How to Clear Your Head This Summer (And Why You Should)
By: Lena Burkut
Any time is a good time to take a step back, zoom out, and look at your life from a different angle. As we get caught up in routine, we tend to forget to find a moment to relax and take in the things that happen to us, which is how sometimes we end up feeling overwhelmed. With the holidays coming up and the summer already here, it seems like the perfect time to empty our heads to let new things in as we make the best of the sunshine season that brings happier days into our lives.
Over the years, the psychological process of mindfulness has become trendier and many people have been able to gain awareness about their thought patterns by meditating, thus improving the quality of their lives as they learn more about themselves. This practice is just one of the many things that we can include in our routines in an attempt to empty our minds and leave our worries behind. As a matter of fact, it has been proven that there are many ways in which we can accomplish this, including doing exercise, which releases “feel good chemicals”, as well as learning new things like a challenging mental sport and other brain stimulating activities that help us step away from elements that cause us anxiety, such as recurring thoughts that are not beneficial to us.
Yoga is one of the best physical activities that we can take part in order to not only feel healthier but also more emotionally balanced. Although it is hard to establish the exact moment in which this widespread practice was developed, it can be said that its pre-origins are almost 5,000 years old, and some believe that it is connected to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. This fantastic “body of knowledge” — as it embraces physical, spiritual, and mental dimensions — stands for “union” in the sense that it connects these three aspects, helping us to reach internal harmony. As a result, yoga is a fantastic tool to help you relax and what’s more, you can practice it wherever you are: all you need is a mat.
Although writing is not for everyone, it is one of the best things you can do in order to release ideas, and in the process emptying your mind, create space for new thoughts and experiences. It is, in fact, used in many dynamic therapies because it allows patients to translate feelings and events into words so that they can then look at things in a different way. If you’re going away this summer, bring a journal with you and find a moment to write down your thoughts. It might not help you to shape things the that are on your mind, but it will at least allow you to keep track of some of the valuable perceptions you might have, which you wouldn’t be able to recall otherwise.
The things you eat can also make you feel better, and there is some especially good "food for thought" that can boost your internal equilibrium. The benefits of dark chocolate have been highlighted for decades mainly because it helps lower stress. It contains phenylethylamine, which induces your brain to release endorphins, instantly making you feel better. Seafood is also great to help you reduce stress — and the summer is just the right time to have all the seafood you want — as it's packed with Omega-3, selenium, and zinc; all elements that are fantastic for your health and might even help prevent depression.
As our Vitamin D levels rise thanks to spending more time in relaxing and healthy environments, summertime is the right time to clear our minds. Busy routines keep us from properly assimilating new and old experiences, which, in turn, translate into stress and anxiety. Find the time to think about yourself and to unwind; both you and those around you will certainly appreciate it because, as someone once said, each moment is all we need and not more.