It’s OK not to be OK

Our world has experienced numerous shifts during recent times. So many changes have affected our lives, work, families, and security. Countless unsettling moments continue to challenge our sense of balance. And, while many of us are now settling into our ‘new normal’, we may continue to feel the effects of this stress.

Remember, beautiful souls, that it is okay not to be okay at times.

My message for you is to slow down

Slow your thinking.

Slow your doing.

Be aware of what is driving you.

Are you in flight, fight, or freeze?

This is the body’s natural stress response to fear and trauma and is increasingly common in today’s topsy-turvy, ever-changing world. When you perceive something as a threat, your brain is wired to make the best decision to get you away from danger and keep you safe.

  • Fight: an active defence response where you take action to eliminate the danger
  • Flight: also active, it involves you escaping the danger
  • Freeze: although hyper-alert, you are rendered immobile, unable to act against the danger

Your sympathetic nervous system drives the fight or flight responses, while your parasympathetic nervous system drives freezing. The hormonal and physiological changes that occur in your body usually settle within half an hour of the ‘danger’ receding. But, in times of ongoing stress and anxiety, your nervous system can become overactive and trigger these responses even when there is no obvious or immediate threat.

Relaxation techniques and activities, combined with an awareness of your body and inner self, can be incredibly helpful to counteract these stress responses.

Breathe, dear one, and take a moment to settle into your body.

Body Awareness is so important in understanding your underlying emotions

Your emotions are often deeply motivated by your subconscious, the part of your brain that has been conditioned and is set on ‘auto’.

When you pause, consciously take a breath, and feel into your body, it raises your awareness and offers the opportunity to acknowledge your feelings, ‘drop anchor’, and reset.

Drop Anchor: for mindfulness and grounding

Dropping Anchor is a simple mindfulness technique that will help you unhook from those incessant thoughts that don’t serve you. It helps you to ground in the present and stop the flow of worry.

  • Stand and plant your feet into the floor
  • Push your feet down
  • Notice the floor beneath supporting you
  • Notice the muscle tension in your legs as you continue to push your feet down
  • Notice your entire body – and the feeling of gravity flowing down through your head, spine, and legs, into your feet
  • Now look around and notice what you can see
  • Name five things you see

And then, my friend, take the time to pause. Get out into nature. Breathe the fresh air. Rejuvenate and nourish your spirit, and connect with your inner self.

Journal in Nature: to tap into your emotions

Lately, I’ve encouraged several clients to take a journal and pen and go for a walk. Preferably in nature and, if possible, somewhere near water.

  • Find a safe place to sit, then gently close your eyes – just for a moment – and breathe in the fresh air
  • Sit for a while and be present to your surroundings
  • Listen to the sounds around you
  • Consciously observe what you see, feel, hear, and smell

Now, open your journal and write whatever flows through your thoughts. Tapping into your inner voice can be cathartic and is often a source of inspiration and awareness.

During these shifting times, make space for these moments of calm. They allow you to connect to your inner self, that part of you that is often ignored in the ‘busyness’ of daily life.

Just for a moment, slow down and breathe.

Take care,

With love,

Maria x

Please reach out if you need support and guidance. As a registered counsellor, spiritual mentor, and healer, you can confidently book an appointment knowing you have someone with experience and compassion who will listen and guide you.

By Maria Lacey

An award-winning author of One Path, Many Lights, a spiritual and personal memoir. Maria writes about life, the adversity, learnings, musings and triumphs. A therapist, healer, performance artist and speaker Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.” For more information about Maria and her work visit her website at www.marialacey.com.au.

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