Breathe In, Breathe Out
Hello Hilltop Family!
An important part of creating an Innate based mindset is to replace the negative learned programs (see previous article) and their consequential responses with positive ones or to rewire the brain/ reprogram the mind to allow more well-being (positive, love energy) to flow to you and through you. When this happens, more Innate intelligence can be expressed in the body and therefore more wellness is achieved in the body- which along with love, is your natural state of being- AKA optimal health on the energetic or vibrational level (more on how we are all energy later). We will discuss more how negative thinking and these learned programs cause dysfunction in the body and causes health crisis (symptoms, disease, injury) in a future article, specifically the science of Epigenetics, but today is all about some how tos on maximizing your mindset as promised. We will look into the whys later as I have discovered this week that what I want to share with you will take more than one article.
These techniques can be added to your healthy stress reduction tool box. Use what resonates with you and what works for you but keep in mind that sometimes stress has been going on for quite some time, causing some stubborn side effects, so be patient with yourself and don't just give up if it doesn't work right away. You may not use all of these tools and you may not need to use them on a daily basis like some people choose to do or have to do.
***If you are experiencing mental health problems other than day to day stress, please talk to Dr. Brittany (I am not a licensed therapist) and consider seeking professional treatment as it could be necessary for safe and successful implementation of these tools.***
This is just a starting place. There are many many more tools out there for healthy stress reduction.
Healthy Stress Reduction
Daily to keep you in the present moment and keep stress at bay. Remember it is easier to put out a campfire vs a forest fire; it is also easier to handle small amounts of stress vs huge amounts so these techniques will help keep your stress level to a minimum.
Meditation- Meditation allows us space to connect to ourselves and to connect with our higher power (whether you call that God, the Universe, or another divine entity). It helps us feel what our own energy is and what we truly want to be and do in this life because as energetic beings, we can pick up on the energy around us and this can crowd our own sometimes. Take 15 minutes every day to sit quietly, free of surrounding distractions, and focus on your breathing only. If a thought comes into your mind (which it will), release it gently and re-focus on your breathing. You can also find guided meditations to help you stay present in the meditative state. There is no wrong way to meditate just so you know. More meditation resources soon to come but for now, this is a great place to start. To start to train your mind to stay quiet. That's why it's called a meditation PRACTICE.
Vibrant Health Visualization- While sitting in a comfortable, quiet place, visualize a bright white light coming from within each of your body systems. Thank each of the parts of your body for keeping you alive and healthy and send love to them: tell your body parts "I love you, thank you for keeping me alive and healthy." Take one deep breath and move on to the next body part. This may take you several minutes. (It takes me about 10 minutes but I have been doing this a while).
Energy Center Activation- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit without surrounding distractions. Starting with the root chakra, visualize a bright white light coming from within each of your energy centers or chakras (we will talk about what these are exactly and why we want to work with them for overall health later). Thank each of them for your connection/alignment to your inner being (soul, spirit, the non-physical part of you that exists in the non 3D world or the invisible as it says in the Bible) Note: I am not trying to be religious here with any of this. This is where the spiritual and the physical meet so it is necessary to talk about both when it comes to complete and optimal health or wellness (remember the actual definition of health). I only mean to bridge the gaps between different beliefs to show you the similarities I have noticed as I have looked into several different spiritual and religious beliefs just because I was curious. Tell each chakra "I love you, I bless this chakra for my highest good." Take a deep breath and move on to the next chakra. Again, this may take you several minutes. (For me it is 5).
Grounding- With your feet flat on the ground (it is better if you can take your shoes and socks off and stand on the actual Earth) either sitting or standing, pretend like your feet are rooting themselves into the ground- like you have literal roots burying deep within the Earth. This can also be used during moments of stress as well.
Positive affirmations- Read, say, think, or write out positive affirmations to yourself. The more positive things we can think, the more positive experiences we will attract to our life and the happier and healthier we will be. Google (and Pinterest if you're one of those people like I am) is a great place for a list of affirmations if you are having trouble coming up with your own. The key to successful affirmation work is feeling the feeling you want to elicit from saying the affirmation: a heart centered, high vibrational emotion of some type- gratitude, love, joy, abundance, freedom... those light, feel good feelings that make our hearts swell and our bodies radiate with positivity... the emotions higher up on the emotional guidance scale.
