Anatomy of a Ritual: Mellow Mood
Mellow Mood Ritual
Emotional balance and emotional intelligence are two common terms we hear these days, a simple google search returns hundreds of articles written about how to be a more emotionally intelligent person. It’s no surprise that we’re searching for answers, even the most intelligent, well-adjusted person experiences periods of emotional turmoil. Our moods are like the weather, ever changing and sometimes unpredictable. We can’t avoid emotions, nor would our lives be satisfying if we did, but we can learn how to let them be a part of our lives without running them.
The path towards emotional balance is as simple as it is difficult, a lifelong journey of discovery. As you practice being with your moods instead of being ruled by them, remember the old adage – this too will pass. That reminder is important with both difficult and enjoyable moods, no matter what you’re feeling it will eventually change. That simple reminder can help us through difficult times as well as help us practice gratitude for the times we feel wonderful.
There are a few things we can do that can help us be more balanced in our feelings, we’ve outlined the important ones below.
- Practice Knowing Your Feelings
This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Many of us have a tendency to ignore what we’re feeling, if an emotion isn’t overwhelming enough to command our attention we often think it’s unimportant. When we push feelings aside to focus on whatever task is at hand, they have a way of coming out in less healthy ways later. Practice identifying your emotions when you are feeling them, and give them some room to express themselves. Simply sitting with any given emotion for a few breaths can give it room to be expressed and released.
- Identify Your Feelings
Just giving an emotion or mood a name can help us to find our inner balance. Practice saying to yourself, ‘I am feeling anxious’ or ‘I feel joyful’ when you are in those moods. If you have a difficult time identifying the mood, you can often find your way to understanding through your body; stress or anger often expresses themselves through tightness in the neck and shoulders, love and joy are often felt as a warmth in the heart, sadness can manifest as a tightness in the chest, and fear or worry can show itself as a heaviness in the belly.
- Be With Your Mood
We often think of our emotions as lasting for hours or days, but research tells us that without reinforcement our feelings only last for a few moments. By sitting with our moods and letting them be, resisting the urge to feed the feelings with memories or reinforcement of irrational thoughts, we can allow them space to exist and then gracefully let them go. When you’re feeling fear, for instance, simply sit with it for a few moments and reflect on what it feels like. Be aware of the physical sensations and resist the tendency to recall every time you’ve felt fear, instead simply be with this fear right now. Chances are, it will pass relatively quickly and let you move on with your day instead of become mired in a feedback loop.
- Use Essential Oils and Breath To Regulate Moods
Conscious breathing exercises and aromatherapy are two great ways to help regulate emotions. By simply breathing better we can reduce our stress and improve our focus which helps with emotional balance. Essential oils are another great way to find balance, many of the compounds in essential oils are exactly what our bodies need to jump start our calm. Essential oils come into direct physical contact with the limbic center of our brains (the part that regulates emotion) immediately upon smelling them, which means they can help us feel. Here’s a few of our favorite essential oils and how they can help us change our moods:
Lavender is the master of mellow moods, its sweetly herbaceous scent can relax and restore a sense of calm with just a few breaths.
Bergamot is a gentle and bright oil that calms our moods. An excellent alternative for those who have an aversion to Lavender but crave calm.
Orange has also been shown to calm moods, and its sweet and bright scent is almost universally loved. Orange is safe for kids, pregnant moms, and sensitive folks of all ages.
Rose Geranium will help you find your harmony, its full floral scent helps us find that sweet spot of equanimity.
Rosemary is a full bodied scent that brings us into the present moment. Also known for its ability to boost memory, Rosemary makes a perfect work companion.
Eucalyptus is a refreshing scent that clears the air and helps clear our minds. If your head is feeling foggy, use a little Eucalyptus to clear things up.
Grapefruit is a bright and stimulating way to start your day. Its sweet and tangy scent is perfect to awaken your mood.
Peppermint has been used to stimulate and brighten moods for ages, and its bright scent makes it a perfect pick-me-up when you need a little boost.
Have a relaxing day, friends, and enjoy your moods!