10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

Since the age of 16 anxiety and stress have been a common occurrence for me. 
Just like many of you I’m sure…

At this age you start to enter the world of VCE (Year 11 and 12) and all of a sudden you’re required to decide exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life…AND start making plans to get realise it…

All within those last 2 years of school – crikey! Talk about pressure.

Then by the time you’re 18, you’re required to start “adulting”, which can come as quite a shock to some of us.

  • No more pocket money….
  • No more parents driving us around when we feel like it….
  • No more packed lunches…
  • No more 2 week boyfriends… (ok maybe that was just me)
  • And you officially get your drivers license….

Eeee shits getting serious….

Then, as we enter our 20’s we hit that point where we need to make some big life decisions including whether we go to uni (for most), work full-time, buy a house or even starting a family.

To be honest, life in my early teens had been pretty sweet, but once I turned 16, I was hit with a mass of self-inflicted stress and anxiety.

The kind of stress and anxiety that has a massive toll on our bodies – yep you know what I’m talking about…

It was in my 20’s that I started to discover natural remedies for stress and anxiety, and goodness me, it was one of the best things I did.

So here’s an insight into 10 helpful natural remedies for stress and anxiety.

 

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

If you know me personally, you’d know I’m not a big fan of taking prescription medications. This is why I rely on natural remedies and techniques to help cope with my anxiety and stress symptoms.

It may not be the be end all solution for everyone…I get that.

But, these natural remedies can definitely help you to reduce your symptoms, even if used along more conventional medicines.

So without further ado, let’s kick straight into it.

P.S > If you prefer to watch videos over reading text you can also check out the video below:

 

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation– originally an ancient Buddhist practice used by various religions around the world, but as of the last few years, has become a mainstream therapy for treating stress and anxiety.

It is a great natural technique where you’re key focus is to bring yourself into the present moment, and usually involves bringing your attention to your breath.

There are many scientifically proven benefits of meditation, including its ability to:

  • Provide stress and anxiety relief
  • Slow racing thoughts and overthinking
  • Help you gain greater clarity, focus and concentration
  • Promote greater happiness, well-being, a positive mindset, greater quality of life and inner peace
  • Lower blood pressure, cholesterol and your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Help improve sleep and insomnia
  • Improves your resilience and patience,

For anxiety sufferers, the practice of mindfulness is an easy technique to add to your daily routine.

Types of Meditation - Loving Kindness Meditation Image

How to Meditate for Beginners

If you’d like to learn how to meditate, but need help grasping the basics, I encourage you to sign up for our “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This course is awesome because it not only teaches you how to meditate, but also helps you overcome many of the challenges newbies experience and build a fool-proof meditation routine.

You can read more about the Journey to Calm course here.

 

2. Get Off Your Phone!

It’s easy to forget how dependent we’ve become with the technology in our lives. Often most apparent by the immediate panic and worry that we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone. Followed shortly by the relief when we realise it’s been sitting right next to us the whole time…

Phew, the relief! 

This constant need to check our electronic devices, regardless of whether there’s an alert or not, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Even just idly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing your life to others can make you feel a sense of stress.

Sometimes it worries me with how intensely people’s phones seem to control them.

And, no! I don’t mean in a crazy sci-fi thriller kind of way.

What I mean is how so many of us multi-task with our phones:

  • Watching TV…but also scrolling the social feeds on our phones
  • Typing a task at work…and then suddenly feeling the need to check our phone
  • Walking down the street…with our face in our phones not even looking where we’re gong
  • And the worst of them all, driving….and texting on the phone.

Look guys, I admit I’m no angel! I’ve been a sucker for all of these things too.

But it’s something we all need to mindful of, especially if we’re wanting to reduce stress and anxiety on our bodies.

 

 

3. Get Yourself Some Herbal Teas

Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard about the power of herbal teas before.

But, as a natural remedy for anxiety, herbal teas are just so simple and easy to add into your daily life.

They’re not expensive and some have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms; promoting relaxation and improving sleep.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, revealed that patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks, saw a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms versus patients taking a placebo.

That’s why chamomile tea can be a great natural remedy to look into if you need help relaxing and de-stressing in the evening.

4. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Essential oils are another natural therapy that can be used for stress and anxiety relief. It is one I absolutely LOVE and rely on almost daily.

Of the many essential oils out there, Lavender, Chamomile and Cedarwood are known to help:

  • Reduce your heart rate
  • Reduce tension in the body
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep

Another great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in such a variety of ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

They can be smelt, inhaled, burned, diffused, put in a bath, dabbed on your skin, put on your pillow etc.

But just remember, this is mainly for essential oils only. Many fragrance oils are not recommended for your skin or in the bath so be aware of this when looking to buy some new oils.

Related Articles:

 

5. Spend Time in Nature or With Animals

Why is it that we feel so refreshed and happy after spending some time outside and amongst nature?

Well, a key reason is that nature including waterfalls and streams are known to release negative ions into their air.

Once negative Ions reach our bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin in our brain. This is said to help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy.

So, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a moment to get outside and go for a walk in a nature reserve or park.

You’ll feel so much better for it.

In addition to getting up and close with nature, pets are also great for reducing stress. They offer companionship, love and support.

Research has shown that pets can be beneficial to people experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety.

 

6. Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

They are believed to have numerous benefits, including their ability to counteract the positive ions released by many electronic appliances in our home environments.

Himalayan Salt Lamps are also believed to:

  • Improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety symptoms
  • Purify the air; restoring and preserving natural air quality
  • Correct the imbalance of ions in our home environments
  • Neutralise the Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) that we get in our homes, due to having extensive electrical devices surrounding us
  • Reduce symptoms of asthma, allergies and other illnesses
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost serotonin levels

Himalayan Lamps provide similar benefits to what we discussed above about nature and negative ions. However, they provide those benefits in the comfort of your own home.

Related Articles:

Meditation Resources - Himalayan Salt Lamp

7. Exercise

Yeah, yeah. Another one you’ve probably heard of before.

However, for me this one has been HUGE!!

In my case, I need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week in order to keep a lid on the box of my anxiety monster.

If I miss a day or can’t exercise for a week due to sickness or another event, I immediately notice a change in my anxiety levels. Something inside me just feels different and my mind can start to race unnecessarily.

As has been proven on many occasions, regular exercise is good for the brain and is a powerful cure for both depression and anxiety – immediate and in the long term.

Some even say that just 20 – 30 mins of exercise daily can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.

