Depression and 2 unusual ways to reduce it’s effects!

I consider myself to be very highly sensitive…

I’ve been sensitive growing up through high school and found myself getting hurt emotionally on a fairly regular basis. Then, going through college, It developed into OCD (when you repeat certain behaviours in an attempt to feel safe and secure). Being told I was autistic (although I would later challenge this believing it was ADD and mercury poisoning later on) didn’t help matters, especially when one is told that you had a problem that you had to deal with for all of your life, and often told in a very patronising way by people who you trusted the most (yeah, juck out self-healing why don’t you…).

Being made to feel ashamed, especially when you are a highly sensitive person, does no help for your self-esteem and self-confidence, and I soon began to loose control of my emotional state to the point that, when I began work in the early 2000’s, I got slowly depressed. I suffered from depression for a good 5-7 years.

Over 350 million people suffer from depression. So what can be done about it, as depression is not only hurting your body (please watch this video for more info), but also looses your focus so you are unable to be productive at work and at home?

I recently began getting depressed, and then had a very intuitive moment. Below are 2 exercises that I did, that not only help me identify the issue, but also stopped the depression dead in it’s tracks. I hope they do the same for you!

These exercises are best done quickly, (I found) as your subconscious likes speed. So please take no more than about a minute doing them.

Exercise 1

Find something in the past or the future imagined scenario that will cause you to become depressed, that is, something that you think will cause you to be depressed seemingly forever or for the moderate term. Something that you think that if you had it, there would be no way you can come to terms with it, and it will haunt you to the end of days. Try to really look at depression, to see it in the eye. Try to imagine holding it…what does it look like? Does it have a smell? What size is it, etc.

When you have done that quick exercise, try the next one.

Exercise 2

Try to become present, that is, nearly mindful. For the purpose of this exercise, you won’t be completely present due to the amount of thinking being used, but try to be nearly mindful. Try to get closed to being present as much of possible, whilst still remaining close to some form of logically thinking capability.

Now, look around and in yourself, and try to spot depression in yourself or outside of you. Again, whilst trying to be close to being present, try to spot and look depression in the eye, try to find it, try to really locate the source of the depression, that you think will be with you until the end of days.

What colour is it? What size? What shape? Does it even have a smell?

What you will notice in both cases (providing your condition isn’t too chronic) is that, while you may have noticed depressing moments in the first exercise, because you were using your conscious logical left-hemisphered part of your brain, any negative moments you did stumble upon quickly had solutions thrusted upon them, or you moved onto a new image or feeling. Whilst you may have had moments that you felt depression, it was very short term, and not as long-term as you thought it would be.

That is because you had your logical, ‘guard’ up. You have a logical conscious for a reason, and one of the main reasons is for calculation and for problem solving. Depression in some cases takes place when this guard is, ‘down’. That is, you are in the subconscious, ‘receiving’ state, getting all sorts of negative imagery lobbed into your direction without any obvious protection.

Sounds too deep? Let me give you an example.

I worked in a desk job, answering some emails for customers. The problem was, due to being highly sensitive as I am, when I was consciously at work (i.e. actually typing a response to a query) my ‘guard’ would be brought down, allowing my sensitive sub-conscious to pick up energies, which it then converted into images and emotions (depending on what type of person you are, you may hear audio or may have different feelings).

I was in the passive, ‘receiving’ state, meaning that, while as was using my conscious to do work, due to not being fully involved with the task at hand, I was getting lots of conversions of energy being translated into imagery being thrown into my conscious mind almost against my will. Or, to put it in simple street language, I would unwittingly fantasise and imagine all sorts of depressing and negative scenarios which would ultimately bring my mood down.

Depression in some cases can take place when the subconscious that picks up other negative sources of energy and converts it, isn’t being logically challenged. That is, the imagery (or audio, random bad emotion etc) isn’t being processed by the logical, critical left-hemisphere of your brain. Essentially, you have become, ‘ungrounded’.

One of the greatest ways to free yourself from the grip of depression, is to notice the specifics of it and name it out loud; that is, give it the verbal treatment. This allows the two hemispheres to become more balanced, allowing you to become more mindful. Or to put it another way, challenging the depressing imagery allows your critical, ‘guard’ to go back up.

