May 5, 2020 |
Read Time: 4 minutes
The current COVID-19 scenario and the lock-down is indeed causing lot of stress and anxiety. A sense of fear, uncertainty and helplessness is gripping many of us today. And the prevailing lockdown seems to be also ‘shutting down ‘our ability to thinking and process in many of us!
Stress in simple terms is a mismatch between the demand and supply of our capacity and resources to face up to any challenging and unforseen situations. The COVID-19 situation is totally new, and an unknown scene for us and with so many uncertainties which seem to be beyond our control, many perceive it as a threat which is beyond their coping ability. And this is causing stress and this build-up of stress over a period of time is leading to anxiety!
There are many simple but effective steps one can take to ensure that this current situation doesn’t build up stress in any of us.
- Assess the situation in a calm manner. We should not allow our thought process to be hijacked by repetitive negative thoughts. We need to step back, shut these thoughts our, re start and re look the situation with a calm, stable and steady mind. Breath – focussed Yoga asana practice and pranayama help in a big way to bring in this steadiness. Yoga works on our body and mind through our breath and stabilises our thoughts and actions. It helps us look at the situation with clarity and not only perceive all things as negative and bad.
- Become aware of our capabilities and not conclude that we don’t have the resources to face up to the situation. In order to be able to do this, the veil of ignorance which covers our mind has to be removed. The ignorance stemming from our excessive attachments, aversions, fear and ego has to be set aside. Here again yoga plays a very effective role. The understanding and practice of Pathanjali’s Astanga Yoga especially Yama, and Niyama along with Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana helps in reducing this veil of in-correct knowledge and paves the way for a balanced mind.
With a calm, steady mind, we are able to assess the situation and all the resources within us in a realistic manner , which enables us to accept things as they are and take the required action to face up, in the best possible way, to challenging situations, without getting overwhelmed by the situation.
The practice of breath-based Yoga asana and pranayama help in removing the toxins, both at a physical level of undigested food as well as at a mental level of emotions, from within us and makes us lighter at the body level and more lucid at the mind level. Consistent breath-based Yoga practice ensures that there’s a balance between our Para – sympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous system to ensure that we are always not in the ‘fight or flight’ mode, which will cause stress to us. Therefore Yoga practice ensures that our body and mind relax and rejuvenate, bringing in a steady mind to manage turbulent times.