Journaling- Sometimes our minds can get so cluttered that it can decrease our resistance to stress. Writing down your daily thoughts and events can help declutter your mind so that you can think clearer and respond to stress much easier and faster. There is no wrong way to journal.
Supplements- Stress survey. Let us know if you would like to find out which supplement will best support your specific kind of stress. CBD is wonderful at helping calm the nervous system down in general to help you handle stress better. Sheila with Our Healthy Homes is having a class on CBD next week.
Yoga/stretching- I recommend doing some sort of stretching routine every day. This will help minimize the tight muscles associated with stress and allow your spine to stay in alignment longer- which of course keeps you in a higher functional place longer and keeps you healthier.
Gratitude- Feeling thankful for your blessings in life is a great way to keep you high on the emotional scale. List out what you are grateful for. I do this at the beginning and at the end of my day- just a quick three or four thing list.
For moments of super stress, when experiencing a fight/flight response (what I call a trigger response) or negative emotion- see emotional guidance scale- that is not wanted in your experience. These help you take your attention off of what was stressing you out, switching your focus to something that is not as of a big deal. This tells your body that you are not in danger, taking you out of fight or flight mode and putting you back into the present moment (we will talk about this next time). These tools can be used as often as needed.
Heart coherence- Place your hand on your heart and focus on your breathing and your heartbeat as you feel a heart-centered emotion of some type (gratitude, love, appreciation, joy, abundance, freedom... the emotions higher up on the emotional guidance scale... something that makes you feel good). This can be accomplished by thinking of someone or something that you love or makes you happy or a happy memory. Do this until you feel your breath and heart rate slow and body calm. I also use this before meditating and doing energy work (vibrant health visualization and energy center activation). Doing this actually slows down your brain waves which then is a better head space or mindset to do energy work in. It is also a good state for repairing the body... that's why our brain waves slow down when we sleep.
Negative emotion/trigger response processing- If you can, stop what you are doing and say to the emotion "thank you for your guidance, you are no longer needed, I now release you." Take a deep breath in and let it all out. It can help to picture the emotion/thought as black smoke within the body that you let go when you breathe out. Then, replace that response with a positive one (you decide what that is) or positive emotion (see climb the scale) to re-condition your body to a new mind or just replace the negative feeling with love and light. This may need be repeated many times depending on how deep the program is. Quick recognition or mindfulness of your trigger reactions is key here and will improve as you do it more and more. The goal is to feel better without ignoring the trigger response or negative emotion because that could make the next time you get triggered into that reaction, worse; you didn't process the emotion properly so your body can still react to it in a major way, because your brain is still wired to react in that negative response. Doing this emotion processing over and over with your trigger reactions helps to re-wire your brain to a more positive state.
Climb the scale- Change your attention to something that feels better. A better feeling thought- see the scale- is the best place to start but if that doesn't work (because sometimes your body is too engrained in the fight or flight trigger response), think of a happy memory, something you are grateful for, or someone you love or makes you happy... something to lessen the negative feeling or switch it completely to a more positive emotion. You can use this tool for when you are already feeling pretty good and you want to "milk" it so to speak, meaning you want to feel even better and maximize it in duration and intensity. Of course this will keep you up on the emotional scale longer, helping you be healthier longer. Do keep in mind that it is rather hard to jump from one extreme to the other on this scale because vibrationally, you don't have access to those love feelings when you're lower in fear therefore you have to incrementally climb the scale in order to achieve the higher vibrational emotions.
Breathing technique - Inhale for 2 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2 seconds. Repeat as necessary to achieve calmness. This can be used when you are having trouble getting into a state to do trigger processing more calmly or achieving heart coherence.
Focus on your senses- Focus on what you are experiencing with your 5 senses at that very moment. Notice, without naming what they are, the noises that you hear, the sights you see, the things you smell, etc. Again, another tool to get you into a calmer state for emotion processing.
Essential oils- stress away (Young Living blend), lavender, patchouli, orange, frankincense. Diffuse or use topically diluted. Essential oils directly affect the limbic centers of the brain which is where we process emotions. Using these will help stimulate the nervous system to regulate your normal stress response systems.
If you have any questions or need help with any of these tools, please don't hesitate to reach out.
In love and light,