“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Feeling good on a daily basis, it is fair to say, would rank high on most peoples list of wants and desires. But in reality, how many of us are achieving this with any regularity? Stress and its associated symptoms and effects have permeated almost all aspects of daily life. For many people from the moment they open their eyelids in the morning until they manage to close them again at night, each moment of the day is filled with plans, deadlines, must-do’s, worries, self-berating thoughts or mutterings and a general knotted up tummy. Somewhere along the highway of modern daily life we have forgotten how to just be in the moment; to appreciate the perfection of right now; to breathe deeply and stay relaxed and loving. I was watching a yoga documentary recently and Kundalini yoga teacher Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa stated that the way we breathe is the way we live our lives. Long, deep breaths equal a long, rich life; short quick breaths could lead to a short, quick life. I love this as a metaphor to remind me to slow down and remember that if we have no breath, we have no life.
So how can we apply such simple yet profound logic to our every day lives when it all seems an endless merry-go-round? The answer…we need to stop. Just stop. Stop and breathe. Even for 10 minutes twice a day to begin with. Stop and be in the here and now. Notice the sounds around you without attaching to any of them; notice a tree, a bird, and new smell, a flower, a raindrop. Look for the beauty in the simplest of things. You may choose to do this before you get out of bed; maybe sitting in the bus or train on the way to work, or the car if you’re not driving. Sit outside. Or you can create a specific space in your home for meditation. A sacred space. A space that is just for you. It matters less how the space looks, or how large or small it is; what is important is the ritual and the regular practice to set up new habits and reprogram how your mind is automatically functioning. It’s like a reset button. Taking you back to zero – in a good way!
Deep, conscious breathing benefits our wellbeing by reversing the symptoms of sympathetic nervous system activation from stressful thoughts or events. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight or flight response, and while we are rarely called upon these days to flee a sabre-toothed tiger attack or lift giant rocks out of our pathway, we still release a surge of powerful hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) into our bloodstream when we feel stressed. Long-term, continual or high levels of these hormones can lead to a plethora of health issues including high blood pressure and adrenal fatigue.
So, by regularly stopping and focusing on steady, mindful breathing we activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system – slowing down our heart rate, balancing our blood pressure and ultimately calming the body and mind. Earth Energies have a range of flower essences to assist with shifting negative energies, and gently balancing our body, mind and spirit.
Visit our website www.earthenergiesnz.com, or send us a message on Facebook if you have any queries about which product would be best for you. Furthermore, later in 2018, we will be opening our Earth Energies Sanctuary – an exclusive wellness retreat offering a range of deeply relaxing and healing therapies for mind and body. Our state of the art facilities will include floatation tank therapy, infrared sauna therapies, clinical hypnotherapy, zero balance treatment and a range of complementary natural modalities to rebalance the individual from the mind outwards.