by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
The New Year can be a time of new and invigorating power! The holidays are over and most of us are broke, fat and have become lazy over the last month. Between the stress and strain of holiday pressures, parties and procrastinating, we have only enough energy left to get by, exist and run on auto-pilot until the pop of New Years’ Eve is over. Well, now’s your change to take advantage of The Three M’s. Get motivated, get moving, get out the mirror!
Motivating ourselves is the fire, which jump starts our actions. Find a good reason to be motivated…good health, better career, a new relationship….whatever your reason, make your choice and stick to it! Then use tools to get you motivated. Try inspiring music, the power of scent (lemon, orange, floral scents) or a more mind centering process like yoga, meditation or hypnosis.
Moving is the action to your motivation! There is a mountain of proof that movement is the best thing for mind, body and spirit. Moving helps with depression, increases our cardiovascular system, moves energy (Qi) and blood, stimulates the brain, increases hormone production and takes us from one place to the next. Use movement as a tool.
A mirror is a reflection of ourselves. How many times have we seen ourselves in others, both the good and the bad. A mirror is also a great tool. A mirror will tell you the truth. Look into one. What do you see? Since it can reflect back our true self, take advantage of its power and speak your positive affirmations into it. An affirmation is a word, phrase or statement asserting the existence or the truth of something. It is the act of affirming, asserting or stating something. Speaking your affirmation into the mirror is the best way to make your words a reality.
Use these 10 helpful ideas to get your moon over the mountain!
1. Listen to Uplifting Music!
Music can inspire! Some music is designed to have a positive and reaffirming effect on emotions and mental clarity. Singing along to a familiar song or showtune might be all you need. Music is a magical medium and a very powerful tool. Music can delight all the senses and inspire every fiber of our being. Music has the power to soothe and relax, bring us comfort and embracing joy! Music subtly bypasses the intellectual stimulus in the brain and moves directly to our subconscious. There is music for every mood and for every occasion. Music Therapy is incorporated in a number of areas of medicine.
2. Use Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been clinically shown to ease stress and improve moods. Essential oils of plant, fruit, and flower essences are created to center and enhance the body and mind in order to help us in preventative measures, as well as, an effective cure for many illnesses. Scents can induce an amazing power as they influence our moods. Our sense of smell is the most direct path to our emotions. This is the principle behind the ancient art of aromatherapy.
3. Get A Massage
Massage Therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety and sadness and to lower cortisol, the stress hormone. Massage Therapy not only treats those parts of you which are a problem, but also affects the whole of your metabolism through normalizing your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems and their interdependent functioning.
4. Enjoy Good Fat
Hormones that regulate Serotonin, our bodies’ main mood-boosting chemical, are stimulated by fat consumption. Before reaching for a piece of cake or a cookie, try a piece of salmon. Not all fats are created equal and you should AVOID saturated fats. Instead, eat foods
containing ‘good fats’ such as fish, nuts and olive oil. These foods help with depression and low self esteem by boosting Serotonin.
5. Get Your Vitamin D
Serotonin is affected by Vitamin D. Studies have shown that consumption Vitamin D makes people feel better. Particularly those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
6. Practice Yoga Therapy
Yoga Therapy is the ancient exercise from India, which has been shown to boost energy, release tension and stress, and help with depression, anger and fatigue. Practicing yoga is associated with establishing harmony,equanimity, balance.
7. Make Humor and Laughter Daily Medicine
Laughter reduces muscle tension. This muscle relaxation and the easing of psychological tension that accompanies it, is the main goal of pain and stress management. This certainly accounts for the stress- reducing power of humor. I often have patients say to me, “well how can I laugh if I’m depressed?” Rediscovering your sense of humor is the end result of your desire to feel better. It is your willingness to look for it. This proactive search for humor is the magical ingredient. The attempted approach to “look for humor in any situation” is a step in the “light” direction.
8. Eat Breakfast
Studies have shown that eating breakfast is associated with greater calmness and less stress. It also improves alertness, which can help your memory and ability to learn. Eating fiber at breakfast is best. Eating fiber in the morning allows for less emotional distress, more energy and more mental alertness!
Exercise is the best medicine for anxiety and depression. It not only keep the body physically and mentally fit but also provides recreation and mental relaxation. It is nature’s best tranquilizer. Exercise produces chemical and psychological changes that improves your mental health. It changes the levels of hormones in blood and may elevate your beta-endorphins (mood-affecting brain chemicals). Exercise may also improve the function of the autonomic nervous system. Exercise also gives a feeling of accomplishment and thus reduces the sense of helplessness.
Meditation works wonders. Every 5 to 10 minutes spent centering yourself in stillness will have positive effects. Meditation improves over all well being. Meditation helps us live a healthier, less stressful life. The physical and psychological benefits are wonderful and many people meditate only for those reasons. The practice of meditation helps us temporarily let the physical world go so that we can begin to see ourselves as we truly are. Taking the time to uncover what the hidden, unconscious emotions and beliefs that contribute to the depression helps create a permanent solution to the problem.