Being a healthy individual is way more than just eating healthy and exercising. We have to look at our stress management, our self-talk and intentionality for all areas in our life. In our country, it seems more commonplace to take a pill for this, popping several prescriptions and loads of toxins into their systems, and often cause side effects that are even worse than our original stress. I know you value your health more than, this so today we are diving in to all things yoga, affirmations and essential oils.
When I was younger and at the beginning of my natural health journey, my mind was always racing a mile a minute. I was distracted all the time, I could not be in my car or even in my house with quiet. I was literally running around a mile a minute with lots of negative self-talk, beating myself up for every little mistake, etc.
I loved to workout but was mostly running at that time, upwards of 60 miles some weeks and really thought that was the only way to do it! Boy was I wrong. I tried to go to yoga a couple times and found it difficult to even stay in the room for the whole class. I couldn’t shut my mind off and I was annoyed that there wasn’t a clock in the room (kind of the point of yoga).
Then I started doing acupuncture with an incredible woman, Kitty Devlin. She helped to balance out my yin and yang, explained so much about how to affirm myself regularly throughout the day with positive statements, and to find rest. Rest, ha, no time for that.
And she said “you need the yoga, because you need to learn to stay in the room”. I rolled my eyes and went on my way. But she planted a seed that took several years to grow and now I am a weekly attender at Yoga Centric an amazing studio in my area.
Over the past few years I have learned how to stay in the room, and more importantly to stay on my mat. When my mind begins to fill with outside thoughts I am able to bring myself back to my original intention. So often the seventy five minute class flies by and feels like ten minutes and before I know it we are winding down in Savasana with a cool towel soaked in essential oils! Pure bliss.
This is why today I want to talk about yoga, meditation, affirmations and oils for a more natural way to clear your mind and improve your anxiety or mood disorder. I’ve also got some helpful tips for you today! Whether you like to practice self-care in the comfort of your own home or prefer to socialize a little, I have a great recommendation for you to implement this week and kiss those pill bottles away.
When most people hear wellness, holistic, self-care, mindfulness, or anything similar… more than likely an image of a Yogi pops into their heads. That’s not necessarily a bad or wrong assumption. Yoga is a practice done by many people who are looking to improve their overall mind/body/spirit connection.
Yoga has become one of the fastest growing industries in America with now more than 6,000 studios around the country. The 2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) found that the use of yoga by U.S. adults increased significantly from 2012 (from 9.5 percent in 2012 to 14.3 percent in 2017). The percentage of U.S. children who used yoga more than doubled during this time (from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017).
There are several different types of yoga, for example Hatha, Vinyassa and Bikram and they are practiced for various reasons. Some people practice yoga for the physical aspect, to increase weight loss and become more physically fit. Other people practice yoga to reduce their anxiety, improve their overall mood, and increase their openness and spirituality.
I LOVE a local studio here in Bel Air, Maryland called Yoga Centric. Their excellent staff offers a variety of classes to suit anyone’s needs. Even if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to feel intimidated because they’ll make sure you feel right at home! And Candice is offering each of you a free class! Get your coupon code here.
Most studios offer one-time class session fees, which I would probably recommend at first to see if you like the facility, instructor, and the yoga class itself. Once you try it off, most studios offer a monthly membership which is definitely worth its weight in gold! Shop around, find where you fit.
Like yoga the practice of meditation is on the rise!
I know most people associate meditation with yoga and both can be used together, but can also be separate practices. I recommend all of my clients to start their day with a simple five minute meditation as it takes them outside of themselves for a moment, and helps initiate a calmness within the body to take on whatever your day will entail. I view it as an insurance policy of sorts for later in the day.
You don’t need anything fancy for meditation, it just requires you to be still and relax. The goal is to quiet your mind and focus on your breath while tuning everything else out. I know, if you are anything like me, and especially for those that struggle with anxiety, sitting quietly can feel like impossibility! It’s going to take practice, give yourself grace as it is a learning process.
I’m still working on this myself. But all you need to start with is five minutes. Get comfortable, set a timer and prepare to improve your mood and just “be”. I recommend doing this right when you wake up, you can even incorporate a short written devotional or message and then start your five minutes. You will be amazed at the energy shift you experience after doing this regularly just a few minutes each day.
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most” -Budha
Affirmations come in all “shapes and sizes” and they are easy to incorporate throughout your day. Affirmation just means little reminders to yourself that you are an amazing person inside and out.
Post-it notes are great for this if you’re just starting out, especially for those that struggle with self-worth (I love post it notes). So next time you’re at the store, grab a few! You can then start writing down things, even if you don’t 100% believe them right now, it will eventually become your truth. Write things down like:
“I am beautiful”
“I am worth it”
“I will have a great day today!”
“I am worthy of receiving love”
“I am healthy”
“I am confident”
And so on…
You choose the best place to put these. I like around your mirror so you can say them aloud (yes, so serious) and look yourself in the eyes. You can put them in your car- just no reading affirmations and staring at yourself while driving… that is dangerous! You can also put post its in your desk draw at work so when you open it, it’s a nice little reminder 😊
A teenage client of mine this week told me that she was inspired by vocal teacher and the drama production she was working on and took a stack of index cards and just wrote out good things. She then taped them all over her bedroom walls including the ceiling above her bed. What an amazing idea!!
If Post-it notes or index cards aren’t your thing, you can get a cute journal and write these things down EVERY DAY. By practicing affirmations every day, you’re trying to rewire your subconscious and make these things become your truth. Be sure to say them to yourself throughout the day to install them more.
There’s no right way to do this, and you might feel a bit silly at first, but we all do trust me. It’ll get easier and before you know it, you’ll be giving yourself a high five in the mirror for being so awesome! Just remember you are responsible for taking care of you, so that includes giving yourself praise.
Essential Oils & Relaxation
Essential oils are AMAZING! They are perfect for those looking to improve mood within a few seconds. A few go-to oils for reducing anxiety are Lavender, Valor II, Stress Away, Vetiver, Patchouli. Patchouli is also good for balancing emotions in general.
For anyone that is new to Essential Oils, I recommend checking out a podcast (I know, who would have thought) called Essential Oils Healthcare Radio. They have an episode #15 called Mastering Emotions with essential oils that is so so good!
While we’re on the topic of audio, I have some great apps to help assist you with relaxation. The first one is Relax Melodies which helps sooth you to sleep with relaxing melodies. This is especially beneficial when your mind tends to go on overdrive when your head hits the pillow. The next one is Headspace which is used for guided meditation. So, it helps you declutter your brain and get into meditation mode with assistance.
So to recap, being a healthy individual is way more than just eating healthy and exercising. We have to incorporate tools for stress management and emotional stability. Yoga, meditation, positive affirmations used daily and essential oils are just those tools!
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” –John Rohn
When you try these tools, leave me some feedback below. I love to hear from you! For anyone new here, be sure to join our community so we can get a chance to connect! Talk to you soon.