This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break or a quick gym session before or after work. it doesn’t need to be a burden on your life. Especially if you’re not really one who is very keen on exercise.

My advice is to just DO IT!!

Stop being a lazy couch potato, get your heart rate up and let’s burn off some of that anxious energy!

 

8. Eat a Healthy Diet

Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet. It’s not exactly a new concept.

Yet, with the amount of conflicting information about health and diet on the internet, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about what to do.

From an anxiety perspective, diet can have a HUGE impact on your energy levels and nerves.

For anxiety sufferers, it is recommended that you focus your diet on:

  • Whole foods
  • Lean Meats & Seafood
  • Leafy Greens
  • Foods rich in omega-3
  • Reducing your sugar intake
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol

According to Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of “The Happiness Diet, “people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.”

I don’t disagree with you there, Doctor. I definitely get anxious and #HANGRY when I’m hungry. Bring on the meal…

In the book, they also highlight how during anxiety attacks, our blood sugar can start to drop.

This is why having a snack can be the best thing to do if you feel your symptoms coming on (but of course, avoid unhealthy sugary snacks).

Over the last year, I’ve cut out quite a bit of sugar from my diet. So, now, when eating something naughty like a chocolate bar or a snack high in sugar, my heart starts to race and I feel anxious.

This never used to happen to me before!!

I believe it’s related to the sudden hit of energy you get from consuming sugar. This is why I now try to avoid eating those things as best I can.

Note: Being a chocoholic, this can be really hard!!

 

9. Relaxation Exercises

Breathing deeply and also engaging in other relaxation exercises such as body scanning and stretching can help to relieve tension in the body as a result of stress or anxiety.

 

Yogic/Deep Breathing

If you suffer from anxiety, deep breathing is a great habit to get into. Also termed “yogic breathing” or the “4-7-8 breath”, deep breathing has been shown to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.

One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. It also helps to slow down your body.

To do the 4-7-8 breath:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth
  • Then inhale through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
  • Repeat several times in a row until you start to notice that you feel a greater sense of calm.

Body Scanning – Relaxing Different Muscle Groups

Some people unconsciously tense muscles in their body, such as clenching their jaw, in response to anxiety. To combat this, try lying in a comfortable position on the floor, close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe.

Can you identify any areas in particular that feel tense?

If so, slowly constrict and relax each muscle group, beginning with the toes and working up to the shoulders and jaw. Do this for a few moments.

 

10. Self-Care – Making Time for the Things You Love!

Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after treating yourself to some time in a sauna, a bath, or a steam room? Or even just by cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea?

Well, the sense of relaxation you feel is associated with the release of tension from your body as a result of feeling warm.

Research suggests that sensations of warmth boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

One study in particular, revealed that “whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after work, or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being.”

In addition to seeking some warmth, allocating time for self-care and downtime is really important as part of our weekly routines.

Whether it’s watching a movie, painting your nails, getting a massage, meditation, yoga or going for a walk, making the time for these things will help to make you feel much more relaxed.

I guarantee it!

 

So, there you have it, 10 Natural remedies for anxiety & stress relief.

I hope that you now have some ideas of things you can try to aid in managing your anxiety naturally.

Note: When trying these remedies, keep in mind that some remedies may work better for you than others. Everyone is different. Ensure to try several different remedies before deciding if they work for you.

For chronic anxiety sufferers, you may want to suss out some other treatment options as highlighted below.

Other than that, I wish you all the best with giving natural remedies a go!!

If you would like to learn more about meditation, we cover this an more in our free Journey to Calm course below. 

 

 

Other Treatment Options

For those who suffer from chronic anxiety, you may require some additional treatment or therapy to prevent anxiety from interfering with your daily functioning. This is where it can be necessary to seek advice from a doctor about your symptoms.

The great thing is that Anxiety is becoming much less of a taboo topic these days. So, don’t feel awkward about seeing someone about it.

Even though mine isn’t chronic, I went and got some therapy myself (in the earl days).

It helped me to identify my triggers and make positive lifestyle changes. 

It could be the same for you!

You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has also been very effective for anxiety sufferers. I personally haven’t tried this though.

CBT is all about helping you to understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviour. And then, replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives.

Finally, there is always medication. However, for me, this would be my last resort. But maybe it’s the best solution for you.

Speak to a doctor and they will be able to help you to explore your options.

All the best!!

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

As an anxiety sufferer and stress-head, I understand the frustration of not being able to calm your mind or relax after a stressful day at the office.

Thoughts on constant churn, muscles tense, sweaty palms, a tightening chest or churning stomach.

Yep, it truly sucks!

Essential Oils to help calm and crazy anxious mind

But, thankfully I’ve found a solution that is natural, easy and relatively inexpensive.  It’s time to fill your room with the nourishing aroma of natural 100% pure essential oils…

I’ll talk in more detail about essential oils for anxiety below.

 

Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety

I can tell you from my own first-hand experience, essential oils are a great natural remedy to reduce anxiety and stress-related symptoms.

Although there isn’t much scientific evidence available to consistently show the exact link between essential oils and anxiety / stress relief, I personally find essential oils have a really nice relaxing effect on me.

I guess it’s each to their own….

If you find that beautiful smells and aromas can have a soothing effect on your mind and your emotions, get on the essential oils train – I promise you won’t regret it.

Essential oils can be used in a diverse range of ways too. Whether it’s, diffusing them whilst you meditate, burning them whilst in the bath, diffusing them in your bed room to promote relaxation or dabbing them on your pillow to aid sleep.

If you prefer learning visually, you can watch a video version of this article below:

 

Here’s a list of 6 relaxing Essential Oils that you may love to add to your tool kit:

 

1. Lavender

This essential oil is so versatile. I love it!

Not only is Lavender great for enhancing sleep, but some clinical trials have revealed that it has relaxing and soothing properties that can help to:

  • Relieve stress, depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Reduce hypertension, muscle tension and panic attacks
  • Reduce Irritability and restlessness
  • Calm the nervous system and an overstimulated mind – which for us anxiety folk, is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

And, if that isn’t enough, some say that it can even help people with migraines.

If you don’t have a lavender essential oils, this is a staple essential oil to add to your tool kit.

 

2. Ylang-Ylang

I have many essential oil blends containing Ylag Ylang, yet I am 100% certain that I mispronounce it every time I say it.

This weird-named essential oil comes from the native “Ylang Ylang” tree in Indonesia and is best known for its medicinal and cosmetic uses.

