3 Words to Stop Stress in its Tracks

 

3 words to stop stressStress is something that we all experience from time to time. It’s a part of being human. However, in today’s modern world it can be all too easy for feeling stressed to become the norm. Our lives our busy, we are constantly stimulated, and many of us can feel pressured to keep working harder, do more, or respond to every little thing that calls out for our attention.

When this starts to happen, the stress response in our bodies starts to go off as a way of telling us to slow down, be quiet, and take a moment to breathe.

When we ignore that voice, we can get into trouble.

What exactly is stress, and why does it happen?

Stress is our body’s way of keeping us safe.

The stress response developed back in primal times as a way of keeping us away from danger. When our bodies noticed that we were faced with a life or death situation, such as being chased by a bear, it would signal the stress response in our bodies. When the stress response was triggered, our adrenaline would spike up so that we were able to run faster, fight harder, and have a better chance of survival.

The problem is that we no longer live in a world where we are faced with this type of dangerous situation, but our bodies continue to fight everyday stressors in the same way.

When it comes down to it, stress is just trying to keep us safe. It is not our enemy or something that is working against us. It is our body’s way of making sure that we are out of harm’s way.

Knowing this, we can start to recognize that the best way to keep stress at bay is by showing our bodies that we are safe.

The first thing that we should do when we feel stressed is to give a voice to how we are feeling. Say, “I feel __________.” (Fill in the blank with a word to describe how you feel).

It sounds so simple, but it really works!

Most of us respond to stress in the opposite way… we hide from it, ignore it, try to numb it out, or keep going despite of it, pretending that everything is fine.

The problem with doing that is that when we ignore our body’s stress signals, they continue getting louder. They are trying to keep us safe so the stress response keeps getting stronger until we feel so stressed out that we can’t ignore it.

On the other hand, if we start to recognize our body’s stress response quickly and give voice to it right away, it starts to quiet down.

Why is saying how we feel the first step to managing stress?

1) It gives us permission to feel whatever it is that we are feeling. When we state our feelings out loud and acknowledge them, we immediately feel seen, heard, and understood. We stop making ourselves wrong for not being happy-go-lucky all the time and give ourselves permission to feel human. The simple act of giving ourselves permission to feel our feelings helps to validate them, and as a result, we start to feel better.

2) It empowers us to do something about it! Once we have recognized how we are feeling by stating it out loud, we are put back in the driver’s seat of our lives. By voicing how we feel, we take responsibility for our life experience. We recognize that we are capable of changing how we feel and we are empowered to do something to feel better!

Next time that you notice that you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, try it for yourself! Stop whatever you are doing and take a moment to say how you are feeling. Say, “I feel __________.” (And insert a word to describe how you feel; i.e. stressed out, anxious, overwhelmed). Notice what happens next. Do you feel better now that you got that off your chest? Are you now thinking of the next steps that you can take to feel better?

Getting into action and doing something that makes you feel better is the second step toward relieving stress, but it always has to start with acknowledging how you feel first!

Yesterday I lead a workshop on using meditation & mindfulness to relieve stress. I taught 11 different meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices to relieve stress and anxiety in just minutes. If you want to learn some simple, practical, and doable steps to take to stop feeling stressed, you can still sign up! Just sign up for the workshop here, and you will receive immediate access to the recording, + a printable worksheet of all of the different exercises that we covered.

I hope that you find this helpful!

Wishing you a stress-free week ahead!

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Need a Morning Routine

3 reasons why you need a morning routine

Hey friends!

Earlier this week I had asked my friends over on Instagram stories if they have a morning routine. My morning routine has become an integral part of my life, so I was surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t currently have a morning routine in place! I truly feel that you are missing out by not having a simple, daily routine of your own.

Here are 3 reasons why a morning routine is so important:

1) A morning routine guarantees that you get some “me” time each and everyday.

So many of us are aware that we need more time for ourselves. The problem is that most of us are so busy that we have trouble finding time to fit it in! By creating a morning routine, you are making sure to take time for yourself first thing in the morning. By taking this time early in the day, you are no longer struggling to find time for it. This way, even if the rest of the day gets away from you, you still know that you took some time for yourself that day! Taking consistent time for self care helps us feel happier, less stressed, and well taken care of.

