Meeting rooms, the loo, your car - you can do this everywhere...
Got a huge, big, massive date this week and you’re slightly terrified about it? A) don’t be, you’re amazing, cool, smart and funny and so very sexy and b) if it’s really stressing you out so much, now might be the time to trial meditation!
We spoke to the most zen man on the block, Will Williams about how to combat the nerves…
What would you say are the most common symptoms of date jitters that people come to you with?
Many people experience anxiety, with symptoms including racing thoughts, feelings of self defeat and low esteem, lack of confidence, negativityand even full-blown panic attacks.
How and why does meditation help?
Meditation can help make you feel calmer, more composed and improves self-esteem, all of which contribute towards making you a complete dating wizard. Meditation helps to soothe dating driven anxiety by calming down the overactive stress response in our bodies. It is this response that causes neurochemical imbalances, which in turn results in excessive worry and therefore anxiety. Essentially, many of the jitters pre-date come from anxiety.
The mechanics of the overactive stress response lead to neurochemical imbalances, which result in unhealthy amounts of worry and anxiety. Vedic meditation (the technique that we teach) balances the production of neurochemicals and hormones in the body so that you don’t become overwhelmed by fearful scenerios, such as ‘he won’t like what I’m wearing’ or ‘will I say something embarrassing?’ that your brain is conjuring up about what might happen on your date.
Many of our students begin feeling calmer immediately after beginning to meditate. Allowing the system to take a break twice a day has incredibly transformative effects – it enables the mind and body to become more resilient to what it perceives to be stressful situations i.e. a dream date in which you’re worried you’ll say/do/eat the wrong thing and make a fool of yourself.
If this is you pre-date, read on…
What are the general principles behind Vedic meditation?
Vedic meditation is a simple technique that anyone can learn. The method revolves around using a personalized mantra to relax the brain into a high state of coherence. You repeat this mantra silently in your head for twenty minutes, twice a day. This process works by kick starting a profound relaxation action in the body, mind and nervous system.
It differs to mindfulness in that the technique can be used anywhere (on the train, at work, in the kitchen, in a meeting room at work) as opposed to many mindfulness techniques which require you to be somewhere quiet where you can focus. It’s a simple, portable tool that anyone can learn and apply to their lives!
How would you suggest preparing in the week up to the date?
Most of the time we can ignore that seemingly never-ending inner dialogue by distracting ourselves with tasks and activities. However, in the case of a date that you might be nervous about, the conversation in your brain can really ramp up with the negativity and panic.
Firstly, try not to overthink the situation! The first rule of dating is to intend to have fun. If you spend a couple of hours with someone you didn’t exactly hit it off with, hey, you still had a night out and an experience to tell your friends. On the bright side, you could meet someone amazing.
The best thing to do is to simply acknowledge the anxiety as temporary and let it pass in its own time. Things like getting an early night, taking a walk in nature or having a hot bath with lavendar oil and Epsom salts will all help you get in a calmer state of mind and will help you to feel better about yourself, which is of course very attractive!
We also encourage yoga too – not only does it help to detox the body with deep breathing, but the physical exercise will also release endorphins – making you feel a little sexier too.
In the morning of the big day, meditate for twenty minutes to help kick start a deep relaxation process and try to get another stint in later on. Make sure you do so before you tackle your wardrobe because a) it will help you make a sound and sexy choice and b) It’ll ensure you don’t run out of time in a tide of last minute garment changes.
What if you’re at work?
Escape to a meeting room and meditate to help chill you out. Try and take the day at a reasonable pace and avoid too much rushing around as this will only make you more stressed!
And what if you get some mid-date jitters?
Some pranayama or breath control exercises will also really help calm the nervous system too and settle the mind or take to the loos and do some alternate nostril breathing to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain and clear energy channels to activate calmness.
You can do this by sitting comfortably with a straight spine. Next, use your thumb to close your right nostril and place the first and second fingers in between your eyebrows. Inhale through the left nostril, then close it with your ring and little fingers. Open, then exhale through your right nostril. Keep the right nostril open, inhale then close it and open and exhale slowly through the left. Continuing inhaling and exhaling in this way through alternate nostrils for a few rounds and you will be on your way to a much calmer state of mind.
Are there any things that you would advise against doing on a first date?
Taking it too seriously! You could probably fill manuals with dating advice but the thing to remember is that we are all just as clueless as one another, and in all likelihood your date is just a nervous as you. And, of course, you should aim to HAVE FUN, even when you are gibbering with nerves, because this is the thing that makes looking for love exciting. Focus on having fun and the rest will fall into place.