Overdosing on cortison?
Last weekend, I went to a talk on Addictions held at The Body, Mind & Spirit fair, Olympia. I feel quite experienced when it comes to addictions, having recently quit smoking after 7 failed attempts. Anyway, I went because I am interested in other types of addictions that are not so pronounced or that we don’t “think” about, for example sugar, wheat, electronic gadgets, various defense mechanisms, behaviours such as projections etc. The main highlight for me was when Carolyn Cowan (Kundalini Yoga Teacher) spoke about stress and how it produces cortisone which makes her feel like there is sand in her blood. I panic in certain situations, and could totally identify my self with her description. Yoga helps the body by producing endorphins that not only make you happy but also combats the cortisone. When ever I panic I cannot speak and my head, my brain gets replaced with a void. Confusion and hesitation reigns and I become unable to make any decisions for myself. I don’t trust my judgement. At the same time, deep down inside, I know that my behaviour is unrealistic and my emotional response is exaggerated. Somewhere, far away in the distance I can hear echoes of my friends trying to help me by saying “What do you think? You look pale? Do you want a glass of water? Do you want to walk home? You need a rest? Reason catches up with anxiety and I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I just wish I knew how to stop it happening.
Last week when builders rang my doorbell at 8am and wanted to start to renovate my flat, I got a panic attack as I was packing my things away in boxes. As soon as I had finished, I went to the gym and did some Vinyasa yoga. It helped! My body language changed and towards the end of the class I even was smiling! What a relief!
Carolyn Cowan mentioned a few other ways to combat stress. Pow! I have already mentioned what the Yogis call conscious exercise. Conscious breathing is another stress reliever. It’s basically like this: Keep a good posture, breathe in through your nose using the abdominal muscles, keep the breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your mouth, repeat for as long as necessary and you will feel your pulse and heartbeat slow down. The third technique mentioned in the seminar was: ask for a glass of cold water. I have never tried this myself but I ca imagine it being useful because you get some time to think over things, used your hands to take you out of your mind and the water might cool you down.