A quick guide to a swell state of being!
By Natascha Shah
Besides the age old stress of horrible bosses, bad relationships and finance, we now have the new-age problems of bad wi-fi, low battery and so on. People of the 21st century are surrounded by triggers of anxiety and in such circumstances it is vital to keep calm, breathe and nurture the body, mind and the soul. Here are a few fun, easy to practice methods of achieving a relaxed state of mind and a healthy life!
ADULT COLOURING BOOKS
These have taken the world by storm! From the beautiful flowers and leaves of Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden to scenes from Game of Thrones there is a huge variety available online and in the local bookshops. According to researchers, like meditation, colouring allows one to switch off the brain from other thoughts and focus on the moment, this not only helps to significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress, depression and anxiety but also elicits a relaxed mindset. The great psychologist Carl Jung advised it many many years ago!
A good fragrance always lifts up the spirit and elevates the senses and even the Egyptians think so—they were the first ones to use aromatic oils during massages and baths. Scented candles, Essential oils in diffusers or massages and baths, all of these are ways of melting your stress away and fighting problems such as insomnia, migraine, allergies etc
Some fragrances and their effects:
Chamomile scent is proven to reduce restlessness.
Peppermint helps reduce muscle tension and aches and headaches, muscle pain or even problems with digestion.
Lavender soothes and relaxes
Orange and cinnamon help increase in energy
Eucalyptus helps fight allergies, infections and fatigue
Rose has a relaxing effect and may also help a woman balance the hormones
Lilac helps improve memory
We are a nation of tea drinkers but most of that is cutting chai with dollops of sugar! Well, that won’t help. Do it like the Chinese and sip black/green tea throughout the day and before, after and with meals. According to the Ancient Chinese Philosophy, as described in Kenneth S. Cohen’s The Way of Qigong (available on amazon), sipping tea helps in the movement of QI (energy) in the body. Qigong-the art and science of Chinese healing classifies tea as sweet and bitter flavour, benefitting the spleen, stomach, heart and small intestine. The green colour of the natural leaf is associated with liver. Tea promotes the function of the liver to spread and harmonise the qi. Green teas are slightly cooling and black teas are slightly warming hence the former is preferred in summer and the latter in winter. Tea induces a serene, calm state of mind, sensitive to nature. There is also a proper technique of making tea! Some of the essentials to keep in mind are:
Always use a wooden spoon to add tea leaves to the pot in which you are making tea, never use your hand as it may effect the freshness of the tea.
When you pour in the hot water for the first time, pour it out within 10 seconds and the add water again.
Steep the tea for a total of about one minute. Never stir it, instead pick up the tea pot and make small leisurely circles with it.
Music is one of the best known mood-uplifters in the world. Be it jazz, rock, blues, classical- whatever rocks your boat, just play it out load or in the background and you will instantly feel good about yourself and about life in general. There are some specific chanels on youtube which have meditational music, which if played at home, in the background is known to spread relaxing vibrations or if played before bedtime helps fight insomnia. Yellow Brick Cinema is a great channel on youtube for all sorts of relaxing music!
A hint of green in your room will do you a greater good than just providing a visual treat. There are numerous indoor plants available online and in the markets that have a lot of benefits! Aloe helps clear the air of toxic chemicals and provides gel, which is great for both skin and hair. Peace Lily is another air purifying plant which looks beautiful with its delicate white flowers. The Bamboo plant is great for the dry winter months as it adds moisture to the air. If you have a lot of carpets at home, go for Ficus, as it helps remove pollutants from furniture and carpets.
SWEAT IT OUT
Any form of exercise is not just great for the body but also produces happy hormones and refreshes the mind. Go for a jog, join a dance class, indulge in sunrise yoga, learn a sport, whatever you like- just make sure you get at least 40 mins of physical activity everyday. According to researchers Yoga, meditation and a good run- all three combined are the key to optimum wellness!
RECONNECT WITH YOUR INNER CHILD
We all have a child inside us, who needs to be pampered, loved and made happy! Great healers, philosophers and psychologists all believe in this theory and there are numerous Inner Child Workshops now happening in India. The idea is to reconnect with your inner child and deal with problems and traumas of childhood, which have effected your adult personality, relationships and life. Almost everyone is dealing with a troubled childhood, seen the movie Tamasha? Ranbir Kapoor’s character was dealing with it as well! Check out www.liferesearchacademy.com for workshops on Inner Child Healing. Indulging in activities like, massages, hot tub baths, watching cartoons once a while, reading fairytales, being fed by a loved one or simple doing anything you loved to do as a child helps as well!