5 Tips for Staying Serene
Posted on May 30th, 2020 to Musings
For people around the globe, 2020 has been jarring, to say the least. On top of the typical everyday stressors, we have all been significantly impacted in one way or another by the pandemic. Now more than ever, it is important to seek out the connections, both internal and external, necessary for staying grounded, positive, and, we would argue most importantly, serene.
Here are our 5 tips for leading a lifestyle of #luxuriousserenity…
1. Connect your mind and body
Our minds and bodies have a beautiful symbiotic relationship. We can’t have one at its prime without the other being so as well, because our thoughts impact our physical feelings, and vice versa. A growing body of scientific and clinical research is supportive of the notion that mind-body interactions are largely accountable for health and disease. When we are stressed for prolonged periods of time, our bodies go into fight or flight mode, and, detrimentally, stay there for too long. The ensuing inflammatory reactions within our bodies are thought to be at the root of countless physiological ailments and chronic diseases.
But how do we ensure our minds drive us to be our healthiest, best, most serene selves? Could it be as easy as doing a few sun salutations per day? Actually, studies have linked yoga, meditation, and breathwork with stress reduction, decreased blood pressure, lower inflammatory markers, increased cognitive function, pain management, lower anxiety, and improved overall mood.
In case these are new practices for you, and you need some guidance, our favorite yoga studios are Alo and Modo Yoga, both of which have amazing online platforms; our favorite apps for meditation and breathwork are Headspace and Calm. Keep in mind that a great yoga practice will incorporate meditation and breathwork anyway, so yogis can reap the benefits of all three of these practices at once. If yoga and meditation aren’t for you though, keep reading through our tips because there are many ways to develop this same level of internal connectivity.
We placed mind-body connection first on our list because we believe once your mind and body are fully in sync, your awareness for your needs becomes sharp and your instincts drive you to make the best individual choices for your own, unique health and wellness. Staying serene becomes second nature. The rest of our tips would come instinctively for you…
2. Connect with your gut
To maximize your mind-body connection, it is necessary to understand how to fuel your body, starting with a healthy and intuitive gut. Our guts are largely powered by our microbiomes. In fact, there are ten times more microbes in our guts than human cells. Research shows that our gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in our overall health. By guiding our digestion, production of nutrients, and detoxification, gut health is closely linked with the immune system, mental health, mood, autoimmune disease, skin conditions, and cancer.
When you fine-tune how your gut and brain communicate, you can effectively understand how your body reacts to certain foods and when it is asking for any nutrients it may be lacking. Did you know that 85% of Americans don’t meet the FDA’s recommended daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals? Nutrient deficiency is a serious problem, preventing most people from being in their best physical and mental state.
Since studies show that getting vitamins and minerals from your food is the most effective method, we should all take the time to connect with our guts and intuitively fuel our bodies with a nutrient-dense diet. Bolster your wellness by incorporating soothing, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, plant-based products, like Cannaves Oliva’s organic hemp-infused extra virgin olive oil.
3. Connect with nature
What if we told that by spending just 2 hours a week doing something, you could definitively improve your health and psychological well-being? Well, it’s as simple as getting a breath of fresh air for that amount of time. Natural, restorative environments have been linked with reducing stress and anxiety, boosting immunity, sharpening cognitive function, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, increasing confidence, and improving vision.
The impact of nature on our wellbeing is so significant, that studies have linked the views of nature out of office windows with lower work-related stress and higher job satisfaction. Just a view! But don’t worry if you don’t have that idyllic ocean view, get crafty and turn your workstation into your own natural oasis with added plants and artwork. Or, you can just follow us on Instagram for your daily escape to idyllic, serene landscapes, because studies have found that mental energy benefits from simply looking at pictures of nature.
4. Connect with your creativity
Obviously, we can’t all be Picassos, but having a creative outlet enrichens our lives in more than just culture. Research has linked expressing creativity with countless benefits, including reducing anxiety and stress, battling depression, dealing with trauma, boosting the immune system, improving cognitive function, increasing happiness, and promoting connections with others.
Tapping into your creativity is an excellent way of connecting internally. A creative flow is a meditative state just like that achieved during traditional meditation, yoga, or exercise. Your mind becomes so affixed on the task at hand that you can wash away other worries, or, better yet, you can express and deal with your troubles constructively.
Expressive writing has been shown to help people overcome trauma and deal with negative emotions. Similarly, art may help people express and deal with feelings or experiences that are too difficult to say in words. Even music has been shown to stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for regulating mood, hormones, and inflammatory responses. So the next time you are having one of those moments when the effects of the pandemic, or of life in general, are getting to you, light up your inner creative.
Become a writer – journal, write poems, or keep a gratitude book. Become an artist – get an adult coloring book, tie dye some sweats, take up photography, or plan a fun night of painting and drinking wine with your friends or family. You can also simply observe art – go browse a local museum (many museums and galleries have created online viewing rooms during the quarantine) or crank up some music and let your brain flood with dopamine-induced happiness.
P.S. if photography is your creative outlet, and your pictures elicit a lifestyle of #luxuriousserenity, tag @cannavesoliva or send us your posts for a feature on our Instagram or website!
5. Connect with others
We humans are social creatures by nature. The history of our evolution has been largely defined by societal developments. In his bestselling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari posits that the reason humans dominate this earth is because we are the only animals that can cooperate effectively in large numbers. Our ability to foster social connections has allowed us to build the robust global community we all now live in.
Aside from supplying our lives with enjoyment and support, research shows that social engagement provides us many health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, combatting depression, strengthening immune systems, sharpening cognitive skills, and improving memory formation and recall. These latter benefits can be so pronounced that studies have found that “SuperAgers,” people 80 or above who exhibit a level of mental agility generally associated with people 20 to 30 years younger, have one thing in common, strong social relationships.
Right now, the global pandemic might still be keeping us all 6 feet, or more, away from each other. But, we can all be creative about staying connected with others, while still taking safe social distancing precautions. Here are a few great ways of staying close to our loved ones during these times: going for socially distanced walks or hikes, scheduling drinks or workouts with friends over video chat, planning car parades as celebrations for special occasions, or keeping up with each other over social media.