2) A morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Implementing a daily morning routine ensures that you start your day on your own agenda. When we sleep in until the last possible second, wake up to the sounds of our children screaming for our attention, or jump out of bed and immediately start tackling our to-do list, it’s very easy for our anxiety levels to run high. These are all very jarring ways to wake up and start the day. If instead, you start your day with a few moments of peace and quiet, it allows you the opportunity to ease into your day with peace and presence. These feelings will be more likely to stay with you as you go about the rest of your day.

3) A morning routine helps you focus on what matters to you.

Everyone’s morning routine looks different. I personally try to start each morning with 10-15 minutes of yoga and meditation. Your morning routine might consist of lighting a candle and drinking your coffee in peace, going for a quick run, or taking a few minutes to journal. There is no wrong way to create a morning routine; they are a very individual thing. By creating your own morning routine, you are taking a stand for what is important to you and making time for the things that matter most. This shows you that you are a priority and that you deserve to make time for the things you enjoy.

Now, I know that you may be starting to recognize the value of having a morning routine, but you might be thinking that this sounds great, but you simply don’t have that kind of time in the morning. Well, let me prove you wrong, my friend. 🙂

Here are 3 simple ways to get started with creating your own morning routine:

1) Work with what you have.

I believe that whenever possible, the ideal time to implement your morning routine is first thing in the morning. However, you have to do what’s right for you.

In some occasions, it might make more sense to take time for your morning routine once you’re alone in the house. If it feels more doable for you to start your morning routine after your kids leave for school, or your husband leaves for work, then start there. For others of you, the best time to take a few minutes to yourself might be as soon as you get to work in the morning. When I was working outside of the home, I would always take a few minutes as soon as I got to my office to make a cup of tea in my favorite mug and sip from it slowly before starting my day.  This simple act helped me feel calm and grounded before jumping into my workday.

Find the pockets of time that work best for you and start creating a simple morning routine during these precious moments of time.

2) Start small.

Your morning routine should not take a lot of time or be overly complicated. In fact, I believe that the simpler it is, the better!

If you’ve never had a morning routine before and don’t consider yourself a morning person, the idea of waking up earlier might seem impossible to you. If you tell yourself that you’re going to start waking up an hour earlier each day, it’s very likely that you will set your alarm, but then keep hitting the snooze button until that hour is up. That’s why it’s so important to start small when creating this new habit.

Start with something that is simple and doable. Many of my coaching clients have had success with starting their morning routines right in bed, from the moment they open their eyes. Keep a journal on your nightstand and take a few moments to make a short gratitude list first thing in the morning. Sit up in bed and do a short meditation before getting out of bed. Keep a tall glass of water next to your bed and take a couple of minutes to slowly sip and savor it as soon as you wake up. Starting with small, simple steps like these feels much more doable.

3) Work your way up.

Once you are in the habit of waking up just a few moments earlier to enjoy a few moments of solitude, it starts to get a bit easier to add on to your morning routine. You may find yourself rolling out your yoga mat and doing a few light stretches or sun salutations next to your bed. You might walk over to your bathroom to use some luxurious face cream. You may find that you are feeling more energized to get dressed and cook a healthy breakfast before anyone else wakes up.

Take it day by day and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Start small and slowly work your way up to the morning routine that feels just right for you!

I hope that you’ve found this helpful! In the comments below, I’d love to know about your relationship with morning routines! Do you currently have one? What does it consist of? Is the idea of having a morning routine new to you? Are you feeling inspired to create one now? Please share in the comments below!

Wising you a week full of peaceful, intentional mornings.

Be well,
Ambar

 

How to Change your Life by Changing your Thoughts

how to change your life by changing your thoughts
Photo by Bilimama Photography <3

Many of us have heard the concept that by changing our thoughts we can change our lives. When we think negative thoughts, our life experiences become unhappy and negative. On the other hand, when we think positive thoughts, our lives feel more positive. And so, it seems that the key to living a happy, positive life is to think happy, positive thoughts. It sounds simple, right? The tricky thing is that it’s not always easy to do.

Most of us know that we want to feel good as we go about our lives. We may see the correlation between our thoughts affecting our feelings, which in turn impact our life experience. We want to think good thoughts so that we can live good lives… but where we get stuck is the HOW. How exactly do we change our thoughts? Here is my 3 step process:

1) Notice how you feel

Our feelings are the #1 indicator to whether we are thinking positive thoughts or negative thoughts. If we are feeling pretty good, chances are that our thoughts have been positive, or at the very least neutral. If we are feeling angry, sad, or anxious, it’s very likely that we have hopped on the negative thought train.

