Taking care of your body isn’t the only factor in achieving health on many levels. Finding inner peace is also key. After sweeping your kitchen clean of inflammatory foods which trigger hives, cause allergies, inflammation and gut issues, you can use the following tools to help you succeed in your self care plan while you learn a thing or two about yourself… Our body is very good at letting us know when it isn’t happy. The problem is we don’t take time to listen, to tune in, take note of intuition to what our body is telling us. We would rather ignore those subtle warnings until they hit us like the proverbial Mac truck! Finding time to look after ourselves in our increasingly busy world is not a luxury, selfcare is a must!
In choosing to look after, listen to our body and take heed, we can enjoy life far more and participate with a greater sense of well being. This can take strength and being proactive and learning to say NO to the many distractions life loves to fling at us.
Just recently I read this wonderful sentence which made me stop and think. I hope you find it as thought provoking and powerful as I did.
You may also like my article: Understanding Body Hives: My Hives Attack & Solutions
1) Only 15 Minutes Of Taking Time To Meditate Is Calming
Commit to a meditative practice for at least fifteen minutes a day. Many studies have shown that meditation helps people cope with stress and get rid of negative emotions; improves immunity; increases energy levels; and enhances feelings of connection, satisfaction, and wholeness. The Dalai Lama has even encouraged neuroscientists to study how spiritual practices such as meditation affect the brain. In 1991, he asked Professor Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin to conduct a study on meditation.
Meditation Changes The Brain And Body Chemistry
Davidson and his research teams have shown that meditation changes brain and body chemistry. According to Davidson, meditators experience the benefits of reduced and depression. Their brain activity suggests a calmer state of mind and being. Blood tests indicate increased immune system health.
There are innumerable books, CDs, and DVDs available to show you how to start a meditation practice. Many communities also have centers or groups where you can meditate with other people.You can learn more about meditation from taking yoga or tai chi classes as well.
Try This Breathing Exercise To Instill Calmness
Alternate nostril breathing, a breathing exercise that is often referred to as pranayama, is also an effective way of entering meditative state. This exercise may seem intimidating at first, but it is worthwhile. I like to explain nostril breathing as a practice that : that allows an incision to be made into the fabric of my life, and real life experience comes rushing in. It is an experience that is so comforting, slowing down the mind so that I can walk the spaces of my problems and directly interact with my true nature. The power and the joy of life has no choice but to pool in and flood my interactions with myself and the world, marinating me in grace.”
Here’s how you can practice the pranayama technique:
- Sit cross-legged on a cushion. If needed, look for a meditation stool that allows you to fold your feet comfortably without cutting off circulation. If you can’t find a stool, you can lean against the wall for support and to help with relaxation. If you are uncomfortable, sit on a chair and rest one arm on the table to support your breathing. Make sure that your sitting bones (the bony protrusions) are at the base of your buttocks. Sit with your spine erect, without pushing your chest forward. Allow your chest to relax as the crown of your head reaches up.
- Bring your right arm up and rest your index and middle finger on your forehead. Use your right thumb to block your right nostril while inhaling through your left nostril for 5 seconds Gently hold your breath for 5 seconds. If this causes stress then only hold for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Then release your right nostril, close your left nostril with your right ring finger, and exhale through your right nostril for 10 seconds.
- Keep your position; inhale through your right nostril for 5 seconds. Next, close your right nostril with your thumb again and gently hold your breath for 5 seconds. Then exhale through your left nostril for 10 seconds. Inhale through the left nostril for 5 seconds.
- Gently hold your breath for 5 seconds. Then release your right nostril, close your left nostril with your right ring finger and exhale through your right nostril for 10 seconds.
- Keep your position; inhale through your right nostril for 5 seconds. Next, close your right nostril with your thumb again, and gently hold your breath for 5 seconds. Then exhale through your left nostril for 10 seconds.
- You have just completed two rounds. Repeat the rounds for 5-15 minutes a day.
