The pursuit of happiness is our fundamental right. We are all looking for it one way or the other.
Life offered me an opportunity a few months ago to put my learning of Ayurveda into practice; to stay happy in all circumstances. Life is shifting on a daily basis. Ayurveda emphasizes that true happiness is necessary for complete health. That's where I came up with the BREATHE formula and have been using it for some time. It is working for me! I shared it in my recent talks and it seemed to resonate well with people. Here it is for your pleasure and happiness! I encourage you to try and let me know.
B is for Breath. Breath is what brings mind and body together. Conscious focused breathing in a certain manner calms the anxious nerves, brings more oxygen to the blood and nourishes the tissues and organs. Two breathing exercises which are relaxing and soothing for our nervous system are also effective in our pursuit of happiness. These are alternate nostril breathing and bumble bee breathing.
In alternate nostril breathing, you start with a breath in from left nostril (closing right nostril with your right thumb). Breathe out from your right nostril while closing the left nostril with the right ring and middle finger. Inhale from right nostril (still closing the left side) and then exhale from the left (closing the right side). This is one round. Do a few rounds, keeping breath steady and effortless and inhalations and exhalations equal.
In bumble bee breathing, with your eyes lightly closed, close the tragus of the ears with your thumbs, forefinger on the forehead and the three fingers on the eyes. Inhale deeply. On exhalation, make a long loud sound of a bumble bee. Keep your eyes closed to feel the vibrations of your own sound in the body. Do it a few times.
R is for Rest. Exhilaration, excitement, adventure, non-stop fun will sure bring a smile to many. However, it is short-term and not-sustainable. It leads to the highs and the lows and the ups and the downs. The external stimulation will only go as far. The body and mind both need adequate R's - relaxation, repair and rejuvenation on a daily basis. Nothing can beat a good night sleep for a lasting smile.
E is for Eat. Eating wholesome, nutrient-rich, natural (not processed) and balanced diet leads to better absorption, assimilation of nutrients and daily elimination of the waste matter. There are four inputs we ingest - air, water, food and perceptions. We have a choice (for most part) of what we take in. If we compromise on the quality of our inputs, the digestion is compromised. It is harder to feel happy with a constipated system. Compromised digestion is an irritant, sometimes in the background, other times in the forefront. You are what you can digest. Eat well and stay happy!
A is for Awareness. This one is about tuning into your own FM station to know your triggers and signs. Fall is the time of color and beauty. Fall is the time for huge leaf blowers too. The flying leaves, the shifting winds, the blowing sounds can create imbalance in a few. Do you recognize triggers of discomfort, unhappiness and irritation? What do you do about them? Awareness is not just recognizing the triggers but also working on balancing them.
T is Timing. I have a bird-feeder in my backyard. Finches, steller's jays, chickadees, wood peckers and sparrows chirp through the day feeding on the seeds. Certain birds come during certain hours of the day. No one comes after it is dark. Birds seem to follow the rhythm of the nature.
Human beings also are the happiest when they are aligned with the rhythms of the nature.
Eating at regular times, sleeping at a reasonable hour of the night and getting up at a reasonable hour helps us get aligned with the nature. A brisk walk in the nature helps us be a part of it.
H is for being our own Healer. Every individual has the capacity to heal themselves. It can start small with very physical aspects of eating healthy, at the right times to resting well, to connecting the mind and body through breath and to keep moving.
E is for Enhanced Purpose. We could live by the book and still not be happy. That is where the enhanced purpose comes in. My mission in life is to help people in their pursuit of health and happiness. It brings me the energy, zeal and enthusiasm to make my life purposeful. It perks me up when the going gets tough.
Anu Arora is an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor in the larger Seattle area. She gives consultations on diet and lifestyle and gives wellness talks. Register for her next talk here: https://www.iaww.org/event-2175866
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