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This world is hectic. Everyday we get stressed, eat toxin laden foods, work too hard, sleep too little, and live in a society that can chew us up and spit us out. How do we survive? How do we stay sane? No one method works for every person. Here are some simple ways to unplug from the rat race and detoxify your life.
Break Time, Finding Your Balance
First, stop what you are doing. You need to take a moment and pull back. Give yourself time every day for no other reason than to BREATHE. Forget the rush to pick up groceries, work on that paper due at 10 am, or whatever it is that is screaming in your head that it can’t wait. It CAN wait. Maybe you can only give yourself five or ten minutes. Make those minutes a priority. Your body and mind depend on a fragile balance. If it breaks down, then every thing else is out the window.
Let’s Get Moving
Movement and exercise are essential to a healthy body and mind. Some people jog, go to a gym, swim, play sports, do martial arts, Yoga, or Pilates. It is not so important how you move. It is important that you move. Getting out of your space and getting blood flowing is required for muscles, blood pressure, brain function and especially hormones. These control how we feel about ourselves, react to others, and cope with daily life. If those neurotransmitters are out of sync with the rest of us, we are more agitated and make less positive decisions.
You Are What You Eat
Nutrition is one of the corner stones that we are built. Think of it as a load-bearing wall in your house. You can remodel around it, but if you try to take it out or start chipping away at it, you will have a pile of rubble before long. Let’s go back to eighth grade health class for a moment. The food pyramid is our starting point. Balance is the key. You need greens and reds in your fruits and vegetables. Watch the high fat foods and those with preservatives and dyes. Avoid sugar. Anything that says “diet” is not good for you. Add in Omega3 oils! Chai Seeds are your friend. This is the fuel your body runs on. Your immune system does much of its work in the digestive tract. Preservatives and antibiotics kill off the good bacteria that live there. These are essential for good health. Things like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha help put them back where they belong and get the body back in balance. Antioxidants and herbs like ginger, green tea matcha, pepper and chili can also give a boost. Most importantly, drink plenty of water. We need it to survive. The average person does not drink nearly enough water throughout the day. Just because you do not feel thirsty, and you had coffee or soda, does not mean your body does not need water.
Sleep is something we never think about. We do it every night. For some it is easier than others. We know very little about it, yet we know we cannot go without. The mind is a funny thing. It takes in everything from our senses and processes it. While we sleep the mind works through all the details of the day. This frenzy of activity during REM Sleep somehow rejuvenates us. without REM Sleep we turn into zombies very quickly. If it goes on long enough it can have disastrous results, even leading to madness or death. Somehow, we know this and yet the vast majority of us do not get nearly enough sleep. We operate heavy machinery, and push ourselves to out limits while viewing it as a badge of honor. Get in touch with your body’s sleep cycle. Listen to it. Your body is telling you what it needs to function at it’s best.
Breathe: In With The Good, Out With The Bad
This is perhaps one of the most basic aspects of life. We do it every minute of every day, in and out. Take a moment to feel your breath. Oxygen is picked up from the lungs by red blood cells and taken to every cell in the body. This happens without us even being aware of it. Just like the filter in the air purifier many of us use indoors, we need to filer out the harmful elements within our daily lives. We are surrounded by toxic sludge in the media, on social media, at work or school, even sitting in traffic on our way home. We need to clean the garbage out before it gums up the works. We hold on to pain from the past and let it color our perceptions of the present. It needs to be let go of before builds up. Feel your breath fill your lungs, move your diaphragm, and bring life to every cell in your body.
We all have people in our lives that make our daily tasks more difficult. We all know those people that bring chaos and grief with them in their wake. Most we must simply find some middle ground between their chaos and our personal space. We must keep a buffer zone between us or risk being sucked in by their negative reality. There are some rare people that are so miserable that they feel the need to make all those around them miserable as well. We should try to offer them comfort but remember that their misery is not our doing. Some are so toxic that it advisable to keep them at a distance or even remove them entirely from our lives. We can leave the door open to them, but we cannot make them walk through. It is ultimately their own decision.
Ah, that clutter that seems to permeate our society. We are all bombarded by loud noise, the buzz of social media, hectic traffic, deadlines at work or school, and the hum of of home life. We balance these nearly every hour of our day. How then can we clear away the chaos? Organization is the first step. Whether it is through lists, schedules, or just mental notes setting aside time for reflection and meditation can keep us from falling into patterns that keep us mired in chaos. Organizing our thoughts can bring order to our day. The second step is to simplify our environment. We are seeing this all around us in society. Across the world people are moving to a simpler life with off grid heating, water, and electricity as well as the rise of Tiny Homes. People are learning to disconnect from the rat race that is the cycle of birth/work/death. People are realizing that less is more. They are taking pleasure in the intangible things in life, spending time with loved ones, preparing meals and eating as a family and telling them about their day, as well as not worrying about wanting larger TV’s, newer cars, or the latest video games. Realize that you are enough. You do not need to be validated by others. Know your own self-worth.
Every living things in the universe, every atom of our world and piece of star-dust is made of particles vibrating. The water we drink, the food we eat, and even the air we breathe are all moving positrons, electrons, and neutrons colliding and reacting with each other. The human body has an electromagnetic field that can be seen by technology. Our brains work on the principle of biochemical electric impulses. We think of ourselves as separate from the energy of the universe. This is not the case. Meditation helps to focus our thoughts. By doing so, we are literally tapping into the energies withing our bodies that are also connected everything around us. Our thoughts have a powerful ability enhance or de-escalate a great deal of the trials we face on a daily basis. Negative thoughts create negative patterns of behavior. The more we begin to focus on positive thought patterns, the more our lives begin to lean in a positive direction.
Keep The Magic Alive
As children we come into this world with wide-eyed wonder. Children look at the snow and see a fantasy land filled with magic, elves, and snowmen playing when we are not looking. A small thicket of trees behind the house becomes a forest with fairies, goblins, castles and knights, or the home of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Their imaginations are on fire with images of what can be and not only what is before their eyes. Somehow many of us loose this as we grow up. Some of the happiest adults I have met have managed to hold on to this sense of wonder and tap into the areas of the brain where that imagination is centered. Find the child you were. Be that little girl looking at a pair of ballet shoes and see yourself on the stage moving to the music. Find that boy that saw the Hot Wheels racing through an obstacle course on his bedroom floor. Hold on to the magic of waking up Christmas morning or lighting the Menorah, spinning a Dreidel, and eating as many latkes as you could get before your parents said you had enough.
Human connection is one of the most powerful forces in this life. All relationships are an exchange of energy form one human being to another. The best way to raise your spirit is by giving. Give love. Give compassion. Give a smile to a random person passing you on the street. Perform random acts of kindness. Service to others without expectations heals the soul. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, take groceries to an elderly neighbor and ask if they need to go to the store. When you give love, you receive it in return. Love grows the more it is given.
Humans are not removed from our environment. We are part of an ecosystem. We affect everything around us. We live in a society that cares very little for our environment and the impact we have on other living things. The harsh truth is that the Earth can survive without us. We cannot survive without the Earth. We have done drastic damage to The environment. Now we need to be conscious of the impact we have on the world around us. Recycle, use renewable materials for household or work related tasks, THINK GREEN, LIVE GREEN, and make it a part of your being. One person affects the next and soon it is a movement, then a change begins to happen.
We Are All Connected
Every living thing on this planet breathes the same air, drinks the same water, and falls under the same universal constants. Humans tend to think of ourselves as set apart from all others. This is just an illusion. We cannot move through this life without making an impact on the world around us. Make sure that you make a positive impact.
Featured Image courtesy of healthfitnessrevolution.com