Helping Your Wired & Tired Students
When thinking about the topic of stress you can’t help but wonder, why are so many people on the verge of a breakdown? It seems like more and more people are in fight or flight mode, completely lost on how to calm themselves down and turning to medication for a quick fix.
In Ayurveda, we always try to find the root of an issue. Being “constantly connected” has become the new normal, but it can lead to a pattern of being wired and tired.
If this seems to be a problem in your life, or in the life of your students as a wellness professional, there are some things you can do.
Understanding Hyperstimulation and Stress
It is astonishing the hyperstimulation our senses go through in the modern world. We are constantly bombarded by instant messages, images, and audio. We are expected to be connected to our devices at all times. Simultaneously, a disconnect has been forming between humans and nature.
But what is this bombardment of stimulation actually doing to people?
In my 20 years of practical experience working with modern humans, I have encountered many people who suffered from stress and I’ve realized how helpful and Ayurvedic perspective can be. Many of the people I work with on my programs, including wellness pros, are quite stressed out and broken down in terms of the subtle doshas. I have observed a significant difference between optimal health and where they actually were.
Breaking Bad Patterns and Finding Your Rhythm
How do we break the pattern? We start by taking an honest look at ourselves. For many years I wasn’t willing to admit that I was in the pattern too. I was in the pattern as much as a lot of the people that I was trying to help. Or maybe I was a few steps ahead of them, but the pattern was still quite dominant. There has to be a level of self-reflection, or how the yogis put it, svadhyaya.
Self-study will allow you to get into a deeper level of awareness and let you understand if you are hyperstimulated or not. At the same time, you will begin to realize what is truly most important right now in our day-to-day habits. The pathways to better understanding this can start to open up with some Ayurveda concepts such as the subtle doshas of prana, tejas and ojas.
Let’s start with ojas, it’s similar to kapha, composed primarily by earth and water. You want to focus on the water element. Water is the energy of that which nourishes the life force. Just think of your mouth. If your mouth is dry you can’t taste things properly. If your eyes are dry, it’s hard to see. There’s this level of cohesion and unctuousness that is the energy of kapha. And when it turns into its subtler form, it’s this energy of a very deep intelligence that enables healing and rejuvenation. When someone is hyperstimulated, they are dried out, because there’s too much attention scattered to the wind.
Tejas is the subtle dosha of pitta, of fire and water. The awakened fire of tejas, is discrimination, it is that which can see so clearly it can direct the path forward. In modern life, when people are overwhelmed and unable to make good decisions, you know they have affected tejas.
Now, prana is the subtle dosha of vata, which is air and ether. And we have all heard of prana, the life force energy. It is intelligent and coordinates movement. When prana is healthy and robust it acts as the conductor, the maestro, conducting the brass, the percussion and the winds. But when it’s not healthy, instead of music you get cacophony.
When you are trying to break the stress pattern it is essential to find your rhythm. Rhythm enables prana, tejas and ojas to optimize and then to increase together. In order to find rhythm you have to focus on the 0.1% and not all the shiny that scatter your prana.
The Importance of Micro Habits
Small things matter. It is the small things you do without thinking that can hyperstimulate you. Maybe you check your iPhone as soon as you wake up. Or you start your day by turning the TV on to watch the news. All this immediate chaos starts to break you down. The noise is blocking out the rhythm.
To create a new pattern you need to change the micro habits. Earlier lighter dinner, early to bed, start the day right, all of those things. A proper diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are the answer, but we all know it’s not that easy to do. And our difficulty to keep the rhythm keeps us wired and tired.
When you are in a stress pattern and feeling wired and tired, you might start realizing you experience mental fogginess. In this pattern, you are not able to focus, remember or feel inspired. To break it, you have to understand where the noise in your life is coming from. After that, you need to move away from the noise and embrace the quiet.
This might be harder than you imagine. In our fast-paced world, it is easy to think we have to do it all. And so we spend our days trying to fulfill multiple roles and putting out energy without letting our bodies rejuvenate. We want to break out of the stress pattern, but we are addicted to it. The secret is to listen and change the little things.
Disconnect For Your Health
Disconnecting from the noise might seem like an impossible task, but it is crucial for your physical, mental and spiritual health. Little changes can help you break the pattern. So go ahead and cancel your Netflix subscription, or shut down the Wi-Fi at 6 pm. Clear the unnecessary noise and you will start noticing the difference.