Article by Karla Sanchez
Humanity is currently experiencing one of its biggest public healthy emergencies thus far. The holistic health of our communities is being compromised and we are waiting to see how this will continue to unfold. This situation may leave us feeling isolated, powerless and helpless. Nevertheless, there so much we can do as a collective. Aside from social distancing and quarantine, we have one amazing and powerful tool that can help us get through this: OUR MIND.
When our thoughts are healthy, our body and soul feel at ease. It is crucial to pay attention where our mind wanders, what information we’re feeding it and how this impacts our relationship with ourselves and others. As I sit here at home, I constantly wonder “How am I going to make it without social interactions? How is my life going to continue when I can’t leave my home?”. The answer is simple yet more complex than ever: pay attention to yourself and gain control over our mind so that consequently, you can regain some sense of control over this situation. Even when our surroundings feel chaotic and uncertain, our mind has the power to protect and heal itself.
So, let’s focus on our mindset for a moment.
I like to define mindset as: the way we receive, perceive and react to our environment and internal processes. Our mind undeniably runs our lives. When we have a healthy mindset, we are able to put ourselves first, we cope better with stress, we find ways to reframe our thoughts and focus on what is in the highest good for everyone involved.
When our thoughts are healthy, our body and soul feel at ease.
As our lives constantly change and evolve, it is important to remember that this stage too shall pass. So, how can we achieve a healthy mindset in such difficult times?
In my personal and professional experience as a mental health clinician and a Reiki practitioner, I’ve been able to identify some basic and effective skills we can all practice. Some people practice one item more than the other, others try to practice them simultaneously. However you choose to practice these, it helps to remember that the intention is to grow and learn from and with these practices; myself included.
The following are not strict guidelines, but rather healthy tools to utilize on a daily basis.
6 guidelines to a healthy mindset
- Acceptance – let’s be real, no one likes too much change. We are creatures of habit. Having a routine makes us feel in control of ourselves and our world. And when something unexpected happens, we panic, live in fear and see everything through a negative lens. People who practice acceptance also practice flexibility and letting go. Attaching to things, people and circumstances only create more resentment and powerlessness. When we align with acceptance, we surrender to the rhythms of life and we flow with the energy of the universe. A way to practice acceptance can be done through the following affirmations:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lay
- Close your eyes if it feels safe
- Place your hand over your heart chakra and repeat:
- As I detach from circumstances I can’t control, I allow the universe to guide me.
- I let go of my need to control and my need to plan
- Life is about phases, and this too shall pass
- I am able to keep myself safe, in spite of the chaos around me
- I was not ready to let go before, but I am now
- When I accept what is happening, I give myself the gift of peace. I deserve that peace
- Just Breathe – when we feel stressed, unsafe and threatened we fall into “survival mode” and forget to pay attention to one of the most important skills in life: breathing. It has been scientifically proven that the practice of deep breathing and breath work can rewire our brain, regulate your nervous system and ease us into a calm state of mind. Therefore, using deep breathing exercises not only directly impacts your body in a positive manner, it also helps to increase your self-awareness, reconnect with your positive energy and help you take control over your mind. As a practice, I encourage clients to use the following steps at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. You may also use them as you deem necessary.
- Sit or lay in a position most comfortable.
- Close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so.
- Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth if that is comfortable for you.
- Deliberately slow your breathing down.
- Breathe in to a count of 4
- Pause for a moment
- Breathe out to a count of 4
- Make sure that your breaths are smooth, steady, and continuous
- Gratitude – Queen Brene Brown, who studies shame and vulnerability, states that data has shown how people who practice gratitude experience more joy. I myself have been a willing victim of this amazing practice and can personally attest to its wonders. Gratitude teaches us to look for the good and positive about our lives, as opposed to focusing on lack and negativity. As we foster a mind of scarcity, we create a life filled with pain, sorrow, and resentment. When we practice gratitude, we refocus our energy and attention on what we have, what is working, the strengths and qualities we intrinsically possess, and we allow ourselves to heal from the pain of hopelessness and insufficiency. In order to start your practice, I recommend the next steps:
- Keep a journal, writing down what you are grateful on a daily basis can increase feelings of happiness and joy.
- Don’t over think it and start with the little big things: people, places, items, pets. Anything goes!
- Find new things to write about everything, you’ll be surprised how much we take for granted.
- If writing takes too much of your time, name things, people or places you are grateful for throughout your day, or as many times as you can remember
- Accountability – Journaling can be such an amazing tool for keeping ourselves accountable. Owning our feelings can be so difficult to process sometimes. Writing offers the opportunity to clear our minds, it allows a safe space for emotional expression, and it increases our awareness by practicing introspection and insight. It can also help to challenge negative thoughts, reframe your beliefs and acknowledge what you can and cannot control. The content of that writing will carve the path you need to follow in order to heal your deep-rooted wounds. If you are currently staying at home, I invite you to practice morning writing pages, focusing on releasing any mental trash, negativity and resentment you may be experiencing. Give yourself the opportunity to do this for 2-3 pages each day. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in your life.
- Making ourselves a priority – remember, there is only one person who will be with you for the rest of your time on Earth: YOU! The way you care for yourself will determine the quality of your life and relationships you establish throughout your lifetime. During these difficult times, self-care and self-love will play a fundamental role. This is the perfect time to practice reiki, to meditate, to journal, reach out to your support system, and tend to your needs. It is also the best opportunity to establish boundaries, to get comfortable with saying NO and to give yourself time to heal. Allow space for this process to happen. Give yourself permission to hold yourself tightly and nurture your mind, body and soul.
- Reiki practice – I cannot stress this enough. When we are feeling low, reiki energy will lift us and embrace us in its loving power. Self-reiki can be an amazing tool when experiencing the toll of the low vibration energy around us. Doesn’t it feel yucky nowadays? Whether you’re a reiki practitioner or recently became curious with this wonderful tool, make time to practice. A few quick and easy steps may look like this:
- Find a quiet and safe space for yourself
- You may sit upright, your feet touching the ground and your heart lifted or you may also practice this laying down
- Place your hands over your lap, palms up and open.
- Set your intentions to heal by calling upon the Universal Life force
- Visualize with your third eye a ray of white or violet light coming down from above and entering your hands and crown.
- Take a deep breath and allow yourself to receive and experience that light
- Focus your attention on those parts of your body that feel in most need of support and healing.
- You may create affirmations to further assist you with focusing that energy. Affirmations may look like:
- I receive universal life force and embrace it in my body
- I allow myself to heal through universal light
- I deserve to heal and live a balanced and healthy life
- I nurture my body, my mind and my soul through healing energy
I invite you to read and learn about the amazing benefits of this energetic gift and take the time to immerse in it. The internet is a vast platform of rich information. Use it wisely.
When we foster a balanced mindset, we are able to attain a lifestyle that speaks health and wellness to your mind, your body and your soul. Practice makes changes.
Wishing everyone and their loved ones much love and healing during this process.
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Karla Sanchez is a Reiki Master Teacher and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in San Diego, CA. Karla is the founder of SANA Holistic Healing, offering both Reiki and Therapy sessions. Due to being raised in Tijuana Mexico, she has the opportunity to provide services in both English and Spanish. Karla has a psychology background, and tends to incorporate a client-centered, empathetic, and validating approach into sessions. From premonitory dreams as a child to sensing people’s feelings through the slightest touch as an adult, Karla realized she is intuitive by nature and an empath by calling. In recent years, she re-discovered her gifts and abilities to channel energy and messages from Spirit and, at times, passed loved ones. Website: sanaholistichealing.com/ Instagram: sana_holistic_healing/