Your best friend moved to Alaska. You just lost the best job you ever had. Your finances took a nose-dive. You are grappling with a new illness. You are divorcing your soul mate. Your youngest is going to college in Tokyo. You just popped a button on your “fat jeans.” Life has moved in like a tornado and you are left with only one limp branch. You have a constant urge to hide under your bed, and pray for a new day – or a new last name. What is coming next?
We have all been told, “Life can change in an instant.” One day you’re fighting with your child, dreading your schedule, or cursing your body, and the next you are wishing your child still lived at home, craving your routine, and pining for your body’s former strength. So much of our existence is about perspective, and how we view our circumstances. So much of our growth is determined under inordinate challenges. Oftentimes, it is in our darkest hour that we discover our own inner light.
One of my holistic health clients has triumphed over tremendous challenges. When she was a child she was obese and depressed. Her father was abusing her mother and, for obvious reasons this was extremely traumatic. She suddenly developed a loss of vision and became legally blind. The loss of sight almost gave her permission to close her eyes to the trauma. At the time of her diagnosis, she felt completely helpless, and she found solace in dancing to music in her room.
As her other senses started to grow to accommodate her new disability, her physical body became stronger. Her new love for dance grounded her, and expanded her sense of hearing. She lost over 100 pounds and she found passion in music. Even though she describes small things that we take for granted, such as grocery shopping, or running a basic errand, as an “adventure,” she relishes in the strength of her other senses. She is fifteen years into her diagnosis and today she is present for every second of life.
How Instability Affects Us Physically & Emotionally
The aftermath of life’s instability can manifest in our body on a physical and an emotional level. Raising awareness to how your emotions can affect your physical state is a giant leap towards lasting wellness. One of the primary areas of the body that is affected by stress and change are the adrenal glands. I see so many people with adrenal fatigue – it is an epidemic! Adrenal fatigue presents as an inability to quiet the mind, sleep soundly, feel energized, control cravings, and/or lose weight. On an emotional level this lack of stability can affect the Root Chakra which gives us a feeling of joy, happiness and being grounded.
Life’s struggles can also affect the Pancreas, which controls blood sugar, digestion and secretes hormones. From an emotional perspective people who feel “defeated by life” can have an imbalance in their Pancreas and their Solar Plexus chakra. This can correlates with feelings of despair. When the Solar Plexus is balanced you can tap into that internal warrior and feelings of empowerment, but in an imbalanced state, the feeling is usually that of a victim.
There are many herbs, homeopathies, vitamins and nutritional remedies that can assist these areas of the body during times of unrest. I am a huge fan of these practices, as I utilize them in my practice. However, it is just as important to stay emotionally aware of what we can learn from these experiences, and how we can light an internal candle even in the dark.
Our challenges can be our greatest teacher. They can reveal our most loyal friends. Unearth our true calling. Expose the beauty in vulnerability. Deepen our sense of self. Raise our spiritual connection. Create compassion for others and relinquish our ego. Our challenges are our triumphs in disguise. If every day were sunny would you even notice?
How do you choose to see life’s struggles?
9 Tips to Stay Grounded During Times of Struggle:
1. Gratitude. This may seem cliché but in order to attract what you want, you have to acknowledge what you have. Start with a gratitude journal or make a habit out of reciting what you are grateful for each day.
2. Locate your “elevators” and “drainers.” What people or things raise your vibration? What people or things lower your energy? Surround yourself with people or activities that help you to see the silver lining and provide that feeling of comfort and support. Lessen your exposure to the people or activities that deplete you.
3. Evaluate your boundaries. Many people have relationships where they are the sole giver. So when it is their turn to need support they don’t even know how to ask for help. Instead they are still maintaining the role of counselor or being the constant support system for the world. The people in your life who are genuine and true, will love being able to be there for you — it’s ok to say it’s my turn now.
4. Find an emotional outlet. When you feel overwhelmed what do you turn to? It is best to find a person or people you can talk to, or an activity that feels like an emotional release. It can be exercise, or a creative outlet like painting or writing. It can also be spending time with someone who makes you laugh, or playing with a child that lets you feel carefree. Find something that gives your mind a break and lessens the worry load.
5. Essential oils. Essential oils can be a powerful healing tool. They help to raise the frequency of the body, which can boost immunity and mood. You can diffuse them, rub them on the body with a carrier oil, or put a few drops on your shower floor for an aromatic steam shower. Try diffusing citrus to lighten the mood, or rub lavender on your feet and pulse points to relax the body.
6. Affirmations. Affirmations are statements that allow you to negate the fear and opt for the positive. Studies have shown that if you focus on positive words by reading them each day you can begin to attract more of what you want in your life.
Try these two affirmations to start:
- I am confident in my ability to flow with life and trust in the journey.
- I am fully supported throughout all of life’s changes.
7. Sea Salt. Sea salt is cleansing and purifying. Even if you can’t make it to the ocean, opt for a sea salt bath. You can take 1 cup of Dead Sea Salt and mix it with a few drops of lavender oil in your bathtub. Your body will be flooded with minerals and a deep sense of relaxation.
8. Nutrition. Oftentimes when we are stressed our food choices suffer. In truth, food is the security that can help us to manage stress. When you feel like life is topsy-turvy try to eat something grounding. Root vegetables, and food sourced from farms are just a few examples. You can also opt for the healthy food that reminds you of when you were a child and you felt nurtured and supported.
9. Spend time in nature. There is nothing is more grounding than breathing in the fresh air, and taking notice of life outside of us. Walk barefoot on the grass. Enjoy the sun. Listen to the birds. Relish in the calm and find a new sense of perspective.
Plant your feet on the ground, count your blessings and find stability in the support that surrounds you daily! If you need additional support, try one of my Soul Sessions.