“The three grand essentials to happiness in life are something to do, something to love, something to hope for.”
The seasons, our lifestyle, and all our relationships directly impact our wellbeing. But its important to notice when a feeling is staying with you for a long period of time. Chronic sadness may be experienced as a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.
These problems can impair an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. While it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor or a licensed therapist for medical support, there are some natural ways to work with sadness and awaken joy and hope once again.
If you’re internal world feels heavy, focus on brightening the external world. Fake a smile. Notice when you complain and instead compliment. Wear brighter colors. Volunteer. Helping others takes the focus off our concerns and allows us to experience a heart of generosity. Exercise regularly. Getting your heart rate up releases endorphins (that ‘feel good’ sensation) and can have a direct impact on your mood. Speak to someone. If a feeling has stayed with you long after the event, there’s work to be done. Look for the wisdom of your experience. Discover it.
Wheat, dairy, refined sugars, processed food, fast food, and iced beverages, can slow down digestion and create an overall feeling of heaviness. Cut these foods out for at least for seven days and see how you feel. Try bringing in fresh organic fruits and cooked vegetables. Prepare more meals at home.
Scrape your tongue each morning to stimulate your gastrointestinal tract. Rinse your face with cool water instead of warm. Recite the five principles of Reiki, an energy healing system from Japan. Written by Dr. Mikao Usui these words are a powerful way to start the day.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
Get a holistic massage once a week for a month or once a month. Try a botanical facial. Look for therapists that intrigue you. Do an at-home spa today and take a long bath, make a facial mask of honey, milk, and oats. Fill a sock with uncooked rice and warm it in your microwave for a few minutes for a homemade hot pack. Slice fresh cucumbers for your eyes and lay down. Listen to Stevie Wonder. Indulge the senses.
Nadi Shodana means the sweet breath. Do first thing in morning. Effects: energizing, balancing, clearing
- Take the first 2 fingers of your right hand and either fold them in or place them on your 3rd eye.
- Place your ring finger and thumb gently on each nostril
- Take a deep breath in
- Before exhaling, close the ring finger against the left nostril
- Exhale out the right nostril
- Keeping the left nostril closed, Inhale through the right side
- Close the right side with your thumb; exhale out the left side
- Inhale left side
- Exhale right
- Continue breath like this, switching sides before each exhale (ie. inhale right, exhale left, inhale left, exhale right) for 3-5 minutes
- Release your hand and breathe deeply for another 1-2 minutes
Now if I had it my way, I would love to hear all about your experience and know every little detail of how these rituals felt in your own body and what was released and realized and restored. But the real work isn’t actually about sharing – it’s about engaging.
These are some ideas of ways to encourage that inner dialogue. In the end it’s about noticing where you are and what feels true. Stand up, stay present, and enjoy the ecstasy of solitude.
Photo by Yaksheeta Sri via Flickr