As your relaxation deepens, this exercise will become effortless. Once you grow accustomed to the technique, increase the number of repetitions. It helps you tune in to your true feelings and make peace with many irritants in your life. By performing this exercise, I find that I have more compassion for family and others whom I come in contact with. It helps me cultivate greater compassion, reminding me that others are just caught up in their own issues when they lash out.
2) Get Moving To Feel Those Emotion Boosters: Endorphins
Physical exercise bumps up the production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good chemicals. Although this is known as a “runner’s high,” dancing like no one is watching, a fast game of tennis or a nature hike can also lead to the same feeling. Think of it as meditation in movement—after several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s dilemmas and irritations.
Exercise Is Proven To Reduce Depression And Anxiety States
A 2005 study conducted by Andrea Dunn, Ph.D., and others showed that exercise helps reduce depression. As Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, one of the study’s authors, explains, “The effect you find using aerobic exercise alone in treating clinical depression is similar to what you find with antidepressant medications . . .
The key is the intensity of the exercise and continuing it for 3o to 35 minutes per “You don’t need to run a marathon in order to reap the benefits of exercise. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy—even if it’s just a daily stroll—and you’ll notice a difference. Remember to breathe deeply no matter what form of exercise you choose.
3) Know What You Want: Set Your Intention For The Day
When you wake up, set your intention for the day by completing the following statement: My purpose is to [fill in your goal }.The intentions you set out for yourself will define your life experiences. Your intentions and perspectives will shape how you see the world, other people, and yourself.
Some people call this the “law of attraction, which states that a person’s thoughts attract whatever the person is thinking of.To exploit this principle, practice these four things:
- Know exactly what you want
- Ask for it
- Feel and behave as if the object or experience you desire is on its way
- And be open to receiving it, letting go of any attachment to the outcome.
The same principle can apply to your health. While it may be necessary for you to get a proper diagnosis for a serious health concern, it is also equally important not to own and attach your entire identity to the diagnosis. So often many of us conflate who we are with the name of the disease.
Try To To Let Your Illness Become Your Identity
Identifying with your illness can get in the way of working through a disease state and regaining health, since the healing process involves leaving this identity behind. The more anchored you are to a condition emotionally and mentally, the more challenging it may be to work toward a healthful state. Focus on healing and appreciate the many ways your body shows evidence of improving health.
4) Don’t Take Yourself Seriously: Laugh
Do things that bring you joy and laughter. Recently, P.D. Sorlie and other medical researchers at the University of Maryland found that emotional health can be further understood by studying the cells that line the inside (known as the endothelium) of blood vessels. These cells often reveal signs of inflammation in the early stages of heart disease.
Laughter And Happiness Can Work As Pain Relief
Healthy endothelial cells secrete chemicals, such as nitric oxide, that promote muscle relaxation and blood vessel dilation (as opposed to contraction). Activities and thoughts that bring you joy and increase the amount of nitric oxide these cells produce and release. Hence, happiness and laughter can mimic the physiological effects of pain relief medication.
Make Others Smile- You’d Be Surprised How Good It Makes You Feel!
Humor is different for everyone. Making others happy is also important for one’s own health. Try to make at least three people smile each day, and share laughter with your family and friends. It will do wonders and lift your spirits.
Japanese researcher T. Hayashi and his team found that laughter affects gene expression, decreases blood glucose levels, and boosts immunity. Laughing also changes brain chemistry. It stimulates the production of hormones that improve mental alertness. In turn, these hormones cause the release of endorphins in the same way that exercise does.
5) Reduce Clutter For A Calming Peaceful Home
Feng shui, an ancient Chinese art, teaches us that our living space affects our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. According to this belief, clutter is a symptom and cause of “stuck” energy. When our homes or workplaces become cluttered and disordered, other aspects of our lives tend to feel uncomfortable, too.
A Calm House Is A Calmer Mind
A chaotic space reflects a distracted mind and makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Feng shui experts Russ and Katherine Loader, who run the green design company Power of Place, explain that “over the last 20 years, research shown that our lives have become increasingly stressful and this has now created a shift in our values.”
