One of the best ways to relax your mind and body, especially during these unprecedented times of uncertainty, is by being in the presence of beauty. And for me, the most peaceful and relaxing beauty is found in nature. Whether it's through the simple gaze at a bouquet of colourful wildflowers or hearing the crickets or frogs on a warm summer night, nature’s beauty can quell my compulsion to go-go-go, like no other. Today, I’m sharing some images that touch my spirit in such a way as to slow my breathing to let my joy in. I hope they will do the same for you.
Why is it that when we decide to take a few minutes for ourselves to just exhale and relax, sometimes we feel that we should be doing something? That by taking a break we might be perceived as being idle, not caring, or simply not being productive. But it’s actually the opposite. Taking a break enhances productivity, not the other way around. Sure your list isn’t done. Spoiler alert. It never will be. In fact, it’s not supposed to be. We can take ourselves so seriously, giving our “tasks” a much higher degree of importance than they really warrant in the grand scheme of things. No wonder so many people are on anti-depressants.
The use of aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. But it’s only been within the last few decades that it has reached mainstream popularity and understanding, being used for emotional well being as well as physical health. Without getting into all the science behind the effectiveness of aromatherapy in this blog, I want to focus on my top five favourite scents for promoting relaxation since this month’s joy habit is Be Relaxed. If you’ve read this month’s Joy Matters newsletter, you’ll have read the chapter from my book Being Joy™ that explains some of the benefits of relaxing for your body and mind. I also provided some links to articles that give practical tips for stress reduction, and handy self-assessment tool for determining your level of stress. But today’s blog is about taking time to smell the roses…literally!
I’ve always been a music lover. I listen to all types – classical, country, jazz, folk, hip hop, soul. You name it. Doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s music that makes me feel something loving, or is thought-provoking, or just makes me want to shake my booty. I watch the Junos and Grammys every year. I love to hear music from up and comers, even if it’s not always my cup of tea. It’s about honouring someone who took the time to express their thoughts through music. I love that. But my favourite kind of music is the gentle sounds that soothe my soul. The background notes that don’t try to compete for my attention when I’m working or writing. The notes that lull me to sleep each night. And the tracks that help me relax so that I can deepen my daily meditations.