practical spirituality October 14 2018, 0 Comments
There are an array of resources when it comes to self-help topics of all kinds. From books to podcasts and workshops, approaching one’s emotional and spiritual health can be a huge and confusing undertaking. When it comes to achieving balance, there’s value in intuition and “trusting what you gravitate towards”, but if you’re not feeling inspired, here are some simple resources and practices to consider.
Mindful eating is the practice of being fully present while you eat. This means sitting down, making sure you’re in a calm state, thoroughly chewing, and doing your very best to brush aside stress and anxiety while nourishing your body. It’s not always possible to do these things, but making the effort can result in better digestion, an increased appreciation and connection to your food and a clear mind. Approaching food in this way can also be viewed as a form of meditation. Avoid as many distractions as possible, such as tv, scrolling on your phone and doing work. These all divert energy away from the process.
Another way to encourage better digestion, and to work with natural rhythms, is to eat meals at the same time everyday. This lets your body know when to expect nourishment, and can lead to more consistent energy day-to-day.
The Presence Process by Michael Brown
A renowned book for those who believe that past emotions and traumatic experiences are stored in our bodies and subconscious. The Presence Process guides the reader through uncovering hidden emotional blocks and working through them, resulting in feeling lighter and more connected to oneself.
On the topic of natural rhythms, the quality of your sleep has a ripple effect throughout your day. Taking steps to ensure deep and restorative sleep can have a positive effect in all areas of life. Some tips for creating restful sleep:
- power down electronics at least one hour prior to going to sleep. This includes tv, laptops, and cellphones
- use a diffuser and essential oils to create a restful atmosphere. Some essential oils associated with decreasing anxiety and encouraging relaxation include lavender, rose, vetiver and frankincense.
- take the time to ensure your linens are fresh and clean. Using a non-toxic laundry detergent, with a mild scent or no scent at all, can help with creating a relaxing atmosphere. For some, the harsh synthetic perfumes in conventional detergent can be both stimulating and irritating and potentially disrupt sleep.
If feeling stressed or anxious, consider doing a breathing exercise. It can be useful at the start of your day, before bed, or any time it’s needed. A popular one is the alternate nostril technique. Using your thumb, press down on your right nostril, breathe deeply into your left nostril, then use your index finger to block the left nostril and breathe out of the right. Inhale right, cover, exhale left. Inhale left, cover, exhale right. Continue repeating the process, slowly and steadily. Try to keep your mind clear of thoughts, but if things pop up, that’s ok! Also, be mindful to not be aggressive, impatient or forceful with the exercise. The goal is to slow down and allow the stresses of the day to melt away.
Feeling overwhelmed is all too common, especially if living in a city, working, and juggling a myriad of responsibilities. Making an effort to create time for oneself and “checking in” is absolutely essential to ensuring well-being. If time is short, many of the above practices are ones that can be integrated in a regular day without requiring much preparation, and can lead to greater calm and self-awareness. They are also foundational tips that can be built upon, if you find that you’re enjoying them and feeling inspired.