|Taking time to smell the dahlias|
I've been able to successfully remedy my stress and anxiety by doing a few things. Meditation, yoga, and tulsi (holy basil) tea have helped me to put things into perspective. Things are happening for a reason, and have propeled me to make changes that I might not otherwise have been so inspired to make.
Now, instead of anxious, I feel calm and focused on my life goals.
|Taking time to notice beauty among the chaos|
First, I've made it a habit to meditate more frequently. Andrew and I attend a weekly sangha, or group meditation, and I've made it a point to include some time to sit quietly twice a day. At first, I'd notice immediate results that would fade as the day went on, but I'm noticing that the more I practice, the longer I feel positive and relaxed. Meditation has a place in an ayurvedic lifestyle, and is recommended to prevent illnesses and to maintain a calm state of mind. Meditation also has been shown to enhance energy, increase creativity, and even can help your brain develop to its full potential (source). One thing that I really enjoy about meditation is that its free, requires no special equipment, and can be done almost anywhere.
If you've never meditated before, try this: Find a quiet space in your house, away from the computer, cell phone, or television. Sit in a chair, lie on your bed, or sit with your legs crossed on the floor or a pillow. Let your hands rest comfortably on your belly, and focus on your breathe as you inhale and exhale. Keep the focus on your breath, letting thoughts come and go. When you find yourself thinking about something, accept it, let it pass, and bring your mind back to your breath. Just doing this for five minutes can have a great impact on the rest of your day!
Another thing I've been including more of in my daily routine is yoga. I've been practicing yoga for quite some time now, but hadn't had much time to get on my mat as frequently as I would have liked. Now that I have more time, I've been practicing the ashtanga primary and secondary series on a daily basis, and have been finding time to include other yoga sequences into my practice as well. Ashtanga is based off of a set series of poses, so with practice it becomes a moving meditation or dance, where you know just what to expect from pose to pose. It also is fantastic because you see how you grow over time. You may start out being able to do one variation of a posture and then move on to a more advanced form of it. Flowing with your breath, yoga helps to reduce stress while strengthening the body. I've seen an improvement in my arm muscles already!
Lastly, I've started drinking more Tulsi tea. Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a plant that has adaptogenic qualities, meaning that it helps the body to respond to stress. A herb used for thousands of years in ayurvedic medicine, Tulsi is also a caffeine-free way to rejuvenate your body and mind, and even contains antioxidants. Ayurveda also recommends tulsi for colds, respiratory conditions, and headaches. Tulsi tea has a slight yet enjoyable bitter and earthy taste, and comes with a variety of spices or herbs mixed in to give it different flavors. I've been drinking it unflavored, letting the tea steep for about 10 minutes before adding milk (or sometimes ice cubes in this heat!) to get the full benefit of the plant.
Are you curious about tulsi tea's taste and benefits? I like this tea so much, that I've decided to host a giveaway! For your chance to receive a 18 bag box of tea, do one or more of the following things:
- Leave a comment describing how you handle stress/anxiety
- Share this post on Facebook or Twitter, and comment here saying that you have
- Like Spiced Plate on Facebook, and leave a comment telling me that you have
- Bonus for local Mainers: Spread the word about the cooking classes that I'm offering for kids, teens, and adults! You can do this on facebook, twitter, email, or word of mouth. If you know someone who is interested in classes on gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan/ayurvedic/healthy cooking, or if you know any kids who like to play in the kitchen, have them email me at spicedplate AT gmail DOT com. If you do this, you get TWO entries -- just comment twice telling me what you did.