Does it feel like every time you turn around, something outrageous has happened – again and you wished you had a magic wand to calm the crazy?
It seems never ending these days. Turn on the news, talk to your friends, read the paper, check your social media and yes, there it is: a lot of crazy going on in the world. Observing it is one thing, but when it feels like the crazy is coming home with you and taking over, its time to put a stop to it. The more you are surrounded by negativity and craziness, the more crazy and off center you are likely to feel yourself. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We may not be able to take a magic wand and change what is wrong or crazy in this world, but we can calm the crazy within us.
There are yoga strategies that can reverse, prevent or shield you from taking on negative and crazy energy. The more often you repeat these strategies, the more effective they become so that you can calm the crazy.
7 Yoga Strategies to Calm the Crazy
1. Reduce or eliminate — if possible — the amount of time exposed to who or what makes you feel crazy.
The great yoga sage Paramhansa Yogananda said “Environment is stronger than will power.” So if crowds bother you, avoid them as much as possible. If someone drives you crazy, don’t say yes to a get together. If you can’t avoid them, simply minimize your time with them. If news sends you off the deep end, quit consuming news like it was your last meal. Moderation or even a news fast can make a big difference in how you feel. When you can’t avoid the crazy, your practice of yoga and yoga meditation will help you tolerate other people and events more easily.
2. Feeling crazed, crazy, or out of whack is a sign that stress is getting the better of you.
Yoga breathing is one of the fastest ways to reduce the stress response. So when you feel your crazy meter rising, take a deep breath. Emphasize your exhalation. Then practice yoga breathing right on the spot. The more you practice yoga breathing as a regular practice when you are not in a stressful situation, the more immune you will be to the negative effects of stress.
3. Move your body!
Exercise can help you switch your focus and feel normal again. Practicing yoga postures is especially beneficial because it trains your mind to refocus as you breathe through your moves. Many people say they need their yoga practice to remain sane.
4. The yoga practices of non-judgement and non-attachment are greatly needed during crazy times
Often it is judgements and attachments to old ideas and old ways of doing things that can make a sane person feel crazy.
Try this to work on non-judgement. First of all observe your own thoughts and notice if you find that you judge yourself. Try this for a day. If you are constantly judging yourself, it will be hard to stop judging other people. Give yourself a break and change the chatter of “I can’t, I am not ___” Into “I will and I am enough”. Then when you find yourself judging other people, remind yourself that you are not walking in their shoes. You really don’t know their back story. And remind yourself that they are doing their best in the moment. Now, don’t confuse discrimination with non-judgement. For example if someone’s “best” is to constantly berate you, then use your discrimination, to stand up for yourself or remove yourself from their influence.
5. Understand what non-attachment means
When it comes to non-attachment, people often think they must have nothing to be non-attached. Having nothing is simply having nothing. You can be attached to the idea of having nothing and prevent yourself from having even modest gains in financial wealth and comfort. And you still have the issue of attachment. You can also be a millionaire and not be attached to your wealth and your possessions. It’s easier said than done. But once mastered you will find yourself feeling very free.
To learn non-attachment try this practice. At the end of every day, think of all that you are grateful for and feel the sensation of gratitude in your body and mind. Then imagine yourself without your material possessions and stubborn thoughts. Practice still holding onto the feeling of gratitude you just felt.
When you master non-judgement, you can view other people and situations with discrimination instead of runaway emotions. When your emotions are balanced you will be able to calm the crazy.
Likewise, mastering non-attachment, means to not be attached to your own opinions and ways of doing things. You can hear other people’s points of views and even though you may not agree, you can be ok with agreeing to disagree. Your life will become more abundant and rich if you master non-attachment.
6. Chill out and find your Zen
If you find your fuse is short and you easily react crazily, perhaps angrily, it’s time to chill out and find your Zen. Learning to how to meditate is a great way to work out wild emotions. Getting support as you learn to practice meditation is important. The last thing you want to do is meditate on your anger and other unhealthy emotions. It’s important to have the right techniques and support.
If you are looking for amazing guided meditation to help get you started on this new path, check out Vishen Lakhiani’s 6 Phase Guided Meditation:
7. Is lack of sleep making you feel crazy?
If you haven’t had your beauty sleep you might start acting ugly; emotions run high, fuses are short, and it’s harder to have empathy for others. Our culture is sleep deprived and most of the time we don’t even know it. So take a close look at your sleep hygiene. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. The exception is for those who meditate deeply every day. Because of the deepness of their meditation, the affects on the brain include needing less sleep. Sleep! The world needs you and millions of others to sleep more!
You may be thinking this all sounds good, but how can you easily put it into practice? Having a regular yoga and meditation practice is the answer. These are all yoga techniques and yoga philosophy. A regular practice is vital. Practicing with a supportive group is also helpful. You are more likely to practice on your own if you are also practicing with others either in person or online. Zenward is an online yoga community that regularly tackles these issues in a supportive way.
Get some training in these techniques if you are really serious about calming the crazy. You can start putting into practice what you already know and can do. But if you really want to calm the crazy, get some training and support. You will be glad you did!
What helps you to calm the crazy? Please share with us in the comment section below!