Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Feeling like your days are hurried and rushed? Do you have constant tension, anxiety, or worry? Getting to a calm place naturally or organically can be easier than you think.
Ten Tips to Get to Calm
1. Relaxing herbs. There are a number of herbs that can help with anxiety or insomnia. Consult an herbalist if you are unsure and avoid mixing them if you aren't familiar with them. Smelling lavender can induce a wonderful state of calm. Growing some plants in your garden or keeping the essential oil on hand is wonderful. Another helpful herb is chamomile. It can be made into a tea or you can find it in pill form. Chamomile binds to the same receptor as valium, without the side effects of the drug. The herb valerian is a sleep aid that can help if you are suffering from insomnia. Lemon balm is a wonderfully easy herb to grow, but be careful to not take too much, as it can have the opposite effect. And, passionflower is an herb for nervous restlessness.
2. Volunteer. It can be uplifting to donate some time to a worthy cause. Helping children in low income areas after school, assisting at a pet shelter, or feeding the homeless are all worthy causes. Taking your mind off your problems and helping others can be very rewarding.
3. Green tea. Drinking green can have a calming effect. The l-theanine in the teas is said to be relaxing. No wonder Buddhist monks who sip on this tea have found their zen spot!
4. Exercising. Find an aerobic exercise that you enjoy and do it for 30 minutes each day, preferably after you wake up, as exercise before bed can interrupt your sleep. Moving your body is always a great way to battle those bad feelings.
5. Nature. Getting into nature is very calming and relaxing. Find time each day to go for a walk in a forest area on trails. Breathing in that wonderful oxygen and moving your body has a wonderful effect on the body. The Japanese call it "forest bathing".
6. Turn on your favorite music. Feeling down? Anxious? Out of sorts? Turn on your favorite music and relax. It is an instant mood enhancer.
7. Yogic breathing. Try some yoga breathing. This is called the 4-7-8 breath. Exhale completely. Inhale to the count of four. Hold the breath for seven counts. Then, let the breath out slowly for eight counts. Try this several times a day.
8. Make sure your diet is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega fats are healthy for your brain. And, a healthy brain is a happy brain. Oily cold water fish are the best sources.
9. Find yourself a warm place. Take a warm bath, sit in the sun, find a sauna, etc. Warm sensations alter the mood sensors in your brain and make you feel comforted.
10. Meditation. Start a practice of relaxing and letting your thoughts flow over you. Start small and set a timer, then increase your time. Let the worrisome thoughts float over you and do not judge them. In time, this place of space in your thoughts will be wonderfully comforting.
In this fast paced and often frenzied world, it is good to know we have some natural ways to combat anxiety and create a sense of calm. Whether it is getting outside, trying some herbs, or practicing meditation, there are many ways to feel less frantic and more zen.