Alternately, you can try to do what they describe in NLP as pattern interrupting. Quite simply, think of the depressing moment, and then, quite randomly and spontaneously, look at something behind you on the wall and really take it all in. Could be a photo you have, could be the TV etc… this, again, allows your critical conscious, ‘guard’ to go back up, and you will find it slightly more difficult in thinking of the depressed imagery and may even become slightly mindful in the process.

 

Top 4 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety Fast!

rapport

Do you want to combat and manage stress and anxiety for good? Are you really sick to death of the suffering? I don’t want to appear funny, but there are people who claim to want to heal themselves, but don’t actually do anything. It’s hard to believe, but the amount of people that I’ve come across who moan and winge about life, yet don’t get inspired to take any action baffles me. Then it dawned on me why this could happen…hard to believe, but some people actually feel great by feeling bad.

I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, at least on a conscious level. Yet, (and I know I shouldn’t really admit this) I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. Certainly waking up in the early hours of the night, being angry and depressed at not having something, or having a bad time with my life didn’t helps things, and of course only re-conditions the subconscious (due to the fact that when you wake up, your brainwaves exhibit mostly Theta waves, which is used in some peoples cases to re-programme the subconscious). I woke up once and tried to study the depression that I was feeling, to try to get a grasp of the feeling that I was having while being in a nice comfy bed.

To the best of my knowledge, despite it feeling bad and dis-empowering, there was like an addiction to the depression I was feeling. Even when I realized what was going on, and tried to loosely fantasize a happier outcome, my subconscious would come roaring back with ‘oh that’s impossible, stop being delusional’ etc. It took quite the effort to somehow break this spell, by sheer mental willpower (which is never nice early in the morning).

So believe me when I say, while I sympathize that people have stress/anxiety and many other mental health problems, there are some people who subconsciously like this. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but learning to see if you a secretly sabotaging your success will go a long way to enable your recovery.

That is part of the reason why I started this blog, to try to help people with what I’ve experienced. Now, I’m not going to list all of my ills here, but I thought I would summarize what I believe to be the top 4 ways to reducing stress and anxiety. Here we go;-)

1- Meditation

Summary – can be used to great effect at reducing (and some people would say, eliminating) long term anxiety and stress. Has been around and used for thousands of years, and baring some ridiculous miracle posture that cures all ills, will be around for the next 50 thousands years (as far as I’m concerned, providing that we don’t destroy our planet due to spiritual ignorance, of course!!!). Has the ability to help reduce your ego mind chatter, and increase intuition.

Pros – Numerous benefits to list them all here, but the main basis is certainly an increase in spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. Ability to heal past emotional wounds, and also helps create mental clarity so that you can think more clearly on the task at hand, allowing you to finish your goals, hopefully to better your life. Can be said to help with out-of-body experiences as well, especially being in the, ‘now’.

Cons – Not many, really, but it can be an absolute bugger to get started, especially if you simply don’t know what to do, or you have severe stomach gut issues which prevent you from relaxing completely. All it really takes is for you to move your attention from your thought process, to either your body, your breathing, or even the sounds outside Do this for a few minutes, and you should start to feel a deep peace. The issues is that some people find this, in itself, difficult. We have been trained to use our minds all the time, and the invention of the Gregorian calendar didn’t really help things when it came to the invention of time (but that’s for another day;-). Still, you know what they say, practice makes perfect!!!

2- Diet

Summary – Well established fact, that if you want to change your lifestyle, what you put into your body also has a significant effect on how you think. Think of eating sweets, and feeling really restless and energetic, for example. So it goes without thinking, that if you want to have a goods nights sleep, drinking coffee at 9 pm (and it is said that caffeine has a half life of 6 hours!) isn’t really going to help matters. Get your diet right, and your head should follow (not sure if I read that somewhere, but thought I’ll put it in anyway:-)

Pros – It’s diet, what do you think? Nutritional food, with nutritional drink, will help keep the body healthy, and your thoughts calmer. Don’t forget, the mind and body are interrelated, so what you think will manifest (to some degree) with your body, and vice versa! (Think of stress related illnesses as one example). It has also been documented, that loving thoughts helps almost single handedly to help the molecules of the water (think of Dr. Emoto, and that famous water experiment). And as our bodies is made up of around 70% water, it’s not hard to imagine the power of feelings on the body.

Cons – Of course, if your busy, this is that last thing you will care about. Busy people eat whatever they can (they have do, they don’t have time to prepare a nutritional snack) and of course if they are busy, the chances are that they need as much energy as they possible can get their hands on.