As an essential oil for anxiety, Ylang–Ylang is said to promote relaxation by reducing feelings of hypertension, stress and frustration.

It contains sedative elements that aid in reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body.

Interestingly, it can also be used as a/an:

  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic to prevent infections
  • Treatment for insomnia

Cool huh!? Definitely worth adding this one to your Essential Oils stash too!

Ylang Ylang Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

3. Lemon

Lemon is another essential oil known to have relaxation inducing properties that:

  • Fight stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improve your immune system

Some people don’t like the smell of lemon (Take exhibit A; my boyfriend), but personally, I find it refreshing and uplifting.

When meditating, my favourite essential oil blend contains lemon as a key ingredient and I find it really helps with maintaining concentration and focus.

 

4. Bergamot

Of the fragrance and oil blends I have, I actually don’t have Bergamot as an essential oil on its own.

It seems to be a popular one to blend with other oils – such as lavender, lemon and eucalyptus (which is a blend I have). Apparently, it can also be found in Earl Grey Tea.

The benefits of the Bergamot essential oil include its ability to:

  • Ease stress, anxiety, agitation and insomnia
  • Help soothe an anxious and busy mind
  • Boost your mood

This is why it is often used as a natural remedy to treat depression.

I actually found out recently, that my mum has bergamot plants in our garden…Iif only I knew how to create my own bergamot essential oil concoction. hmmmm…

 

5. Frankincense

Frankincense, another very versatile essential oil.

Its sedative properties can be great for:

  • Reducing irregular breathing or a tight chest due to fear, nerves or anxiety
  • A natural anti-depressant
  • Providing emotional relief 
  • Soothing the mind
  • Increasing focus and patience

If you’re interested in meditation, it can be a great oil to burn or infuse during your practice.

Frankincense Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

6. Roman Chamomile

Mmmmm Chamomile...one of my favourites.

Many of you would know of Chamomile as being a delicious herbal tea, but did you know that it also makes a great essential oil for anxiety and stress relief too?

If you’re a herbal tea-lover like I am, you’d be familiar with some of the main benefits of Chamomile, such as:

  • Relaxing muscles
  • Calming the nervous system
  • Promoting better sleep

It can also help to:

  • Treat skin conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • and much more

According to Dr.Axe (a doctor of natural medicine), Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.

 

 

What to Look Out For When Buying Essential Oils

Essential oils are now available all over the place. This can come in handy, but can also be a disadvantage.

Here’s why…

Due to the growing popularity and demand for essential oils all over the world, there are more and more companies starting to sell “look-alike” and impure essential oils. 

These companies of course continue to market their overly diluted and tainted oils as 100% pure, because the industry is not strictly regulated at the moment so they feel they can get away with it.

This can make things very confusing!!! Especially for beginners.

There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between pure essential oils and fragrance oils.

If you’re a nature bum like me, you DON’T want to purchase some shitty fragrance oils that smell like fake rose, fake lavender or something that was whipped up at your grandma’s house… No offence grandma…

If you’re wanting top spec, high quality essential oils, be sure to look out for the following:

  • 100% natural & pure –Find a brand that contains only aromatic plant compounds and not any additional fragrances, fillers, artificial ingredients or synthetic oils.
  • Try to find essential oils that have been extracted using more natural methods.
  • Purchase a brand with a good reputation
  • Keep an eye out for sellers who reference the scientific botanical names of the oils rather than a generic name, but this can be a hit or miss with most companies not referring to scientific names.
  • Check whether the oils are free of pesticides or other chemical residues
  • The oils should by GC/MS Tested.This report shows all the chemical components that make up the oil. This should reveal oil there are any impurities in the oil.

 

+ MLM Companies

There’s also some essential oils brands that are network marketing companies. That’s why you may have noticed that DoTERRA is everywhere on Pinterest and the internet…because they often have bloggers, influencers and other people to act as reps for their products.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does mean that it gives them an advantage over some of the other really good quality brands out there that are smaller. It also doesn’t mean that their products are better than everything else or the “be all, end all” for essential oils.

So, what brands are good options to check out?

I did some research and stalking on Amazon.com, and below have highlighted the Essential Oils brands I would go for personally (if you’re planning to take advantage of the convenience of buying online).

 

 

A Review of 5 Popular Brands on Amazon

At home, I have over 15 different essential oils and blends, of various brands, which I absolutely love!

If you don’t have any, looking at a package option can be a really great idea. Here are some of the top brands that stood out to me:

 

~ The Best of the Best – The Winner! ~

 

#1 – Edens Garden – 6 Essential Oils Set 

Edens Garden is another pretty well known and growing brand in the essential oils space.

The have a beautiful 6-set of Essential Oils comes with Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Sweet Orange and Tea Tree. This gives you some great variety, especially if you are new to essential oils and are not quite sure what scents you life or dislike yet.

 The Good

  • Their mission is to sell products that are 100% pure and therapeutic grade.
  • NO add bases, fillers, additives, etc to any of their oils! They try to keep the oils in their purest forms.
  • All oils are GC/MS tested
  • Their products are sourced from organic growers and distillers and extract the oils using steam distillation or cold pressed methods. They avoid synthetic additives – which is a good sign in my books.
  • They don’t engage in MLM or pyramid selling and were actually voted the #1 Non-MLM essential oil company
  • 10% of profits are given to organisations which they feel are helping to build a better tomorrow
  • Customer reviews on Amazon say that the oils smell great and that they appear to be high quality.
  • The price is also really reasonable.

The Bad

  • Some customers have complained about the smell of the oils saying that overtime they either disappear or start to smell chemically. But this seems to be a common trend with all oils really.
  • Apparently, their customer service isn’t great, leaving some customers quite pissed off.
  • Some have experienced issues with leaky bottles on delivery.

The Bottom Line

From what I can see, 81% of all customer reviews have been 5-Stars. This is a lot more compared to some of the other essential oil brands I looked at.  The bottom line for me – the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

In terms of the concerns regarding delivery (leaking or broken bottles), I think this is a common issue with Amazon and essential oil products in general. I’m not going to hold that against company itself. The changing smell comments are also interesting.

If you’re looking to get started with a reasonably priced, diverse and reliable essential oils product, I’d get started with these.

View on Amazon here.

 

Other Options

2. Plant Therapy – 6 Set of Organic Essential Oils

Plant Therapy is quite a well known brand for providing good quality essential oils. Their set contains 6 different essential oils including: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Lavender.

This is again another diverse set of oils for anyone who is a beginner to essential oils, or is unsure what kinds of smells they like.

