Meditating, journaling, and tapping into our chakras has become the norm these days with an increase in wellness studios and mindfulness apps popping up left and right. Whenever we are faced with a challenge, the advice I hear is to stop, drop and meditate or to write until the brain is relaxed.
Long before wellness became uber cool we already knew the importance of slowing down, but as the world of technology has risen, we now have the pressure to always be “on” 24/7. According to Strategic Psychology, this causes even more stress to build up throughout the day, resulting in a cycle that further interrupts our sleeping patterns, health choices and daily calm.
Unfortunately, reality showcases an increase in people suffering from work and personal burnout and often living in limbo. Fortunately, there are mindfulness resources to help alleviate stressors and return us to a place of tranquility.
4 WAYS TO ADD MORE ZEN TO YOUR DAY
1. Journaling: A favorite mindfulness activity I rely on is journaling. I can’t argue enough about the important act of writing and releasing thoughts and emotions to paper. Having a journal becomes a support system, a safe outlet, a healthy activity for the brain and a way to help the mind juggle everything that is going on in your world. It’s a place to write without judgment and to allow your mindset to reshape and resynthesize all the information the brain processes. It allows your psyche to slow down, which calms and tames the human body.
2. Essential Oils: When it comes to the mind, body and soul connection, I depend on essential oils from morning till dawn. I prefer to use them topically during a meditation and yoga practice, sprinkled into a bath, and in an air diffuser to freshen the abode with a peaceful aroma. Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils are my go-to for finding inner bliss and rebalancing to the present moment. According to the Cleveland Clinic, aromatherapy–specifically lavender–can improve mood and lessen anxiety. The scents released by the oil act on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system. Individual responses to scents are highly personal, but a scent can affect your mood, metabolism, stress levels and libido in a positive direction.
3. Breathing Exercises: These are crucial when it comes to finding zen before, during and after a stressful and long day. Breathing exercises are similar to meditation, however, you don’t need music, incense or shimmery crystals. All you need is your breath. However, spa music in the background does help settle the nervous system due to its calming melodies. A breathing exercise I use regularly is my chill pill breather. In this practice, you close your eyes and inhale through the nose for six counts, hold the breath for three counts, then exhale through the mouth for six counts. Do this breathing exercise for six rounds and radically experience a shift in your mindset!
4. Helping Others: When you’re feeling down, help someone else. The Mental Health Foundation stated that being kind to friends, family, and strangers improves your emotional and physical wellbeing. Often times when we think we have it bad, there’s a person out there who has it worse. It’s about putting your matters into perspective when looking at real-world problems. Next time you find yourself stuck in a mental rut, donate food, clothing and funds to a charity, assist at a local animal shelter, cook a meal for a family at a homeless shelter, or simply leave change in homeless person’s cup. Whatever the deed is, just know you’re making another person smile through your altruism.