So we’re talking chocolates, energy drinks, and so on. And don’t forget, you have your emotional eaters (of course) who will always eat something specific to keep their stress levels away (called a coping mechanism). The thing is, emotional eating and eating in a rush does no one any favors, and one needs to create a more healthier coping mechanism, and of course, manage your time better (always helps).

3- Sleep!

Summary – Getting your sleep is absolutely vital to keeping your stress levels to an all time low, as well as being able to focus on your goals, and having a clearer mind. I know I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the article I researched for stress and sleep here was one of the biggest eye-openers for me.

Quite simply, sleep does more than you think! Alright, you already knew that, but they say that it is always quality sleep rather than quantity that always counts. I’m going to go one step further and say that it is the amount of non-rem sleep that you have (don’t forget, your sleep in 90 min cycles, with REM, the eye-twitching one, being the last stage of this cycle. It is also the type of sleep that allows you to dream…whether you remember it or not is another matter;-).

But we need as much non-rem sleep as possible, due mainly (but not exclusively) to the good ol’ Human Growth Hormone being released, probably given us that, ‘freshness’ that we feel when we wake up after a good night.

The thing is, we cannot plan how much non-rem sleep we’re going to have, that is why it is recommended that we have between 7 to 8 hours. Of course, there are those people who use delta CD’s and meditation to help…

Pros – Getting a good, refreshing sleep as numerous benefits, from improved memory, to reducing the risk of some physical ailments, to improved cognitive functioning, and of course, feeling great for the day. It allows you to keep your focus, and helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels (or at the very least, allows you to manage them more effectively).

Cons – For those insomniacs, or people with other sleep disorders, and of course, people who work nights, sleep is a luxury they simply cannot have. Meditation will help, but ultimately, a change in lifestyle may be required (especially those people who are too stressed, or even on a burnout to get any hours of sleep at all). I hate to say this, but medication, or sleeping pills may be the only way. But only if you are able to take the side effects…

4- EFT

Summary – I had heard of EFT before I started my blog, and to be honest with you, when I did my research for my post, EFT and Stress, I didn’t learn anything too new…

Having said that, I did learn a few more things. Firstly, the Chinese used a version of acupuncture (which later inspired EFT) to help treat physical illnesses, not emotional ones. And secondly, EFT can be used to treat nearly everything emotionally bound.

It’s free, it’s quick and best of all, it’s fun. And there’s nothing better than feeling better and like a huge weight has been lifted off of you shoulders. I’ve used it myself to help reduce my OCD to around 60%, have used it for a job interview, to get better focus, and even (and this even surprised me…) get more energy.

That’s right, using EFT in a certain way can get you more energy and help you feel more refreshed (although truth be told, I used it after a decent nights sleep and after meditation, so perhaps the two can work hand in hand…food for thought).

EFT is fast becoming huge popular, due to it’s widespread, and natural benefits.

Pros– Too many to list here, but mainly nearly all psychological conditions and some physical ones (as it is said that many illness are stress induced illnesses). EFT has been said to help reduce autism symptoms, and can also vastly help with PTSD, depression, and many other ailments. It can take as little as a few minutes each day, and the results can be long lasting.

Cons– Not too many, but I did notice in my research that the people who really benefit with EFT are the ones who do it longer than 5 minutes, so perhaps EFT isn’t the shortest treatment of them all (depends I suppose, on the problem at hand). Also, EFT isn’t perfect, and can’t cure all conditions physical or otherwise, under the sun. There are of course, limitations, as to what you can use EFT for. And don’t forget, it has it’s own competition in the likes of PSTEC and IST (which I will be doing future articles about, so watch this space.)

Like meditation, you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to get the maximum benefit from EFT, and some stressful people simply do not have that time. But if you do have 5 minutes to spare, it’s not a bad place to start, even if it does look silly…

What’s your favorite coping mechanism for stress, anxiety or depression? Let me know in the box below;-)

 

How To Rid Yourself Of Depression In 4 Stupidly Easy Ways!

