Why does anxiety peak when we catch a cold? Don’t we have enough to deal with battling the sickness bug?
Suffering myself with a few bouts of illness in the last few weeks has really got me thinking about my own mental health and how I am feeling.
Why does catching a cold take such a toll on your mental health? I have certainly noticed I am more anxious since I have been under the weather.
That little anxiety gremlin is a little louder and it can make doing things just that little bit harder.
And I know I am not the only one, so this is why I am sharing my experiences with you, in the hope that anyone in a similar position knows they are not alone.
The hardest thing about anxiety is that one day you can feel perfectly fine and like you have all your shit together, then the next you wake up with that overwhelming feeling of dread in your chest in an instant. Like, who invited you?
The Science bit…
The science degree student in me knows that when we are unwell and fighting of viruses the immune system kicks in by producing inflammatory proteins to help you fight off infection. When this happens though, you increase your risk of fatigue, poor concentration, low mood and anxious thoughts.
You also find that staying indoors, isolating, resting, avoiding others socially and maybe scrolling a little too much on social media can contribute significantly to the mental health dip many of us experience.
The spiritual bit…
The spiritualist in me also knows that we are all made of vibrational frequencies, and when we become unwell our vibrational frequency is much lower. Our energy levels dip, therefore our vibration dips.
This dip in frequency can affect our mood – we feel low, lacking in energy, anxious and even depressed.
But this low vibration is needed in order for the body to go into a ‘power down’ while it heals. It’s important to honour this ‘down time’. Look at this period as something that is happening for you not to you. There are lessons to be learnt in every situation. How can you benefit from moving a little slower?
Honour this time to rest and reset, so that the body and mind can come back stronger and prepared for this brand new chapter.
If you are under the weather right now, know this too shall pass.
Love Laura x
Music is such an important part of my teachings. Think laid back Ibizan tracks and chilled out chart music – I cant get enough!
Music lifts our spirits, it can literally sing to our soul! It can induce memories, feelings and emotions – a connection. You all know I’m about that connection!!
For many years I was under the impression that it was ‘better’ to meditate in silence and I know I wasn’t the only one. No wonder I found it so difficult for so long.
Whilst listening to music you recognise and enjoy, creates a sense of familiarity, a calmer, more relaxed environment, which makes the process of mediation more effective.
However, music is so much more than something you find enjoyable to listen to. Music has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, the system in the body responsible for our ‘rest and digest’ response. It’s the part of the nervous system that slows down our heart rate, helping take us out of a ‘fight or flight’ response.
I often put ‘unexpected’ music with my sessions as I feel it is important to know, we don’t need to listen to pan pipes or whale music during our practice for it to work, and if you do that’s amazing, but you won’t find much of it around here.
The tracks I use aren’t just some of my favourite, they are chosen specifically for each of my sessions and added to my playlists with intention.
A faster pace of music can make us feel more alert, with increased concentration. Upbeat music can make us feel more optimistic and positive. A slower pace of music can quiet the mind and relax your body, making you feel soothed while releasing any physical tension.
5 reasons for music over silence when meditating
1. Improved quality of sleep
Sleep is very important for a healthy and balanced life.
More often than not, due to external expectations and daily stresses , we can’t get a good night’s sleep. Meditation, as I have said before in my article on expectations, is what that comes to the rescue here. Meditating while listening to some calming modern music can help reduce your stress levels. You can start to feel more relaxed and will sleep better.
2. Improved concentration
Music with an increased beat can help improve concentration levels whilst you meditate. It can increase focus and bring you more of those ‘light bulb’ moments of clarity by activating those alpha brainwaves. Those times when you are having difficulty finding a solution or working through a problem, throw on some tunes and breathe.
3. Reduces stress
Another great benefit of listening to music while meditating is a reduction in the levels of stress and anxiety. Stress is one of the most common issues in today’s world. Some might argue it’s a pandemic of it’s own.
If your workload is very demanding, if you don’t have a healthy work / life balance, if external factors continue to steal your peace, it can be more natural for you to feel stressed-out often. When you listen to pleasant and soft music during meditation, you can feel calmer and more able to eliminate stress from your life. The more you practice, the more you can train your brain to recognise that certain tracks mean its time to relax.
4. Heals your body
Did you know that meditation can also heal? It not only heals mental wounds, but physical wounds as well. That’s the power of your mind. Don’t even get me started on how it can help the brain physically repair holes caused by stress… I’ll save that for next time.
Incorporating music in the background during meditation allows your body to heal naturally. There are a number of studies that show a whole load of benefits including reduced blood pressure, improved breathing efficiency, lower heart rate, improved cardiovascular function and so so many more.
5. Deeper connection to self
Music can take us on a journey and when we are meditating during that journey, it can simply be next level. It can also improve your cognitive abilities and help you meditate more efficiently. With practice, when meditating while listening to music, you can find greater inner peace, inner acceptance and happiness within yourself.
As part of my Wellness Membership it has always been a non negotiable of mine that there would be a monthly playlist included.
If you know me, you will know I literally live to create playlists that spark joy and connections for people. It may seem like such a small FREE extra that comes along with your package, but for me, it completes your practice.
Even taking the music on a mindful walk with you or while enjoying a bubble bath is an equally important part of your self care routine.
Love Laura x