aromatherapy and massage brisbane

What is Anxiety and Why is it Prevalent?

Anxiety related states feature worry, nervousness, or fear that is ongoing, excessive, and has negative effects on a person’s ability to function. Feelings of loss of control and panic are predominant.

Anxiety disorders are generally classified as:

  • general anxiety disorder
  • panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia
  • phobia disorder, including social phobia
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder.

Episodes are characterised by breathlessness, muscle or whole body tremor, muscle pain or cramps due to continual muscle tension, heaviness in the limbs, racing or pounding heart beat, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, increased sweating, dizziness, light headedness, reduced ability to take normal risks, increased use of drugs or alcohol to cope, bowel disturbances, changes in sleep patterns, mental and physical agitation, feeling anxious and tense, a feeling of weight on your shoulders, fear public places, asthma, headaches, decreased libido nausea, tenseness in the solar plexus.

The paradox of gaining freedom from anxiety is acceptance, time and the loosening of the need to control it. In essence you have to be able to feel and know that “I can be present in this moment with this fear.”

It’s knowing that fear can happen without loosing connection to a state of emotional peace. It’s reconnecting the mind and body with its spiritual governance. Stillness and mindful awareness can play a compassionate role in creating deep and lasting change. A greater awareness that we are more than our thoughts, a greater connectedness to all things can direct our thoughts, feelings and energies to creating a different way of being.

Because anxiety is the body’s response to perceived future danger the remedy to flowing through it is to anchor and ground in the present moment through your body.

Being able to become calmer in your body helps to overcome the symptoms of anxiety.

Daily activities to sooth and calm are a must.

anxiety relief

Awakening the Fearless Heart

“Life’s waters flow from darkness. Search the darkness, don’t run from it.
Night travelers are full of light, and you are too: don’t leave this companionship…
The moon appears for night travelers, be watchful when the moon is full.”
~ rumi

When panic and fear arise we feel it physically in our bodies. Fear takes root in our thoughts, emotions and tissues. When we get triggered and are living in the thoughts and feelings of our fear we become contracted. The way through is to soften; soften our thoughts, soften our emotions and soften in the body.

Depending on how you can resource in the moment will determine your approach. There are three main areas to look at:

  • Relieving anxious feelings in the body by shifting from fight/flight sympathetic nervous system into parasympathetic rest, digest repair
  • Changing the thoughts that fuel the anxiety
  • Moving through the challenging emotions to a move expanded view.

To relieve physical stress and tension in the body pause, breathe, move, physically soften into the areas of stress and tension

To change the thoughts; notice any repeating fear thoughts in your mind; what’s going wrong and what’s going to go wrong? Notice any judging, obsession, any need to figure things out. Notice your emotions; ie fear, angst, panic. Deepen your attention; What is the belief that is fueling the discomfort. Is this belief true? It is real for you bit not necessarily true. What does the part in you that is triggered really need to be alright now? Is it acceptance, support, love, compassion. Can you give yourself that?

Change your thoughts; you have to keep having fear thoughts for the emotion to set in. An emotion left to its own devices take 1.5 minutes to flow through the body, it’s the fear thinking that keeps fueling it and keeps it trapped in the body.

Be mindful of the unhealthful behaviours that you may use to mask the feelings; too much sleep, over consuming, eating, medications, speeding up and doing more, rationalising things to yourself, misrepresenting the truth, controlling others, controlling yourself, aggression, judgement, being harsh against yourself and others. These are all fear management behaviours that don’t serve.

Awaking from the fear body requires us to on purpose find a way back to a sense of safety. This requires resourcing and soothing the nervous system.

It can take many rounds of practice.

Combining essential oils, the breath, mindfulness and body work helps to calm the fight/flight sympathetic nervous system and evoke the parasympathetic nervous system to integrate access to rational thinking, empathy and compassion.


Aromatherapy to Inspire Mindfulness and Heartfulness

“Not all Chaos is bad. Flowing through can lead to major breakthroughs.

Take a pause and breathe as you welcome all emotions. Pay attention to their messages, switch on your heart light with essential oils and self soothe. Get still, ask and listen for guidance and take inspired action to break through. This can lead to a more composed way of being and more constructive way of living.”  Robbi Zeck

  1. Pause, Breathe and Hold

Evoke the relaxation response to balance the nervous system. Place one hand on the emotional stress relief points, ie place the flat of your palm across your forehead. Notice where you are feeling the symptoms of anxiety in your body. (Do a body Scan). Start some heart centred breathing, ie inhale through your nose for the count of 4 and breathe softly and deeply into your belly. Exhale slowly through your mouth as if blowing a candle, for the count of 6 and direct your attention to the place of tension. Allow your body to relax and release tension. Repeat for 5 – 10 breaths. To start with you may not be able to take a deep “in” breath so try 4-5 short inhales and a longer exhale.

  1. Welcome all Emotions

Rumi compares being human to a guest house, “Every morning a new arrival, a joy, a depression, a meanness comes as an unexpected visitor.”  he suggests to “welcome and entertain them all, even if they are a crowd of sorrows” and to “be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Name the emotion ie. this is fear, anxiety, anger, sadness etc without judgement.

  1. Be curious; what Message does the Emotion have for you?

What comes to mind when think of the emotion, what are the relevant thoughts and feelings? Ask yourself does it relate to present time or is it a reaction to something you fear will happen in the future? The emotion is real, but the thoughts and feelings associated may not necessarily be true. Question these and see if you can re-frame them with awareness and compassion. What does the opposite of the emotion mean to you?

  1. Switch on your heart light

Place your hands on your heart and show yourself compassion for your situation. Tell yourself it’s OK. Breathe in the essence of a stress relieving essential oil and direct love, grace and gratitude to your beautiful heart. Oils of choice could include bergamot or neroli.

  1. Take inspired action

In the stillness, keep breathing, and ask yourself what inspired action you could take to move you beyond the situation and towards your positive expression of the challenging emotion? ie. if you are anxious, what would it take for you to feel calm.

Sit with yourself in the silence and draw your attention to your assets and inner resources until the answer comes.

From a place of stillness and composure, can you come up with a plan of action to move you beyond your concerns? Write down your plan and take the inspired action.

stress relief

Support Yourself with Regular Aromatherapy Massage

Our bodies respond to anxiety provoking thoughts and fear situations with muscle tension.

Constant muscle tension can also make you feel agitated, fatigued, apprehensive and you can develop muscle soreness  as well as headaches and other ailments.

You are more likely to have an anxiety episode if you are in a constant state of physical stress and tension.

Regular Aromatherapy massage relaxes the body, mind and spirit.

The benefits of regular aromatherapy massage include:

  • Feeling calm
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decrease output of stress hormones invoking the relaxation response
  • Breathing more slowly
  • Sleeping better.

The combination of nurturing touch from the therapist, the gentle rhythmic massage style, the aroma and therapeutic constituents in the essential oils work to calm the nervous system, relax the muscles and help you take time away from your thoughts and embody still and calm.

If you are prone to anxiety, you need to practice embodying peace regularly.

Disrupting entrenched patterns of being is challenging.  It takes a desire for wellbeing and commitment to the daily practice if embodying calm. If you need some help, book in for a consultation and get started with an Aromatherapy massage.

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Yours in Living Well Kim