Early this morning I was hoping to get ideas for today's blog. The notion of alleviating anxiety was a powerful thought, since I know that many of my friends and myself have been experiencing it recently. In addition, humanity has been undergoing the energetic results of solar flares and eclipses are coming up, both of which may increase generalized perceptions of anxiety if you are not accustomed to higher vibrational living. I don't generally address issues from a problem- solution paradigm, but I was guided to provide techniques to manage this today.
The reason I have been occasionally slipping out of higher frequency is that my mums health is declining following a heart attack 3 weeks ago.The health care team feel it is a matter of time before she makes her transition. (I know the power of belief and am not putting energy into that prediction.)
However, It's been interesting to observe how, although I know in my core everything is occurring for the greatest and highest good, I do slip into anxiety and sadness at times to see her vitality oozing away. I honour these emotions and feel that powerful energy. Then I choose to connect with her from both our highest vibration selves and relate to her powerful soul energy from other dimensions. Its a blast playing with her in these other realms.
So, getting back to the topic for today's blog: I was thinking about anxiety and how I've managed it at other times. I decided to share with you one of the key strategies I learned to modify my stress response. It involves visualizing and altering the amygdala's reaction.
I was planning on reviewing information about the amygdala later today in preparation for writing the blog. In the meantime, I happened to look at a copy of my son's Popular Science magazine, something I rarely do.
An article on stress caught my eye and lo and behold, the universe responded to my desire. There was a reference to the amygdala as a brain region that helps with decision making and regulation of emotions in a flowchart to describe the sequence of body reactions triggered by stress.
I believe for most people, understanding the body's stress and relaxation systems enhances your ability to visualize and modify it. However, if you are a person who acts thru knowing without needing to learn, skip this next part which goes into the neurobiology and go to the "How to" instructions.
The role of the brain and body in anxiety and stress
I believe it is important to know about how the brain works, especially the amygdala, a very old region of the brain when you consider our evolution as humans. The amygdala governs the fight and flight reflex. If you are in a situation which reminds your amygdala of a stressful time in the past when you have experienced anxiety, it may trigger a physical response and you will not have a clue why you are anxious.
For example, I used to drive a lot when i worked in public health nursing administration during a time which had a lot of positive stress or excitement. (the body doesnt differentiate between positive and negative stress).. After leaving that position I noticed that whenever I got into the car I would be anxious. Finally I realized that driving anywhere was interpreted by my amygdala that I was going to work and it responded with a stress reaction.
The amygdala notifies the hypothalamus which initiates a sequence that finishes with the release of stress hormone cortisol, which boosts blood sugar. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is also released which increases the heart rate and oxygen intake readying you for flight or fight. Physically, your blood pressure and body inflammation increases and the immune system decreases as a result of stress. Popular Science March 2015 The Science of Stress by Brooke Borel
The Bodys Relaxation Response
The relaxation response begins in the Nucleus Ambiguus found in the brainstem. It signals the Parasympathetic Nervous system to initiate a process which results in release of neurotransmitters such as seretonin and hormones such as dopamine and endorphins. These turn off the amygdala initiated stress response. The result is a feeling of pleasure, relaxation, calmness and a sense of wellbeing. http://www.wisebrain.org/ParasympatheticNS.pdf,
How to Manage Anxiety and Modify the Stress Response
You are probably familiar with many techniques to deal with stress and there is a lot of literature which describes these options. Having many of these tools in your pocket helps you to cope. Techniques such as meditation, exercise, tapping. getting enough sleep. eating healthy and socializing are just some of the tools.
I find managing your thoughts, shifting to a higher frequency and visualizing yourself altering your body's response to stress less commonly practiced techniques unless you work with psychologist, biofeedback expert or energy specialist like me.
Let's look at how to alter anxiety and your body's response through visualizing and modifying the stress response. The mind has been proven to be a powerful force in changing the body.
1. Breathe and Relax. I teach people a process in which was the outcome is to relax completely in two or three breathes. (I'll guide you thru that process in an audio in next week's blog). This helps to turn on the parasympathetic system.
2. Initiate the power of the mind by seting the intention to release anxiety and stress and establish a healthy revitalizing response pattern.
3. Check in and assess your anxiety level on a scale of 1 to 5 with one being low and 5 being extremely anxious.
4. Imagine seeing your brain with your amygdala floating in front of you. Notice how energetically active it is. Is it flashing a colour? Is it red, amber, blue, green, rose? Visualize how the amygdala is triggering the hypothalamus to initiate the release of stress hormones by the adrenal glands. Observe without emotions.
5, Now direct your body to release a chemical cocktail which decreases the stress hormones and releases hormones that relax you, increase your immune system, decrease your blood pressure and heart rate and the flood you with a sense of happiness and well-being. Imagine the amygdala turning a beautiful rose,blue or even purple colour as you turn off its switch. Really feel the happiness and relief in your cells.
6, Take a deep breath again and feel this amazing chemical cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters entering every organ, muscle and cell of your body. Smile at the power of your mind to effect the body functions. Watch your body re-balance as this natural chemical cocktail relaxes your mind and your thoughts become clearer. Feel the blood vessels opening, the blood flowing into every part of your body,the nerves transmitting easily and effortlessly, Notice the muscles relax as you shift out of flight or fight and into relaxed healthy response.
7. Program your awareness to become conscious and trigger your parasympathetic nervous and hormonal systems to give you a shot of this good chemical cocktail whenever you unconsciously respond to stress that doesn't really require flight or fight. Enjoy the feeling of joy, peace and serenity and expand it. Let it increase - no matter what chaos is occurring around you. This higher vibeing feeling also triggers the parasympathetic response.
Try this out this week and let me know how it goes by commenting on the Divine You facebook page.