Science Has Proved Self Care Has Its Benefits

self-care

The term ‘self care’ might have some people rolling their eyes and complaining about the snowflake millennial generation, but this week science has come out in defense of being kind to yourself. While previous research has emphasised that those who show self compassion tend to have higher levels of wellbeing and better mental health, the latest study by Exeter University goes further to explain why.  

The study split 135 people into five groups and each group had to listen to an 11 minute audio. Two of the groups listened to recordings that encouraged them to be more self-compassionate. Whereas the remaining groups listened to recordings designed to induce a critical inner voice; encouraging them to be positive but competitive and an emotionally neutral shopping scenario.

Unsurprisingly the former were deemed to be happier, more relaxed and had lower heart and sweat rates. The group that listened to the audio promoting a positive but competitive approach did show some signs of relaxation, in terms of heart and sweat rate, but it wasn’t to the same degree.

“These findings suggest that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation that is important for regeneration and healing,” says Dr Hans Kirschner, co-author of the study. So, how can you up your self care game and switch off your threat response? Here are some tips…

Take a bath…

It’s advice we’ve all heard over and over again, but a long, hot soak in the tub can help you switch off both mentally and physically, especially if you add a sprinkling of Soapsmith Lavender Hill Bath Soak. For tips on how to up your bathing game, read How To Take The Perfect Bath.

Brush your teeth…

If the meditation app on your phone works you up into more of a fury and thought of a 75 minute yoga class feels you with dread, then it might be worth taking a more practical approach to ‘being present’. When you brush your teeth this evening, rather than mentally checking off your to-do list or mulling over the stresses of the day, focus on each and every tooth you’re brushing. It’s not nearly as glamorous as visualising the waves softly hitting golden sands, but when your two minutes is up you’ll feel equally as satisfied and your mind will have calmed.

Take 15 minutes out…

This month, Carolyn Asome wrote about The Utter Joy And Transformative Effect Of Listening To Music and highlighted that listening to just 15 minutes of music a day can help relax you. Whether it’s on your commute or the quarter of an hour before you go to sleep, it’s worth downloading Soul Medicine’s 432 track

Have your cake…

Because denying yourself the simple pleasures in life can be just as frustrating as a huge to-do list. And life is too short.

The Wellness Formula That Helped Me Heal The Past

the-wellness-formula-that-helped-me-heal-the-past

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.

How To Keep Hold Of The Post-Holiday High

Post-Holiday High

Whether you’ve spent a week hiking through the Peak District or lounging by a pool in Spain, a holiday is a sure fire way to kick back, relax and reduce your stress levels. But how long does that post-holiday glow last for when you’re back in the swing of things? According to new research it takes just three days for us to lose that new lease of positivity and energy. Read More…

July Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to the July newsletter where we exclusively launch a magnificent new product for Color Wow together with several new product launches from Better You. I write about the return of Phylia de M (please don’t fall over) and we throw the focus on the result-driven skincare brand that is knocking everything out of the water and has sent me spinning.

Additionally we take a look at some common health concerns, which include Candida and Lyme Disease; with Ionicell holding its position as our bestselling supplement since its launch, we dig deeper into its assets and I jump onto The Podium somewhere in the middle of all of this and hold hands with Lisa Armstrong. Finally, and this will arrive in no particular order, I have a whole list of people I need to thank, which will appear here, there and everywhere, there is an also an update on Soul Medicine and a Summer Essentials Kit. Let’s do it: Read More…

May Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to the May newsletter where we have rather a lot to get through including the launch of four new brands, several new and exciting products, news, feedback and this month’s features from the girls. The girls! And then we have Shabir who has formulated his own new product, which will appear somewhere in the midst of everything.

That said, we are going to begin with two of the new brands. The entire ethos of VH has always been to help make a difference to each of you with cutting-edge and pioneering products. When that encompasses a far wider audience and an enablement to address fundamental and profound health concerns, it becomes something more. Far more. Let’s do it. Read More…