2) Pay attention to your thoughts

Once you notice that you are not feeling as good as you would like to feel, it’s time to explore your thought patterns. Start to pay attention to the words you are saying to yourself. This may feel a little bit strange if you have never done it before, but it will get easier the more you do it. Pretend that you have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in your brain. Become a non-judgmental observer of your thoughts. Start to notice what you are saying to yourself. What phrases do you find yourself repeating over and over again? What are you telling yourself about yourself?

3) Change the script

Once you’ve established your negative thought patterns, it’s time to change them! Creating a new thought pattern is simple; it just takes a little bit of commitment. Create a mantra or affirmation that describes the new thought that you want to have. If you’ve been telling yourself, “I am so miserable” instead start saying, “I find something to smile about everyday.” Instead of thinking, “I’m poor and I have no money.” try, “Money-making opportunities are coming my way.” Instead of, “I hate my body” try “I treat my body with love and respect.” Make your new mantra stick by repeating it to yourself over and over again. Each time you find yourself thinking your old negative thought, replace it with your new mantra.

After following this process for a few days, you will start to feel much better!

I recently used this 3 step process in my own life. I realized that I had been feeling pretty anxious for several weeks. I started to notice that the first thought I had most mornings was, “I have the worst anxiety.” Throughout the day, I found myself repeating different versions of this same thought. I was walking around my daily life telling myself, “I’m so anxious” over and over again, and then I wondered why I was feeling so anxious!

Thankfully, I remembered that my feelings can be influenced by my thoughts. So I consciously started working to change them.

I created a new mantra: “Every day, in every way, I am feeling better and better.” I started repeating my new mantra each time I caught myself thinking about how anxious I was. I went to sleep reciting my mantra. I woke up and repeated it in my mind before I opened my eyes.

For the first couple of days, this took a little bit of effort, as I was still reprogramming my mind. But, by the 3rd day of doing this, I noticed that when I woke up, my first thought was “Every day, in every way, I am feeling better and better.” without my even having to think about it! It was working!

In the days that followed, new, more positive thoughts started replacing my inner dialogue. I started to notice myself saying things like “My life is really good and I’m really lucky.” By changing the one major negative thought that had been consuming me, my other thoughts started to become more positive. And, more importantly, I started to FEEL so much better! This is how I knew that I was on the right track.

Now, that’s not to say that everything is rainbows and butterflies all the time now. But, I’ve remembered that I can change my thoughts. Whenever I notice that I am feeling off, I follow this 3 step process of noticing how I’m feeling, paying attention to how I am talking to myself, and creating a new script. It always helps me feel better!

Have you ever tried to change your own mind before? It may sound a little bit crazy but I promise it works!

If you would like some help reframing your thoughts and creating a more positive life experience, I currently have one opening for a new private coaching client. Send an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com to see if coaching might be right for you!

Wishing you a week full of happy thoughts!

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

A Simple Self Love Challenge!

Love Yourself First

Hi friends!

Do you have trouble putting yourself first? Do you feel guilty for taking time for yourself? Do you spend most of your time taking care of everyone around you, and find yourself with little energy to take care of yourself?

I get it. As women, we are the nurturers, the life-givers, the caretakers. A big part of our role is often to love and look out for the people we most care about.

We all know that in order to be of service to the people who need us, we need to be taking good care of ourselves, yet when it comes down to it, many of us struggle with actually implementing this self love and self care.

February is the month of love, and there is no better time than now to focus on loving yourself!

I’ve created a simple challenge to help you spend the next month in devotion to self love. I want to show you just how simple and easy it can be to start taking action toward treating yourself well, taking care of yourself, and showing yourself a little extra love each and every day.

Step 1: List what you love!

The first thing I want you to do is make a list of 28 things that you love! Make a list of 28 simple pleasures that bring you love and joy! Don’t overthink it; just start writing. Begin each sentence with “I love…” and see where it takes you.

