Why Do I Feel So Uneasy?

Fall is the season when we mountain people turn inward.  As the growing season slows down, so do we.  We trade our busy “pack-it-all-in” summer attitudes for a little more structure and space for contemplation.  We spend more time in our houses, reorganizing our physical space to reflect the darker season ahead.  And we turn to practices that help to ground us.

Or, we should, anyway…

The reality is that many people struggle with anxiety in the fall.  Our summers here are so short that nearly everyone gets overextended in July and August.  We overbook ourselves with cookouts and festivals right into September – when we realize that there are only a few weeks to go before the snow flies and there are all those hikes we have yet to do!  Add to that the hot, dry and windy weather of early fall, back-to-school season for many, and this year’s ongoing financial uncertainty and you have THE recipe for anxiety.

Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, dread, and worry.  When I am anxious, I feel ungrounded, as though I don’t know where I live or what is important to me.  I sense a lack of resources, time, and energy.  When I make the time to do something, I can’t get focused.  Sleep is difficult.  And to top it off, a lot of folks tend to gain weight when they are anxious.    It’s hard to enjoy life with all of those symptoms going on!

So…what do you do??

Ground.  Root.  Reconnect.

But how?

Here are a few simple tips:

  1. Establish routine in your days.  Get up in the morning at about the same time each day – ideally before or at the sunrise — and go to bed by 10pm.  Eat three healthy meals at roughly the same time each day.
  2. Spend 5-10 minutes a day sitting and watching the world – interior or exterior.  Really!  If you have a meditation practice and can do that, terrific.  But even just sitting and watching the autumn leaves blow in the wind or your dog chasing bugs can be incredibly centering.
  3. Spend 10-20 minutes a day doing yoga.  Yes, it really is grounding.  If you are familiar with yoga, do your standing poses.  Do some hip openers and a few seated poses with your legs firmly connected to the earth.  Within minutes you’ll experience change.  Unfamiliar with yoga?  Take a class!  Find free videos online!  Buy a book!  Or simply stand on your feet and move your body in new ways – you may discover poses on your own.
  4. Breathe.  Never underestimate the power of remembering that your breath keeps you alive.  Listen to it.  Revere it.  Thank it.  Chances are your breath will slow down and deepen.  Before you know it, you’ll feel more grounded and less anxious.

"Parsvokanasa" or "Side Angle Pose" is a good one for getting into your feet and grounding.

Autumn in the mountains is a gift.  Enjoy every moment you can by reconnecting to yourself and your environment.  Find people to support you in this effort.  A local yoga studio is a great place to start….

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~ by bridgetannlyons on September 15, 2011.

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