International Mountain Day celebrates mountains and their delicate ecosystems. This day has inspired us to take a different look at mountains and ask the question – what is your mountain and how do you cope with it?
Define a mountain
Technically a mountain is defined as: ‘a natural upward projection of the earth’s surface, higher and steeper than a hill and often having a rocky summit,’ but in life a mountain could be anything. It could be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning and facing the day or it could be getting ready for a public speaking slot in front of hundreds of people.
We all face different challenges; how do we deal with them?
When we are stressed people tend to say ‘breathe’, and we automatically take a breath in when actually what we should do is breathe out. The exhale is as beneficial to us as breathing in.
If we take a sudden or forced breath in we can be trapping carbon dioxide in our lungs, which is a further stressor for our bodies. By lengthening our exhale, we relax our nervous system which helps to counter our fight or flight instinct. It also aids relaxation, anxiety, releases tension and cools the body down.
So as your mountain approaches concentrate on your breathing and ensure your exhale is longer than your inhale, this will help calm you down and ready you for the challenge.
This is a very different approach to dealing with stressful situations and you may well have seen people doing this and not understood why.
It is based on pressure points used in acupuncture and stimulates the energy points on our body. The tapping increases energy flow through these points, it is also a form of comfort as it is self-soothing through touch. The human touch is very powerful and is a natural way to comfort someone.
There are various points on the body which relate to energy points, such as the eyebrow, top of the head, under the eye, the collarbone etc. Tapping these areas while repeating a set up statement like “Even though I (state how you feel), I (choose how you want to feel about it),” allows your mind and body to work together to release the anxiety.
This can be carried out before a big event or a meeting which is causing you concern.
If you were to go back in time and look at the rituals humans used to perform chanting would have been a large part of it. Even organised religion encourages singing and the army use repetitive chants when training too.
From a health and wellbeing point of view chanting helps relaxation, reduces heart rate, calms brainwaves and respiration, it also helps oxygenate the brain, reduces blood pressure and synchronises both hemispheres of the brain.
This might not be the most obvious of solutions but when practiced regularly it brings a calm state of mind, which leaves you feeling ready to take on your mountain.
No matter what your mountain is there are ways and means of dealing with it. Sometimes it is just the thought of tackling your mountain which is frightening. If you prepare yourself well for the journey you can overcome anything.
For further advice please get in touch to discuss your mountain.