Freakout First Aid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How do you respond when you get hit with something really heavy in life, and I’m not talking like a refrigerator or a Plymouth? When life really does a number on you, you get laid off, someone close to you dies or sick, you are breaking up with your greatest love, what do you do?

I usually freak out a little, sometimes a lot. And if we could somehow figure out how to harness all the energy caused by worrying, I’m sure I could power a good part of New York city with my worry alone. “But Scott,” I’ve heard well-meaning students say, “surely as a yoga and mindfulness teacher YOU don’t get stressed or worry. . . . ” To that I say, thank you very much for your confidence but that’s absurd. I can worry the best of them under the table.

And while I don’t have an immunity to worry, I do have a few tools through movement, yoga, and meditation that have really, really helped. Maybe they can help you, too.


  1. Take a deep breath. Before the curse words come (or at least after the first really hearty one) give yourself a big breath. Sounds overly simplistic but it’s not. Yes it’s simple but it’s also very effective. If you can, breathe a few times deeply and if possible, give yourself a couple of sighs out your mouth. This technique will help relieve the surface tension off your cup which is almost ready to overflow into full melt-down mode. It will also help put blood to your brain to help you think clearly.
  2. Talk to someone. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful friends in my life who have earned their calling on high after hours—days—of of listening to my plaintive worries about this and that. Sometimes, if only to hear yourself talk through your own thoughts and process, by talking it through you might come to some greater clarity about your worry. Good friends worth their salt might also remind you of your deeper nature, your capacity to overcome adversity, and give you a clear perspective because they know you. They can also call you on your own bullshit.
  3. Move your bod. Wallace Stevens wrote, “Sometimes the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” Damn! That’s right on. Sometimes, I gotta just move my body, maybe run or get to a yoga class, breath in and out, stretch out tension from my muscles, put some blood flow into my brain and wow it’s incredible how much clarity I can get. Even if my problems don’t go away after a yoga class, I might be more clear-minded about them afterword. At very least, I don’t compound worry with feeling crappy in my body. Also, movement produces endorphins, the feel good that often will stop a downward spiral of negativity. When you know you’re in a bad space, go and buy the monthly unlimited pass and go every day. I’m serious. It will change your life.
  4. Face the lion square in the face and take a minute to look at your worry objectively. As objectively as possible, and without judgment, notice everything about it, how it feels in your body, what it’s doing to your thoughts, where in your body you feel it. As you meditate regularly, especially when you’re not in the middle of a freak out but that works too, you become familiar with the part of you that doesn’t change when life’s events come and go. You can realize that events will come and go but your True fundamental self, your soul or spirit or consciousness, whatever, doesn’t change even when something crappy happens. Eventually you’ll start to see problems, even big and important ones, as transient against a backdrop of constant equanimity. Don’t get me wrong, this takes practice but it is real and very effective. At very least with a bit of objectivity, you’ll separate yourself from a myopic view of your problems and will hopefully be able to put them in to perspective.
  5. Do something about it now, even if that is only to write down your worries or talk to a friend. Even if there is something small you can do, put something into action to feel empowered.

We all get hit with something in life. Hopefully we cultivate the tools to respond to those heavy parts when they hit. For those interested in meditation, even if your brand new to the idea, check out my online course on Yoga Nidra (like guided meditation). It is the single most powerful resource I know to combat stress.

Here’s a Stress Free learning module complete with breathing exercises and a 30-minute meditation to help you when you’re freaking out, or to help train you so that freakouts won’t come so frequently.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS FeedConnect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to friend