The Good

  • Company claims that all oils are 100% pure and undiluted, except for their roll-on products which are diluted for safe use on skin.
  • Oils are apparently non-GMO and USDA Organic – but not sure whether there are such things as GMO and non-organic oils! Haha 🙂
  • Are GC/MS Tested
  • Offer some “KidSafe”formulas and options in addition to their usual oils
  • They have certified Aromatherapists on staff
  • Plant Therapy offer a vast range of different sized oils – from 2.5ml-10ml and 10-30ml.
  • Reasonable price and great reviews on Amazon.
  • Many customers state that the quality of the oils is really good for the price and that they smell really nice too.

The Bad

  • On the contrary, some customers on Amazon have said that the oils smell bad, are really faint or disappear after a while when burning them.
  • Some have mentioned leaking products on delivery which they found disappointing, but this a common problem with products bought online.

The Bottom Line

The Plant Therapy oils could be another good option to go for. They have many positives associated with their brand and products. The main negatives that customers highlight really come down to personal preference and opinion.

The “leaky” delivery concern is a common issue across many essential products on Amazon. This one could be a great on to consider for your essential oils purchase.

View on Amazon here.

 

#3 – doTERRA – 10 Essentials Oils Family Set (Approx. $136)

“doTERRA” is one of the most popular brands of essential oils out at the moment. Some might say it has become a hip trend of it’s own.

This 10 essential oil set by doTerra contains Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Oregano and Frankincense, as well as a few different essential oil blends; Deep Blue, doTERRA Breathe, DigestZen and doTERRA On Guard.

This would offer beginners some great diversity in trying different essential oils. But, do keep in mind that the bottles in this set are only 5mL rather than the usual 10mL of most gift sets.

The Good

  • They pride themselves on providing high quality oils
  • Classify their oils as being CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, but I think this may be based on their own criteria rather than being an industry-wide test.
  • They extract their oils through steam distillation and cold pressing – which is good.
  • Customers have said that they like how the gift set contains short descriptions about the products
  • Comes in nice and secure packaging

The Bad

  • Not sure if GC/MS tested
  • Some customers say it’s a waste of money
  • Issues with some bottles not being full or of equal volumes
  • The kit only comes with 5mL bottles, whereas many other kits contain 10mL.
  • Although you may be getting a larger variety of oils they are all super tiny in size.
  • They are a network marketing company.

The Bottom Line

If you’re after a reliable and quality essential oil for a pretty EXPENSIVE price, then go for it! There are many happy customers of doTERRA and they are popular, so I think in general, it is a pretty safe option.

Network marketing companies aren’t all bad and sometimes they do have really high quality products. But there are some dodgy brands on the internet too that unfortunately give the industry a bad name.

It’s just something to keep in mind compared to other brands.

View on Amazon here

 

#4 – Fabulous Frannie – 14 Essential Oil Set (Approx $25)

Fabulous Frannie is a relatively popular essential oils brand on Amazon.

I had personally never heard of them before, but they have almost 1,000 customer reviews, which I guess, is a pretty good effort.

This 14 set of essential oils contains Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Tea Tree.

For the super cheap price, I feel that this could be a bit too good to be true – but who knows.

Fabulous Frannie Essential Oils for Stress Relief

The Good

  • They claim that their oils are therapeutic grade with no fillers, additives or carriers added
  • The oils are GC/MS tested
  • Many customers on Amazon have commented that the oils have exceeded their expectations.
  • Despite the cheap price, they also say that they love the smell and quality of the oils.
  • Comes in cute packaging
  • Responsive and helpful customer service

The Bad

  • I can’t find any information about how they extract the oils which is a red flag for me
  • They claim they are vegan and cruelty free – but this is a bit odd given essential oils come from plants not animals. Therefore, of course they’re vegan!! Derrrr!!! Unless they are referring to the oils being tested on animals which if I’m honest, I have no idea about…
  • Inconsistent volumes of essential oils in the bottles
  • Inconsistency with the names of the oils – with the ads saying pine oil, but then the bottles saying “fir needle.”
  • Customer complaints about leaking bottles on delivery (standard for oils it seems) and poor quality oils. 

The Bottom Line

If these oils are legit, then they are at an incredible price! I’m not sure I’m convinced that they’re 100% pure essential oils. But, I could be wrong… 

I can’t find any information about where they source their ingredients from, or how the oils are extracted. Their website really doesn’t have much detail about the products at all which does concern me.

My gut is telling me that there could be additional fragrances weaved in here, but it’s hard to know. Could be a good buy if you’re on a tight budget.

View on Amazon here

 

In Summary:

So, there you go!!

There are many other essential oils brands that you can research, but these are the main ones that stood out to me and were popular on Amazon.

It took me a ton of time putting this together, so I hope that you find the info helpful and valuable so you don’t end up buying any dud oils.

All the best!!

How to Remove Hidden Toxins from Your Body

How to Remove Hidden Toxins from Your Body

Did you know that we put toxins and chemicals into and on our bodies every single day?⁠

From the food we eat, the products we use on our skin (makeup, perfume and soap) the pharmaceuticals we use and much more…

These toxins can impact our:⁠

  • Overall health⁠
  • Digestive system
  • ⁠Endocrine system (hormones)⁠
  • Daily productivity⁠
  • Skin breakouts ⁠
  • Sleep quality and ⁠
  • Immune system!⁠

As part of our 6 week mini program inside the Healthstyle Emporium, we learnt so much gold to help us eliminate toxins from our bodies and our environment!⁠

Here are 2 types of toxins that could be poisoning your body.

 

1) Emotional Toxins (Stress & Anxiety)

Did you know that stress and anxiety are some of the biggest toxins we have circling around our bodies, and impact many of our bodily systems.

⁠Being constantly on edge, stressed or anxious (whether it be your job, a toxic relationship, etc) can reduce the effectiveness of your:⁠
– Metabolism⁠
– Digestive system⁠
– Reproductive system and⁠
– Sleep.⁠

Heightened cortisol and adrenaline levels in our bodies can also lead to weight gain, fat storage and also big mood swings & exhaustion. ⁠It can also create havoc for our hormones.

Related Articles

 

So the question is:

Are you in tune with your body? Do you allow time to unwind and relax? 

⁠⁠If you need help in these areas or would love to learn more about⁠
– Nutrition & eating better⁠,
– Mindset⁠,
– Exercise,⁠
– Stress⁠,
– Hormones & Women Cycles⁠,

If you’d like to lear more about nutrition, mindset, exercise, stress, hormones and women cycles, enter your details below so you can learn more about the program.

