Posts for category: Health and Wellness
Overconsumerism has long consumed us. It is the core of our economy and has dominated many of our lives for far too long. According to Northwestern Mutual and CNBC the average debt an individual has in the United States is $38,000 with credit card debt being responsible for 25% of that. Large percentages of our debt are coming from buying things that we can’t afford and don’t actually really need.
It has long been engrained in our society that material possessions and success go hand and hand. The more stuff that you have the more successful you must be. When did the type of car, house, clothes, electronics and accessories become a symbol of success and personal worth? It often seems that the more we make the more we spend, and then the more we become indebted to our things.
The idea of minimalism is really starting to gain traction though. In short, according to The Minimalist, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so that you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. Minimalism can help us eliminate our discontent, reclaim our time, live in the moment, pursue our passions, discover our missions, experience real freedom, create more, focus on our health, grow as individuals, contribute beyond ourselves, rid ourselves of excess stuff, and discover purpose in our lives.”
Minimalism does not mean that you have to get rid of everything that you own. It simply means that you only own things that bring you joy and have meaning to you.
Some of us are beginning to wake up and realize that we are so cluttered internally and externally that various areas of lives are being affected by mindless or influenced consuming. When our space is cluttered and disorganized, it is difficult to function to our highest potential.
We have been led to believe that possessions make us happy. We are bombarded every day with marketing campaigns telling us to buy and to upgrade. These ads paint a false reality of happiness being connected to material possessions.
But, if you really took the time to ask yourself and answer with complete and utter honesty what brings you joy in your life, it is likely that it would be hard to say that an item, such as a new iPhone or another pair of shoes is really providing you with everlasting joy. Is the debt that is attached to overconsumption and the weight of working more to afford more and “better” possessions contributing to your life in a positive way?
Less is more! And the less we consume that less we are negatively impacting our planet as well. The idea isn’t to stop making purchases and stop having material possessions entirely. The idea is to be mindful about what you consume and what you keep in your space. Maybe 2019 can be your year of less!
Mindful Ambitions’ step-by-step guide to “Minimizing Your Possessions to Live a Focused Life” is a really great resource if you are interested in taking the initial steps to living a life that is less cluttered and more fulfilling.
The Minimalist also have a great documentary on Netflix that is definitely worth watching and might help inspire your "less is more" year ahead.
We all have that song that does something to our complete being when we hear it. It’s that song that makes you almost involuntarily turn up the volume and say, “oh, I love this song!” The song elevates your mood, makes your body groove to the beat, and in the end leaves you feeling all around better. This is an example of sound therapy.
Music has long been a powerful tool for healing, among other things like inspiring creativity, productivity, motivation, and peace of mind. For thousands of years, music and sound has been utilized to alleviate mental disorders, stress, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. The ancient Greeks, Tibetans, and native tribes of North, Central, and South America have used sound therapy for many different reasons.
Sound therapy goes far beyond just hearing a song that has meaning to you though. Sound therapy involves the use of different instruments and tools that produce different frequencies and vibrations of sound. Common tools include but are not limited to gongs, singing bowls, tuning forks, cymbals, chimes, bells, and drums.
These instruments are used to induce entrainment, which is a process that synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a consistent frequency for our brainwaves to match. The idea of entrainment is to take our normal beta state down to an alpha (relaxed consciousness), theta (meditative state), or even delta state (sleep state).
When our brainwaves are operating in a down-shifted state of alpha, theta, or delta healing can occur. Sound healing is sometimes used during yoga or meditation practices. A guided meditation or a meditation that includes a mantra is also considered sound healing in and of itself.
In a world where our senses are constantly being inundated, a practice that focuses on solely one sense can be quite powerful. The whole-body sensation that occurs from the vibrations made from singing bowls and a gong are almost paralyzing, but in a very positive way.
Sound healing is used to move us from a state of imbalance to a state of balance. More and more of us are finding that we need a little extra help when it comes to balance in our lives. And who could blame us! Our lives pull us in so many directions and there are so many demands for our time and energy that it is no wonder many of us feel unbalanced.
This upcoming year of 2019, you will start seeing a lot more sound healing classes and opportunities popping up as sound healing really starts to make waves in the Western world. This holistic and natural healing practice is one that every single person can benefit from.
Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods that come straight from the earth and the sea. These powerhouse foods are chalked full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. By regularly eating a diverse selection of superfoods, you can reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.
Superfoods have also been linked to metabolism regulation, healthy weight management, reduced inflammation, improved brain function, softened signs of aging, and an increase in energy, immunity, and overall wellness.
While the awareness and availability of superfoods is nothing new, what is likely to trend in 2019 in relation to superfoods is the rise of mesonutrients. Mesonutrients are the nutrients that are found in the superfoods that make them so super.
While we should all be eating more plant-based foods and more nutrient-dense foods, in order to obtain the full range of benefits that are often listed next to foods like turmeric, green tea, pomegranates, and tomatoes, you would actually have to consume an inordinate amount every day.
