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 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

 

 

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?

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation for beginners, ensure to sign up to the FREE “Lite” Version of our complete “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This 5-day Meditation Course will teach you about the basics of Meditation and how you can relieve stress and anxiety naturally.

Get started by entering your details below.

 

What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp & Why Do People Love Them?

What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp & Why Do People Love Them?

Himalayan Salt Lamps are becoming increasingly popular, with many having either heard of them or having bought and positioned them around their homes already.

By why are people doing this? Is it just some hippie trend or a phase they’re going through?

The answer: Absolutely, not!

Don’t worry, owning a Himalayan Salt Lamp will not turn you into some hippy friend. Nor is it just a fad going around… like high-waisted arse revealing shorts. Please please go away….

Instead, Himalayan Salt Lamps are believed to have numerous health benefits, including their ability to counteract the negative impact of electronic appliances in our home environments.

But firstly,

What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp? AND Why do people buy them?

What The Heck is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

Simply, a real Himalayan Salt Lamp is made up of a big chunk of pure, hand-carved Himalayan salt. It then has a hole cut out of the centre for a light bulb. 

This turns a normal block of Himalayan salt into a lamp – a very simple and soothing light source.

These days, most Himalayan Salt Lamps aren’t bought for their lighting capabilities (which let’s be honest, is pretty modest).

Adding the globe inside these rocks instead serves the purpose of helping to stimulate the beneficial properties of the salt (which I’ll explain more about below).

Due to their recent popularity, there are a number of suppliers selling fakes (not made from pure Himalayan Rock Salt)!

This is why it is so important to ensure that you’re buying from a reputable supplier.

“Ok cool, but what is Himalayan Salt?”

 

2. What is Himalayan Salt & Where Does it Come From?

Himalayan Salt (or Pink Salt, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, Rock Salt as it is commonly referred), is a natural salt sourced from the Punjab region of Pakistan.

This very ancient region, located approximately 190 miles away from the Himalayas, is known to have one of the richest salt fields in the world. Some even say that the salt obtained from here dates back to as early as Earth’s creation. Crazy, huh?!

When consumed, the Sodium Chloride (NaCl) properties of the salt are beneficial to our internal health, helping to:

  • Maintain healthy body functioning
  • Improve nerve conduction
  • Improve digestion
  • Increase the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste products

According to Dr. Sircus, the purest Himalayan crystal salt comes from salt mines beneath the Himalayan Mountain Range – located as deep as 5,000 feet below.

Due to the pressure, it has received over millions of years, this salt is deemed to be top spec at over 99% pure.

The traditional Himalayan Salt Rocks that you see available to the public, online or at markets may be sourced instead from the higher regions of the Himalayan Mountains. They are still pure Himalayan Salt but may contain other impurities compared to the 99% pure salt mentioned above.

The mineral concentration in the salt can also influence its colour.

Himalayan Salt Lamps typically range from a light pink or pinkish orange colour to some rarer white forms. The whiter forms are much rarer than the usual Himalayan Rock Salt and is, therefore, much more expensive.

 

Why Do People Buy Himalayan Salt Lamps?

The popularity and interest towards Himalayan Salt Lamps over the last few years has grown dramatically.

Himalayan Salt Lamps are believed to:

  • 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
  • Improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety symptoms
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost serotonin levels

FYI: Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body.  It is believed to help us to regulate our moods, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and also for general bodily functioning.

 

Himalayan Salt Lamps vs. Himalayan Salt Candle Holders

In addition to Himalayan Salt Lamps, you can also get Himalayan Salt Candle Holders.

Both work as well as one other (if the same size) so when deciding which one to buy, it’s going to mainly depend on your personal preferences and what you find more visually attractive or appealing.

I personally own 2 Himalayan Salt Tea-Light Candle Holders and am in love with them.  I find them to be soothing and therefore help me to relax.

Especially after a busy day at work; reducing any feelings of stress and anxiety.

One obvious advantage of a Himalayan Salt Lamp over a Tea-Light Candle Holder is that you don’t have to replace the bulbs as often as you do candles. However, Himalayan Tea-Light Candle Holders are a more natural option that don’t require electricity to function.

 

Want to Get a Himalayan Salt Lamp for Yourself?

If you’re interested in getting a Himalayan Salt Lamp or a Himalayan Salt Candle Holder for yourself or a friend, here are some links you can check out for more information:

In this article, I talk about some key things you should look out for before taking the plunge and buying a Himalayan Salt Lamp.

If you don’t read this article, you could end up buying a FAKE which would leave you feeling very disappointed.

In this article, I also share my results from several hours of research on numerous brands. I review 4 popular Salt Lamp Brands on Amazon, to help you to reduce your likelihood of ending up with a dud!!

In summary of the article, the salt lamp that I personally recommend is The Body Source’s Himalayan Salt Lamp.  


They were my winner after my research of numerous salt lamp suppliers because:

  • 83% of the Amazon reviews are 5 Stars. This is a pretty amazing achievement on Amazon given the number of trolls out there
  • They are labelled the “Amazon’s Best Choice” with over 7,000 customer reviews.
  • The salt lamps are hand-carved Himalayan rock salt from Pakistan
  • The lamps come with a wooden base to help protect your furniture from the salt
  • They comes with a dimmer switch that customers say is easy to use, and an extra light bulb
  • Three different sizes are available to suit the desired room
  • Happy customers rave about the quality and size of the lamps, saying that they last and work well.
  • This company has a website which makes seem seem more legit and authentic, it also allows you to get in touch with them if anything is not right with your salt lamp

View on Amazon

 

I hope you now have a greater insight into what Himalayan Salt Lamps are all about.

Cheers!