Can Reiki help with Stress?
In my last article I was talking about how Reiki can help with Anxiety and while stress and anxiety are often lumped together as if they were the same things, there is quite a difference between these two experiences in terms of what’s going on.
Where anxiety is a fear of an imagined future, where you feel frightened about things that are yet to happen and may not actually happen, with stress you are reflecting on how you believe you’re going to be able to cope with different tasks or events. Stress is all about “I can’t do this”, “I’m not going to be able to do this”.
So stress is all about how competent you believe you are and becoming frightened about letting yourself down, or letting other people down. Stress is about losing face, not succeeding in a particular task or goal, it’s about fear of showing that you’re not good enough.
Using Reiki for Stress relief
So can Reiki help with stress and, if so, how does that happen?
Well, I think it comes down to the three powerful aspects of the Reiki that we introduce to students on our First Degree courses: mindfulness, the Reiki precepts and regular energy work.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about mindfulness because I have written about it before on this blog, but when you are mindful you are fully engaged in and engrossed with the task at hand, whether that doing the washing up or going for a walk. You become fully aware of the experience of you doing the task, living fully in the present moment, with no thoughts of the future or the past. You might notice the flow of energy through your nostrils, the feeling in the soles of your feet as you walk, the sounds of birdsong, the myriad of colours that are before you, the sensation of soap suds on your fingertips, the swishing of the water. You notice your thoughts pass by like clouds.
In doing so you start to come into contact with a still, calm centre that we all have within us if we give ourselves a chance to experience it, that place from which we can observe, non-judgmentally.
It is in this still place where we can let go of those feelings of stress, setting us free, and the more we practise mindfulness, the more often and more easily can we ease into that helpful state.
If you’d like to investigate mindfulness and meditation further, I can recommend this site: Headspace.
You can also take a look at this article: Mindfulness: An Everyday Guide.
The Reiki precepts and stress
The Reiki precepts (or the Reiki principles, or ‘Gokai’) are a simple set of ‘rules to live by’ that were established and taught by Reiki’s founder, Mikao Usui. There were said to distil the essence of Tendai Buddhist teachings into a simple set of guiding principles that anyone can follow.
The Reiki precepts emphasise humility and compassion: compassion for ourselves as much as compassion for others.
So how can we be compassionate towards ourselves and how can that help with stress? Well, we can forgive ourselves, we can give ourselves a break and forgive ourselves for not being perfect. If we expect ourselves to be perfect then no matter how hard we work, no matter how much we achieve, no matter what we do or try to do, we will never be happy.
So we can give ourselves some self-love and understanding, we can nurture ourselves, and the best place from which to do this is from that still, calm centre that we gain a glimpse of when we are mindful.
Reiki energy and Stress
Tying these strands together – the mindfulness and the compassion and self-forgiveness – is the use of Reiki energy on ourselves.
By having a good, regular routine of working on ourselves using Reiki – by carrying out daily energy exercises and some form of self-treatment – we nudge our energy system more into a state of balance, bathing us in calm, helping us to fully experience that content, still core, and putting us in the best possible position to really benefit from this wonderful system.
Oh, and I just wanted to mention that although in this blog I am talking about learning Reiki as a way of managing your stress, receiving Reiki treatments on a regular basis is also a wonderful way of experiencing the powerful balancing effect of this simple hands-on therapy.
Time to learn Reiki?
If you haven’t learned Reiki yet, and you are interested in experiencing the benefits of Reiki for yourself, why not enrol on one of “Reiki for beginners” courses (Reiki First Degree).
You’ll discover how mindfulness, the Reiki precepts and a regular routine of self-treatments with Reiki can make a tremendous difference to you.