How to Find Calm in the Chaos
Our friend and certified vibration raiser, Master Per Van Spall, answers all our questions about feelings of anxiety during quarantine
Ciao Per, thank you for offering us your wisdom! So, why are we feeling stress and anxiety?
"Physically, when you feel anxiety it means your abdominal glands - which are attached to your kidneys - send signals towards your brain which produces cortisone. This cortisone travels from the back to the front of your head and tells you that there's danger which sends a signal back down to your abdominals and your kidneys and makes you tense. Because the front of your head is where your short-term memory lies, it gets affected, and you get stuck in a loop. This loop is what stress and anxiety feels like. In early years when we were primitive and felt this 'danger', we were in nature and sprung into action to do something about it. Now, we don't do that, we don't get physical, we stay still and so it stays with us. Your heart-beat gets faster, you get short of breath, you get swollen glands and it can manifest physically too. You need to break the loop."
That all sounds familiar - so how do we break the loop?
"There is a very easy and effective way of breathing with relieves anxiety immediately. Take a deep breath in through your upper body, purse your lips and blow the air out like you are blowing a trumpet. Do this five times. At the end, you will feel light-headed and a couple of seconds later, like you want to yawn. Why? Because your head is empty and your body is relaxed. You'll notice your response time is slower and the pitch of your voice lowers - this is because your belly has been relaxed which is where your oxygen comes from. Now, you're getting way much more oxygen in your brain and because of this you'll feel more relaxed. You will have broken the loop. It's a really effective self-help tool and a great way to start the day."
We'll definitely be trying that. What about controlling it in the long-term?
"The most important thing it to connect to your belly. In the West, people often don't want to show or acknowledge our bellies so we keep our head up and our belly in. Don't do that! It's always important to relax the belly in order to get oxygen flowing around your body. The pitch of your voice is the indicator: the moment your pitch is high, you know your body is feeling anxious. This means you're not maximising the capacity of your brain because you don't have enough oxygen. When your pitch is low, you know you have more oxygen in your brain. Keep an eye on this very useful indicator. I also advise people: don't go to your mind, keep moving. Sitting still, watching the news, not exercising is really hard, especially during these times of lockdown, but moving is easy - put on music, have a dance, do something to keep your body moving even in small spaces, it's important.
We love to dance! But what if we are in small flats and not big houses?
"Generally speaking, you need to make sure that when you wake up - wherever you are - that you have inner peace, you should always feel that. If not, you go straight into your day - even if you are working from home - and things get crazy. My advice is to wake up, drink a glass of room-temperature water to wake up your kidneys, and start lightly tapping your face and body with your fingertips. It's a form of accupressure which wakes your whole body up and gets your blood flowing. Follow this by meditation - but don't feel intimidated by it. I always say meditation isn't about emptying your brain - if you want to think about things, then think about things! When your thinking about one thing at a time, that's mediation and at one point you're done with thinking and there's nothing to think about. If I told you not to think about things, you would think about something and that's just ridiculous. Think as much as you can."
What about if we need a release in the middle of the day? It's not always easy to find a place to meditate...
"If you're already in your daily routine, wherever you may be, give yourself a time-out for at least 25 mins. Get off the phone, don't do anything strenuous, just things that help you relax. Listen to music, light a candle, go for a walk - but don't push yourself, just do what you want to do. Whatever calms you down - as long as you don't hurt other people with it - that's mediation. And don't feel embarrassed - everybody will feel the pressure sooner or later inside and you need to get it out - if you don't it will manifest physically. How you get it out, it doesn't matter - as long as you get it out. Whether you live alone or live with someone, give yourself an hour of the day where you can really let your emotions out, but limit yourself to an hour max and communicate that to someone if you live with them so they know what's going on. By the end of that hour, that energy is out and it's off your chest."