Calming Chronic Busyness
In our modern age, a lack of quiet time away from the busyness of the world tends to be the norm rather than the exception. I think it is safe to say that we have all experienced jammed packed schedules with little downtime at one point or another. It is when it becomes chronic that we can run into problems. Interestingly, this shift away from leisure time and the overwork that accompanies it is now considered a cultural status symbol. However, being in a constant state of activity does have a significant negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing over time. I would like to encourage you to carve out more time for simply being. Here’s why.
The Importance of Unplugging and Slowing Down
As I wrote in Unplugging: Why a Device and Media Detox is Good Medicine:
“…researchers have found that when we take a step away from our devices we experience not only a profound shift in perception, but also an improved capacity to learn, increased focus, and lowered stress and anxiety. On top of that, we can reap the significant health benefits of deeper sleep, weight loss, better blood sugar control, and reduced symptoms of multiple sclerosis.”
Needless to say, these are all very good reasons for taking a break from our devices! What’s more, when we stop streaming movies, surfing the internet, reading online news, scrolling through social media feeds, or using smartphones, we give our nervous system a much needed break, which in itself should motivate us to step back from technology for a while. It’s an excellent time to enjoy nature, sit in stillness, watch wildlife outside the window or even take a nap.
One of my favorite ways to spend media- and device-free time is stargazing. Not only does this get me outside, but it is also a silent space to contemplate the vastness of the world and everything beyond it. By looking up into the night sky, the mind becomes still and the challenges of the day fade. But that’s not all. As it turns out, science has also discovered that stargazing is good for our wellbeing.
A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Ecopsychology found that participants experienced a range of benefits from stargazing — including a sense of personal growth, heightened positive emotions, and transcendent thoughts.
Additionally, stargazing requires that you be out in nature, which has its own significant health perks. Even just spending 15 minutes in the natural world can refresh your mind, lower stress levels, and improve mental health.
Herbal Support for Mental Wellbeing
Truth be told, it can be a challenge shifting from non-stop activity to slow moments of stillness and reflection. Medicinal herbs can help ease the transition and create a firm foundation of cognitive health. Lemon balm quiets the mind and soothes anxiety. Cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi mushrooms all improve brain health and performance. Just make sure these medicinal mushrooms are dual-extracted — like the ones in my apothecary — to enjoy the full-spectrum of brain-boosting benefits. Each of these powerful herbal tinctures are included in my Brain Bundle. Visit the apothecary today to learn more!