Create A Positive Atmosphere In Your Home
As a result, people are realizing their homes can inspire positive changes. Clear the clutter around your house, in your car, and on your desk, and let new energy flow into your life. Whenever I’m feeling blocked about something, I organize my closets, clean the house and get rid of anything that is not useful, beautiful, or joyful.
6) Let Go Of Old Hurts And Find Ways To Release Emotions
Find ways to relieve anger. Anger indicates that an important boundary has been crossed. The trouble is that few of us gracefully express our anger in the moment toward the person who is upsetting We’ve been taught to suppress our feelings, but in the end we take them out on the dog or cat, our loved ones, or ourselves.
Life is too short to waste time resenting anyone. Make peace with your past so that it doesn’t spoil the present. For example, if your best friend missed an important celebration, it is easy to be hurt and shut down communication with her. However, if you’re able to make peace with her, she might be the first person to support your next endeavor.
Don’t Compare Your Life to Others…
In Max Ehrmann’s famous poem “Desiderata” he writes, “If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter; there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”We often project onto others the life we believe they have, not actually knowing what their journey entails.
Aside from anger, jealousy is the biggest way we can inflict pain on ourselves. I used to waste so much energy thinking other other people had it easier, yet many times we do not know about challenges others face. The illusion of perfection lasts only if we not delve deeper. Concentrate instead on your achievements and gifts you have to give.
No More Drama!
Look at every crisis with this thought: In two years, will this matter? My sister Micki taught me this tough lesson. Her beautiful son Mark was diagnosed with kidney failure when he was only eight years old. My mother, Jennifer, gave Mark one of her kidneys, allowing him grow, finish high school, and travel. The kidney recently was rejected by Mark’s body; he now lives on dialysis, and is waiting for another kidney transplant. Micki has faced life and death with her son so many times that she has no time for trivial dramas.
Whenever I think life is annoying because someone was rude at the bank, I remember how little it will matter in the future.We can often stress ourselves in ways that are completely avoidable. We can choose to let go and remember that often we are just reacting automatically.When I remember that I have a choice about how I react, I am able to release a huge amount of tension and be more in the moment.
Don’t Waste Your Energy On Drama And Gossip!
Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, issues in the past, or on things you cannot control. Invest your energy in the positive present moment and on affirmations that make you stronger. I remind myself every day that the universe is a friendly place—even if that driver nearly did hit me with his car!
Think of emotional health the same way you think of national defense. If you’re at peace, you’ll use your resources (whether they’re in your body or within your country) to rebuild, repair, and look for alliances. If your mind is at war, then every bit of energy and resource is used to defend precious ground.
7) Build Your Relationships
It takes a community to strengthen one’s health.Your job won’t take care f you when you are sick, but your friends and family will. See friends you have lost touch with. Conversations are good for the soul, not only because you are expressing your feelings, but also because you are listening and giving support to someone who may need you.
Random Acts Of Kindness Can Change Someones Whole Day For The Better!
Adopt a philosophy of conducting random acts of kindness. Doing things for others is a great tonic when you’re feeling down. Helping others makes you feel included and empowered. Importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need support. We all feel this way from time to time, and it’s the most natural feeling in the world. Trust yourself, your body, and your gut instincts. No one knows you better than you know yourself—just don’t suffer in silence.
8) Sleep Is Healing
heals the body, clears the mind, and is the universal prerequisite and happiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, that North Americans get an average of about 6.7 hours of sleep per weekday. Sleep deprivation is a possible risk factor for heart disease, atherosclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and immune system suppression. Therefore, establish a healthy bedtime routine that heals your whole body.
The Sleep Hormone Melatonin
Note that sleeping in total darkness allows the maximum amount of healing melatonin to be released. Melatonin is the “sleep hormone.” It is produced in the brain when your eyes are exposed to darkness. It signals the body to sleep, giving it the message that it is nighttime.
