Anxiety has a habit of creeping up on you. It could be part of a constant backdrop to which we relate to the rest of the world. We are unaware of its power but it can be there without us realising, Influencing everything that we do, wondering why we are under so much stress.

I used to see the power of anxiety very clearly when I was on meditation retreats, particularly on 10 day silent retreats. During these times there was no contact with the outside world. No mobile phones no computers no Netflix just meditation. So you see, I had a chance to completely release without any influence from my mind.

During this time the anxiety reduced to zero.  I had forgotten just how it felt to be normal. In fact I it was a real eye opener to see just how much the anxiety was Influencing my life. Everything that I was doing was being filtered through a constant low level  anxious state of mind without me realising it. I first came to understand just how much anxiety plays on our lives when towards the end of the meditation retreat, I picked up a book that had low levels of violence and I could literally feel the anxiety creeping  back. It was very subtle, like stepping into an old comfortable shoe, ready and waiting.

We  live our lives in this constant state of unrealised stress. Unless we take measures to counteract the stress, which is added to every day. For example, by being bombarded with media right or wrong, and getting upset with what you see, will all eventually have a negative effect on us. How much we choose to take on in the somewhat difficult times is up to us. But unless we take serious action to control or even become aware of stress and anxiety it will eventually affect our health both mentally and physically. Physical exercise is a great way to de stress the body. This could be anything from a light yoga stretch, Tai Chi, a walk, or a more intense training session such as boxing or Martial Arts. A simple meditative practice where you can learn to let go and release from the power of your thoughts is certainly a good Idea.

You do not need to go to a meditation retreat as many of these skills are accessible right here and right now. But it takes effort and persistence to learn and grow a new way of behaviour. Even if you think that you are stress and anxiety free, the exercise for the body mind and spirit will still help you. Slowing down and smelling the roses is advice that is very true. Releasing into the power of the present moment and not constantly running your life by your thoughts of the past and the future, running from one event to the next without paying attention, life will just waste away. Physical exercise, and a regular mindfulness practice or meditation will assist you in many ways.

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