HOW TO FEEL BETTER …


When I was asked to write an article on how to feel better, I naturally started researching the leading causes of people feeling unwell. Unsurprisingly, the top concern was stress.

During my time in HR, I frequently referred to industry reports to help us as a leadership team. Understanding how people feel is essential for leaders striving to create thriving workplaces, institutions, communities, and countries. Because of this, the Gallup World Poll has become one of my go-to sources for emotional intelligence information.

According to the Gallup World Poll, worry and stress rose by 8% in 2020 and 4% in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels. What's even more interesting is that higher scores on the Negative Experience Index indicate that more of the population is experiencing these negative emotions. In 2022, about four in ten adults worldwide said they experienced a lot of worry (41%) or stress (40%), and nearly one in three experienced a lot of physical pain (32%).

(* The Negative Experience Index is a reporting figure that takes into account people’s experiences with health problems and their ability to afford food.)

This report tells me two things: people worldwide are looking for ways to feel better, and they seek low-cost and effective methods. Here are my top five rituals and practices to add to your day, which are bound to make you feel better. With consistent practice, you’ll recognize how these habits stack on one another to provide lasting benefits.

1. Daily Meditation

Meditation used to be one of those words people knew but often thought was complicated to practice without special training. We all know how hard it can be to stop the mind chatter or 'monkey mind' and just be. Practising meditation regularly enables us to control our responses and avoid repetitive behaviours based on past experiences, which may prevent us from feeling our best. Meditation also aligns us with happy hormones and neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that induce positive thoughts and the ability to make clear and conscious choices.

Energy tip: Face the East before you start your meditation practice.

2. Flower Essences

Flower essences, such as Bach Flower Remedies, can offer an extra boost, providing the needed optimism to make internal changes. Taking the remedies daily helps create space for more compassion, love, and self-acceptance, saving us from self-betrayal. These remedies can be taken when you're feeling blue to lift dense emotional states. For example, if you’re struggling to make a choice, you could take any of these flower essences to support yourself:

- Cerato
- Hornbeam
- Wild Rose
- Olive
- Scleranthus
- Impatiens
- Heather

Most emotions we experience can be categorized into seven main groups, each with a few flower remedies to support each emotional state:

- Fear
- Uncertainty
- Insufficient interest in present circumstances
- Loneliness
- Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas
- Despondency or Despair
- Over-care for the welfare of others

3. Coaching and Mentoring

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can support the internal balance of our system. CBT involves efforts to change thinking patterns, such as recognizing distortions in thinking and reevaluating them in light of reality. NLP educates people in self-awareness and effective communication, modelling and changing patterns of mental and emotional behaviour. Both of these fields are essential in my coaching and mentoring practices.

4. Breathwork

Breathwork helps put the brakes on an acute stress response and diverts health problems associated with chronic stress. By eliciting the body's relaxation response, deep abdominal breathing helps reduce blood pressure and brings together the mind, body, and heart. It nourishes our physical body by oxygenating our cells, promoting healing, and boosting our immune system. Simultaneously, it calms our minds, quieting the incessant chatter and allowing us to tap into a state of deep relaxation and peace. Breathwork can help improve your well-being in many ways. For a free 7-day breathwork and meditation journey, head over to [this page](https://www.arianna.com.au/breathe).

5. Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Modern aromatherapy has evolved significantly since the 1500s and 1600s. Aromatherapy helps bring the body, mind, and spirit back into harmony. Essential oils, extracted from various plant parts, carry specific therapeutic properties that balance and heal mind, body, and spiritual conditions. Due to its popularity, there is some confusion about what defines aromatherapy versus mere fragrance. True aromatherapy uses essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. Essential oils contain chemical components that cause reactions within the human body, leading to significant physiological effects.

In aromatherapy, essential oils interact with the human body in four ways:

1. Pharmacological: Chemical changes when an essential oil enters the bloodstream.
2. Physiological: Effects on body systems, whether sedating or stimulating.
3. Psychological: Individual response to the inhaled aroma of an essential oil.
4. Holistic: The total response to an essential oil, including the above responses.

Holistic aromatherapy involves using essential oils for treatment, enhancing the energetic quality of an environment, and spiritual practice. Unlike medical aromatherapy, it focuses on treating more than just symptoms.

To discover the incredible world of essential oils, head over to [this page](link to essential oils page).

By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you'll find low-cost, effective ways to feel better, manage stress, and enhance your overall well-being.

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