I know the title may sound confusing because it is the opposite of what is recommended. While it is said one must live in the present and not worry about the future, and forget the past, I beg to differ. Your past is what brings you to your present and present leads to the future.
Sometimes it is necessarily to live in the now and enjoy the moment; however, I would never recommend making irrational decisions that might have drastic consequences. Our past can haunt us in ways that we may not even deem possible.
We might sit in peace thinking ‘Oh! The past is over…time for me to focus on the present’ and BAM…little Ghosts from the past return to haunt you when least expected…when the repercussions can be horrifying, when your life depends on it, that’s when we realize how important the past is because it can’t be separated from our present. Yes, be impulsive, go nuts but be wise and be ready.
So, then what is the point? Should we just never move on?
That is not the point at all, in fact, if you want to truly move on, you need to face your past. Face your demons, do not just bury them and pretend it never happened.
Forgetting your past is not going to help you move on.
Our life is a series of events. These events can be categorized into three categories:
1. Past Events
2. Present Events
3. Future Events
Today’s present is going to be tomorrow’s past. I am not trying to sound mega deep here but it is what it is. Every decision we make today is going to impact our lives tomorrow and the years to come.
How to Deal with a Horrifying Past and Achieve Peace of Mind with it?
It is a known fact that when someone tries to forget a memory, it can have traumatic effects on his or her mental health. It is not good for peace of mind. It can scar a person for life, which is ironic because that is exactly what one tries to escape by forgetting a past memory. Therapists never suggest that it is okay that you cannot remember what happened in 1997.
On the contrary, they will try to use different techniques to get you to remember what it is you have blocked out. Hypnosis is a popular technique that is used to make a person remember a forgotten memory. This is not done to make you feel worse about your life, it is a step to find out what is leading to the chaos in your mind. You can never treat an ailment without a diagnosis.
Hence proven, if you want to move on from your past, come to terms with it, face it. Only then can you ever achieve mental peace.
Nobody said you are not allowed to make mistakes. True life lessons, or at least the ones worth having, are from the mistakes you make. You will not learn much if you never make any mistake. You know why? It means you are not doing much; it means you are not taking any risk.
The mistakes you make are like a treasure map, it paves the path to enlightenment. It would be silly to forget them. That is how you will learn and grow and become the wise, beautiful, classy person you are meant to be!
3. Never, ever be embarrassed of your Past:
Embrace it, it is not embarrassing that you have lived. It is beautiful, life is beautiful, your past, as scary as it was, it is yours to remember. It is going to make you who you are going to be. It is going to be a part of your life. Once you have embraced it, it will bring you mental peace like no other.
Yes, past can be a strange place to visit, but there is no stronger emotion than nostalgia. It can make you smile, cry, it can make you angry and feeling emotions is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength, it is a sign of life, a sign of humanity, and nothing is more beautiful than humanity.
Remember your past, face it, accept it, embrace it and you will come out a strong, more powerful person. More enlightened, and insightful. It will bring you peace of mind, facing the stressors is not going to cause you more stress and anxiety, on the contrary, it shall make you mentally strong, and what comes with mental strength? Say it with me – Peace of Mind.
In my previous post I researched and shared the nine most common reasons for stress and anxiety in the United States. Usually the list has the same issues that the world is grappling with – Stress and anxiety related to work, finances, unemployment, people are stressed out because of relationships, health issues, he economy, the future the past; but there is a new entrant into that list; and it has made such an impact with its first appearance that it has taken the spot of all other stressors and left them behind.
The topmost common and concerning reason for stress and anxiety in the United States today is the coronavirus.
Not just the illness but the consequences of the illness. Its impact on the society, its impact on the economy, its impact on employment, everything is related. Isolation is the new norm; people have lost their peace of mind. Peace of mind that we did not even know we had before this bizarreness started.
Face masks, hand sanitizers, lock downs, Govt imposed restrictions that sometimes feel like a curfew – this is the new normal now, globally. It is what the whole world is talking about, these are some very peculiar times, feels like a plot right out of a science fiction movie.
If somebody had told me in 2019 that there would be a virus that would force the world to stay home, and cause so much chaos, insanity, stress and anxiety, a virus that resulted in human beings being terrified of other human beings, I’d tell them to go find their lost marbles.
6 Lessons that I Learned from 2020 and You Should Too
There is a lesson to be learned in everything, life teaches you more when it is not going the way you had planned. But to learn from these stressful situations, you need to open yourself up, open your mind to the lessons that you can take in from every little problem you are faced with.
