August is National Wellness Month, and National Self-Care Awareness Month is right around the corner in September. These are two great reminders that we need to be focusing on our personal well-being and mental health. Now, this can be hard to do – especially with so many difficulties and uncertainties surrounding us right now. However, there are simple ways to implement wellness and self-care into your everyday life.
First, let’s talk about what happens when we don’t acknowledge self-care – we get hit with mounds of stress that can impact every aspect of our lives. It also strain our mental and emotional health, but it can take its toll on our physical health. It’s important to know how stress connects to other parts of our wellness and how to harness stress for your own good.
The connection between stress and immunity
It has been proven that chronic stress can affect your immune system by creating chronic inflammation or suppressing the immune cells necessary to stay healthy and ward off disease. If you find yourself in a stressful situation or have been experiencing chronic stress for an extended period of time, there are many healthy ways to release the stress and find times of calm and relief.
A few suggestions are to:
1. Move your body through exercise, yoga, and qi gong
3. Do something creative to allow your mind to take a break from what is causing you stress
How stress can impact gratitude and vice-versa
We all experience stress at some point in our lives, some more than others. Ruminating over that stress only brings on more stress. Giving yourself a respite from the hamster wheel in your head begins to use gratitude to help you realize how many positive and amazing things you have in your life.
If you don’t have a gratitude practice or feel that there is nothing in your life to be grateful for, begin this way: Take a notebook and write down no less than 5 things to be grateful for. If you’re having a hard time coming up with things, try to be grateful for your last meal, toothbrush, toothpaste, the pen and paper you’re writing with. Before you go to sleep, the state no less than 3 things that happened to you that you’re grateful for. It could be that you’ve lived another day, that you have your health, or that you saw something that made you smile. You’ll find that you’ll begin to feel a little brighter and happier, which will offset your stress.
Finding gratitude in 5 minutes
I keep a notebook next to my bed, and before I go to sleep, I take five minutes and jot down all the things I can remember from my day that brought me gratitude, joy, made me laugh, or made me feel blessed. The beauty of having a little notebook is that you can take it with you and develop a habit of recording all of those things throughout your day and read them back before you go to sleep. By doing this, you will become more mindful of all the beauty and miracles of Mother Nature that surrounds you.
Manifestation May Be Key
In order to reduce stress and work towards a better everyday life in the forms of self-care, wellness, and mental health, manifestation might just be the answer. Simply put, a manifestation is an act of intending, and receiving what you intended. Since learning about intention setting and manifesting, I have manifested a great deal in my life. A very simplified explanation of how it works is as follows: you have a desire, such as a great new relationship, a new job, etc.
Then, you set a detailed intention – this can be done through prayer, meditation, or declaration: written or spoken. Some believers attest that you set your intention once and allow spirit to do the rest.
Others, like myself, restate their intentions daily – whether through prayer, mediation, vision boards, or declaration.
Some of the most important aspects of manifestation include:
a) keeping a raised vibration,
b) not judging what you are intending, and
c) not ruminating over your intention or allowing any negative or judgmental thoughts into your process.
I believe manifesting is so popular because right now, there are more and more books being written about how to manifest the life you desire. Movies are being made about manifesting, such as What The Bleep Do We Know?! and The Secret. There has never been so much information available to shift, enhance, or tweak your life as there is today.