Health & Wellness · mental health · Spirituality

Spiritual practices that aren’t really spiritual but can help you feel better

Spiritual practices are things that I do often to help keep my mind and soul recharged and happy. We often put a lot of emphasis on making sure our bodies are healthy but how often do we make sure that our minds and hearts are? Spiritual practices can be as simple as taking a leisurely stroll in the park or as ornate as a full moon ceremony. Whatever feeds your soul and helps you to de-stress, you should do it often. Here is a list of things that you can do daily, weekly and/or monthly to help you raise your vibration, relieve stress and bring some peace into your life.

Meditation

You had to know that this was going to be on the list. I’m not going to write about all of the health benefits of meditating because it’s a long list and I’m pretty sure you know many of them. All that you need to know is that you should try and set aside anywhere from ten to twenty minutes a day where you will be completely undisturbed. Sit with your legs crossed or in a chair, either way your back should be straight and your head should be positioned so that your neck is aligned with your back (straight spine). Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Bring your attention to either the rise and fall of your abdomen or the area just below your nose and above your upper lip. Your breathing should be from your diaphragm and not your chest. Imagine you’re filling your belly with light with each inhale and  releasing any negativity and stress in your body with each exhale. Thoughts will enter your mind but the trick is to not get attached to them. Notice your thoughts and then let them pass by bringing your focus back to your breath. The goal is to be able to do this everyday.

Get moving

I hate to use the word exercise because people often think of some extraneous work where you’re gasping for air and laid flat out on the floor. You don’t have to sign up for CrossFit or run a marathon to get your body moving. Taking a walk, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong are all ways to move your body but also refresh your mind. At least three times a week you should do something where you move your body. You can even make it a social activity with friends so you don’t have to feel like you’re doing this alone. Whatever it is you should get your heart rate up to where you are breathing a bit heavier than you normally do. If you don’t know what range it should be in check the American Heart Association website where they explain what you target heart rate should be. Do whatever it is that you enjoy, take it from someone who doesn’t like working out. Most of my “workouts” involve putting on some music and dancing my heart out while I cook dinner. Moving your body not only gets your blood flowing but it also allows the energy in your body to flow as well. The more you do it, the more you will feel energized.

Get back to nature

Go hug a tree! Ok maybe you’re not into trees like that. Well then go put your feet in the grass. Swim in the ocean, take a dip in the lake, walk among some flowers and smell their sweet fragrance. For centuries Mother Nature was our energy source, and she still is if we just learn to make that connection again. I can guarantee that if you are having a bad day and you go outside for 30 minutes just to take some deep breaths, you’ll start to feel better. Staying cooped up indoors for hours and days on end can only lead to depleted energy levels. Sleep alone will not recharge your energy. Try and get outside. Maybe it will only be once a week but something is better than nothing. Look at the color of the sky, feel the wind on your face. And these don’t have to be only on sunny days. In fact many of my energy surges have come from rainy days when I stood outside and just let the rain fall on my face. Of course I wouldn’t advise doing this during a thunderstorm but… you get the gist.

Unplug

I will admit that this is one that I’m still working on. Turning off my phone or not watching television is a challenge. We’ve been so conditioned to zone out and bury ourselves into our devices.  The phone and television distract you from whatever it is that you don’t want to deal with. I get it! There are plenty of days when all I want to do is sit on my couch and binge watch some show after dealing with people and being an adult all day. But rather than stare at Instagram or Facebook for hours on end, try turning off your phone. Maybe there’s a book that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe you have a creative project that you want to get off the ground but haven’t started it yet. Devices take up so much of our time and energy leaving us drained and unmotivated to pursue our own endeavors. I won’t say that this will be easy and you will certainly experience withdrawal. But the more you do it and make it a habit the more you’ll find that you were able to accomplish tasks that you felt you never had time for. So start that project, write that book, play that instrument, draw that picture. I realize that I’m describing all creative things. Just unplug!

Crystals

Ok this practice is a bit more spiritual. I LOVE crystals. Ever since my mom introduced them to me when I was ten I was hooked. There are hundreds of crystals and gemstones that can help you with whatever it is you need. Want to feel more love and compassion? Bam! Rose Quartz. Want more prosperity and abundance in your life? Boom! Citrine. Want to rid yourself of any negative energy and enhance your spiritual connection? Pow! Amethyst. Want a crystal that’s a one-stop-shop piece and can help you with just about anything? Wham! Clear Quartz. No matter what you are going through in your life there’s a crystal for it. You can even combine crystal combinations to enhance your needs. If you’re new to crystals the internet is a great source to give you all kinds of information about every crystal there is known to man. If you’re more of a book person like me you can find The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. Just has released three volumes of this book and it is very detailed explaining not only the spiritual benefits but also the health benefits of each crystal. There are pictures of each crystal and the different color variations that they may come in. I highly recommend this book if you are new to crystals and want to get more information. And even if you aren’t new this is just a great reference to have in your library.

Breathe

Do you realize that we don’t breathe the way we should? Most of us do very shallow breathing that only involves the chest. Where the real power comes from is your diaphragm. If you try and fill your belly up like a balloon then push all the air out by contracting your abdomen, you are cleansing your lungs and giving your body a surge of energy. I’m sure you’ve heard the tip to breathe when you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated. Experts (and non-experts) will tell you that you should stop and take ten deep breaths before you blow your top. But why should we wait for only the frustrating moments? When you are having a great day, stop and take some breaths. When you got some great news, stop and breathe. Our breathe is what keeps connected to our bodies and we often take that for granted. The beautiful thing about breathing exercises is that you don’t have to set aside some special time or designate a special place in your home to do it. You can breathe at any time during your day. Try and put this into practice early in the morning so that it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I can bet that within a couple of days you’ll feel more energized and have more mental clarity.

State it

I can honestly say that affirmations have saved my life many times. I might have been in a downward spiral, thinking negative thoughts and couldn’t see a way out until I started saying positive affirmations out loud. I even have affirmations that I’ve written down on index cards and taped them to my mirror in my bathroom. They’ve been there for well over five years. Now the tricky thing with affirmations is that you might not feel like the things you are saying. You might start saying things like I am worthy, I am creative, I am abundant, I am beautiful, I give and receive love freely. Whatever your words are you may feel as though you are not deserving of saying those words. But let me say this. You ARE worthy and entitled to feel all of those things. Affirmations set your intention. They are your way of telling the Universe that you are stepping into your power. And even if you don’t believe the things you’re saying in the beginning, the more you say them the more you’ll feel love time. The Universe will hear your words, see you making the effort and will begin to align itself to help you see, feel and live those words. All you have to do is start. Write your affirmations down, put them somewhere that you’ll be able to see them everyday. Don’t just read them to yourself, say the words out loud. Say them with passion and conviction. If you are stuck and can’t find the words you need, then just check out this website to help get you started.

 

I hope that this list helped you. If there are some other practices that you have and do on a regular basis please share them!

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