Here is my list to help get you started:

  1. I love going to the beach.
  2. I love snuggling in bed with my husband and daughter.
  3. I love clean sheets.
  4. I love going for nature walks.
  5. I love curling my hair.
  6. I love using natural, organic makeup.
  7. I love being pampered.
  8. I love listening to Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and any classic rock music from the 90s.
  9. I love lighting candles.
  10. I love diffusing essential oils.
  11. I love listening to relaxing music while I cook.
  12. I love making chicken chili.
  13. I love reading.
  14. I love taking my daughter to story time at the library.
  15. I love meditating.
  16. I love doing yoga.
  17. I love being silly with my girlfriends.
  18. I love taking pictures.
  19. I love going out for nice dinners.
  20. I love having family adventures.
  21. I love taking long, hot showers.
  22. I love writing.
  23. I love drinking tea.
  24. I love drinking red wine in a stemless wine glass.
  25. I love chocolate.
  26. I love stripes.
  27. I love having fresh flowers all over my house.
  28. I love date nights with my husband.

Step 2: Get busy DOING what you love!

Now that you have this epic list of simple things that you love, it’s time to step into action and actually start doing them! Choose one thing from your list each day and spend the next 28 days devoted to doing what you love!

It’s that simple! List what you love, and then do what you love! As you can see, the things on my list are not rocket science. They are simple, everyday activities that bring my joy. So often we forget about these joyful, mundane tasks. We think that self love and self care has to be extravagant. We find ourselves wishing for a tropical vacation, counting down the days to the weekend, or hoping for some future plans that will make us feel more relaxed and more joyful. But, we don’t have to wait for some future moment in order to start taking care of ourselves. Our lives are happening RIGHT NOW. Now is the time to focus on loving ourselves. Now is the time to take better care of ourselves. Now is the time to start doing these simple things that we love!

I promise you that if you take each of the 28 days of February to focus on crossing each and every item off of your list, you will be a happier, more joyful person by the end of this month!

I am going to be going through this challenge with the women in my private Facebook group for extra support and accountability! If you want to join us in making February the month of simple, stress-free self love, please join us over in the FB group!

Please feel free to share your love list in the comments below! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Wishing you a month full of everything that you love!

Be well,
Ambar

 

How to Take Care of Yourself and Put Yourself First

How to Help Yourself

I have recently been thinking of the Audrey Hepburn quote, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

I had never felt the truth of this statement as much as I have now before I became a mom. I didn’t fully understand selfless, unconditional love, or the fierce devotion I’d have to wanting to help and protect my daughter as much as possible.

At the same time, I also never understood how vital it is to take care of myself, or that the ONLY way to take care of others is by taking care of myself first.

Becoming a mother has taught me what a great helper I am, and it’s also forced me to learn to help myself by taking simple, doable, and consistent actions that make a big difference in my quality of life.

By learning to help myself, and take great care of myself, I am better able to show up in the world as the wife, woman, and mother that I most want to be.

I am currently facing some new stressors in my life. My grandmother, who I am extremely close with had to have emergency surgery and has been in the hospital for almost two weeks. My 90 year old grandfather has been alone in their home, and needs help going back and forth to visit my grandma. I’ve been spending most days at the hospital with them, while also trying to juggle motherhood and all of my other responsibilities, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t stressful.

The only thing that’s keeping me sane through this ordeal is my commitment to self care; my dedication to helping myself first.

This is what helping myself first looks like these days:

  • Practicing yoga every morning
  • Spending a little time outdoors each day
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Bringing my own lunch to the hospital
  • Using essential oils to ground me throughout the day whenever I need it
  • Taking a daily break to go for a walk
  • Listening to good music and inspiring podcasts on my drives to and from the hospital
  • Putting away my phone and being fully present with my husband and daughter each night
  • Crying to my husband or a friend whenever I’m feeling particularly burdened
  • Relaxing and reading before bed every night
  • Asking for help when I need it

These activities may seem trivial, and maybe doing one of them by itself wouldn’t have as big of an impact. But the culmination of taking these small moments to take care of myself daily adds up to my feeling grounded, safe, and supported, even during uncertain times.

It is only from this place of being cared for, that I am able to help others. By filling myself up first, I can show up as the patient and loving mother that I most want to be. I can help and support my grandparents as they age. I can be a devoted wife, and a good friend. I can hold more space for my coaching clients and be of greater service to them. I can write meaningful blog posts. I can show up to the world ready to give and ready to help…. But ONLY if I am helping myself first.