Depression is a condition that many of us will suffer from in some form or another. It is estimated that over 120 million people suffer from some form of depression worldwide, with 80% of people not receiving any treatment. The number of patients who are diagnosed with depression increases by around 20% each year in America, with the people who are unemployed and recently divorced being the type of people most likely to suffer from it. I myself have suffered a form of depression, (even suicidal thoughts back in 2012 when I was at my most lowest point). It got me thinking about my lifestyle and what I wanted to achieve, and since that terrible day, have tried to make amends to amend my ways and lead a more healthier life.

But it hasn’t been easy. I would love to write an article saying that I had this one epiphany and everything in my life changed, but in all honesty it’s all been about small and regular changes. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with people or gurus who say that they did one particular action or was involved in one event, but I guess I’m not that type of guy. For me, my depression was on and off for over 10 years, and included anxiety attacks, mild insomnia and OCD.

To completely recover from depression, in my opinion, does take time. People can talk about being in medication and taking drugs, as there is evidence to say that depression is nothing more than just a simple chemical imbalance. Resolve the chemical imbalance, and the troubles just fade away! But in my opinion, this just tells half the story…while I don’t dispute these findings, I believe that the chemical imbalance is the outcome, not the cause of depression. The cause of the depression can be job/career related, relationship/family related, or financially related (or a combination of all three) and while taking medication can help relieve the symptoms, unless lifestyle changes are made, you will soon be back on it.

Now, I want to be really brutally honest here…I’m not an advocate in taking medication for most depression cases. Barring the odd severe case, I believe medication does more harm than good. Maybe I’m lucky that my depression hasn’t been that long, or hasn’t been that intense. I don’t know that many people who are severely depressed, but from memory, taking a pill was the last thing on my mind during my last episode. I’ve actually taken more pills for anxiety attacks, then for depression (only to realize what a waste that was!). While I will appreciate the poor person that has a severe case my argue this (and understandably so), from my experience there are more healthier ways of reducing it. Of course, medication does give you mental breathing space (which, again I can appreciate), but from all of the forums, discussions and articles I’ve read, medication is a solution most people are against.

This was even validated during a (fairly) recent episode. Whilst not that bad, I did observe my body during the depressing wave. I quickly realized a few things I noticed which I hadn’t noticed during my 10 year wave (things I wished I knew back then). It seems that my self-help curious ego had actually served a purpose, and I was able to avoid much of the misery that I had suffered a few years back. What I present isn’t new, isn’t exclusive, and I’m under no illusion that you’ll either hate it (or see it as pointless) or you’ll agree but can add some more. Either way is fine. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach to recovering from depression (well, apart from obvious lifestyle changes, but that is also arguable). So see these points as reminders, on how to get yourself out of a tricky situation.

 

Thinking of your ideal scenario all day

You’re depressed because you feel helpless, like nothing you can do is going to work, and you are low of energy. What I have found is that if you can somehow have an image of your ideal career/partner in your mind (whatever image is causing you to be depressed, think of the ideal version of that image) you will gain, after a short amount of time new energy, and will carry on the day with vigor. When I have the image in my mind, a new sense of inner personal power took over, and I was able to be more focused and more attentive to the job in hand…which was quite surprising, as I had no idea that this would have any side benefit at all. Of course, the image wasn’t a static image, but an image that was constantly evolving; from a snapshot of the ideal career, to being practical and actually finding ways to turn the image into reality (nothing to do with the Law of Attraction…at least, not yet;-). In the space of a few hours, the image had changed from static, to the actual dynamics on how to create it. This bizarrely increased my inner will power, my concentration, and my energy levels (as I had a bad night sleep, so I was feeling really down). This nicely leads me to my next topic…

 

Sleep

Get your sleep, period! While I can appreciate mums and dads can say that they don’t get any sleep due to their kids, feeling super tired and fatigued during the day does more harm to you then you realize (please see this article on sleep and stress). Find a way to get early nights, or find a routine and stick to it.

When I’ve been depressed in the past, I always remember that my sleep had been a contributing factor. Fatigue and depression, in my experience, go hand in hand (or to put it another way, I very rarely see someone who has had ample sleep, complaining about being depressed…). Having your 7-8 hours of sleep my be tricky to begin with, but your routine will eventually allow your subconscious to feel sleepy, allowing you to drift off once bed time takes place. To quickly get some energy during the day, you can do one of two things: Either meditate in Theta (I’ve found that the Theta level releases short bursts of healing and energizing energy. You can buy some Theta CD’s here) or do a quick session on EFT, which can also leave you feeling energized.

