How to relax your mind and self-heal a little.
As with all of my posts this is just my ideas and opinions. This post is about how to relax your mind and utilise healthy free ways to relax and self-heal. This is important for everyone to do whether they are aware of it or not. There are many free ways to help reduce stress and anxiety naturally that are easy to incorporate into our daily routines.
Stress is a killer!!
I know it’s a bit of an alarming title but it is a well researched and documented fact. When a person is under a lot of stress their body’s functions such as their immune system close down, diverting energy to their limbs for the ‘fight or flight’ response (Stress = adrenaline release = the ‘fight or flight’ response = eventually illness). This is why you go on holiday/vacation and you get sick, as you finally relax because your immune system is down due to all the stress you have been under you then catch a cold or flu etc.
The truth is there is a correlation between stress and many illnesses/diseases such as cancer, I am seven years in remission from Burkitt’s Lymphoma. I got cancer when I was a Community Nurse and I was shocked to find that ‘Nurses’ have a higher cancer rate than a lot other professions. Mostly I think because we are busy caring for others that we neglect ourselves as well as suffering stress due to lack of staff and resources.
This is why I think it is important that all Healers, Practitioners, Nurses, Mothers, Fathers, Carers etc, all those that have caring responsibilities take time to relax and self-heal. Also those that have a stressful job that they have to go to daily.
Reduce stress and anxiety naturally.
These are the ways I have found to help me relax and reduce my stress and anxiety:
1). Meditate to ease stress and anxiety
Meditation at home or in nature is a great way to relax. I know it sounds like a cliché, how do you meditate if your mind won’t be quiet? You keep trying !!
I still do the Reiki meditations daily that I did when I was a Reiki student, I do ‘hatsurei ho’ and the ‘symbol mediation’ as I still enjoy them. That is the best way to do it, you have to find a meditation that you like, one that resonates with you. There are plenty on Youtube, when you find one that you like try to do it every morning and evening, even if it’s just a 10 minute one. You can also purchase meditation packs and download them so you have them wherever you go, whether you have an internet signal or not.
If your mind begins to wander just notice the chatter and steer your mind back to listening to the guided meditation, I can honestly say it does get easier with practice. Please don’t be defeated if at first it doesn’t work, like anything it’s a matter of practice.
2. Go for a walk in nature or on the beach.
Going for a walk in nature or on the beach, any exercise can get you focusing on the physical task at hand rather than your worries. Doing this small thing is so underrated!! I am lucky I have the Great River Ouse and the countryside a three minute walk from my apartment.
There are other place to find peace and quiet, when I lived in London I use to go to the graveyard, because it had lots of grass and beautiful old trees. You may work or live near a park which you can use at lunchtime, or just walking around your garden at home.
When you exercise your body releases endorphins, this is a natural chemical that is similar to morphine and its effects give a positive happy feeling. I think you also feel proud of yourself for getting out of your chair and exercising.
3. Ground yourself in nature.
Find a patch of grass or sand ( if on the beach) and take off your shoes and socks and just ground yourself. Close your eyes and imagine roots coming from under your feet into the ground like huge tree roots that extend for a really long way, imagine anchoring them at the centre of the earth. If imagining things is not for you that’s fine just enjoy the feeling of the grass/sand under your feet, it is very therapeutic either way!! Try and spend at least ten minutes relaxing or longer if you need it.
Just be aware of your surroundings whether it’s the clouds in the sky, the trees moving around you or the sea coming in and out. Be Mindful of your surroundings, stay with the present and enjoy where you are.
4. Relax with music.
German research concluded that listening to music can be as effective for your health as mediating or exercise. Traditional Chinese medicine also saw a big relationship between our health and music in achieving self- healing. Listening to music and enjoying it releases dopamine which is a ‘feel good’ natural chemical our bodies produce, it also slows down our heart rate, breathing and pulse which aids relaxation.
Everyone knows the music that uplifts them, it can be current chart music or a blast from the past e.g. eighties music. Music can remind us of happy events we have experienced. Dance around your house or apartment, dance like a Diva, feel free as no one is watching. Also sing your heart out!!! I often sing loudly to the radio to and from work and I quite often have a happy song stuck in my head for ages e.g. ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams.
5. A relaxing bath.
Listen to your favourite music in the bath with lavender oil in the water, this time to yourself stimulates three of your senses (hearing, smell and touch). Lavender has great relaxing qualities, use candles and dim the lights too. Having ‘YOU TIME’ is very important in the relaxing process, it’s not selfish to be kind to yourself.
6. Petting out furry friends.
Stroking our pets is not just enjoyable and relaxing for them but for us too, it again releases our endorphins and this gives us a feel good factor and relaxing qualities. I know I laugh every time I see my cat basically flake out in pure heaven as I stroke her from the top of her head to the tip of her ears!!! The louder she purrs the more relaxed I seemed to get.
7. Receive a Reiki healing.
Whether you are a Reiki practitioner, interested in Reiki or just into relaxing why not treat yourself to a Reiki healing Session. If you just want a taster to see what it is all about then Spiritual churches quite often do free healing after the service. If you enjoy it you will then know a Reiki Practitioner to have a full length session with.
There are also local Reiki share groups, it is a minimal fee e.g. £5-£10, this often includes meditation and then a Reiki healing. Depending on how many attend is how many people give you the healing. everyone takes turns laying down on the massage table and receiving Reiki healing from the group. Your local Reiki share groups may have a slightly different format.
Receiving Reiki healing is often something that Reiki Practitioners neglect to do, I have several Practitioner friends and I go to them for healing periodically and they say that they really need to go and have Reiki too but never seem to have the time. We do listen to people’s problems and channel healing, but we are human and we need to also take time for ourselves and our equilibrium.
We need time to rest and regroup.
As Carers, Therapists, Practitioners or Parents we give so much of ourselves to work, family and friends. We can’t sustain continually giving unless we take time to relax and recharge. It is hard for people with a caring mentality to think of themselves as it can feel selfish. But actually we do need to be selfish and think of our own needs and health to keep on an even keel so we can keep giving.
We all have a mental health bucket that gets filled daily with stress, issues and problems. What we need to be mindful of is not letting it get to a level that is no long sustainable..….the overflowing stage. For us to keep giving we need to take time to self-heal and relax, to empty our stress bucket a little or a lot!!! We need to fortify ourselves for the next person who needs us.