With the hustle of today’s world, there are times that we need a gentle reminder to take a moment to destress. We had the opportunity to speak with Grace Emmons, Waiākea’s own Reiki Master Teacher & Wellness Coach, who shared a few tips on how to take care of ourselves through our spiritual health.
By Grace Emmons, MA Psychology - Spirituality, Mind, Body Institute at Columbia University
Wellness isn’t limited to the health of our physical body. True wellness requires us to tend to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When we take a holistic approach to refresh our body, mind, and spirit, we keep our whole being well; we thrive.
Take a few minutes to connect with your self. This may look like a brief meditation, journaling, or doing something you enjoy on your own like a morning yoga flow. Check in with you by simply noticing how you feel and what you’re thinking, building self-awareness that is necessary for mental and emotional well-being (1). Try this first thing in the morning to start the day fresh and ready.
Spending time in nature is the ultimate reset. Whether you take a short walk in the forest (aka forest bathing), surf at the beach, or sit out in your garden, you’ll feel revitalized across body, mind and spirit. Immersion in the natural world is associated with optimal nervous system function, lower BMI, better emotional regulation, lower stress, and increased insight (2), as well as feeling a sense of connection, peace, and awe (3).
Unplug to Recharge
Overuse of smartphones and digital devices can drain our energy. Try choosing a chunk of time to go “phone free” and notice how recharged and refreshed you feel afterwards. Whether you unplug for 30 minutes or a couple hours, ditching the phone will help you find your flow. Detaching from technology improves our focus, motivation, social skills, empathy, and more (4).
While there’s so much more to wellness than just physical health, keeping your body well is essential. Today, feed your body natural and organic fresh foods and drink fluoride-free water. One study found that eating “healthy foods” not only improves our physical health through their nutritional value, but makes us feel happier when we eat them (5). And drinking pure, fluoride-free water is great support for your pineal gland, which is essential for sleep and optimal human health (6). Try adding lemon and mint to your water for a refreshing kick.
Connect with Others
Humans are tribal beings by nature. We are genetically predisposed for social connection, making it fundamental to our well-being. When we feel more connected to others, we are less likely to experience depression and anxiety, our immune system gets a boost, and our life expectancy literally extends as compared to those who feel isolated (7). There are lots of ways to foster your sense of connection, and they don’t all require spending time with someone in person. Today, make time to connect with a loved one face to face, or by phone or video chat. Or get involved with a community program to give back to others in need.
- Sutton, A. (2016). Measuring the Effects of Self-Awareness: Construction of the Self-Awareness Outcomes Questionnaire. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 12, 645 - 658.
- Chowdhury, M.R. (February 2021). The Positive Effects of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/positive-effects-of-nature/.
- Snell, T.L. & Simmonds, J.G. (2012). “Being in That Environment Can Be Very Therapeutic”: Spiritual Experiences in Nature. Ecopsychology, 4(4), 326-335. http://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2012.0078.
- Scott, D.A., Valley, B., & Simecka, B.A. (2017). Mental Health Concerns in the Digital Age. Int J Ment Health Addiction, 15, 604-613. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9684-0.
- Wahl, D.R., Villinger, K., König, L.M. et al. (2017). Healthy food choices are happy food choices: Evidence from a real life sample using smartphone based assessments. Sci Rep 7, 17069. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17262-9.
- Tan, D. X., Xu, B., Zhou, X., & Reiter, R. J. (2018). Pineal Calcification, Melatonin Production, Aging, Associated Health Consequences and Rejuvenation of the Pineal Gland. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(2), 301. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020301.
- Seppala, Emma. (March 2020). Social Connection Boosts Health, Even When You’re Isolated. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-it/202003/social-connection-boosts-health-even-when-youre-isolated.