Sep 26, 2022 / By Lara Hassan
Since the beginning of creation, our world has been in constant change and evolution.
Change is inevitable and though it can be positive, most recently, we’ve been faced with so many changes that perhaps it started to get a bit much or a little scary because we haven’t had a break.
Still, we are lucky as humans to have the power to adapt. Some find it easier than others, due to life circumstances, but we all have that power of adaptation. While we have no choice but to go through it, it is how we approach and react to it that makes the whole difference.
When we feel threatened as humans, we get stressed, feel anxious and sometimes we experience a desire to control what’s around us. Only when we realise and accept that we can’t actually control what is happening and redirect our attention to what is happening inside us, we will then feel resilient and get the courage to go through that change with much less worry.
This is a philosophical interpretation of change and how to deal with it. How do we deal with it physically and how do we help ourselves to feel more resilient? When we are grounded we can navigate through life successfully, simply by being present.
In order To feel grounded and present, we must detach from what is happening in the world and redirect our attention inwards. The number one go to tool to help relax both the mind and body, is exercise.
While all exercise is beneficial, some practices are required in times of stress because they stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which gets the body out of fight or flight mode.
Exercise methods which focus on breathing help improve our awareness, relax the muscles, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, increase blood flow to the body's organs, improve mood and concentration, improve sleep quality and much more.
Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system allows your cortisol levels to fall,
In other words.
We need to work-in not just work-out.
Pilates is my favourite exercise method to help rewire the mind and keep it busy thinking how to work the body.
You won’t have time to worry about what’s going on around you while you are training your muscles to obey your will.
The Pilates method is based on a sequence of progressions where breath and movement work together, moving the spine in all planes,
with different apparatus or mat. You can never switch off. Each exercise has an element of strength and an element of stretch, where the practitioner needs to find both when practiced correctly.
Yoga improves body awareness and helps to get rid of tension. Balance poses require focus, a great deal of relaxed control, a steady mind and correct breathing patterns.
Both pilates and yoga improve alignment which helps to balance the energy systems in the body, a feeling which leaves you feeling grounded, centred and propels gracefully forward towards what feels good.
Another factor is human interaction. In times of uncertainty or when we experience loss, we mustn’t withdraw from human interaction.
Taking a group class can help improve our mood, giving us the feeling of unity with others, a connection which doesn’t only stop us from feeling low, it can help us grow as we may find a community we can relate to, which is empowering.
If meditation is your thing, practice it with an open heart, observe it without judgment, just listen to your breath and to your thoughts. Try to be in a passive state mentally, where you are still. Try to observe a process which is happening inside you, a process which sharpens your sensory motor skills.
Breathing practices can help connect you to your inner self, improve your lung capacity and mental alertness. It is always there for you, it is the bridge to your safe place where you are aligned with your inner being.
When you know that you can be in control of changing how you feel, how your body works and functions, and how it looks, through simply changing your habits to better ones, you will feel resilient and powerful.