Are you in need of a little lift for your mind, body and spirit? If so, then read on for some amazing natural ways to feel great and bring your bio-energy to a positive harmonising state.
Sometimes when life gets busy, or we feel out of sorts we need to take stock, and have a little time off, so we can re-set and refresh. Here are our top three easy, affordable and enjoyable ways to regenerate inside and out.
Walking In The Woods
We know that a walk in the woods is a nice thing to do, but did you know that it has special benefits for the mind and body. In Japan walking in the woods is so highly regarded that the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries call it a special name Shinrin-yoku or ‘Forest-Bathing’. This is due to being immersed in the stunning visual, scents and sounds of nature. In order to clarify the physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku, the NCIB published a study conducted from 24 forests across Japan. In each experiment 12 people took part. On the first day, six subjects were sent to a forest area, and the other six to a city area. They then switched locations on the following day. The participants were measured before and after for salivary cortisol, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate. The results showed that time spent in the forest lowered concentrations of the stress hormone Cortisol, as well as lowering their pulse rates and blood pressure.
The Forestry Commission in England actually suggest that a walk in a forest is better than a session in a gym, due to the varying terrains and natural inclines, as well as being a lot cheaper. They also quote a study by the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health, they found that those who exercise in a natural environment cut the risk of suffering from poor mental health by 50%.
A walk in the forest could even prevent cancer. This was shown by Dr. Li at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo. A vital part of our immune system is made up of NK (Natural killer) cells which can fight cancer. The study took blood tests from volunteers before they went out for a 2-3 day forest walk, including a stay in the forest hotel. Following the stay they had another blood test, and it showed a big increase in Natural Killer cells, and this increase lasted for a month after the trip.
Chakra Opening & Balancing
Our Chakra’s are like wheels of swirling energy, and are thought to have been discovered in India over 2,000 years ago. There are over a hundred in our bodies, with seven key ones in the upper body. These are the root, sacral, solar, heart, throat, third eye and crown and each chakra is associated with different feelings and emotions.
The health of our chakras is thought to be directly connected to the health of the physical body, the mind, and the emotional wellness of a person. Sometimes chakras become blocked because of stress, emotional or physical problems. If the body’s energy-system does not flow freely, it is thought that problems will occur. This could include physical illness or distress, or being mentally and emotionally out of balance. So if for example your third eye throat is blocked, you may experience issues in communicating. Or a solar plexus blockage is thought to potentially cause poor digestion and anxiety.
It's possible to open the chakras ourselves with various easily researched exercises and techniques. But for the time poor we recommend investing in sessions with a professional.
It might not be for everyone, and can be hard to fit in when we have such busy lifestyles. But meditating can have significant benefits. Rebecca Gladding M.D. writing for Psychology Today states that sitting every day, for at least 15-30 minutes, makes a huge difference in how you approach life, how personally you take things and how you interact with others. It enhances compassion, allows you to see things more clearly (including yourself) and creates a sense of calm and centeredness that is indescribable. This is due to its effect on the brain’s lateral prefrontal cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex. Meditation can help us to override automatic behaviours, as well as seeing situations, ourselves and others more clearly. All this can reduce anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being. As with all new activities it will help to seek professional guidance, to ensure the meditation is practised correctly for maximum benefit. Or for a simple technique try the below.
- Get comfortable and sit in a seat, or lie down.
- Shut your eyes and relax, breathing naturally.
- Focus your attention on your breath and the body moving during inhalation and exhalation, feeling the changes in your belly, ribs, chest and shoulders. Continue to focus on your natural breath, and return to this whenever the mind wanders.
This article has been written by Nakin, who encourage a natural lifestyle. Find out more about Nakin and their natural skincare range at www.nakinskincare.com