It's easy to be easy when things are easy, but can you be easy when things are not so easy?
It's perfectly normal to experience frustration when things aren't going your way. Frustration is a common emotional response that we experience when we are unable to attain a goal we have set for ourselves. This goal can be anything from a simple, daily task to a long-term aspiration. When we have certain expectations about how things should go (even in your yoga practice), and reality doesn't align with those expectations; or when we don’t know how to address a problem, fearing the consequences of failure; or when witnessing or experiencing an unfair treatment or injustice, like what's happening right now around the world, frustration can set in and we can be left feeling irritable, more sensitive and easily annoyed, feeling impatient, demanding quick solutions or with a sense of unease.
So in order to manage those strong feelings, the first step is to acknowledge that you're feeling frustrated and try to understand the reasons why you're feeling this way. And because of our beautiful and intelligent mind, it's is very hard sometimes to find the time and space to listen and understand the reasons behind the frustration.
Learning to manage and channel frustration in more constructive ways might involve using relaxation techniques, punching a pillow, running, chatting to a friend, yoga, problem-solving, communication skills, or seeking support from friends, family, or professionals. Whatever it is that works for you, great! It doesn’t have to be one thing or the other, but we have different tools to reach out to when we need them.
And because I have been finishing my training in Meditation and Breathwork, I wanted to share 3 breathing techniques that will help you reduce the noise in the mind, establish a sense or balance and help you down-regulate the nervous system when things are going the wrong way or whenever you need to come back to the present moment - we all have those days!
1. For the busy mind with busy schedules. The Deep Breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing) is available any time and you can practice this technique anywhere whenever you feel agitated, facing a big challenge, an important meeting or presentation, or event when discussing with your children what's for dinner
Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise (expand) as you breathe in.
Exhale slowly through your mouth, letting your abdomen fall (contract).
Continue this deep, slow breathing for several minutes. Focus on the rise and fall of your abdomen.
2. One of my favourite techniques is this version of a triangle breath, the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Easy to practice and a very powerful way to release stress, down-regulate and bring clarity to the mind again:
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of 4 seconds.
Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds.
Repeat this cycle 3-4 times.
3. A very soothing and calming way to bring balance back and focus again on the here and now is the Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana):
Sit comfortably with your back straight.
Use your right thumb to close off your right nostril and your right ring finger to close off your left nostril.
Start by closing your right nostril and inhaling slowly through your left nostril for a count of 4 seconds.
Close your left nostril, release your right nostril, and exhale through your right nostril for a count of 4 seconds.
Inhale through your right nostril for 4 seconds.
Close your right nostril, release your left nostril, and exhale through your left nostril for 4 seconds.
Continue this pattern for a few minutes, making sure your breaths are slow and controlled.
Try practicing these breathing techniques regularly, not only when you're feeling frustrated but also as a part of your daily routine maybe 3 times a week and keep record of how you feel afterwards. I can honestly say, breathwork is a game changer. I wake up every morning and do 10min breathwork followed by 10min meditation, and I've noticed how my energy is shifting already, I'm maintaining a sense of calm throughout the day (that I didn’t have before) and I feel more patient and calm when dealing with stress. And it might work for you too!