Take one step closer to being a happier and healthier version of you.

 

Related Articles:

 

2) Chemical Toxins (Products) 

It’s crazy to think how many products we put into and on our bodies without even taking a second to think about how they could be impacting our health.

Are you conscious of what you put into your body each day?

Are you selective of the foods you eat?

Do you know what ingredients are in your makeup, perfume, soaps or moisturisers?

FOOD

Contrary to what many of us believe, there are various types of “food” that can be harmful to our health.

Some foods contain toxins including packaged and frozen meals with preservatives, fresh produce that has been sprayed with pesticides / chemicals and foods that contain lot of added fillers and ingredients.

The problem is that when consumed on a daily basis, these foods are not good for our health. They fill our bodies with unnecessary toxins which can take quite some time to eradicate.

When I was travelling, I was so surprised at the number of backpackers who live of 2-minute noodles & cereal ? Although it’s convenient, it really doesn’t give our bodies the nutrition it needs.⁠

 

SKIN

Did you know?

  • Our skin is our largest bodily organ?
  • And just like our gut, it absorbs everything you put on it?⁠

This is why it is so important to consider what you are also putting on your body.

Soaps, moisturisers, deodorants, makeup, fake tan, perfume and sunscreen can contain various chemicals and toxins that we’re not even aware about. ⁠

It can be worthwhile checking the ingredients of the products you use regularly and ensure that majority of the ingredients are nature or not harmful if absorbed.

 

CLEANING PRODUCTS

What products do you use to clean your house?

– Do you use enviro friendly products?⁠
– Do you use natural products?⁠
– Do you use traditional household products?⁠

A little tip I learned was to mix a dash of white wine vinegar with some water & a drop of lemon essential oil, rather than using pre-made home cleaning products.⁠ I’m definitely going to give that one a try!!⁠

PHARMACEUTICALS / PILLS

When you’re feeling sick, what do you do?

Do you:⁠
– Pop a Panadol or aspirin?⁠
– Use the healing properties of foods, herbs & spices?⁠
– Go to your doctor for a case of antibiotics?⁠

All of these things are so important to consider, because they do impact your overall health and well-being.

From weight gain to digestion, hormones and our skin – toxins can be harmful to the normal functioning of our bodies.⁠

Related Articles

 

How You Can Removing Toxins from Your Environment & Start Living a Healthier Life

  • Need to start making some changes to your current lifestyle?
  • Want to become a happier and healthier version of you?
  • Want to live longer so you have more time for your family or loved ones?
  • Wish for more energy to give more love and happiness to those around you?

If you’re feeling a need to focus more on your health right now, but are unsure of how or where to get started, I can help.

As a wellness coach inside the Healthstyle Emporium, I can connect you with some amazing tools to help you on your health and wellness journey.

You’ll gain access to healthy recipes (vegan, vegetarian & mainstream), exercise guides, meditation guides, self-love challenges, education health webinars, yoga for beginners, DIY skin / face masks, your own whole food nutritional pack and much more.

Flooding your body with a wide range of whole food nutrition every day and reducing the toxins you put into your body is so important.

Doing so will help you to bridge the gap between the nutrition you’re getting from your food and the nutrition our bodies actually need for optimum health and performance. It will also give you’re body a break from all the nasties, so that it can focus it’s energy on the good.

If you’d like to learn more about the Healthstyle Emporium and how to get started, enter your details below:

6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety Relief

6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety Relief

Mmmm Self Care. A phrase that makes some squirm with discomfort and others sigh with feelings of joy, relief and contentment.

Each persons definition of “Self Care” can vary, but regardless, it is something that we really can’t live without.

Self Care not only helps us to reduce stress and anxiety but can also promote greater happiness by giving our bodies time to refresh, re-energise and recover during the week. This in turn, enables us to perform at our optimum each and every day.

Given our busy schedules, it can sometimes be easier to convince ourselves that we’re “fine”, that we don’t have time for self-care, or that we’re “superhuman”. Yet, it’s during these times that we often need self-care the most.

Self Care Ideas - 6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety

Self Care Ideas – 6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety

Despite what some may think, self-care is not an act of being “selfish” or neglecting family or other responsibilities. Nor should you feel guilty about taking some time out to spoil yourself.

Self-care is about looking after yourself and your well-being in the right way so you can perform at your best in all areas of your life. 

It also helps to ensure that your internal resources aren’t depleted so you have the energy to reach out and help others when in need.

After all:

“You can’t pour from an empty cup!”

Whether you’re in need of some physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual or social love and nurturing, or even just something that stimulates your senses, there are many different self-care ideas you can try.

The main thing I suggest is to strive for a balance between all 6 types of Self Care.

1. Self-Care Ideas for Your Senses

Humans are extremely sensual beings.

It’s amazing how powerful certain smells, sounds, tastes or sights can be, especially when it comes to impacting how we feel emotionally. They can even trigger certain memories which impact how we perceive the world around us.

Indulging your senses and pampering yourself from time to time is an important self-care strategy to promote relaxation and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

It can also help you to live in the present, instead of constantly worrying about the future or the past.

Here are some self-care ideas to treat your senses:

 

Touch, warmth & comfort

    • Enjoy a peaceful bath with candles, essential oils, calming music and even some Epsom Salts (which can help to reduce muscle tension).
    • Visit a Sauna or enjoy a relaxing spa session
    • Get a massage or facial. Or even invest your time in doing a DIY face mask or painting your nails.
    • Go shopping and buy something you look f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s in

Flavour

    • Treat yo’self with something delicious! – Maybe some chocolate, ice cream or a cheeky glass of wine to satisfy your palate
    • Enjoy a cosy mug of herbal tea – Chamomile tea, Peppermint tea or tea with Lavender can be some great options

Smell

    • Burn your favourite candle, incense or essential oils
    • Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers to light up your room

Sight

    • Turn off the lights in your room, and watch your Himalayan Salt Lamp flicker graciously in the background.

                 Related: Here’s 5 things you should now about salt lamps before you buy one.

    • Go on a walk in a national or local park and enjoy breathing in some fresh air as you observe all the beautiful nature and animals around you.
    • Watch your favourite movie

Sound

    • Listen to a song you love. Sing and dance along in the car even if someone spots you whilst stopped at the traffic lights – Yes, we’ve all been there!!

