You know how little irritating things happen that might throw the day of course? Like forgetting your keys, taking the wrong turn or dropping a glass that explodes in one million shards… It’s really annoying and can put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. We get hooked on that first negative moment and then we are blinded for all other possibilities. I have been working on a way around this, I look at the other side – the silver lining of the cloud. Sometimes, admittedly, I have to look really hard to see any redeeming qualities in what happened, but they are always there, or maybe I have gotten really good at finding them (what else can a desperate girl do?).
I made a poster where I write such situations, minor stuff. (see pic) To the left is “negative” in red and on the right is the “silver lining” in green. Some things are really obvious when they happen, others take some pondering 🙂 I have 3 such “obvious” silver-linings:
- – Falling + Not hurting myself and realizing that I can fall without hurting myself 🙂
- – Stomach illness + Lose some pounds
- – Make a mistake with a recipe + A new exiting product
The thing is that it sits there, the poster, reminding me of little silver-linings and inviting me to write more. I am having a tough one right now and I don’t know how it will end up, but I am sure there will be a silver-lining and then it gets easier to handle.
To many people this time of year brings an all-time low. It gets colder and darker and our energy plummets. This is believed to occur because the hormone serotonin decreases when there is less light.
There are plenty of ways how to bring energy and joy back into life as the nights get longer (and actually start creeping into daytime…).
- Enjoy the season; This is a time to go indoors; light candles, buy flowers, make your home cozy; this is your space of retreat. Experience the bliss of sitting in the warmth of your home with lit candles, watching the cold darkness outside.
- Pamper yourself: Take warm baths, create a home-spa; rub, buff, peel and moisturize! Go for a massage.
- Un-clutter: Go through ”all that stuff”; pictures, books, papers, clothes. Use this indoor-time to clear your living-space and allow yourself the joy of uncluttered living. Believe it or not, but this is a great boost for serotonine-levels in the brain. Clutter creates stress.
- Meditation: Take time out each day for yourself, 10 minutes is enough. Light some candles, put on relaxing music, lie or sit comfortably, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Really bring the breath all the way down into your belly. Set a timer so you don’t have to worry about the timing. These minutes will feel longer than they are… Great energizer!
- Get outside EVERY day: Even for only a little while. Your system needs day-light and exercise in order to function. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Just get out there and walk or jump around for a while. It will boost your energy-levels and you will feel great! (then you can crawl onto your sofa with a steaming cup of tea and a good book, or movie…BLISS!)
- Herbal teas & natural remedies: St Johns wort, Lemonbalm, lavender… Stay clear of too much stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and sugars.
- Aromatherapy: Of course. Essential oils are a great help to help with emotions and stress. They also work directly with the hormonal system. Use uplifting oils in a burner or on a tissue to inhale. Great scents for winter are: Citrus-oils (orange, mandarin, lemon, grape…), Lavender, Ylang-ylang, Geranium and/or whatever you prefer. Remember; essential oils are strongly concentrated and only a few drops are needed to have an effect.
- Thought-patterns: When you feel yourself thinking negatively, change your thoughts, think of uplifting things.
Remember: This doesn’t just happen by itself. You are responsible for your well-being. No matter how difficult or un-attractive it might seem to exercise, for example. Just do it and you will notice what an incredible change it makes!
In the times when people still lived in harmony with nature and seasonal changes, this was a time for togetherness and preparation for the hectic spring/summer season. Bedtime came earlier because of the dark.When we remember the rhythm of the seasons and allow ourselves to fit into this rhythm, we handle seasonal changes better. Once spring comes again there will be an explosion of action and energy…then we need to be rested.
For ideas on how to use essential oils, see earlier posts under the “aromatherapy” category.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Lifestyle, Personal development, Stress, Wellness
Tagged bath, candles, citrus, clutter, cold, darkness, day-light, energy, exercise, geranium, herbal teas, lavender, lemonbalm, Massage, meditation, positive, seasons, serotonin, St Johns wort, thought-patterns, winter blues, ylang-ylang
Intention is the moving force of everything we do. It is the force that builds the bridge between where we are and where we are going. We might have a mental idea of what we want to create, but if it doesn’t fit with the intention, things will go wrong or they will not happen. We need to stop and scrutinize our intention in what we do, because it’s not always obvious. This is most important in goal-setting; not just what we want, but also why we want it.
I talked with a friend and she spoke of something she wanted to create. The idea was clear, but the format unclear. We realized that there could be no clear format, since what she wants to do has never been done. She has to allow the format to create itself from her intention. Sometimes the goal is not clear, and that is when intention will kick in to make it happen. Nobody wakes up one morning with amazing new ideas fully formed.
As you all know, I work also as a therapist and clients come to me for all kinds of reasons. The first thing I do is to listen to them and help them clarify their needs. Then I work with them. At this point I sort of “tune-out” my personal self. My intention is clear; do for this person the best I can. It has nothing to do with me, and by tuning out myself I become a much clearer channel for whatever is needed. If I get personally involved (with thoughts, ideas and emotions based on my experiences) I will influence the treatment to fit my wants, not what is best for the client. This, I might add, took quite some years to learn and accomplish.
We are almost constantly ruled by our emotions; think about it: If we feel good, we think positively and our intentions will be colored by this, the same goes for the opposite. My children used to sometimes pick fights with me, for no reason at all, just for the fun of it. I always fell into the trap and ended up feeling terrible, until one day when I realized that this was not necessary, so I just started to say no to these fights. The only thing that kept me from falling into their devious little traps was the intention that it was not going to happen. To this day (20 somewhat years later) my children still say that I can never be brought into a fight, no use even trying. My intention was stronger than theirs. Ha!
Try it out, my friends, and please tell me what you discover. I love hearing comments.
How laughter works
Everything gets so serious, life is serious. I have had a seriously difficult week and I have been sad. At least I have, over time, learned to look for the positive; both in my situation and around me. When I am sad I want to be amused. I don’t want to talk about my “problems” and I don’t want to be quizzed. I just want a good jolly laugh and some nice pictures/thoughts in my head. Because if I can change my outlook, I can usually find a solution to my problems – just by stepping away from them. Besides which…every cloud actually does have a silver-lining, but sometimes it is sooooo hard to find.
The picture above is a simplified drawing of how laughter works; It sends signals to the Limbic system where everything connected to our Self sit – emotion, learning, memory, hormones… Laughter actually changes the chemical make-up in your brain, increasing the feel-good-hormones and decreasing anxiety and stress-levels. (See earlier posts on aromatherapy for more knowledge of the limbic system.) Actually; The muscular movement alone, of moving your lips into a smile sends this “laughter-signal” to the brain…the same mimicry as seen in crying…and crying releases these hormones as well, making us finally tired and calm.
When I look around I see so many funny things; little every-day exchanges in the street, funny video-clips, ridiculous situations. I think we just need to change our way of looking at the world and instead of using our serious-eyes we should use our funny-eyes.
You know the movie “Sliding doors”? In this movie the main male character has a best friend that he goes to with all his problems. This best friends keeps laughing so hard at the guys stories – and they are truly ridiculously funny – making the main guy so frustrated because he can’t see the humour since he is too involved. The laughing friend….he’s the best character in the whole movie. I am not saying that you should start laughing at other peoples problems… 🙂 but sometimes maybe at your own.
So now I have decided to give something amusing as often as possible on this blog, starting with this:
Posted in Lifestyle, Personal development, Stress
Tagged amusing, hormones, humour, laughter, Lifestyle, limbic system, Personal development, positive, problems, Stress