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Facing Fears

What will happen in the next weeks and months? What will happen to our jobs, to our social contacts, to our freedom? When will we be able to hug again our families and travel again?
What we are living now is indeed some uncertain times and it is “normal” to experience fear.  Fear is a physiological signal from our bodies that implies some kinds of actions: the basic one is the “flee or fight” response. But during these times, we can not flee and it is not sure if there is someone to fight.
So, it is a real challenge to stay calm, in our minds and in our bodies despite the uncertainty.

To nourish the quietness inside us, I would like to suggest practicing some exercises that would help the mind to focus on the present moment and the body to contain the sensations of fear, without reacting against them and without panicking.
When we react against fear, we contract our muscles, especially the diaphragm area and we reduce our breath so not to feel the uncomfortable sensations linked with not knowing who to fight or where to flee.
Beside the physical tensions, this kind of stress makes it difficult to see clearly what our fears or worries are… Because it is difficult to focus when our minds are agitated by fear, fear that is also blurring our feelings.

If you already practice meditation and/or sport, you know the benefits of those practices on the physical and mental well-being. If you are among the people for who those practices are not easy to maintain, you may need some support to face your fears.
For both, you could be interested in specifically engaging your breathing to work with your fears.

Take 10 minutes where you can be quite and without distractions.
Start by paying attention to your body, your posture, the sensations in your body. Then allow yourself to notice that you don’t know what will happen in the future: to your job, to your social contact, etc.
Notice your response to this not knowing emotionally, mentally and physically.
At this point you start to work with your breath: breathe in inhaling 4 times till your lungs capacity is fulfilled and breathe out in just one long and slow exhalation. Do this for at least 10 times.
Then you will continue doing the opposite by breathing in with one long and slow inhalation and breathe out with 4 times exhalation. Do this for at least 10 times.
At the end take again a moment to notice your response to “not knowing” at the emotional, mental and physical level.

The aim is to build a calm attitude even when we don’t know what will happen in the next future.
Contact me if you need support for this practice. You can also join my Breathing Circle – Tuesday morning – or Concentration Practice -Thursday morning – on zoom 🙂

Picture from Massimo Martino

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