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Finding Calmness In Chaos

Finding calmness in chaos is not always easy. During times of stress adrenaline pumps through our system. Adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine, is a hormone released by our adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located at the top of each kidney. They are responsible for producing many hormones, including aldosterone, cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. However, what many may not know is that the adrenal glands are actually controlled by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which are found in the brain.

When we perceive a dangerous or stressful situation, the amygdala processes the information and signals the hypothalamus to communicate with the rest of the body through the sympathetic nervous system. Once adrenaline is produced and reaches the bloodstream, things really start to happen, and we become energized. Now, short periods of rushes are ok. They are even deemed good by many medical professionals. It keeps us feeling alive, ready for anything, awake and aware.

However, when the rush persists for lengthy periods, it is not ok. It can cause severe damage to our systems. We can develop anxiety, heart issues, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, headaches, digestive issues, etc. The parasympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive to get the sympathetic nervous system to relax, in hopes of bringing the body into a state of balance.

As we find ourselves facing destruction in many areas, whether it is due to fires, hurricanes, war, health concerns, government choices, economic disparities, violence, etc. - here are some tips on how you can stay grounded, balanced and calm so you can persevere.

1. Slow the pace with conscious breathing. When you Inhale allow your ribcage to expand and your lungs to fill. When you exhale, exhale slowly and completely.

2. Connect. Feel the ground underneath your feet. The chair underneath your body.

3. Open your eyes. It is easy to squint when you are exhausted. Relax your eyes.

4. Stand tall. Let your shoulders be wide, your chest open and ground through your feet.

5. Keep a routine - any routine. Rise at a certain time and go to bed at a certain time. Start small and build.

6. Move your body. Yoga, tai chi, walking, running, exercise of some kind. Just move your muscles and keep your joints strong.

7. Find faith. A spiritual practice can be anything from praying to keeping a gratitude journal and anything in-between. Set your intention, be still, feed your mind, clear yourself of negative thoughts, and be the person you truly know is your best.

Keep it simple and keep on in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement. Dig deep within yourself. Sometimes the only thing any of us can do is just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. May we all experience a today that is better than yesterday and an upcoming week that is better than last.

I'll see you all on the mat!


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