A 30-second Exercise to Reduce Anxiety
To relax in the middle of a chaotic moment requires guts or skill. Some of us are born with guts but we can all enhance our skill.
I’ve found that just before making a public speech or competing in an athletic event (like a sparring match) I am usually filled with anticipatory anxiety. To guide the intense energy that I feel in these moments, I use the following exercise to quickly relax my mind and refocus my attention on the impending task. Entering the arena with the right mindset, can be a game changer. Having simple tools like this exercise to calm and focus myself are an essential part of my “pregame” ritual.
Using Awakening Posture to Reduce Anxiety
1. From a natural stance, inhaling through your nose, raise your arms to the side until your hands are above your head. Do this very slowly and mindfully.
2. At the top of the extension above your head, overlap your hands together, with the palms facing upward as shown at left. Inhaling further, as deeply as you can, push your hands upward to maximum extension. At the same time, push the diaphragm down (this stimulates the nerves around the lungs, enhancing alertness). Take in abundant oxygen as you breathe deeply. Hold this posture for 2-3 seconds.
3a. Open your fingers wide.
3b. Exhaling slowly, lower your arms to the side. Do this movement very slowly. You may feel an electrical sensation as your arms reach the halfway point.
4. Gently drop your hands to your side, taking a deep breath.
If necessary, you can repeat the exercise if you have time. The goal is to reach a state where your mind is quieted but alert and energized.
You can watch a demonstration of this movement in this video.(This is the 1st movement in the MBX-12 sequence.)
This article is adapted from the book, Mindful Movement: Mastering Your Hidden Energy
For more MBX-12 Exercise Articles, go to MBX-12 page.