This is true for all of us. I would love for you to take some time this week to think about the ways in which you are helping others, and also the ways in which you are helping yourself. Notice if this give and take feels balanced to you. We are here in this world to help one another, but we simply cannot do that to the best of our ability if we are not first helping ourselves.

What can you do to help yourself today?

Please share in the comments below, or reply to this email to speak to me personally!

Take care and have a beautiful week.

Be well,
Ambar

 

P.S. If you are someone who struggles with making self care a priority, I would love to help! I am getting ready to start working with new coaching clients and am offering a free Self Care Strategy Session to anyone who is interested in seeing how life coaching works. I know that this time of year can get a little stressful, and I would love to support you in putting yourself first so that you can have an easeful and peaceful holiday season. Simply send an email to ambar@mamabirdwellnest.com if you would like to claim your free session and we will get it scheduled right away!

 

How to Thrive During Daylight Savings Time

How to Thrive during Daylight Savings Time

Good morning my friends!

Today is the first day of Daylight Savings Time. Some of you may be enjoying an extra hour of sleep. For others of you, especially those that are parents, maybe not so much! Today I want to share one simple step that you can take to make the most out of the time change this year.

I know that for many of us, this time of year can lead to seasonal depression, or the winter blues due to the lack of daylight hours.

It has been proven that spending just 10-15 minutes outside everyday can help counteract these effects.

There are many reasons why getting outdoors daily is beneficial to our health. The first is that it helps increase the levels of vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin”, as our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight. Research has shown that vitamin D is particularly helpful for regulating mood and warding off depression.

Another reason why getting outside daily is helpful in improving our moods, is that it helps us get closer to nature. As human beings, we are part of the natural world. However, many times, particularly during the colder, darker months, we spend much of our time indoors surrounded by electronics and the worldly pleasures of the material world. While there is nothing wrong with this, the material world will never compare to the natural world. By getting outside everyday, our bodies become more in tune with nature which leads to feelings of optimal health and wellbeing, since being a part of nature is our natural state.

Getting out in nature everyday, feeling the sunshine on our skin, and breathing fresh air, can do wonders to uplift our mood all year long. Colder temperatures and darker days should not be an excuse to confine ourselves to the indoors, when nature has so much to offer!

Here are 25 different ways to spend some time outdoors each and every day:

  1. Go for a walk around your neighborhood
  2. Play outside with your kids
  3. Jump in a pile of leaves
  4. Sit outside and read
  5. Garden
  6. Go hiking
  7. Clean your yard and rake leaves
  8. Go sightseeing in your town
  9. Shop at an outdoor mall
  10. Go to the beach
  11. Take a trip to the zoo
  12. Go for a nature hut and look for leaves, acorns, etc.
  13. Create a nature mandala from your nature walk findings
  14. Sit on your porch and just breathe
  15. Play basketball
  16. Do outdoor yoga
  17. Ride a bike
  18. Go to an outdoor festival
  19. Go walking with a friend
  20. Take your child for a walk in a stroller
  21. Walk aimlessly with your children and let them lead the way
  22. Go to a park
  23. Play at a playground
  24. Rollerblade or rollerskate
  25. Swing on swings

In order to ward off the winter blues before they start, I’m joining a great group of ladies in a 5 day challenge to get outside everyday for a minimum of 10 minutes! The challenge is taking place right in our Facebook group, The Stress Free Society. Click here to join the group, get all the details, and join us in this fun challenge! We start tomorrow, Monday 11/6.

Wishing you a fun week ahead. Get outside, play, and be happy.

Be well,
Ambar

Stop Stress with this One Simple Step

how to stop stress and overwhelm

 

Hey friend!

I have a question for you… how do you handle stress and overwhelm?

I’ve recently had the realization that there are two major ways in which most of us manage stress in our lives.

The first way that many of us manage stress is by shutting down. Many of us feel a need to retreat when we feel overwhelmed by the world around us. We feel like there is just too much to manage, and so we choose to close ourselves off and take a break from dealing with the stressors at hand. We may isolate ourselves from the people that matter to us, avoid responsibilities, and feel a bit rundown and lethargic.