 

If you’d like to gain insight into some other daily habits that can help you to live a more organised, productive and happy life, ensure to download your FREE Daily Happiness Checklist by entering your details below:

 

 

2. Self-Care to Deal With Emotions

As humans, we naturally experience a large spectrum of emotions.

This is why it’s important to take the time to listen to and become aware of what’s going on in your head and what emotions you’re feeling. This is key for general health and well-being. 

By identifying your triggers and tuning in to your emotions, you will gain great insight into what makes you sad, angry, anxious and happy.

It’s never healthy to bottle up your emotions – trust me I know! This used to be my strategy… But, I can tell you now, it’s not healthy and doesn’t work long-term.

Here are some Self Care Ideas to help you healthily cope with your emotions and reduce stress and anxiety levels:

Spread Happy Vibes

  • Get started with Meditation or Yoga.

         Learn how to meditate for even just 5 minutes a day.

Adopting a positive mindset and engaging in positive self-talk rather than focusing on the negative can have amazing benefits for your mental health and wellbeing, and help to overcome limiting beliefs.

  • Clean and declutter your house

There’s nothing better than a good cleanse and the smell of cleanliness. It will also help you to feel in greater control of your life.

  • Sing and dance along to your favourite song with no cares in the world!

 

Rid Yourself of Negative Energy

  • Release emotions through creative activities and hobbies (Eg. Art, Cooking, Singing or Playing a musical instrument)
  • Get into writing.

Some people find writing in a journal can with their ability to express what they’re feeling or thinking. Get it out of your head and on paper! This will help to put things into perspective and understand what’s really going on.

  • Go for a walk to get some fresh air
  • Create a safe haven like a meditation room, where you can let go and relax.
  • Engage in regular exercise to release negative emotions and release endorphins.
  • Watch a sad movie and cry it all out
  • Learn to say no

It’s ok to say no to people sometimes. Saying yes to everything requested if you will only result in additional stress or burn out. If your initial response to something isn’t “Hell yeah!”, then say no.

 

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”– Eleanor Brownn

 

3. Self-Care for Your Mind

In addition to looking after our bodies, we need to look after our mind too. Find things that you enjoy doing and that are mentally stimulating.

This is not your work. I am referring to other hobbies or activities that you like doing outside of your 9-5.

This type of self-care is all about learning new things, developing your skill-set, finding your passions and expanding your knowledge.

Here are some self-care ideas you can look into:

  • Watch a documentary or informative Netflix Series
  • Write out your 5-year goals. Take time to think about you, your life purpose and your needs. Consider where you want to be and what you need to put in place to get there.
  • Complete a Sudoku, puzzle or brain teaser
  • Read a book
  • Start learning a new language or skill
  • Take a course on a topic of interest. It could be for personal or professional development.

On the topic of courses, I actually offer a FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse to help get beginners started with Mindfulness Meditation – If interested, you can sign up for the Meditation course here.

 

4. Self-Care for Your Body

This is probably the most commonly promoted type of self-care in our communities.

Whether it’s eating a healthy and balanced diet or exercising throughout the week, caring for your body in the right ways is important for proper functioning and long-term vitality.

Our bodies are like machines and we’re only given ONE! This is why you must fuel it with the right things, so it can perform at its best.

To prevent procrastination, find something that you enjoy and that works for your routine. This will ensure that you don’t see it as a burden every time you need to do it.

Here are some Self-care ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

If this requires going to bed earlier than normal, good! Aim to get the right amount of sleep every night and your body will love you and you’ll feel more rested and rejuvenated.

  • Eat a balanced diet containing lots of lean meats, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
  • Reduce the amounts of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume on a daily basis.
  • Aim to drink 8 glasses of water each day
  • Start group fitness, Yoga or Pilates classes
  • If you’re not very self-motivated get a personal trainer (PT). They’ll help to get you back in shape.
  • Start social dance classes
  • Get your hair done
  • Paint your nails
  • Look after your skin with relevant cleansers, moisturisers, exfoliants and sunscreen.
  • If you can’t fit it in before or after work, go for a walk or run during your lunch break

 

5. Self- Care for Your Soul

Nourish your soul by becoming more spiritual, finding inner peace and meaning in life, identifying your true purpose, and developing an awareness of things and people around you.

Many assume that being spiritual means you need to be “religious”. But that’s not true.

Sure, some may use religion as their spiritual outlet, but there are many other activities you can try if you’re not into that kind of thing.

Here are some Self-Care ideas to help you nurture your soul:

  • Practice Mindfulness meditation daily – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
  • Volunteer or donate to a charity you love and support
  • Express gratitude daily, or at least once a week.
  • Get out in nature. Go hiking! Or even just a casual walk in a nearby park.
  • Appeal to your sense of adventure – try something you haven’t done before.
  • If religious, you may like to engage in prayer
  • Unplug from Social Media for 24 hours

 

6. Self-Care for Your Inner Social Butterfly

As humans, we naturally crave a sense of belonging and social connection with friends and family.

This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who you trust and who make you feel good about yourself, exactly as you are.

Develop positive relationships with people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself and cut those who don’t.

Toxic people should have absolutely no room in your life. They not only suck your energy but will deliberately try to put you down. These people have to go and yes that does mean gradually distancing yourself which can be hard at times.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, here are some self-care ideas to help you satisfy your inner social butterfly:

  • Catch up with a close friend for a coffee and have a laugh
  • Join social groups or communities that share similar interests and that encourage you to meet new people
  • Volunteer and help others in need
  • Play with your pets. It’s amazing how happy our furry friends can make us feel.
  • Spend more time with family and loved ones

 

Ok, so you should now be equipped with some great self-care ideas to help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms and encourage you to live a happier and more balanced lifestyle.

I’s recommend scrolling back through the lists again and write down any self-care ideas that would work well with your routine and lifestyle.

Remember:

“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” – L.R Knost

 

 

Anxiety Symptoms & How to Overcome Them Naturally

Anxiety Symptoms & How to Overcome Them Naturally

So you think you or someone else may have anxiety?

Well, there are a few common symptoms that many anxiety sufferers experience on a daily basis.

Some anxiety symptoms can be obvious to detect, whilst others are much more subtle. But, before I go into any further details I’d like to highlight two important points:

  1. Suffering from everyday anxiety versus an anxiety disorder is quite different
  2. I am not a doctor or medical physician, so if you think you’re suffering from anxiety or an anxiety disorder, you should always seek medical advice and diagnosis. The information I provide here is for informational purposes only : )

If you’re unsure of the differences between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder, ensure to read:

Now, I’m going to get into some more detail about the main causes of anxiety and the common symptoms of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

 

 

What Causes Anxiety?

