The time of year when flowers start blooming and people emerge from their houses. We may see our friends again, conquer our to-do lists and feel energized and ready to take on the world (or at least make up for lost opportunities during the winter).
But if we’re not careful, we can quickly become overwhelmed. We start focusing on all the things we haven’t yet accomplished, agonizing over what isn’t or what should be instead of celebrating what is.
And since our outlook on any given situation dictates the response in our body and mind, we can suddenly find ourselves feeling disappointed, hopeless or even miserable. We might also start suffering from the usual stress-related culprits: headaches, fatigue, indigestion and a weakened immune system, just to name a few.
Thankfully, by simply reframing our point of view, we can regain control, reduce anxiety and promote long-term wellness.
First, we must hit the reset button on our mind to break away from those negative thought patterns.
A physical ‘RESET’ button might not exist (yet…who knows what Apple will come up with next) but by incorporating one or all of the following tricks, we can get ourselves out of humdrum life perception.
1. Take a Chill Pill
Supplementation is by far the easiest step to restore the balance in our body and mind. With their ability to regulate the stress response, daily doses of B-complex #6 and most important, magnesium (the relaxation mineral), help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system.
Take 1 capsule each of B-complex #6 and magnesium 1-3 times daily or as recommended by your health-care practitioner.
Good ol’ vitamin C is also key in balancing the stress response with its ability to lower cortisol levels, so grab those fresh oranges while they’re still in season!
2. Soak & Sweat it Out
Take a long, hot detox bath with Epsom salts and black pepper oil. ‘The Oil of Unmasking’, black pepper oil, brings our deep hidden emotions to the surface and helps us face what we’re feeling. It’s heating nature also ignites our inner fire, the root of healing.
While the oil works on our emotions, Epsom salts ease our physical pain by relieving inflammation in our muscles. They also help our body absorb magnesium (more of that relaxation mineral we just talked about!).
Draw a hot bath and add two cups of Epsom salts and 3-5 drops of aromatherapy black pepper oil.
Light a candle and soak for 20-40 mins—as long as you can stand it—and feel your negative emotions wash away as you sweat out the toxins.
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and plan to get some sleep immediately after ‘cause this detox soak will make you quite tired.
3. Just Say ‘No,’ Kids
Many of us find it difficult to say ‘No’ and we take on more than we can honestly handle. Recognizing our limit and standing our ground is a crucial step, but at the base of this skill is the ability to love ourselves. So before you even say ‘No’, say a little ‘Ho’oponopono’.
An ancient Hawaiian mantra and healing practice, Ho’oponopono means ‘to make right’ and consists of four simple phrases: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Focus on something in your life that has you feeling guilty, angry or shameful. Mindfully repeat the mantra as long as it feels right for you and feel the acceptance (or even forgiveness) grow and the anxiety go.
4. Have a Drink with Melissa
Before you start reviewing your contacts to see if you even know a Melissa, let us assure you this is a simple task. Most of us know about the relaxing effects of chamomile tea, but did you know that Melissa officinalis (a.k.a. lemon balm) is most effective for the nervous system? This herb is also good for the digestive system and has calming yet uplifting properties, making it an ideal herb for depression.
Steep a cup of lemon balm tea and drink up to four times daily.
5. Wake Up & Smell the Roses
Ever notice how our breath is one of the first functions to be affected by stress? Our chest tightens and inhales become quicker and shallower.
It’s no surprise that slowing down and deepening the breath has a profound effect on the mind. Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana) is one of the best breathing techniques to bring us back to the present moment, to help release accumulated stress and calm the mind.
The technique is all in the name: breathe alternately between both nostrils.
Using your right hand, place your thumb on your right nostril and your pinkie finger on your left nostril. Apply a slight pressure where the cartilage begins to partially close both nostrils.
Press your right nostril closed and breathe in through the partially closed left nostril. Close your left nostril, partially release the right and breathe out. Breathe in through the partially closed right nostril, then out the partially closed left nostril.
Repeat, slowing your breath to a comfortable rhythm. Shortness of breath is a sign that you’re forcing your breath beyond its limit.
6. Lean Back
Restorative heart and hip opening yoga poses are low-key ways to ease the mind and body. Supported bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) is especially useful for allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable at the heart and releasing negative emotions we tend to suppress into our hips.
Sit on the floor with a bolster, pillow or stacked blankets a few inches behind your pelvis. Bring the soles of your feet together and wrap a rolled blanket around your ankles, drawing the edges under your outer thighs to support them as they fall open, creating a diamond shape with your legs.
Lie back on your support of choice, making sure your head is also supported.
Rest your arms by your side, palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe. Return to the slow rhythm of your breath and repeat the Ho’oponopono meditation if it feels right as you ease into relaxation.
As you incorporate one, some or all of these tricks into your routine, notice the positive shift in your perception. Remember, our outlook is what dictates the response in our body and mind.
Move toward love and acceptance, but set reasonable expectations. Willingness to face our anxiety is a step up from fear.
Let go, live in the present moment and above all, celebrate what is.