There are ways to strengthen the body, we go to the gym to strengthen our muscles, we take vitamins to strengthen our system, what about our minds? Our emotional strength? Equally if not more important than anything else. Stress is vital for survival, in small doses it motivates us, in large doses, it can destroy us internally and even kill us. Let’s take the number 1 stressor today and turn it into something positive. Let’s turn this into life lessons:
1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Slowing Down
As a believer, I honestly believe nothing happens without reason. Every single event, regardless how little or catastrophic, has been brought to us for a reason. What could the reason be for this crazy quarantine causing virus? It means we need to slow down. We need to spend more time doing the little things in life that bring us peace of mind. We need to calm down!
We are running after success, money, fame, goals constantly, and while it is great to have goals and ambitions. As Danny Tanner very eloquently stated “Too much of anything is not good, yes even ice cream.” There needs to be a balance, we need to slow down physically and mentally.
Feeling stressed out and uncertain about the past, present or future? Smell the flowers, sit out in the backyard and gaze aimlessly at the sky, the shapes of the clouds, listen to some music for peace of mind. Get drenched in the rain, it is a lot of fun, you might catch a cold so do not quote me on that one but yes, it is a fantastic way to destress. Stop running, slow down, take a walk instead.
2. Find Comfort in your Own Company
Finding comfort in your own company is crucial. I see people going crazy all over the world, as if staying at home is the worst thing that could happen to them. What happened to the appeal of “Netflix and Chill”? The whole world seemed to want it, all of us wanted just to have one month of doing nothing. Here it is! We have it! It has been forced on up.
And dare I say, this was the only way we would ever get it – A few weeks of staying home and doing nothing! Is it really that hard to live with yourself? If it is then we need to re-think our lives. There is strength in being OKAY living internally occasionally, without any external stimuli. Imagine not needing anybody to be happy!
This year, almost every nation worldwide was forced to stay home, in fact failing to comply with those orders were an act of crime and punishable by law. Many people all around India were arrested for being seen outside during lockdowns. For many, it was a requirement to go out and work to be able to eat that day. However, for many, it was just an act of rebellion.
There is power in loving your own company. You build your own peace of mind. There is strength in isolation, of course this should not lead to loneliness and agoraphobia; that is a whole other story. But think of it this way, if you are happy in your own company, without needing any body else to entertain you, how amazing would your life be? You meet people, make friends, because you genuinely want to, not because you need to, to get away from yourself.
3. We really need an Internet Quarantine
Technology has consumed us! Literally, need I say more? Could we get through this self-isolation without social media? Without YouTube? without Netflix? Without Tick Tock? Without Video Games? If all of these were also part of the “Stay away from” list, what would we do? I have been wanting to read more, but have I? NO! I do not know a lot of people who are spending this time reading books. I am wondering if we will ever have an internet quarantine.
What would that be like? Imagine a month of no internet, just going out and spending all your time outdoors? reading books? Playing board games? Do not know about you, but I am intrigued! Maybe a month without the internet is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe a month without the internet, will make us see what us is around directly through our eyes, and not through our screens.
Maybe a month without the internet will help us our addiction to it, or at least help many realize that they are addicted to it. Maybe a month without the internet, will reduce stress and anxiety. Think of the 1990s, no cell phones, no computers, no internet, no WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube. Just our friends, our families, our lives, home picnics, the outdoors. Just thinking about those times brings me peace of mind.
We live in a world where we cannot imagine our lives without the internet, after all, I wont even be able to post this blog post without access to the internet. I will not have a job without the internet, But how about this? How about minimizing the amount of time we mindless scroll down our Instagram? how about minimizing the amount of time we check our messages every day?
How about minimizing the amount of time we spend on watching prank videos on YouTube, how about we spend that time building a hobby? A career? A plan? Coloring? Painting? Learning a new skill? Meeting our neighbors? Catching a movie, a cup of coffee with an old friend? I am already trying to make this change into my life. Let’s do this together!
4. We Cannot Plan Everything – There is Peace in Knowing That
Destiny is real! Weddings have been postponed, graduations have been cancelled, family vacations have been delayed. When we plan events like this, we think about the weather, or we pray for everyone’s health. Never do we EVER prepare for “what if a crazy virus infects the world, and we are asked to cancel the wedding?”. Destiny is just that. It is unpredictable, it is pre-written. It is scary but also there is peace of mind in knowing.
It is calming to realize that we do not have to plan everything because what is meant to be…WILL BE! It helps reduce stress and anxiety to be aware that we cannot and should not try to think of every single event in our lives. Instead of fretting over trying to control every aspect of your life, learn to sit back sometimes, breathe, slowly, and smile knowing that destiny will unfold, regardless of your plans, or you stressing out about it.