Stress is one of the greatest causes of anxiety problems. It can stem from:

  • A major life event or sudden change
  • The loss of a close family member
  • Experiencing a panic attack
  • Everyday stressors including:
    • A busy lifestyle
    • Built-up traffic jams
    • Waiting in long queues when you’re in a rush
    • Being overloaded at work
    • Trying to respond to a never-ending trail of emails

I’m definitely not a stranger to that kind of stress…as I’m sure many of you aren’t either.

Stress is a very normal part of our daily lives, but if left unchecked it can transform into anxiety pretty quickly.

Alongside stress, people with certain personality types can be more susceptible to anxiety and anxiety disorder, compared to others. AND like many other health conditions, anxiety can run in families. So yes, it can be related to your genetics too.

Now, let’s look at some general symptoms of anxiety.

 

Symptoms of Every Day Anxiety

People with “everyday” anxiety often experience the following symptoms:

Mental/ Emotional

  • Uncontrollable worrying and overthinking
  • Constantly seeking or needing reassurance
  • Lack of patience
  • Memory issues or difficulty remembering things
  • Sleep problems (Insomnia)
  • Find it difficult to relax – often appearing hyperactive, nervous or agitated
  • Feel disconnected from the world and those around them
  • Avoid or procrastinate with certain tasks particularly if it is something they’re anxious about
  • Have “All or nothing” thinking

Physical/Physiological

  • Headaches
  • Tight chest and muscle tension
  • Sweating
  • Feel like they can’t breathe due to constriction or shortness of breath, sometimes leading to hyperventilation.
  • Racing heartbeat and intense thumping in the chest
  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Loss of appetite

 

Natural Ways to Overcome Anxiety Symptoms

If you think you suffer from general anxiety symptoms, I have some tips and pointers that can help you to reduce some of these anxiety symptoms naturally.

My first suggestion is to get started with meditation and mindfulness training.

For me, developing a meditation habit has been one of the best things I have ever done. It has had a profound impact on my ability to control my anxiety and stress levels and has helped me to feel greater contentment and happiness in life.

If you’d be interested in checking out how meditation can help you to overcome stress and anxiety naturally, ensure to sign up for my FREE Meditation for Beginners e-course.

This 3-Day email course will give you a basic introduction into: 

  • The basics of Mindfulness Meditation
  • The Health Benefits of Meditation
  • How Meditation can help with overcoming stress & anxiety
  • The importance of regular practice
  • Other Meditation Tips for beginners

Click Here to Gain Access to the FREE Meditation eCourse!

 

If you’d like to educate yourself about meditation, here are some of my other articles to check out:

  1. How Meditation Helped Me to Manage Anxiety and Find Happiness in Myself Again
  2. An Honest Review of the Master Your Mind Course

My second tip is to start incorporating natural remedies into your daily routine. Essential oils, Himalayan salt lamps and herbal teas can be a great place to start.

Read more about natural remedies and how they can reduce stress and anxiety symptoms here:

  1. 10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief
  2. 6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief
  3. What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp & Why Do People Love Them?

 

Next up, let’s talk about the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

 

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorders differ from everyday feelings of anxiety because they have much more extreme symptoms.  They tend to impact a person’s daily functioning and performance, in a much more severe way than normal feelings of anxiety.

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary slightly, however, there are a few common signs and symptoms you can keep an eye out for.

Generally, symptoms include stress that is out of proportion to the impact of the event, with an inability to set aside worry or restlessness, even after the stressor or stressful event has subsided.

Mental/ Emotional

They

  • Feel intensely worried, afraid, restless, panicky, tense, nervous, scared or on edge most of the time
  • Have fearful, overwhelming, extreme and racing thoughts as though everything around them is going to go wrong or may result in their death
  • They are extremely irritable and easily agitated
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Often feel detached from their body and surroundings
  • Worry that they’re going crazy and feel that no one understands
  • They sometimes avoid leaving the house for extended periods of time due to their anxiety or fears
  • Have difficulty relaxing and unwinding due to their repetitive thoughts and feelings
  • Start avoiding social situations as a result of a certain anxiety or fear

Physical/ Physiological

In addition to the mental symptoms, people suffering from anxiety disorders can also experience physical symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties (can’t sleep or stay asleep)
  • A throbbing heart and heart palpitations (similar to that mentioned under anxiety symptoms)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Stomach aches or churning– sometimes to the point where they feel like they could vomit
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Twitches and trembling
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Excessive thirst
  • In some cases, they can develop impulsive behaviours or compulsions in an attempt to regain control or to avoid certain circumstances

 

Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis & Treatment

Given there a number of different diagnoses for anxiety disorders, you should always seek advice from a medical professional to determine whether you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, rather than relying on self-diagnosis.

Although medications including sedatives and antidepressants are commonly prescribed to help manage symptoms, there are some other natural alternatives you can check out including:

  • Mindfulness & Meditation
  • Hypnosis & Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Self-Care – Frequent exercise, eat a healthy diet and avoid consuming a lot of alcohol & caffeine
  • Stress Management Techniques
  • Talking to a Counsellor

Although some levels of stress and anxiety are normal for everyone to experience, there are definitely some more extreme cases which do require medical attention and treatment.

If you’re interested in learning how meditation can help to relieve some of your stress & anxiety symptoms, get started with my FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse by entering your details below:

 

The 4 Meditation Superpowers – Why Meditation Matters!

The 4 Meditation Superpowers – Why Meditation Matters!

Today, we have a guest post from Giovanni founder of “Live and Dare about the 4 Meditation Super Powers and why meditation matters in your daily life. 

 

One of the questions I get from time to time is “Why should I meditate?” or “How did meditation change your life?”. In other words: “Why meditation?”.

In response, I could speak about the over 70 benefits of meditation on your health, mind, emotional life, and performance.

Sometimes that helps, but I often feel it doesn’t really communicate the real value of this practice. Personally, I didn’t start meditating because I was seeking any of those benefits – they were just very nice side effects.

At the same time, I cannot answer that question by mentioning the spiritual value of meditation, because not everyone is spiritually inclined.

 

Why Meditation Matters - The 4 Super Powers of Meditation

Why Meditation Matters – The 4 Super Powers of Meditation

Why Meditation Matters

The real point that meditation addresses, and that makes it quite relevant and universal, is this:

You have a mind, but you are not the boss of your mind. Often, your mind is the boss of you.

