As we leave the holidays behind us, many of us feel a bit depressed or anxious about the start of a new year.
Perhaps our social life or business affairs are not going in the direction we hoped. Or maybe a loved one that has been lost to us has been on our mind through the holiday season. The reasons can be endless.
What should be a happy time of year is often a time of sadness for many of us. But it doesn’t take great leaps and bounds to make things better for our body, mind and spirit. Sometimes we just need to keep it simple by giving ourselves a little boost to get us started.
As an alternative healthcare practitioner, I’m always curious about what’s out there and have tried many therapies over the years. Not everything works for everybody and what might have a dramatic effect on me may not even catch someone else’s notice. Because everyone is so different, my message to you would be to keep trying things until you find something that works for you and suits your needs. In your search, you’ll find that your world expands in amazing ways by making new friendships and picking up useful skills for your own self-healing tool box.
So what do I do when I’ve reached a crossroads and need some direction or could do with some self-healing?
Below, I’ve listed five basic practices that have helped to lift my spirits and, with practice, may also help yours.
1. Meditation! Meditation is one of the greatest self-healing tools available and costs nothing except a little of your time. There are many meditation techniques out there, including walking or sitting meditation. Find one that suits you and begin. Putting some meditation music on, and spending time in quiet contemplation, can soothe your soul and reconnect you with the highest aspect of yourself.
2. Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. Rebalance and rejuvenate your spirit by blending together a selection of essential oils in an aromatherapy oil burner. I’ve found the following blend to work extremely well when there is a need for nurturing, support, and healing.
Approximately an hour before retiring to bed place a few drops of the following in an aromatherapy oil burner with some water (for safety’s sake, extinguish the flame before lights are turned off for the night):
>> 4 drops Jasmine
>> 4 drops Rose
>> 4 drops Neroli
>> 3 drops Lavender
>> 3 drops Bergamot
The smell is divine! I use this one every now and again and not only sleep like a baby but anxiety and stress disappears. It feels like the weight of the world has lifted from my shoulders by the following morning! If you have a small bedroom you might like to halve the amount of drops.
3. Breathe! Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Take three slow and deep breaths using the diaphragm muscles. Breathe in through the nose, and breathe out through slightly parted lips. As you do this, imagine you’re inhaling your personal power, filling every cell in your body, from your diaphragm up to the top of your head. As you breathe out, imagine that you are letting go of everything that doesn’t serve you. Be your personal power and notice how much taller, straighter and stronger you become. Practice this for five minutes and see how much better you feel!
4. Be in the Present Moment. Take a few deep breaths and focus totally on this moment, right now. If you’re reading a book or magazine, or even this article, totally focus on the words and take in their meaning. There is only you and this article, now, in the present moment. If you’re in the workplace, focus totally on the task at hand, and only this task, and what you must do in order to complete it. Nothing else matters except you and the task at hand.
5. Set an intention. When I’m on the lookout for something new and useful for me, I set my intention on what it is I’m after. For example, I may want to find a book that will give me answers in regards to directing me to another healing modality or skill. I then meditate on this intention, give it a time frame, then open my heart to it. Amazingly enough, I will have a book in my hand in no time at all! I love the power of intention—I also use intention for getting a parking space when I go shopping! It’s a simple practice that can have profound effects. So set your attention to be happy and see what happens!
I still do sadness and unhappiness just like the next person. After all, I’m only human. But neither lasts as long, whereas in the past it would last many days and sometimes weeks. What lasts much longer now is a peaceful state that allows me to enjoy the world around me.
When using the five points above, my spirit lifts and life once again becomes more peaceful and joyful. So instead of letting this time of year get the better of, take a minute to practice a few of these points and get started towards a happier and healthier new year.
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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger