Anxiety has a way of coming in waves. Some may be up all night thinking. Some may be bingeing . Some may be restless and confused. Some may wander about with this tight knot in your stomach. Completely natural during these difficult days, there are a few ways which have helped not only me release the anxiety but also countless others.
Here are 5 quick and easy ways to relieve yourself of anxiety.
Anxiety can hit us anytime and anywhere. And though it may initially feel like it’s getting too much, calming techniques like breathing, walking or even talking to a friend can bring relief. However, if you feel it’s chronic, or not lessening despite natural aides, do consult your medical practitioner.
The scent of oranges have been scientifically proven to be an instant pick me up especially if you’re anxious or depressed. The anti-depressive and anxiolytic properties of orange work well in the form of essential oils or even just keeping a bowl of powdered orange peel in your room allows this “happy scent” to help you let go a little.
Sleep deprived and cranky? Just light a few sticks of lavender incense in your bedroom in the evening and feel your troubles literally float away with the heady smoke. Want to create a romantic mood for a special meal at home – reach out for some rose incense to infuse the environment with pure and positive thoughts. And if you just want to clear your mind of the clutter and the confusion get yourself some sticks of Lemon or Orange to uplift and energise you.
That’s just a few examples of how incense works. The study of incense is the basis of Aromatherapy, a popular form of alternative healing and beauty treatment today.
Incense has been universally accepted as the purifier and is used across the world as part of religious ceremonies as well as medical healing.
In India, incense was and is used daily in all temples and rituals at home to sanctify devotions, where as in China incense is burned to purify and rid the environment of all negative spirits. Mexicans used incense to induce trance like states during rituals, Native Americans and Wiccans cleanse environments and human auras by smudging with bundles of aromatic herbs like white sage. the Greeks and Romans also used essential oils and fragrant herbs in all aspects of their daily lives, and many of their practices were learned from the Egyptians and Mesopotamians who were without doubt, the absolute masters in the Art of “Aromatherapy”.
Incense is believed to cleanse the environment of negative vibrations, and also has an extraordinary effect of soothing the mind. Just like a candle brings light to a dark room, the aromatic effect of incense offers tranquility to our senses. If used during meditation, incense is said to dissipate the negative energy. Burning of incense helps to create a positive state of mind and helps condition the mind to associate the typical fragrance with a positive and calm mind.
According to Dr. K. L. Sheshagiri Rao, Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism and Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, incense is supposed to have a calming effect on the mind. In particular, jasmine and sandalwood scents are supposed to bring out a peaceful mindset
Call it a feel good fix, incense works. Some fragrances like sandalwood have properties calm and purify, while citrus based ones are generally thought to be uplifting and clarifying. While trying out some home fragrances, you can burn 2-3 different kinds of incense together, or even opt for essential oil blends to burn to help you.
Here are a few favourites for use in the following purposes/conditions
To aid in meditation, nothing beats the sweet aromatic smoke of sandalwood. However, if you prefer the aroma of frankincense, rose, jasmine, bergamot and geranium
Tension and stress are major problems in today’s society and you can use a combination of incense and even blend the fragrances as essential oils. Good choices would include Lavender (I recommend my clients not only burn incense sticks of this delightfully soothing floral fragrance, but also opt for all personal care products in this smell to help with stress relief), Sandalwood for those who prefer a heavier aroma, Lemon, Mandarin, Lemon grass, clarysage and patchouli.
Love & Harmony
Harmony is essential to life and if you feel there have been too many disagreements lately or simply an accumulation of negative thoughts, and what could be better than burning a few sticks of the following incense to bring a harmony? Choose Rose, Peppermint, Strawberry, Gardenia, Frankincense, Myrhh and Jasmine.
Cleansing and Purifying
During the rainy season, citronella and pine works well to ward away the mosquitoes and bugs. Pine is a popular disinfectant in essential oils and is known to dissipate the germs in the air.
Easily available and highly affordable, incense can be used for a variety of things, and can be stored for long durations without any risk of losing their fragrance.
So the next time you just want a soothing fix – reach out for an incense stick and allow its smoke to uplift you.
One of the most popular ways of destressing and treating a number of ailments, aromatherapy has become a favourite among thousands of people worldwide. Claiming to restore harmony between mind, body and soul, aromatherapy is absolutely non invasive and natural. Here are a few essential oils that may suit your Sun sign.
The ideal essential oil for fiery Ariens is Pepper essential oil.
Pepper, is fortifying, strengthening and an excellent digestive stimulant helps when rubbed on the abdomen. Burn a few drops while meditating or if grappling with a problem, remember not to use more than 3 drops if you have sensitive skin
Ruled by the planet Venus, Taureans would greatly benefit from Ylang Ylang essential oil, a sweet smelling balancing oil that helps calm emotions. Distilled from a Malaysian flower, burn a few drops of Ylang Ylang to ease anger and anxiety and helps enhance sensuality. Great as an evening bath aid, this wonderful scent helps promote relaxation and aids sleep.
Peppermint essential oil is perfect for the restless Gemini. Ideal for clearing up the mind and the excess nervous energy, inhale 1-2 drops of this oil on a tissue to dispel headaches and confusion. Peppermint oil’s fresh, minty top notes makes it ideal to use as blends and helps to keep coughs and colds at bay.
The perfect destresser for the moody and emotional Cancerian is Roman Chamomile. Perfect for aches, pains and removing anxiety, use it regularly to soothe and calm yourself on tough and tiring days. Calming, balancing and deeply relaxing a few drops of Roman Chamomile in olive oil or almond oil makes for the perfect massage oil.
Frankincense for this fiery sign is what the ancients recommended for Leos. The perfect aid for calming and slowing down breathing in tense moments, inhale a few drops of this wonderful oil on a tissue or simple burn it. Traditonally burned as an offering to the gods, this divine scent is a valuable aid in meditation,purification rites and prayer and helps allay fears and anxieties.
The calm gentle qualities of Lavender makes the ideal essential oil for the Virgo person. This popular and versatile oil balances and normalizes emotions. Very effective in massage or in bath water, a few drops of Lavender on bed linen also aids insomnia. Use frequently and find yourself smiling more.
The sweet floral aroma of Geranium brings out the natural charm of Librans. Uplifting, balancing and refreshing the scent of the Geranium helps ease depression and creates a sense of security and comfort when burned regularly or blended into a massage oil. Used in perfumes and to counteract moodswings, Geranium uplifts in a few minutes.
Intense and passionate Scorpions would do well with Patchouli – a popular scent used extensively all over the worlds. A powerful aphrodisiac, patchouli adds a sensuous, erotic element to the air and is wonderful as an uplifting massage aid. Also good for skin care, the soothing, stabilizing and slightly hypnotic qualities of this perennial shrub helps grounding in meditations.
Allow the clean, fresh and citrusy notes of Lemon to revive dullness and tiredness. The ideal spring cleaner for the mind, Lemon essential oil is useful in meditation to aid clarity, concentration on foggy days. Allow its unique fragrance to pick you up on days when you’re drained and disappointed. If you have sensitive skin don’t go beyond 3 drops in your bath oil
Deep, smoky and earthy, Vetiver essential oil is known as the “oil of tranquility”. It helps centre you when you feel disconnected and offbalance. Its earthy fragrance is popular in aftershaves for men and perfumes for women and helps promote grounding, stability and calm. The ideal aid for baths, a few drops in bath water helps relax, soothe and restore your energies after a tiring day.
Sensuous, deep and mysterious Sandalwood essential oil helps not only to purify but also soothe and relax tired minds. The longest lasting aroma among essential oils, the exotic and slightly erotic qualities of sandalwood make it perfect as a cooling, calming aid. Psychologically sandalwood aids spiritual practice and cleansing rituals and has been used in incense for centuries, it calms irritation born of frustration and helps still and quieten the mind, while bring harmony and balance into your life.