Your mind is your most valuable asset. What’s going on in your mind can make you happy or miserable, successful or broken, energetic or lifeless. In short, the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life.

So, then, what is the value of meditation? It helps you to know your mind, and master your mind (gradually). And this affects everything else, in all spheres of your life.

Let me now dive in and be really specific. I’ll cover four main “skills” that meditation will give you. These are so great that I actually prefer to call them “superpowers”.

 

1. Zooming In

The first skill that you gain from meditation is improving your ability to focus.

Focusing means that you can zoom your attention in on anything, and sustain it there, ignoring distractions. The length of time you can sustain your attention increases with practice.

It’s quite evident how the ability to focus is essential in all spheres of life: career, education, finances, and performance (be it in work, sports, or art).

We live in times of continuous distraction – our attention span keeps getting shorter. We lack focus because so many things are auditioning for our attention, and as a result our mind easily gets dispersed everywhere.

Soon, survival of the fittest might as well mean survival of the focused…

There are also many other expressions of focusing in daily life.

Focusing allows you to:

  • Be more present in your daily activities, rather than getting lost in your mind
  • Be a better listener and communicator, because you become more present
  • Not fall into the trap of multitasking, enabling you to become more time and energy efficient
  • Enjoy more deeply the blessings of your life, however small (a good meal, time with your family, your favorite hobby, etc.)
  • When there are competing voices in your head (such as the voice of fear and the voice of confidence) you can zoom in and focus on the voice that is most empowering to you.

In meditation, we are training this skill every time we zoom in our attention into the object of our focus (breath, mantra, etc.).

 

2. Zooming Out

If zooming in gives you focus, zooming out gives you perspective.

It’s the ability to not get sucked into mental and emotional stuff. It’s the ability to see with clarity and serenity.

Oftentimes we don’t want to zoom into something, but we just can’t help it. Emotions are usually the driving force for this. They can get sticky and messy pretty quickly.

  • Maybe it’s a traumatic incident from your past or an addictive emotional pattern such as victimization or negative self-talk.
  • Perhaps everything is going well with your day until someone says something that triggers you to fall down a rabbit hole of confusion, anger, and doubt.
  • Or maybe it’s just your thoughts bullying you into interpreting things through the lenses of fear and pessimism.

In situations like these, zooming out comes in handy. It frees your mind, allowing you to see the bigger picture.

It won’t stop those pesky thoughts and feelings – but it will make them be more like a cup of salt thrown into the ocean, rather than a cup of salt thrown into a small bucket.

In meditation, we train zooming out every time we realize that we’ve gotten sucked into a stream of thoughts, and reclaim our attention by removing it from that thought-funnel.

 

3. Pausing

This is the skill that most people associate with meditation.

When we live in an unconscious, automated way, we become the product of our environment. We react, rather than respond.

In this mode, we are acting on the loudest impulse in our heads. We’re reproducing our past conditioning.

Living a creative and fulfilling life requires just the opposite. It means to be intelligently present in the moment, acting fresh. For that, the ability to pause is essential.

Pausing gives you space to:

  • Prevent you from acting on anger or other destructive impulses that ruin relationships and lives. (In a way we can say that when pausing is absent, regret takes its place.)
  • Break bad habits
  • Find clarity about what’s really going on
  • Make wiser decisions based on the needs of the moment
  • Re-align your actions in life to your core values
  • Think less, worry less, and be more

Reacting without thinking is easy – it’s the path of least resistance. Pausing is harder – it’s a skill that needs to be trained, a virtue to be developed.

In meditation, we train pausing every time we notice that we’re distracted, and we interrupt that stream of thoughts. It’s a condition for you to be able to zoom out.

 

4. Changing The Channel

The powers of pausing, zooming out, and zooming in come together as the ability to “change channels”.

Think of your mental world as a TV with several channels. Some of them are informative, entertaining, or useful. Others are full of bad shows, even though you might find them addictive.

The problem is that this TV doesn’t obey you all the time. It randomly pops up shows from channels you dislike, and doesn’t even allow you to mute them. Sometimes you try to change the channel, but after five seconds you find yourself back to the old channel.

The more you develop the abilities to pause, zoom out, and zoom in, the more you fine tune your remote control. As a result, your favorite channels get more screen time, and the crappy ones end up being discontinued due to lack of attention.

The formula for changing the channel is:

  1. Notice that an unhelpful channel has come up. It could be fear, anxiety, self-hatred, etc. Sometimes labeling the feeling can be helpful.
  2. Pause it. Breathe in and take a step back. Don’t fight with it, but rather realize that you don’t really need to be watching it.
  3. Zoom out. See the bigger picture – your consciousness is larger than this thought/emotion. Let the thought be there, but realize that you don’t need to zoom into it.
  4. Switch channels, and then powerfully zoom into a more helpful or enjoyable channel.

This is changing channels.

It is a natural exercise of control over your attention – reclaiming the power to decide where it should be focused on. It is not repression and doesn’t involve any self-violence.

In meditation, this ability is trained every time we gently return our attention back to our chosen object (breath, mantra, etc.). So basically hundreds of times! ? This is why meditation matters!

 

5. A New Baseline (Bonus)

What is your baseline emotion(s)?

By that I mean, what are the feelings that are always there in the background of your mind during most of your day?

For many people, it is anxiety, depression, fear, self-pity, or greed. Or perhaps an intangible sense of dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s life.

Meditation helps you become aware of your baseline emotions, and slowly uproot their causes, or at least “change channels” before you get all sucked in.

For me, my baseline emotion was a sense of restlessness and a hunger for something. After years of training, that cooled down. Now my baseline emotion is peace, contentment and a solid sense of unfuckwithability.

Having said that, it is misleading to say that meditation alone will accomplish this.

For most of us, it is meditation coupled with continuous self-reflection, contemplation, and radical self-honesty.

Studying spiritual texts or personal growth literature can also help; and so can therapy, deep relationships, and making real changes in your life.

Feelings come and go. Yet our baseline emotions seem to persist for much longer, and define what is our level of wellbeing.

So, for me it seems like a good idea to put some love into upgrading it.

 

Parting Thoughts

So these, dear reader, are some of the reasons why meditation matters and is valuable technique to learn.

These skills are all forms of mastery over your attention, over your mind.

You don’t get these “superpowers” quickly, though. They are muscles that develop with consistent practice. But know that every time you meditate, you are taking solid steps in increasing these natural superpowers.

 

Do you need some help choosing a meditation technique and establishing a solid practice?

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