The second way that many of us manage stress is very much the opposite of the first. Instead of shutting down, many of us decide to add as many things as possible to our to-do list. We turn into overachievers and spend every second of the day checking things off our list. We believe that by being productive, we are proving that we can handle it all, and oftentimes handle it all by ourselves. We overextend ourselves so much, that we don’t have time to even think about our stressors. We may feel a bit exhausted and drained as a result.

The truth is, neither one of these two extremes is particularly helpful. In both instances, we are avoiding the very difficult task of coping with our feelings. Whether we choose to avoid our stressors by laying on the couch, or by adding on to our never-ending to do list, we are still very much avoiding something that needs to be addressed. And avoidance never leads to us feeling good. The only way out of stress and overwhelm is through these difficult feelings. We must take the time to figure out what is causing us to feel this way, do what we can to change the circumstances that are within our control, and accept and let go of the ones that are not.

So think about it… which of these two habits is your natural method of coping with stress and overwhelm? Do you tend to avoid and isolate, or overextend and overachieve?

Once you have figured out your natural tendencies, you can start taking small steps towards balance. The best way to do this is to notice when you catch yourself falling into your old patterns, and start to take a small step in the opposite direction.

If your natural tendency is to shut down and retreat from the world, you might decide to meet a friend for coffee, go for a walk, or have a dance party. These activities will uplift you and may give you the extra bit of motivation that you need to keep moving in a more positive direction.

If your natural tendency is to add on to your to-do list, you might instead decide to slow down by drinking a cup of tea, listening to some soothing music, or binge watching your favorite show on Netflix. These activities will encourage you to give yourself some space to breathe, rest, and recuperate.

I hope that you find this helpful! In the comments below, I would love to know which of these two tendencies do you naturally gravitate towards? I personally am more of a lay on the couch and avoid the world kind of girl, and I am well aware that this behavior is not serving me so I am going to be taking steps in the other direction. I hope that this encourages you to start noticing your own patterns and start taking steps towards more balance in your life.

Wishing you a peaceful week.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you enjoyed this conversation, you would love my new Facebook group, The Stress Free Society. It’s a private space to connect with other women who are working to find inner peace in their busy lives. We have daily discussions on simple ways to decrease stress and anxiety and would love for you to join us! Click here to join the group now! 🙂 I look forward to connecting with you more personally in the group!

 

Want some help reducing stress and increasing peace? Click the photo below to download my FREE e-guide, 50 Ways to Feel Good Fast!

 

3 Steps to Bust Through a Bad Mood

How to bust through a Bad Mood

Through the years, I’ve learned many different ways to relieve stress, decrease anxiety, and cope with the stressors of life. You might think that I’m walking around in a little happy bubble all the time, but that’s not the case. I have challenging days just like everybody else, I get into bad moods, and sometimes I have trouble snapping out of them. The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the times in which I am feeling particularly stressed or anxious are usually the times when I am most resistant to doing the things that I know will make me feel better!

Things like taking an hour long yoga class or going in a quiet room to meditate are my go-to ideas for getting out of a bad mood and feeling better. But, they are not always conducive to my life. So, I’ve developed a simple 3 step process that I use to clear my energy and bounce back quickly whenever I find myself in a bad mood. The whole process does not take very long, and when I take the time to do it, I find myself feeling better immediately. I wanted to share with you, so that you can give it a try too!

3 Steps to Bust Through a Bad Mood:

1) Breathe

Many times when we find ourselves in stressful situations, our breathing gets shallow. When we are not taking big, full breaths, it sends a panic signal to our brain, that makes us feel even worse! Whenever I am feeling stressed or anxious, the first thing I do is bring my attention back to my breathing. I take deep belly breaths and imagine that my belly is a balloon that I am filling up with air. I breathe in and out slowly, counting to 5 on each inhale and exhale. Bringing the focus back to our breath is the simple first step to feeling better.

2) Feel

When we are in a bad mood, there is usually a reason behind it. It can be a simple irritation or aggravation, or result from weeks of pent up frustration. Instead of trying to forget about the things that are bothering us, it’s best to allow ourselves to feel them out. Take a few moments to try to recognize what you are feeling and try to give a word to it. It might be anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, or something else. Notice what you are feeling and let yourself feel it. Sometimes I end up crying when I sit with my feelings, and other times I just breathe into them. The important thing is to give them permission to be there and actually FEEL them. (I have another blog post on How to Feel Your Feelings that you might find helpful if this is something that is difficult for you).

