The 5 Elements approach to overall wellness
These 5 Elements are loosely based on the ancient practice of Ayurveda, which is a Sanskrit word that is often translated as "the Sacred Knowledge of Life". I use the 5 Elements as a guide because it reminds us to connect with our "true nature" as well as the natural world.
Earth- Time in Nature
According to "With Nature in Mind" by Andy McGeeney, spending time in nature decreases anxiety and depression, and can actually re-wire your brain to be calm. There are even studies that have shown hospital patients heal more quickly when they can see a natural space through their window! Incorporating nature-centered practices that are rooted in ecopsychology is a foundation of every inner MAP Project course.
Water- Mindful Movement
Any exercise can be mindful if we are thoughtful about it, but I personally love yoga because of the focus on the mind-body connection, and the link between breath and movement. Each week in the Anxious to Empowered Course includes a yoga practice to deeply connect with the physical body. Moving our body with intention can help us notice when things feel "off".
Fire- Energy Work
All day long, neurons in the brain fire electrical impulses to one another. When we slow down the brain waves and move from beta into an alpha state, we can tap into our creativity and quiet racing thoughts. Energy practices are great to reset an over-active nervous system.
Air- Intentional Breathing
If you can only incorporate one of the elements into your day, this is the one to do! According to the book "Breath" by James Nestor, slowing down the breath "lowers heart rate, blood pressure, and sympathetic stress." It is the fastest and easiest way to get into the parasympathetic nervous system. All of the inner MAP Project programs and courses include video tutorials of a variety of breathing techniques.
People say to me all the time "I can't meditate because I can't stop my thoughts." This is one of the biggest misconceptions about meditation. The goal of meditation is actually just to create more space between stimulus and response. In our courses, we help you create a daily practice to notice your thoughts and pause before you react.