 

Gratitude

One thing I always try to do is to feel grateful for at least 5 things. Why? It helps you feel more alive with more energy due to it uplifting your soul, and it also helps you change your negative self-talk into positive self talk, which has numerous physical and mental benefits. The easiest thing to feel grateful for is having a nice home, or wearing some nice clothes, and then go from there. You can try being grateful for the crap in your life, because you now know what you don’t want (i.e. see the blessings in disguise). This allows you to make and act on a new choice, bringing more opportunity in your direction, which could also ultimately help remove the very thing that is causing you to be depressed to begin with.

 

Breathing/Mindfulness Meditation

By keeping positive imagery in your mind, and controlled belly breathing, you are able to retain your focus and keep yourself mildly energized. Being in the, ‘Now’ helps (or being present). Controlled belly breathing actually helps you feel more present and this by default helps reduce any stressful feelings your depression can sometimes spring (yes, one can lead to another…it does happen!). I’ve found a particularly useful way of keeping energized during the worst moments, when the negative, depressing induced imagery starts to take hold in your imagination, and you need to concentrate at the task in hand. Staccato Breathing is a great way on increasing energy levels (at least for the immediate short term) and helps with your cognitive abilities. Simply breath though your nose inwards, increasing the size of your belly initially, but moving upward so you feel your chest increasing as well (kind a’ like pouring water into a jug) and then reverse it breathing outwards (so chest first then belly second).

Do this 3 times, always inhaling and exhaling though your nose. When it comes to the forth attempt, inhale again, but when you exhale, use your mouth this time, and blow out short bursts of air (as if you are blowing out imaginary bubbles). This helps increase your energy and allows you to think more clearly. And the good thing about this technique, is that not only is it quick to do, you can also do it throughout the day.

Try the above things to help you throughout the day. Exercise and diet of course helps, but maintaining presence, or keeping positive mental imagery are also viable and powerful ways in keeping your inner personal power, and as a result your mood intact. You can also try Bach remedies, and if you are into a bit of NLP, try using mental anchors The trick is to keep yourself feeling powerful, and that change can and will take place. Over the years, I’ve been at my depressing worst when I feel that change will never take place, yet over time, (and the help of a good nights sleep;-) I have increased my personal willpower tenfold. Creative visualization can be a great way in helping re-programme your subconscious so that not only you believe in change, but you are inspired to take certain actions to make sure that changes takes place. Don’t forget to visualize effectively, try to use all 5 senses as much as possible, and feel the feelings of joy or love. As your subconscious uses emotions, this will help re-programme it more effectively. Give it a go and find out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised;-)

 

Your 7 Main Chakras Explained, And Why They Are Important To Your Health!

When it comes to stress and anxiety relief, there is a topic that few people want to get involved in. And the reason only a few people want to get involved in it is because it may challenge their very own core beliefs about the nature of divinity. By default, when anyone mentions or insinuates about the non-physical, people are either thinking you are talking about science, or even worse, death.

Yet, the very nature of who we are can help us in understanding out lives, our particular lifestyles and ultimately (sticking to the topic of stress relief) how to use it to feel more better, more energized and more healthier (and in some cases, more mentally sharp). The non-physical is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather embraced. And this shift in mentality can help us not only reduce stress and anxiety in our everyday lives, but also has a knock-on effect on other things as well (including using your very own body, arguably, as a manifestation tool…but that is for another day).

You see, at the risk of proselytizing, we are all spiritual beings (of some degree) in a physical body. And believe it or not, your whole body doesn’t just encompass the physical you (i.e. skin, organs etc…) but also the non-physical you. People who have had out-of-body experiences, or near death experiences will testify to this. This non-physical vehicle (if you will) help them, ‘float’ around and do all sorts of stuff. But you don’t have to be a mental or spiritual guy to feel your non-physical body. You can do it using various techniques.

Your physical body has points which allows Qi or life energy, to flow in to, ‘feed’ your organs, and these non-physical contact points between your physical body and your non-physical body, are known as,  ‘The Chakras’.

Now, some of you will already have been put of this article by this point. Unfortunately, some people are so strict with their beliefs (rightly or wrongly) that any mention of the non-physical is automatically associated with the almighty upstairs (or your own particular version). Now, I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you are not open-minded enough to consider the following article, I’m afraid this article may not be for you. But if you can suspend your beliefs for just a few minutes, you’ll find information that can help you reduce stress in numerous ways.