When your eyes are exposed to light, melatonin is broken down and your body is given the message that it must awaken because it is daytime. Even while you’re sleeping, light shining on your eyelids can affect the amount of melatonin your body produces and breaks down.
Keep Your Bedroom Dark
Studies have shown that even dim light in the bedroom can decrease the amount of melatonin you make, thereby disrupting sleep patterns or preventing deep sleep. Melatonin also directly helps the body heal. It acts as an antioxidant, boosts immune function (it has been used as part of cancer and HIV treatments), is an antidepressant, regulates the rhythms of bodily functions, including the synthesis and release of hormones, and is touted as the body’s built-in antiaging hormone.
If your bedroom has a window, buy blackout material to make the room completely dark (look for opaque fabric sold for curtains in most fabric stores). Place an object in front of your alarm clock to prevent light shining on your face.
Add Sleep Inducing Essential Oils
To alleviate sleeping problems, also consider trying essential oils like lavender and chamomile in a hot bath. They both help relax the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight stress response. The calming smells of these oils also impact mood by directly affecting your brain chemistry.
Another very important habit to change is to stop staying up so late to watch your favorite TV shows or using your devices! These days, there are many ways to time-shift your viewing, so make the effort to do that and go to sleep when your first wave of fatigue hits.
9) Write In A Journal
Jot down what you are thankful and grateful for. Each night before you go to bed, complete the following statement: I am grateful for [insert your items]. According to Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science Of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, writing in a gratitude journal for as little as four weeks makes a difference in the levels of happiness one feels.
There are so many beautiful journals available. Choose one in pretty colors with thick creamy paper along with a pen which is a pleasure to write with. You’d be amazed at how your hand flies across the page!
Write That Special Person A Gratitude Letter!
Another good exercise is to write a gratitude letter to someone who’s had a positive influence on your life. Now is the perfect time to show appreciation—maybe you haven’t properly thanked him or her in the past. Arrange to meet so that you can read your letter person.
Using A Journal Can Release Toxic Emotions
Another important aspect of journaling is toxic emotional release. Too often we bottle up our feelings of anger, grief , pain and sadness and push them down as far as we can as lets face it, dealing with those not so pleasant emotions isn’t nice! By writing down how you feel before going to bed a few times a week, you are releasing and reducing the damaging impact of those emotions. Left ignored over time, they will manifest as joint pain, stiffness, digestive issues, bowel issues, anxiety and more.
So, put pen to paper and write! Let all those emotions pour out as a stream of consciousness and it doesn’t matter if you writing doesn’t make sense. What is more important is getting those feelings out on paper and out of your head. After you have written your feelings down, check into your body. How does it feel? Looser,more relaxed, did you sleep better? There are many studies into the mental health benefits of journalling on the Internet. I strongly suggest you have a look, you just may enjoy the process:)
My Final Thoughts On Helping Our Body And Mind Heal
- We need to learn to eat when we’re hungry versus eating for comfort. Remember your cravings are not your fault. You were genetically built to crave carbohydrates for survival.
- Part of the process is learning what triggers us to eat, the foods we eat when we are triggered, and how it affects us. Keeping track of this in a food journal is beneficial.
- Emotional healing can strengthen the immune system and support good health.
- There are various tools for emotional healing that will allow us to succeed on the path to healing. If we are not on board emotionally, it will be more difficult for us to reap the benefits.
- Get lots of sleep to reduce cravings and promote healing.
- Thinking positively and letting go of the “small stuff” will help us heal emotionally. Letting go also helps us be clear on what we are grateful for in our daily lives while boosting our self esteem.
- Say no to the things you don’t want to do. This is an art form in its self! By saying no to those things you don’t want to do- you are saying yes to the things which are important to you!
- Connect with friends or family members for support during times of distress, illness, emotional lows and remember you are not alone even when you may feel you are. Cultivate community in your life and trust that you’re not alone in dealing with health imbalances or emotional pain. I can’t stress this enough!
Here are some additional articles on my journey with Hives