The Stress-Reducing Modern Wellness Trends To Know About

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Whether you tuck an amethyst crystal in your bra every day or have an energy healer on speed dial, it’s clear that the popularity of spiritual wellbeing is on the rise. It’s unsurprising, as wellness is now a staggering $4.2 trillion dollar global industry. One that’s infiltrated our local café menus, bookshelves and how we spend our Sunday nights. But why have we become so fixated by the pursuit of wellness?

The answer could well be, stress. Yes, that six letter word that’s littered into nearly every conversation. As you might know, the body responds to stress by initiating the fight or flight response, where stress hormones are secreted, our heart rate quickens, we breathe more rapidly and oxygen floods to our arms and legs. This is all well and good, as it protects us in life-threatening situations, but unlike our ancestors we end up going into this stress response more often as our lives are increasingly hectic. Over time, the more the stress response gets activated the greater the toll on our minds and body. So much so, that last year The Mental Health Foundation reported that 74% of the UK have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of stress.

When we combine that with living in troubling times filled with political uncertainty and environmental threats to the future of our planet, it’s understandable that we are all looking for some escapism. Engaging in wellness allows us to get out of our heads and to shift from the high stress of constantly doing to just being, and with spiritual wellness it appeals to our collective desire to take comfort in something that feels greater than us.

It’s easy to roll your eyes at some facets of wellness and get lost in the buzzwords and fads, but the following trends, which have often been rooted in ancient practices, have a place in modern society and right now we could all do with a helping hand.

Sound Healing

We usually associate meditation and mindfulness with silence or at least with some oceanic background music. But having sound as the core component of your meditation session is a healing practice that has been around for thousands of years. During a sound bath, gongs and crystal bowls are played as you’re led into a meditative state. The instruments create different healing frequencies with the vibrations then resonating in the body to shift your brainwaves from beta (alert and normal thinking) to low frequency waves such as alpha, delta and theta. All of which aid in reducing stress and promoting deep rest and relaxation.

Reiki

From clearing stagnant energy in our homes to trying to raise our vibrations, we’re talking about energy more than ever. One of the reasons for this is the gaining popularity of Reiki, a method of energy healing that was developed by Dr Mikao Usui in Japan in the early 20th century. Reiki promotes the body’s regenerative self-healing ability by balancing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. When we experience blockages in the flow of energy this can manifest in our bodies and have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing. A Reiki session will leave you feeling blissed out and help you to re-centre by allowing the energy to flow easier through your chakras (energy centres) for optimal health.

Crystal Routines

It’s pretty obvious that crystals are having a moment and it makes sense. They’re not only aesthetically pleasing but they carry within them a host of healing energies. Now you’ve built up a stealthy collection, it’s time to take your crystal obsession to the next level by really harnessing them as a tool for self-growth. Representing the element of earth, crystals can keep you grounded if you’re out of sorts and craving the need to feel connected to something universal. If your crystals have been collecting dust, create your own routines by adding them into your meditation practice, investigate how they can correspond to your chakras and look into creating your own crystal grids.

Spiritual Skincare 

Spirituality has made its way into many areas of our lives and we’ll be starting to see our skin in this way too. The mind-skin connection is a powerful one, from the effects that skin issues have on self-worth to the fact that stress can trigger and aggravate conditions such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. Brands will be taking more of a ritualistic approach by incorporating self-care messages and tools such as crystals, affirmations and intention-setting. Products aside, seeing the skin from a spiritual lens means taking a step back to find acceptance and peace with our skin and to work on what’s happening under the surface by slowing down our beauty routines and turning them into mindful rituals.

Astro Living

Times have changed from only reading your horoscope in a magazine once a week, to everyone knowing exactly when mercury goes retrograde. With apps like Co-starTime Passages and The Moon it’s easier than ever to live in accordance with the zodiac and to work with natural cycles. We’ve already seen this with new moon and full moon rituals, so if you’re feeling disconnected you can track the planetary movements and work with their energies in your schedule. For example, if you’re trying to do a huge clear-out of your wardrobe, check in with what’s happening astrologically as you might find it easier to do on a day when the planets are more aligned in your favour, such as when the moon is in an organisation-driven sign like Virgo.

Daily Rituals

Social media and wellness have somehow become merged with one another and it can often feel like you didn’t really “do self-care” if it wasn’t posted on Instagram. Wellness can often seem like it’s something that needs to be performed, so it’s time to go back to basics with daily (and private) rituals. From five minute breathing meditations at your desk to journaling all of the things you’re grateful for at night, this is all about finding small moments in your day to get you back into the present moment. Add in a self-massage after your shower or head out for a walk at lunch, this is all about coming back to the essence of what wellness is, it might not always be photogenic but you’ll definitely feel the benefits.

Giselle La Pompe-Moore is the founder of Project Ajna and offers one-to-one rediscovery soul sessions that incorporate reiki, meditation or tarot.

The Wellness Formula That Helped Me Heal The Past

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At the end of last month’s article I mentioned some metaphysical “work” I had been doing to help with my current physical and mental health struggles and today I want to dive in to exactly what I have been doing and why because it has helped me so much. Everything I have been doing is completely new to me and will probably be to you too, but I have had such a profound experience with it that I had to share.