5. The Most Basic Need is the Need to Survive
Maslow’s Need Hierarchy is real! Before the Covid19 shook the world at its core, we were obsessing over impeachments, political propaganda, religious warfare, Climate Control, Elections and then, suddenly, the whole world was preoccupied with the need for survival.
Stocking up on groceries and medication and toilet paper became the new norm. All united in this need for survival, fighting the same enemy, united by this strangeness, at least temporarily. Nothing can cause more stress and anxiety than the human and animal need to survive, to live and to live in peace.
6. Never Take Anything for Granted
This crazy year taught me never to take anything for granted. It was the things that we did not even think twice before doing that were taken away from us – Being able to spend time with friends, family, going out for a walk, taking your dogs out for a walk, sharing a cup of coffee or tea with your best friends, inviting your brother or sister over for dinner.
How about, going to sleep without stressing out about waking up with a strange illness? Hugging your parents without fearing for their life. Being able to leave your house without a mask, being able to go to a restaurant and working on your laptop in peace, not overusing the hand sanitizer and feeling your skin stretch and dry out in anguish. Not having to sanitize your groceries before storing everything in the refrigerator.
I do not know about you, but these are things I thought would never change. These are things we do not even feel grateful for, because these are so little, right? These things could never be taken from us? We were never going to not hug our loved ones. However, all these simple, everyday things were impacted this year, and if it can happen once, it can happen again. The thought of meeting strangers on the road caused stress and anxiety this year. Bottom line is, never take anything for granted. You wake up in the morning and breathe? Be grateful!
Let’s all learn from this. Let’s take the lessons we learn from this into the future, the future after quarantine needs to be different. Once this is all over and we continue living exactly the way we lived before, then what was it all for? What was the point of this year? What was the point of corona and quarantine? There is ALWAYS a point, there is always a lesson, there is always a change that needs to be made. Let’s move forward to 2021 with that change in mind.
One in three people say they experienced a lot of stress during the previous day. Stress and anxiety are a major source of concern. Especially with the unexpected virus that shocked the world in the beginning of 2020, the levels of stress and anxiety are off the charts. Even people who had little experience with them have reported to be showing symptoms that are caused by stress and anxiety. These symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
Top 10 Most Stressed out Countries in the World
According to Gallup, A global analytics, and advice firm, here is a list of the most stressed out countries in the world:
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Most Common Reasons for Stress and Anxiety in the US:
The United States of America is in the seventh spot for the worlds most stressed out countries. Los Angeles was discovered to be the most stressed out city in the United States, according to the Gallop survey, New York and Chicago are few of the other cities in the United States that were found to have the highest level of stress and anxiety.
What causes this? United States of America, is globally considered to be the land where dreams come true, the American dream, so, why are people living in this dream land so stressed out? Here are the top reasons.
The pandemic is a reality that none of us thought was possible. Millennials and Gen Z-ers alike, had never even imagined a world where hugs became a source of fear, and masks became the norm. The uncertainty caused by the virus, the constant fear or catching the virus, or a loved one catching the virus. The Government’s response to coronavirus all add up to the levels of stress and anxiety in the country.
Of course, it is not a surprise that in country as independent as the United States of America, work is a major source for stress and anxiety. The 2020 poll reveals that the number of people who sighted “work” as a stressor is greater this year, as compared to the previous year. The percentage increased from 64% in 2019 to 70% in 2020, according to apa.org.
The change in work routines, because of coronavirus, the uncertainty of employment, the work from home was appreciated by many people but many were not thrilled with the concept of their homes turning into their offices overnight. A lot of employees faced salary cuts or were apprehensive about the possibility of salary cuts in future. It is no surprise that all these factors contributed to the increase in work related stress and anxiety among Americans.
Just like work, money is a major factor in the rise in stress and anxiety across the country. The two are connected, with unemployment on all-time high, businesses failing to break-even and thousands of people reporting bankruptcy this year, it is a given that meeting necessary financial needs has not been an easy task for many households in this past year.
The coronavirus caused the economy to suffer tremendously, in a way that had not been seen in a long time. Stress and anxiety caused by the major decline in the American economy saw the largest rise. It went from 46% last year, to 70% this year, based on a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. The American citizens are obviously concerned about the country’s economical status.
