I think we can all agree this year has been quite the whirlwind. I don’t know about you, but it feels like it’s been difficult at times to catch my breath with so many back to back punches. When life starts to feel like it’s out of control, the most important thing we can do is protect our inner peace. Experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, grief and fear can easily disrupt how grounded we are and it’s important to take action when it does. The effects of unbalanced energy can be so detrimental to our mind, body and spirit. Trust me I KNOW from firsthand experience.
Over the years I’ve learned to identify when these effects start to creep in. I become more irritable, my sleep patterns are thrown off and my anxiety becomes difficult to manage. As a wellness educator, it’s important for me to talk about these things openly to remind you that I too am human. Social media makes it easy for the wellness community to be perceived as perfect people living in a zen world but this is far from the truth. Everyone experiences difficulties no matter how much of a guru you claim to be – It’s just a matter of conscious effort and self awareness which can both be learned with practice.
So today I want to share 4 things I do to bring me back to center. They are simple but effective practices that help to restore balance in my mind and body when I need it most. Think of them as gifted weapons to aid in the protection of your peace. Once you successfully learn to keep it, life becomes much easier to journey through.
1. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
Before you can effectively restore balance, you first need to know what throws it off. Is it certain people? Or maybe social media? This can look different for each of us and is one of the many reasons why reallllly getting to know yourself is important. Sometimes this process can be ugly and uncomfortable but getting real with yourself is necessary. Identifying the triggers of your disrupted peace will allow you to know what to limit or remove from your life completely. Knowing what to stop doing is the first step to restoring peace.
Now, what about the things that are beyond our control like the COVID pandemic for example? Luckily there’s always something you can control. Like how much of the news you watch that’s triggering your fear or your ability to control how prepared and precautious you’re being. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the trigger, focus on the energy you can control against it.
So set timers on your social media apps, distance yourself from toxic people – whatever you discover your triggers to be, you owe it to yourself to act on them.
2. LET FOOD BE MEDICINE
It’s not a secret that food heals. Though it may not be the obvious action, cleaning up your diet helps big time with feeling at peace. Our bodies are completely reliant on essential nutrients to thrive and when we deprive ourselves of healthy foods we operate at a lower level. Restoring balance isn’t just some spiritual hippie practice that signifies rainbows and butterflies. It’s a hardcore reset of poor habits that aren’t allowing us to feel internal peace. And I’m not just talking “I’m in a good mood today” peace. I’m talking “I’M SO AT PEACE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY THAT NOTHING CAN BREAK ME” peace. That’s what we’re after.
One way I use food to help achieve this is to periodically only eat it raw. Raw means that we are consuming foods in their natural state without any cooking to diminish its nutrients. Think fresh fruits, colorful veggies, smoothies, hummus, cold pressed juices and more. When your body is fed well, your mind operates well. The gut-mind connection is real (look up vagus nerve) and if we want to feel balanced it’s impossible to leave food out.
The second way to use food for peace (or herbs rather) is through adaptogens. Adaptogens are a select group of herbs (and some mushrooms) that naturally aid with the body’s ability to deal with stress. Some of these herbs include Maca, Ginseng, Reishi, Basil or my favorite, Ashwagandha. Adaptogens work by regulating a stable balance in the body’s glands that are responsible for producing cortisol. If the body is in a state of balance and peace, the mind will sure to follow.
3. GO OUTSIDE
Ever heard of earthing? This is a practice done by connecting your bare feet to the earth’s ground (sand, grass, water etc) for a grounding effect. The science is based on the natural electric charge given off by the earth and it said to have positive effects when done often. Grounding can help you feel more connected to nature and induce a peaceful state. If taking your shoes off isn’t an option for where you are, just being outside in general is great too.
When your balance is feeling off I encourage you to spend some time in nature, free from technology or noise. A study published by the Harvard Medical School stated that time outdoors not only increased levels of happiness, but also showed improvement in the healing time of spinal surgery patients. In another study published in the Sleep Health journal, people who are exposed to sunlight first thing in the morning sleep better at night, feel less stressed and are less depressed than those who don’t.
Bottom line, if you’re looking to feel peacefully balanced, nature is the friend for the job.
My final piece of advice to help restore balance and peace is rest. When I say rest, I’m not only talking about getting a good night’s sleep – I’m also talking about resting your spirit. Sometimes this means doing nothing for a few days but it’s not to be confused with laziness. Learning to take time out to reset your mind and body is imperative. Burnout is very real and can cause lots of the symptoms previously mentioned (stress, anxiety etc.).
Actual sleep is obviously also very important too though. When we allow our body the necessary time to recharge we can function 100% better. Another study published by Harvard found that “Sleep and mood are closely connected; poor or inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being.” If you have trouble sleeping at night, try calming herbal teas at night like chamomile, lavender essential oil or melatonin supplements to help.
I hope these practices serve you well when you’re feeling off! Did I miss any that you incorporate? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Til next time,