Manage your body to manage your mind
By Renata Taylor-Byrne, Lifestyle Coach/Counsellor
13th October 2020
The anxiety of Covid-19 pandemic
At the moment, people all over the world are suffering from worry and anxiety, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has wreaked terrible damage to people’s lives, families, jobs, happiness and many other aspects of life.
What can you do in the face of all this uncertainty as a result of the virus?
One way forward is to exercise your control over the one thing that you have a lot of control over – your body!
Hearing all the regular updates about the progress of the Covid 19 virus on the television, in newspapers and over the internet, keeps us well-informed so we can make the necessary safety adjustments to our lives.
Unfortunately, it also makes us worry about the future:
– our health;
– the health of our family members;
– and the effects on wider society.
And all this worry affects our physical and mental health in a very negative way.
Relaxation is the undoing of anxiety and tension
Daniel Reid (2003) put it very clearly:
“When you don’t worry, your adrenal glands don’t secrete stress hormones such as cortisone, which supress immune response and enervate the nervous system with hypertension.”(Page 319).
So the price tag for all the latest information which pours out of mobile phones, and the rest of the media, is that our bodies are kept in a constant state of tension.
And most people are unaware of the accumulating inner tension until they start getting headaches, insomnia, or upset stomachs (and there are many more negative consequences).
We do need to know what is happening in the world; but we also need to protect ourselves from the drain on our energies caused by the constant negative drip-drip-drip of these news updates.
As Corrie Ten Boom stated:
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength”.
Switching on your ‘inner tranquillizer’
How can we protect ourselves from the energy drain of worrying about things that we can’t control?
Thankfully, we have a wonderful, in-built tranquiliser, which you may not know about. It’s a biochemical mechanism inside us, and it’s been called the ‘relaxation response”. It a healing mechanism which can help us recover from the stress effects on our bodies; but it only operates fully if you give yourself time to relax properly (which does not mean flopping on the sofa!)
People think they know how to relax; but relaxation is a skill that has to be learned and practiced. And, given that stress occurs on a daily basis, we need to practice proper relaxation on a daily basis.
The best relaxation technique I have researched is called ’Progressive Muscle Relaxation’ (PMR).
It is a simple technique whereby you slowly learn when your body is tense, and when it’s relaxed. And you learn this by
– tensing individual muscles in a particular way for a short space of time; and then,
– relaxing that muscle rapidly,
You can do this in a space where you can lie down, where it is calm and quiet, and you won’t be disturbed, for just a few minutes each day.
(The process is described in my latest book, Relax Your Way to A Better Life!)
As a result, you learn an extremely valuable skill. You learn the skill of being able to notice when you are tense! And to relax the various muscles of your body, as they tense up during the day in response to stressful events, bad news, and self-generated worries.
The benefits of Scientific Relaxation
This results in:
– having more energy;
– being able to sleep better at night,
– developing a stronger immune system.
As a consequence of those results,
– you can fight viruses and infections better,
– avoid insomnia,
– avoid stress-related illnesses,
– and much more besides.
The man who invented this system (PMR) – Dr Edmund Jacobson – studied the body’s muscles – (in scientific studies, involving electronic measurement of muscle tension) – and the negative effects of tension, and the positive effects of relaxation, on the body, for over seventy years.
It’s all in my new book
My book – “Relax Your Way to a Better Life” – explains this technique, including
– the reasons our bodies accumulate tension,
– the benefits of relaxation of that tension,
– and how to do the exercises that make the difference.
I have included lots of case studies and research experiments which show how PMR helps people to improve their lives.
Here is a link to the book at Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08JN7FBN6
I hope you explore this system; get your worry under control; and improve your health and happiness.
The Coaching/Counselling Division
01422 843 629
 Reid, D. (2003) The Tao of Detox: The natural way to purify your body for health and longevity. London: Simon and Schuster.