The powerful heady fragrance of Jasmine helps bring harmony and peace into the Pisceans life. Sweet, exotic and intensely uplifting this essential oil when burned or blended in a massage oil is emotionally warming and uplifting. An aid to those lacking in self confidence or lethargy, jasmine’s euphoric qualities have been said to immediately purify and uplift the energies around. Avoid in early pregnancy.
These are suggestions only and are not substitutes for conventional medical or behavioral health care treatment, but rather as an ancillary modality or as complementary healing.
Anyone who has ever woken up to the sounds of terror in the middle of the night knows how exactly our children are affected by nightmares. Most common between the ages of 2 and 4 years old, nightmares are a by product of the growing imagination of a young child and his or her ability to absorb and react to a number of stimuli during his or her waking hours. Some kids rarely have nightmares while others may wake up screaming several times a week or a night. Fears may vary from child to child but are a normal part of the growing years up till their teens.
Most kids outgrow this phase and their nightmares can be handled by the parent. However if the frequency increases or the child refuses to go to school or even get into the bedroom, it could be symptomatic of some serious stress in your child’s life and you may need to seek the advice of a child therapist.
If your child is experiencing nightmares here’s how you can help.
Reassurance is critical. Some parents find by hugging the child and soothing him or her the anxiety levels decrease. Empathise with your little one and understand to him, his fear is very real. Remind him how safe he is and assure him of protection.
Protective mantras, amulets and even a piece of iron under the bed has been used for centuries by parents as a means to ward off anxiety and negative energies.
Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils promote restful sleep and work well with children.
In colour therapy, pastel shades and light yellow in the bedroom are believed to promote a sense of calm, peace and courage.
Healing crystals like Agate when placed beneath the pillow makes sleep deeper, calmer and more recuperative. Amazonite works well during phases of anxiety and stress and is best worn as a bracelet or a pendant. Like with a crystals, it is best to get them cleansed and energized by an energy healer before use.
Avoid fear inducing stimulants before bedtime especially violent or scary TV shows and bedtime stories with scary themes or villains. Though the child may appear calm before bedtime, his subconscious absorbs and replays the images during deep sleep.
Prayers before bedtime and placing of holy books by the bedside always reassure the child.
Finally, patience and love work wonders with nightmares in kids. As with all phases of childhood, this too shall pass.
You know it’s time for a space clearing session when people start falling sick too often, worrying needlessly and always feel tired even in their own bedrooms. Space clearing is the purification of the atmosperic energies. And unlike other alternative healing remedies which take time to deliver results, the results here almost instantaneous.
There are countless ways to purify your living space ranging from healing crystals, chants, havans, himalayan singing bowls, aromatherapy etc You may like to experiment with different forms of healing alone or in combination. Your best guide is your own intuition.
Personally I’ve found aromatherapy works very well as it purifies the scent of the air and unconsciously we breathe in all that healing goodness, cleansing us internally as well. A session lasts about 15 minutes and is best done early in the mornings after Meditation or during Dusk – a time which many ancients seers believed to be the time of maximum negativity on Earth.
My alltime favourite space cleanser is Agarwood. Also known as Oudh, it’s a beautiful wood bark that’s been hailed for centuries for its superlative healing powers and soothing fragrance.
An instant uplifter only a 2cm piece of the bark is needed. You can burn it in an aroma burner or place 4 pieces in the corners of your space. “Agarwood calms the nervous system, expels negative energies, brings alertness, relieves anxiety, invokes a sense of strength and peace and enhances cerebral functioning. It helps create harmony in your home.”
For those who’d like to use it with their meditation, nothing could be better than Agarwood. Buddhists use agarwood for transmutation of ignorance. Tibetan monks use it to bring energy to calm the mind and spirit. The Sufis and Japanese Shaman use agarwood oil in their esoteric ceremonies. It enhances mental clarity, opens the third eye and all of the upper charkas while calming the entire system
Almost char black in colour, agarwood delivers instant relief and within hours of burning, you may feel the whole atmosphere of the home changing for the better.