If you are feeling out of balance, experiencing lots of stress and anxiety, or are coping with a health issue, you are not alone. This month’s quiz will help you assess your mind-body balance and offer steps to restore harmony and wellbeing in your life.
To start on a path of rejuvenation and mind-body balance, you need to be willing to move beyond old patterns and ways of behaving. The first step is setting the intention to make the changes that will serve and nourish you and your life. Begin by choosing just one practice, whether it's yoga, meditation, emotional release, balanced nutrition, or cultivating gratitude, and commit to taking action to incorporate it into your life.
Meditation is a core step and the most powerful tool for restoring balance to our mind and body. Meditation brings us home to the peace of present-moment awareness and gives us an experience of profound relaxation that dissolves fatigue and long-standing stresses. The more you practice meditation, the more you are able to experience expanded states of pure awareness. In the silence of awareness, the mind lets go of old patterns of thinking and feeling and learns to heal itself.
We need to purify both emotional and physical toxins on a regular basis in order to experience true health and emotional freedom and balance. If we allow toxic emotions to accumulate, the emotional toxicity ultimately leads to physical toxicity as well. The first question to ask yourself is, “How is holding on serving me?” If you can identify the need that is being filled, the next question to ask is, “How else can I fulfill this need in a way that will ultimately be more healthy and life-affirming for me?”
Once you have identified what you want to release, spend some time journaling about how your life will be different when you change. Then you can do a specific releasing ritual that declares to yourself and to the world that you are letting go of whatever it is you’ve been holding on to. If you've been holding on to a hurt, loss or grievance for a long time or are currently coping with a situation that feels almost overwhelming, you may want to consider attending the Free to Love workshop at the Chopra Center. In a nurturing, supportive environment, David Simon and the loving Chopra Center staff will guide you in a powerful five-step process to identify, release, and heal emotional pain. Learn more about Free to Love here.
Next to breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function. To create a healthy body and mind our food must be nourishing. Ideal nutrition comes from consuming a variety of foods that are appropriately prepared and eaten with awareness. A balanced diet contains all the six tastes of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. A strong appetite is necessary to help us digest and absorb the food we eat. Improved digestion reduces the amount of toxicity in your system and is directly related to your energy level.
Practice Yoga for Restful Awareness
Yoga offers is an excellent physical exercise as well as a powerful way to release stress. Yoga postures balance the body, including the central nervous system, endocrine system (responsible for the production of stress-relieving hormones including endorphins), and digestion. As you practice, your mind relaxes and you’re able to stop dwelling on stressful thoughts and situations. You begin to connect with your inner self and experience unbounded peace and awareness. Learn more about yoga here.
Delight in What You Have
Gratitude is a powerful way to bring balance and joy into your life. Each day, list the things in your life for which you are grateful. As you cultivate an attitude of appreciation, you will notice more opportunities, synchronistic events, and pleasure flowing into your life.
Take a Music Break
Every sound has a physiological effect, offering a powerful way to balance the mind and body. When you listen to a beautiful song or soothing ocean waves, your body produces chemicals that help you feel calm and joyful. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, experiment with sound therapy. Soothing classical, jazz, or New Age compositions may soothe you. The healing sounds of birds, the rustle of trees in the wind, and the rush of a river can quell anxiety. If you live in an urban area, take advantage of the local parks or listen to nature recordings. The Chopra Center Store also offers a variety of music CDs and DVDs that promote health and wellbeing.