Getting stronger, healthier, balanced, and thinner have probably been on your resolution lists – and more than once. But how about being calmer? Getting calmer is probably the tie that binds all these pieces together.
Eating right, staying healthy, and getting exercise all help you to get to a place of calmness. There are many studies that show that exercise can be just as effective at treating depression as many medications. A 30-minute walk can alleviate stress, bring down blood pressure, and regulate your heartbeat. You might also want to try yoga. Just doing one pose combined with slow breathing can bring you a sense of peace and calm. The oxygen from the breathing clears your mind. When your mind is clear, you will find yourself making better food choices. When you find yourself making better food choices, it brings you more inner calm, and you will sleep better.
This world we live in seems to be a place of stress. Everybody has to get somewhere, and in a hurry. Every job needs to be done and right now. Bills need to be paid, kids need to be attended to, and it always seems that there is something that needs to be fixed, and in a hurry. Getting rid of these things is probably not going to happen, but how you deal with them can be changed. Simple meditation devices like mindful breathing will bring you to that place where life doesn’t seem so frazzled. And it’s as simple as taking a deep breath. That’s it. Take a breath, filling your belly, and slowly let it out. You can count, if you like. Try to take 8-10 counts to let it out. Now how do you feel? Is there a smile on your face?
So now that you have calmed down a bit, and are ready to make better food choices, what should we look at having? A simple diet with occasional light fasting goes a long way toward creating deep, peaceful thinking. Too many ingredients in your meals, very spicy or rich foods, refined sugar, alcohol, coffee, late-night eating, and large evening meals can cause insomnia as well as feeling too mentally scattered or cluttered during the day. The following substances reduce nervousness, treat insomnia, and improve mental focus by quieting the spirit and helping it stay centered in the heart.
- Mushrooms – nearly every form of these fungi have cerebral effects. Poria cocos, one of the most common Chinese “herbs”, is used to settle the nerves and improve fluid balance. The ling zhi mushroom of China (reishi in Japan), is becoming widely available in the West as an immune tonic, and directly nurtures the heart, soothes the spirit, and calms the mind.
- Silicon foods – silicon foods are things like oatstraw tea, barley gruel, oat groat tea, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, and celery/lettuce juice. Silicon foods improve your calcium metabolism and strengthens your nerve and heart tissues.
- Fruit – mulberries and lemons calm the mind (mulberries have the stronger effect of the two). Schisandra berries calm the spirit and are prescribed in Chinese herbology for insomnia and to aid memory recall and concentration. Their astringent nature also lends them to treating frequent urination, diarrhea, and excessive sweating.
- Seeds – jujube seeds are a widely used Chinese herbal remedy for calming the spirit; they are thought to directly nourish the heart. Chia seeds also have a sedative action.
- Spices – dill and basil can be used in both food and teas for their calming effect.
- Herbs – regular use of chamomile, catnip, scullcap, or valerian is helpful for your nerves person or if you’re having trouble sleeping, until your diet is improved to the extent that herbs are unnecessary. Taking rose hips with these herbs supplies vitamin C for soothing the nerves, as well.
Most importantly, though, do the best you can. Taking care of stress also means not to stress out too much over what you are – or are not – eating. You will lose weight better this way, as well.
And, to help you relax and calm down, I am doing a GIVEAWAY. That’s right – something for FREE. If you go to this link, you will find many chances to enter my Giveaway. Through this Giveaway, you will have a chance to win a free, 30-minute consultation with me, plus a Basket Full of Love. This basket will include scented bath salts, scented soap and a natural ayate washcloth, beeswax candles, massage oil, relaxing tea, and chocolate. So hurry over – it ends February 28th.