Having said that for some of you, what I’m going to say here will probably not be the first time you’ve heard this. For some people, they will already know what the Chakras are, and are probably even using other techniques (as well as the ones in this article) to help balance them out (more on that later). If that is the case, please see this as a gentle reminder, and nothing more;-)

If you do, on the other hand, want to know more about your Chakras, than keep reading. Hopefully you’ll take away a lot than you think, and although the exercises may seam downright insultingly obvious, it’s amazing to think how many people don’t know or even do this. Of course, as always, don’t be fooled by the simplicity. Your Chakras are powerful, and have more of an influence than you give them credit for. While I’m doing more research on the correlation between the Chakras and the subconscious (even I have questions about this subject that need answering, as the subconscious also has a big control over your body and your conscious thoughts and actions) needless to say that taking your Chakras into consideration when it comes to any form of negative relief (stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts) will greatly help in recovery and an automatic improvement in ones lifestyle. Try it and find out for yourself!

This is quite a long article (over 3300 words) and does talk primarily about your 7 main Chakras, what they do, and how you can balance them. If you do find that there are more tips you can add to this list, please feel free to let me know (I’m all for finding out more:-).

Now to begin with, you have over a 100 Chakras from places like your toes and your hands to above your head, but there are 7 main ones. Each one serves a big role in the development of your consciousness, as well as helping your emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual and physical needs. So your Chakras have a huge influence to you and your emotional well-being, stress levels, and your manifesting skills (if you are into anything like the law of attraction, but that is for another day;-).

Your Chakras are therefore responsible for your emotional well-being, as well as your general mood, how well you place yourself in society and how well you communicate to your loved ones and the public in general. Your Chakras are the, ‘jack of all trades’ so to speak. And don’t forget, your Chakras are the connection between your soul and your physical body.

There are so many great videos online on helping you open your Chakras, and whether you can tell if it is open or closed, but before I carry on, some quick terminology. When we say open or close down your Chakra, what we mean is opening or closing your vortex. Your Chakras are vortices swirling around like a funnel, and you can close one, open one up, and make one spin quicker or slower to stop any unbalances and therefore balance the Chakra which gives you the correct proportion of pure Qi energy flowing into your etheric body and therefore influencing your physical body. By contrast an unbalanced Chakra will give you too much or too little energy, which will negatively physically and emotionally influence you. And this will be reflected by the way, in your behavior.

Now your first Chakra is your Root Chakra, and is located at the bottom of your spine and is also the most physical one, and is the one which has the lowest vibration of energy and as a result the lowest wavelength. And that is because it is closer to the physical. Your root Chakra is really your connection to the physical world. Physicality is energy at it’s most slowest vibration.

Now if you were an energy healer, you would be able to see the colour red, as this Chakra emits a reddish hue. Now it does govern our physical energies, it governs our survival, securities, passions, our money, our job, really our vigour in life. When it is balanced, you do feel very secure, very stable, very grounded, you do tend to use very good common sense. When it is blocked, you are blocking the flow of life energy, you may ask very deep questions, for e.g., ‘Why am I here?’, you may feel disconnected towards life. And of course, your ability to manifest will be stuttered.

If it is over-active, it is the opposite. You will be very greedy, you’ll demand everything, you’re highly strung, almost aggressive, can be reckless and impulsive, even sexually manipulative. When it is under-active, you can be very tired, very lethargic, very weak, afraid of change, you lack confidence, fear of abandonment, all of these are psychological issues, and this is the thing about the Chakras, they will govern your psychology.

But you can open the Root Chakra, by visualizing a red flower opening and spinning, by dancing, you can stamp your feet for short periods of time, and you do feel more better as a result. You tend to feel more alive. Interestingly, when I did some research behind this, I discovered that the sense of smell is associated with the Root Chakra, so if you can smell very easily your Root Chakra may be very well balanced. Now how does it feel? Well your Root Chakra feels like a low hum down your spine, a bit tingly at times. You have to be really careful as this should be a good tingling sensation. If it is a bad tingling sensation, you could have a very serious medical condition. So with practice you should be able to differentiate between a good tingling sensation, and a bad tingling sensation. I’ve noticed that mine tingles in a nice way, certainly hearing some bass and listening to some types of music, as music often stimulated the Chakras.

