With all of this uncertainty filling our tv screens, social media and social conversations, I wanted to take a moment to CHECK IN.
One thing I know for sure is that when we sit in the practice of our rituals, mindfulness and expanding our awareness, we remain calm amongst the chaos.
As a busy mum, business owner, product developer, healer and yoga teacher, I call upon certain practices and rituals daily to help me stay centred, focused and calm.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you find your calm amongst the chaos.
Breathing provides oxygen to the brain.
When the brain is not appropriately oxygenated, it is impossible to stay calm under pressure.
The appropriate way to breathe is to inhale deeply filling up your stomach and chest with air, concentrating on filling the lower, middle and upper lung, then exhaling slowly and deliberately.
Consciously changing the way you breathe appears to send a signal to the brain to adjust the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, which can slow heart rate and digestion and promote feelings of calm as well as the sympathetic system, which controls the release of stress hormones like cortisol.
Meditation and breath work are great ways to consciously lean into breath.
Countless research demonstrates that people who are grateful for the positive things in their lives have lower cortisol levels – (the hormone associated with stress). Researchers suggests that people who practice and feel into the space of gratitude have increased energy, positive moods and an overall healthy sense of well-being. If you begin your day feeling calm, it will be easier to stay calm when stress comes your way.
A great way to practice gratitude is to write down a list of 5-10 things at the end of each day that you are grateful for, these could be people in your life, clean air in your lungs, certain things that bought you a feeling of joy throughout your day, food in your fridge and the list goes on. As you continue with this practice, the lists become longer and easier to write and FEEL into.
Physical activity stimulates the vagus nerve (a part of the autonomic nervous system) that calms the body down, which is necessary for staying calm when under pressure. Exercise increases the heart rate while releasing chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood.
If you exercise regularly, it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
You don't need to join a gym or train for a triathlon to be active (although these are also great) but it could be as simple as a brisk walk, swimming, yoga or bike riding.
SELF CARE | RITUALS
Self care is essential all of the time, but particularly now in our current collective state.
When we set an intention to lean into self care, it allows us to tune into moment to moment awareness.
At B ^ R E our mantra is 'turn daily habits into self care rituals'. It's in the tasks we embark on daily that we can find an opportunity to pause, reflect, nourish and protect our mind, body and soul.
From washing and brushing our hair, washing our face, body and hands, to applying nurturing moisturisers, lighting candles, chopping our vegetables and so much more, we can harness these bite sized moments and set loving intentions to heal, support and protect ourselves.
Sitting in ritual is another great way to amplify self care. Rituals can be as simple as lighting a candle, smudging your space with a sage stick, sitting with your journal and leaning into reflection, sipping on cacao or drawing / colouring in. Rituals help bring us back to centre and allow us to stay curious in uncertain times.
EAT WELL | SLEEP WELL
Eat good food.
Stay away from OR limit processed foods, alcohol and sugar, and eat a rich variety of healthy whole foods. Our brains our very sensitive to the kind of fuels we give them, and good food goes a long, long way.
And finally SLEEP.
Sleep allows your brain and body time to heal.
Studies have shown that almost every system of the body is affected by the quality and quantity of sleep a person gets, especially the brain. Sleep gives the body's neurones a chance to shut down and repair themselves
I wish you much love and health today and always.