Relationships like spouse, kids, siblings, partners, is another major reason for stress and anxiety for Americans. Concern about their safety, wellbeing future. Amidst the pandemic, and changed work routines, with kids studying from home, and couples working from home, divorce rates increased, separation, arguments, leading to stress and anxiety also increased. Peace of mind suffered as couples tried to adjust to their suddenly changed reality.
6. Disrupted Routines
75% of the survey takers in America stated they experienced stress and anxiety because of disrupted routines. Children spent the entire year studying from home. Home schooling became a norm, and this not only affecting the children but also their parents, who had to adjust to the sudden change in routine.
The mornings changed, the night routines changed, the days changed. Suddenly children must be taught, their minds need to be stimulated within the confines of the house. Work from home, though a blessing in disguise for many Americans, was not an easy adjustment, this constant balancing act between taking care of the kids at home, and meeting up with work responsivities has been a cause for the rise in stress and anxiety among many Americans.
7. Housing Costs and other Basic Needs
Another cause of anxiety and stress among Americans is to pay the housing, rents on time. Being able to meet the monthly requirements needed to pay the electricity bills, telephone, bills, other utilities has caused panic and stress across the country in the past, but more so this year.
The obsession with hoarding toilet paper during the beginning few months of the pandemic shows clearly how the uncertainty of the future impacted people. Being able to have access to necessities like food and water caused an uproar and caused a lot of public displays of desperation across the country. Several videos can be found on the internet to prove that. I am sure a lot of those people caught on tape are embarrassed about that now. I could be wrong though.
8. Missing out on Major Milestones
The same survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, also reveals that missing out on major milestones has also resulted in stress and anxiety.
Missing out on graduation ceremonies, Prom, not being able to celebrate your sweet sixteenth birthday or the first birthday of your baby, cancelling weddings, or celebrating virtual weddings, or weddings with a handful of guests as opposed to how you had been planning is a justifiable cause for losing peace of mind.
Not being able to step outside for some fresh air, the fear of stepping out, not being able to meet friends and family, being forced to stay alone in something that is very similar to solitary confinement caused a lot of loneliness, and mental health suffered as a result. Introverts were affected as well, but introverts adjusted to this a lot better than extroverts.
Those used to the gregarious way of life were deeply impacted by the virus inflicted self-isolation. While a lot of people are now used to the recluse way of life, they say it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so it can be assumed that this self-isolation has become an acquired taste for many over the last few months of coronavirus. Habits are not always good, and self-isolation is not one habit that I would recommend. It has and will continue to trigger stress and anxiety in several people of all ages.
People of color have reported a higher degree of stress and anxiety. Black Lives Matter started in the United States, but it has become a global movement. The reason for this is the high level of fear and anger within the African Americans in the country. Anxiety is mainly caused by fear. That is the connection. People of color are more likely than white adults to report stressors in their life, according to the same survey by APA.
Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
Women have consistently ranked above men when it comes to suffering from stress and anxiety. Over the years several surveys have been conducted to understand the triggers, the reasons, and the impact of stress, and it is a fact that more women experience stress than men.
Sometimes, it might not be obvious that a person is dealing with stress. They might lack the awareness, or perhaps, they are in denial.
Here are some common symptoms of stress and anxiety:
1. Easily angered: Stress and anxiety might make you snappy and easily lose their temper.
2. Nervous: You suddenly become nervous about things that did not affect you like that before.
3. Fatigue: Constantly feeling exhaustion, tired even with little to no physical activity is also a sign of stress and anxiety.
4. Burn out: A survey by Gallop showed burn-out to be a stressor as well. Burn-out is lack of motivationto do the activities that once excited you.
Yes, stress and anxiety has grown over the years, however, one must remember nothing is permanent. If we are facing difficult times today, tomorrow we will see better days. There are a few ways to relieve stress. I have a post about it, click here for that.
The most common ways that Americans say they have successfully managed stress are by listening to music that calms them down, exercising, or just simply going for walk. Watching your favorite movie, or TV shows helps as well. Reading, praying, spending time with loved ones, spending time on forming new hobbies or pursuing old ones is a fantastic way to achieve peace of mind, or reduce stress and anxiety.
Scented Candles for Peace of Mind – Reduce Stress and Anxiety
The popularity of Candles
Candles have come a long way. In ancient times candles were used as a source of light. This was before electricity was even invented. Kerosene and gas lamps were used to light up a place after sunset. Soon candles became more of a trend than a practical necessity. Today, most of the credit for the popularity of candles can be given to YouTubers. If you follow any famous YouTuber, you are sure to find at least one favorite candle in their haul videos.