I consider myself to be a plausible believer (I’m a Leo) when it comes to my approach to life’s mysteries. I like a balance of science and philosophy, but tend to err towards philosophy as my experiences have taught me that science can only teach us so much about the human condition. A lot of the things we think, feel and believe, which make up who we are as people cannot be explained or fixed by doctors and medicine, at least that’s what I have found.

Saying that, I was skeptical of the new techniques my sister had discovered and very reluctant to give them a try. On the surface they seemed no different to every other new age/spiritual self-help jargon out there, but my sister (who is a Pisces) felt like she had found something special and she wasn’t wrong. The community is called Free & Native and the founder, Lacy Phillips, calls herself a Manifestation Advisor. I know exactly what you’re thinking because I thought them too, but bear with me.

One of the things I really liked about Phillips’ theories and approach is how different it is to popular “law of attraction” philosophies, which I found too contradictory to be reasonable. On the one hand the Universe is this all-knowing, magical entity, but on the other it doesn’t know the difference between what you do or do not want. Or my favourite one, positive thoughts are a thousand times more powerful than negative ones, yet one negative thought can stop anything good that was about to happen to you. Confusing, right?

Even though The Formula is essentially about manifestation, it goes far beyond using visualisation and positivity or gratitude to get what you want. It delves in to the core of our experiences and programming as children (0-14 years old) and how they shape who we are as adults. This is what really made a difference to me. My sister bought three “workshops”, but the one I want to talk about is “Reparenting”, which focuses on dealing with childhood trauma or negative experiences.

“Reparent” is a workshop “centered on filling the biggest gaps of limiting beliefs, lack and dimmed magnetism stemming from childhood” specifically between the ages of 0-14 years old, which Phillips believes is where a lot of low self worth conditioning and imprinting comes from. It includes journal prompts and “Deep Imaginings”, where she guides you into a hypnotic state to really open up your subconscious and re-programme neural pathways. This neuroplasticity is described as “forming new pathways by weakening old ones” and that “repeated and directed attention towards one’s desired change” can rewire one’s brain. The idea of rewiring my brain through the Deep Imaginings was something that seemed impossible, but it happened to me.

My experience with “neuroplasticity” came completely out of the blue. One afternoon a few months ago when I was feeling particularly sick, my sister set up a mediation room for me so I could rest until the pain had passed. I lied down and decided to listen to ‘Being Loved’ from Soul Medicine, which is one of my favourite of the tracks from the brilliant founder of ila and ilapothecary. As the sounds began to play I found my mind wondering to my Grandmother, a deeply damaged woman and someone who had caused me great pain up until her death and even beyond. Then without even meaning to I was seeing an alternative reality of her life where I picked her up at the hospital as a newborn, took her home, cared for her and raised her.

I have no idea where all that came from and I know it sounds pretty unremarkable in the limited way I can described it in this space, but it was truly one of the most profound and transformative experiences of my life. What I saw felt real/true and the emotions it evoked were vivid and authentic. I suddenly understood and knew so much more about her and our lives that years of logic and conventional therapies never touched.

Most importantly, my feelings about her and what she had done had completely changed. I still had the same thoughts and memories, but I couldn’t connect with them in the same way. They were detached from me and even now, when I think of her and what happened between us I know all the same things, but I just can’t feel the same way about them anymore.

I know this probably sounds very “woo woo”, but there is science behind this, especially when it comes to Soul Medicine. I believe it was the catalyst to my Deep Imagining because it’s based on energy, vibrations and frequencies. Not only that, the Sanskrit sound ‘ma’ is an ancient syllable of healing. You can read more about that here and if you haven’t tried sound therapy I highly recommend it. Soul Medicine has incorporated healing frequencies that deal with many issues like conflict resolution, deep relaxation, hormonal changes and more.

Going back to my change in “neuroplasticity” I can certainly say that something within me regarding this particular issue in my life has changed. It hasn’t been some mystical quick fix or anything like that, but there has been a palpable shift that has allowed me to let go of this past trauma. To use the language of Free & Native, I feel reprogrammed, unblocked and healed.

My experience created a significant change allowing me to work through parts of my childhood (and my adult life) which needed forgiveness, maturity, compassion and a new perspective. As I have done more of the work I have been able to “rewire” everything from a deep betrayal to life after death, to my relationships with the people who mean the most to me. And some of the most healing work has involved my adult self reparenting my younger self — working though traumatic experiences and being the source of understanding and compassion that I did not have at the time.

Sometimes I journal, which has been really healing but often times I imagine myself as I am now — with all the knowledge and life I have, explaining moments to myself as a child and rewiring my experience of each triggering instance, reprogramming it and allowing myself to heal and move on from it. It is definitely “outside the box”, but I don’t think it is that much different to practices like writing down your thoughts and feelings or breathing exercises that might be prescribed by a traditional counsellor.

Of course, this won’t be for everyone and it isn’t perfect (the price may be prohibitive to many people although there is a lot of free content), but the wellness trend is not stopping. Like Victoria just wrote about here, the concept of self-care is evolving into total wellbeing. For me, this is exactly that — another complementary tool to aid my innate desire to feel well, inside and out, in mind and body.

Overall, what I’ve found incredibly helpful and insightful in Phillip’s work is her focus on self worth, reparenting and working through any aspects of yourself that have been rejected and how that relates to the way you live your life. I have only just started my journey and I have already learned and experienced so much, which is why even if you have no interest in “manifesting” or new age self-help, the tools in this program are excellent for dealing with old issues in new ways.