Stress, Anxiety and Low Confidence
What Are They?
Stress is a widely used term with various meanings – I am using it colloquially to refer to a sense of overwhelm with day to day life, maybe a sense of not being able to cope, and a sense of not being able to change these circumstances. In this context it is an ongoing sense of not being able to cope and being powerless rather than a temporary feeling.
Anxiety is when we worry excessively about various situations and issues, to the extent our lives and well being are affected. Anxiety in this context goes beyond the short term worries we all get from time to time, eg before a job interview, or on a date.
Confidence is a sense of trust in our own abilities and intuition, and when this is low – also known as low self esteem – we find it affects our day to day life negatively.
Although Stress, Anxiety and Low Confidence are separate conditions they very much interact with each other, often with an appearance of Depression as well, a gang of four unhelpful tendencies which hold us back.
Often these conditions have their roots in our Nervous System which may be over active or out of balance, and of course they can interact with other health conditions we may have, and also with our day to day life and relationships. The load these conditions place on our bodies is called “Allostatic Load”, and when this gets to high we become susceptible to dis-ease and stress related illness.
How Yoga Therapy can Help
Yoga Therapy can help with back pain in various ways, in particular:
- Promoting a more realistic and fair impression of ourselves
- Relaxation and grounding techniques to deal attacks of stress, panic or low self esteem
- Helping to calm and regulate our Nervous System so it serves us helpfully
- Building a sense of confidence in ourselves and our capabilities
- Helping us understand unhelpful and limiting beliefs and to adjust these
How I work with Stress, Anxiety and Low Confidence
The starting point is assessment on both a BioPsychoSocial basis and a Yogic basis (using a Koshic model of health) of how you are experiencing these conditions and how they it fit into your daily life, including any other treatment you have had, medications, therapies, and any diagnosis.
From there we will probably work with practices to bring balance and resilience to your Nervous System, using yoga postures, breathing practices and relaxation techniques. I will take care to make sure these practices are supportive and don’t cause an exacerbation of your symptoms.
Another very important practice is Loving Kindness Meditation using Buddhist Metta practices. These help us in re framing our sense of self and others.
I’ll endeavour to address any co-existing issues you are experiencing, recognising that physical, psychological and emotional concerns don’t come in neat packages.
Finally, I’ll suggest some practices you could work with at home to reinforce the class work we do, and to help with times where you feel overwhelm.
I’ll happily fit in alongside any specific guidelines from other health professionals, eg Consultant, GP, Psychotherapist.
If necessary I will make suggestions for onward referral to other professionals.
Stress – the sense of not being able to cope with day to day life – was a regular experience for me for many years. Therapeutic Yoga to help my Nervous System has helped me address and regulate this – its an ongoing process, I know my tendency is to worry and stress unnecessarily, but a regular yoga practice helps manage this.