How do Candles Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
Yes, I do watch a lot of YouTube, but my interest in candles is mainly because of its healing properties. Can candles heal? The short answer is “Yes”, candles have been known to reduce the affects of stress and anxiety, thus bring about peace of mind. It is the oldest and the easiest way to calm the internal chaos.
Candles – There is something calming about that word, or is it just me? Just say the word out loud “Candle”, do you feel it? Originally the word was derived from the Latin word “Candere”, which means to shine, and shine it did.
The low light from the candle is not blinding like the sun, you can stare at it, and get lost in it. There is something meditative about it, something that fills the heart with positivity, something that brings peace of mind. Combining this visual therapy, with aromatherapy is a powerful combination. A combination that can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Is Burning Candles Bad for You?
Excess of anything is not good. Burning candles can have a lot of benefits, but before I go ahead and talk about some of the other advantages of burning candles, I also want to remind you that candles can be harmful. Some candles, when burned release a toxic gas which can be harmful to the environment, as well as to the people around these toxic compounds that are released in the air because of this burning candle.
Therefore, organic candles have become popular. Candles are fantastic but it is recommended not to burn them all the time. According to housebeautiful.com, the claims that burning candles is harmful are not backed by science or research. Yes, burning candles do emit poisonous, toxic, harmful compounds; however, the amount of these substances produced by burning candles is very minute and will not cause more damage than the damage caused by the air we already breathe. As for scented candles, that have essential oil in them – Essential oils are not harmful, unless you have allergies or you are asthmatic.
So, the bottom line is, as I mentioned before, too much of anything is not good. Burning candles will not cause any damage, but it depends on how long you are burning them. It is not advised to burn candles day and night. The good news is you do not have to feel guilty about burning these candles. Do not lose your peace of mind over this. Burn them when you are feeling stress and anxiety and feel yourself calming down with the glowing flame.
Why do candles make you feel better? Uses of Candles in Daily Life
The slow, soothing burning of a candles, infused with some of the best, most calming essential oils is a great recipe for peace of mind. Both are known to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. I am including some of the best sellers of scented candles from Amazon, if you use any of the links to order, I will make a small commission. Here are some of the top benefits of burning candles.
Psychology of Candles 1 – Can Increase Productivity
Candles are a soothing, easy way to increase your level of productivity. There are certain scents that help with sharpening the mind. Some of these are rosemary, cinnamon, lemon.
Psychology of Candles 2 – Uplift your Mood
Feeling low? Burn a candle, cozy up by the fireplace, and a hot cup of chamomile tea and instantly feel better. Aromatherapy is real, notice how smelling freshly brewed coffee, or cinnamon rolls in the oven can instantly make you feel better? That is the power of aromatherapy. Lemon is known to have a fresh, uplifting aromatic qualities that can light up any dingy room.
Psychology of Candles 3 – Promote Better Sleep
Burning a candlelight instead of the usual lights in your house is a great way to get better sleep. The light from candles is not harmful to your eyes or skin. The light from candles is soothing to the soul. It helps bring peace of mind, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night.
Psychology of Candles 4 – Reduce stress and Anxiety
That is correct, probably the cheapest way to reduce stress and anxiety in a person is to gift them some scented candles. There is a reason why every self-care routine consists of burning some candles by your bed at night, or taking a warm, soothing bath with some lit up aromatic candles.
Clary sage is a wonderful essential oil, that is known to reduce stress and anxiety in women, by control cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone that is found in women.
Clary sage, when combined in a candle can thus help with women who are prone to stress and anxiety, by promoting peace of mind. Frankincense is also great for this purpose.
Psychology of Candles 5 – Creates a Relaxing, Calming, Soothing Ambience
Ever wonder why spas everywhere light up all sorts of candles? It is because not only does it promote peace of mind, which is what people seek at a spa, but also it creates a calming, peaceful ambience. A candle can change the energy of a room. The fire from the candle, the light from the candle, the aroma from the candle, brings you closer to your spiritual side, it brings you closer to your positive side, it brings you closer to peace, to warmth, to God.
Peppermint and chamomile are relaxing, the scent can sooth the soul and create a peaceful ambience by doing so. Candles make great gifts as well.
Fall is a favorite season for many, and it is known for many things to begin with. Fall is known for the cool weather, the autumn leaves, the beauty around us, it is the time to bring out the boots, and the cozy socks. It is also the time for candles.
That is the reason I chose this time to pen down this post. I love candles, there is something so feminine, classy, and soothing about candles. So, I set out on a quest to find some of the best Fall candles for the season and decided to share my research with you.
Which is your favorite candle scent? Feel free to share in the comment section below. Warm and Peaceful vibes your way.