced with challenges we often feel compelled to take action. When my husband died by suicide I found myself desperately asking, “what can I do?” My body was fueled by the hormones of stress and the disconnect of trauma, and it wanted action.
You may notice feeling this way lately, when the chaos of the world news invades your peace.
Witnessing and suffering from the difficulties happening in the world right now, we are wired to act. You may be balancing some of this urge to act by doing physical exercise, running or going to the gym, or doing some yoga. Hopefully, you are choosing healthy stress relievers! Physical movement is a vital part of our mental and physical health. But what do you do when you aren’t able to take a physical exertion break from stress? I certainly can’t walk my dog 12 hours each day, as much as that might be lovely. If you’re still feeling upset after taking a movement break, here are a few things you can do to release some of that stress energy:
1 – Phone a friend. Make an actual phone call, or better yet video, or even better an in-person walk or tea break. Socially connecting can help calm stress hormones and get you back to feeling better.
2 – Support someone. When we get out of our own pain and suffering and focus on someone we can help, it also balances our stress hormones and makes us (and of course those we are helping) feel better.
3 – Meditate. I know it seems almost impossible when you are feeling stressed and the strong urge to DO something is taking over, for you to sit. But I promise practicing meditation can greatly decrease those stress hormones running through your body. You can feel more calm, relaxed and even happier!
The meditation I’ve been practicing this week to focus and calm myself and send positive energy to the world and its challenges is called Lovingkindness or Metta meditation. Metta comes from Pali, the language of Buddha, and translates roughly to loving-kindness. If you try it, you’ll feel better.
I’m giving away a short, easy, and free metta meditation. All you have to do is click, sit and listen. Observe how you are feeling at the beginning and the end of the meditation, and feel free to share.
Repairing the world, one meditation at a time.