3) Move

Now that you’ve focused on your breath and given yourself space to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, it’s time to move! Our emotions can get stuck in our body and make us feel worse if we don’t do something to get them out. Doing some sort of physical activity is a great way to move that negative energy out of your body. If you have some time at hand, this would be a great time to go for a long run or take your favorite exercise class. If time is limited, I might put on an upbeat, high energy song and have a dance party in my living room. (June and I have made dance parties a part of our regular routine for this very reason!). It’s almost impossible to stay stuck in a bad mood when you’re dancing like a maniac to Pharrell’s “Happy” or Katy Perry’s “Firework”. Other quick ways to move the energy out of your body might be to do 20 jumping jacks, jump on a mini trampoline, or even just hit a pillow. A few minutes is usually all it takes to get things moving and flowing through you.

And, there you have it; 3 simple steps to help you bust through a bad mood. Next time you are feeling a little bit off, I encourage you to take a few minutes to Breathe, Feel, and Move your way to feeling better! Please let me know how this goes for you in the comments below.

Be well,
Ambar

Top 5 Essential Oils for Anxiety

Top 5 Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week, my sister reminded me of the Lao Tzu quote that states that “If you are anxious, you are living in the future.” This is so true. When we feel anxiety arise, it is because we are worried or fearful about the future, and thinking about something that has not yet happened. When we focus on the present moment, we are able to see that all is well as it is right now, and that even if things are difficult, we are capable of managing whatever is happening in this moment. The present moment is really all we have, so it makes sense that this is where we should be focusing our energies and efforts.

Using essential oils is a great way to get grounded into the present moment. Essential oils have many healing properties, many of which are beneficial and helpful for coping with anxiety. By using these oils, we are able to bring our attention back to the present moment, and also reap the plant medicine of the oils.

These are my top 5 favorite essential oils for anxiety:

1) Lavender – Lavender is often called the “gateway oil”, because it oftentimes starts people off on their essential oils journey. I always recommend starting with lavender when dealing with anxiety. I like to diffuse this oil while I sleep to help promote a good night’s rest, and bring about feelings of calm and relaxation.

2) Frankincense – Frankincense is another great oil to use for anxiety. It is a special and grounding oil that can bring about feelings of being more peaceful, rooted, and grounded. I often mix frankincense and lavender in the diffuser before bed, and I also like to put a drop in my moisturizer, which feels really luxurious.

3) Clary Sage – Clary Sage has many soothing and calming properties. It is one of the most relaxing and balancing essential oils. I like to keep clary sage on hand and use whenever feelings of worry or anxiety pop up. I usually put this oil on my pulse points; wrists, back of neck, and over my heart, to help ease tension.

4) Vetiver – Vetiver is a lesser known oil, but it is one of my favorites for combatting anxiety. It has a very earthy scent that makes me feel more connected to the earth, which is something that I crave during times of high anxiety. Vetiver is very calming and has many stabilizing properties. I’ve recently started putting a couple of drops on the bottoms of my feet every morning, and then going for a barefoot walk in my backyard. This helps me start the day feeling calm and grounded.

5) Console – I tried to stick with mostly single oils in this list, but I would be remiss if I did not mention Console, doTerra’s comforting blend. Console is my #1 top essential oil for battling feelings of anxiety. It is extremely nurturing, comforting, and soothing, and feels like a hug in a bottle. I adore this oil, and it has been my saving grace through many anxious situations. I apply it topically several times a day whenever my anxiety starts to feel unmanageable.

Do you use essential oils to promote feelings of relaxation and reduce anxiety? What are your favorite oils to use? I would love to hear in the comments below!

If you are not yet using essential oils and want to learn more about how they can help you manage anxiety, or any other challenges you may be facing, I would love to help! These oils have been extremely helpful to me in managing my anxiety, as well as in countless other ways. I signed up as a Wellness Advocate with doTerra so that I can help spread this knowledge, since it has helped me so much in my own life.

If you want to learn more, you can head on over to my doTerra website here: https://www.mydoterra.com/mamabirdwellnest/  or send me an email by filling out the contact form below. I would love to help you get started on your own oily journey!

Wishing you a week of peace + calm.

Be well,
Ambar