An expert reveals how elemental spiritual practices can reduce stress and anxiety during COVID 19 second wave

COVID 19 second wave has left everyone in great fear and despair that has caused intense stress and anxiety in us. But along with the efforts of containing the virus, we should also try to cope with the stress. So, an expert talks about how elemental spirituality can reduce the anxiety during this pandemic.
How to manage stress amid COVID 19 second wave An expert reveals how elemental spiritual practices can reduce stress and anxiety during COVID 19 second wave
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People were already in a great level of stress last year, but now this stress has been doubled up and more intense due to the second wave of COVID 19. Stress, anxiety, paranoia have been a part of our life as we constantly have to think about surviving in this global crisis. But whatever happens, stress is never going to help with the situation or give a solution to get rid of the deadly coronavirus. So, we should first try to reduce our stress and anxiety level to stay fit, healthy and happy from within. So, Shivali Bhammer, Urban Yogi, talks about how we can practice elemental spirituality to cope with stress and anxiety.

How stress is created?

The answer to most things has always been grounded in spiritual practice, because we live our daily lives through the lens of our inner mind. We aim to control things that are outside of us in order to feel better internally, but this is a failing strategy. Although stress is attributable to the current climate, work, relationships, family dynamics, etc. the actual burden and emotion of stress is created by ourselves. Once we take responsibility for that part of it, we can change 90 percent of the issue.

How to practice elemental spirituality?

The first spiritual practice is to restructure your thought process from replaying negative scenarios. When we feel anxious, we are telling ourselves that we do not have control over a situation. That situation may not have occurred, it may be the fear of what ‘might’ occur in the future, or it could be something that happened in the past. Either way, our minds keep replaying the situation like a film and we re-watch it internally and this gives rise to anxiety.

So, that’s the reason we meditate so that we can learn to master our minds, thereby reducing the noise that constantly consumes us. And this is called elemental spirituality. Being thoughtful to ourselves does not mean thinking more, it means refining the process of ‘thinking’. We have to learn to distinguish between a thought that is useful versus one that is burdensome. This discriminating faculty is strengthened by sitting in silence because it forces you to separate yourself from your mind and become the master of it.

Secondly, living in grace, is accepting that you cannot change and continue to strive to give your all to things that are in your control. Our ego means we attach ourselves to a version of life, outcomes or circumstances that we desire. However, we have to step back and accept that there is a flow and rhythm to our existence.

There will be decisions that we can make and there will be things that arrive unannounced or never come at all. Our ability to accept and navigate will determine the level of stress and anxiety we feel. When a hurricane comes, the grass chooses to bend, it never breaks. We have a similar choice, by being flexible and compassionate towards ourselves and the actualities of life, we won’t break.

Finally, an elemental spiritual practice is grounded in the discipline. Although discipline sounds tedious, it is the framework for a stable mind. This coronavirus pandemic has created much uncertainty and so you have to create certainties for yourself, for example; an exercise regimen, reading, a hobby, your work, meditation, nutritious food, or a walk, etc. How you design your day is up to you but if you can learn to be disciplined and stick to a timetable it will give you a sense of control, and most importantly, it will stop your mind from stress.

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