For example, most studies that have been conducted proving the benefits of curcumin, the mesonutrient found in turmeric have been on study subjects who are taking 400 mg of curcumin a day. In order to get 400 mg of curcumin by ingesting turmeric root you would need to consume 220 pounds of turmeric or 22 pounds of dried turmeric powder. This is completely impossible and unobtainable.
This is not to say however that there aren’t amazing benefits that come from consuming less than 400 mg of curcumin on a daily basis. It is just that a lot of the data highlighting turmeric’s super strength as a superfood comes from studies where subjects were just taking the curcumin and not the entire root.
This is the same with the mesonutrients anthocyanins, lycopene, saffronal, and epigallocatechin gallate. Eating the whole food has many benefits that go beyond the key mesonutrient found within each of them, so this is not a call to stop eating the whole food. The trend that we will see in 2019 though is a rise in the direct access to these powerful mesonutrients. This could be through powdered or capsule concentrates.
While curative medicine is still the front runner methodology in Western medicine, preventative medicine in the form of diet and nutrition is really starting to make some bigger waves in the wellness world. Access to mesonutrients could end up playing a key role in preventing many of the diseases that are commonly faced in our modern world.
The word detox is thrown around a lot these days in the health and wellness world. Detox diets, detox smoothies, detox cleanses, detox supplements…well, you get the picture. Our physical body is bombarded by free radicals and toxins on a daily basis. The body will naturally detoxify itself but can only do so efficiently when it is supported with proper nutrients, water, and rest.
While physical detoxes have been the rave for decades, spiritual and energy detoxes have been continuing to gain more popularity. Everything is made up of energy. Energy is meant to flow and stay in motion. In the same way that we must take care of our physical health and wellness, it is important that we take care of our metaphysical health and wellness, as well.
Energy and space detoxing is a powerful practice. Sage smudging, burning Palo Santo, healing with crystals, and using essential oils is nothing new. In fact, such rituals have been in place for countless generations across many different cultures. If sage and crystals seem a little too new age for you though, don’t worry, there are dozens of ways to cleanse your energy.
When we feel emotionally, spiritually, and metaphysically cared for and balanced, everything else in our lives will be able to flow more freely the way energy is intended to flow. Picking a cleansing practice is a personal choice. It can be something that you do every morning or evening or something that you do once a month. You can also cleanse your energy and personal space on a need-to basis.
Energy cleansing practice can include but are not limited to…
Taking a bath
Sound healing with drums, gongs, bells, and singing bowls
Playing with your pet
Spending time in nature
We are a complex and very dynamic species. As we have discussed before, our complete wellness is made up of seven dimensions and our spiritual wellness is as equally as important as our physical wellness. The power of smell, sound, nature, the breath, and self-care is truly extraordinary.
Pick an energy cleansing practice that feels comfortable to you. There is no right or wrong, it is really just about taking the time to go inward and rid the body and surrounding space of anything that no longer serves you well.
Postive energy attracts positive energy!
When was the last time you made time for yourself? When was the last time that you put your personal needs and wellness before everything and everyone else? For many of us, our families, friends, careers, and household responsibilities tend to take precedence over our own self-care. We give love, compassion, and attention to those who mean the most to us, but often neglect to shower ourselves with that same love, compassion, and attention.
In 2018, a shif occured from self-care being viewed as an indulgence and a luxury to self-care being an essential part of our everyday lives. This is a trend you should absolutely get on board with!
A daily self-care routine is not as time consuming as you might imagine it to be. When we are feeling our best, we are capable of being our best in all other aspects of our lives. Making the time to take care of your mind, body, and soul will not only improve the quality of your life but can also improve your overall health and wellness, as well as your relationships and career.
There are so many ways to give yourself a little extra TLC and how you care for yourself on a daily basis is different for each and every one of us. What’s great about a self-care practice is that you can mix and match your practices and every day can be different. What’s important is that you remember to set aside a little time just for you.
Here are some easy self-care practices to get you started:
Take a bubble bath or long shower
Turn off your devices for two hours (or a set amount of time)
Get a manicure/pedicure
Create a list of what you are grateful for and/or proud of
Read for pleasure
Take a yoga class
Try a guided meditation
Play with your pet
Go for a walk
Practice your passion
Schedule a massage
Get a HydraFacial or other skin treatment
Do an at-home facial mask
Invest in quality self-care products (haircare, body wash, lotions, oils, cosmetics, etc.)
Make a hot tea and listen to music, a podcast, or watch a documentary
Take a nap
Practice the art of doing nothing
Prepare a nourishing and healthy meal
Treat yourself to a homemade dessert
Look in the mirror and say, “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “You are beautiful,” and any other positive affirmations that you can come up with
There are endless ways in which you can practice a little self-care on a daily basis. Our advice to you is to do at least one thing just for you every day. Pick one of the above or come up with your own and start the self-care and love today!