One of the reasons we are more prone to anxiety these days, is that we are constantly on an emotional roller coaster – stimulated by movies, social media, television and books with emotive stories. On one hand each one of these activities can give us some “time out” at the end of the day, on the other hand, it is important to note that our over-stimulated mind and emotions absorb it all and the constant input actually "adds" to the overall stress.
For example: if you watch a movie about a predator and you are involved in the story, your body cannot differentiate between the pretend story and real life. If you feel frightened whilst watching the movie, or your hair goes up on the back of your neck, you feel cold, sweaty or upset; then your emotional system is on! This means your adrenal glands are pumping the hormones that make the body to go into fight and flight mode. (Check out my deep breathing practice to reverse the affects of adrenal gland hormones)
Likewise if you see or read something that is really sad (I get triggered and cry every time I watch the movie Whale Rider), and you feel like crying, you are also having an emotional reaction which is affecting the chemistry in your body.
All this is fine if you are not over-anxious, but it is not okay if your system is already in overdrive. Our thinking and emotions are affected by the chemicals in our body: food, drugs, our own hormones, and toxins in the environment all have an affect on our mental and emotional health. For example, when I had my son, I did not sleep well (as is usual if you have babies!) and also had a lot of financial stress as my husband was made redundant. Eventually this lead to the break down of my health and I became fatigued. It was when I changed my diet, learnt how to relax and sleep, rebalance the chemistry in my body that I started to emotionally/mentally feel better again..
So, take some time out from movies,social media, books and TV. You could:
Please note that these blogs are from a lay person and not a counsellor, psychologist or medical professional. If you think you have severe anxiety or depression, you should consult with a professional.
Click here for my Worry and Anxiety resource page
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Elayne Lane is an instructor of the Universal Healing Tao. She has been teaching and doing bodywork in excess of 20 years.