The the next main Chakra above is near your sexual organs and is called the Sacral Chakra, and this is located near the sacrum and testes/ovaries that produce the various sexual hormones. Again, if you are an energy healer, or can see non-physical energy, the Sacral Chakra emits an orange colour.

This Chakra is involved in relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs and pleasure. It does mentally govern creativity, governs joy and governs enthusiasm, so again, psychological influences there.

You know when it is out of balance or blocked, when you are no longer enjoying life, you are very angry or frustrated, your suppressing your emotions, and in some cases no sexual desire, your lacking creativity, have feelings of guilt or jealously. If you do tend to be unemotional, or very stiff, (and we have all met people who are unemotional and are very stiff, they have like a poker facer!) that is also another symptom that this Chakra could be under-active.

If it is over-active on the other hand, you can be very emotional most of the time, you can be emotionally attached to other people and can be very sexual as a result.

There are many ways to open and balance this Chakra. You can take walks by an ocean or a lake, you can go swimming, you can have relaxing, aromatic baths, you can of course, visualize the colour orange, or an orange flower opening and spinning. And it goes without saying (at the risk of sounding unprofessional or intimate) you can even make love to yourself, or your partner to balance this Chakra.

How does it feel? You know when you feel sexual energy in your body. It’s similar to lust, you can feel it around your body, but most notably around your sexual organs.

The next Chakra is your Solar Plexus Chakra, (or sometimes called your Naval Chakra, as it is located above your navel, or belly button). The colour this Chakra emits is yellow. You would need to work on this if you lack self esteem, if you lack will power (if you give up easily), if you experience aggression, anger, if you have difficulty expressing your feelings, if you have trouble getting things done, stuff that comes to productivity and completion of projects.

Feeling tired can be an indication of an underused, or blocked Solar Plexus Chakra. If you have too many negative thoughts, suffer from anxiety, that could also be a symptom of a blocked, out of balance Chakra. It’s all about asserting yourself in a group, and if your Chakra is under-active, you do tend to be indecisive, sometimes passive.

Of course, if it is over-active, the complete opposite will occur, and you will be domineering at times, sometimes aggressive (and we have all met people who seem to dominate the group).

To open and balance this Chakra, you can take a walk in the sun, take regular walks, wear yellow clothes, do things that spark your interests and passions, and another great way is being in the, ‘Now’. When you are in the, ‘Now’, you feel that rush of Qi energy rushing into your body via your Solar Plexus Chakra.

Now the Chakra above, is your Heart Chakra and is located outside of your Heart. This emits a greenish hue and is also deemed the, ‘gateway to the spiritual world’ hence why if you come from love, (a little tip, if you can feel unconditional love for around a few minutes, not only will it help you to reduce your stress, but you can also reduce any future fear-based scenario. Out-of-body explorers already understand this) you are really using the spiritual world, which of course creates the physical world. We are in a spiritual multi-verse.

When it is opened, you feel love, kindness, compassion, you are affectionate, you’re very friendly, you work in harmony, and you work at creating harmonious relationships.

If it is closed, or out of balance, you can be very distant and cold (something I was guilty off in years gone by). You do need to work on it of course, if you have problems with relationships, if you have problems keeping friends, if you feel lonely all the time, if you feel unloved, if you are unable to love yourself and others and you have difficulty letting people into your life. You can also catch a cold quite easily because your Heart Chakra does tend to work in close relationship with your immune and nervous system, hence the psychological and health influences.

You can open or balance it in several ways. You can let go of negative people, not always easy of course…so you can do the next best thing, and forgive them (which helps you to love unconditionally) and letting go of anger from unwanted past experiences (forgiveness should help you with that as well). Wearing green clothing can sometimes open and balance your Heart Chakra as well as surrounding yourself with things you enjoy as well as imagining hugging someone you love and admire, and feeling that love spread across your body.

When you have opened the Heart Chakra or balanced it, you feel the feeling of love emanate from the vortex, and it will soon spread across your body. Feelings of fear soon dissipates, as fear cannot exist when you feel, ‘unconditional love’.

The next Chakra is the Throat Chakra, and is all about self-expression, and emits the colour light blue. It is located at the throat.

You know when you need to work on it, when you find it hard to express your self freely and find it hard to communicate, you can sometimes find yourself telling white lies most of the time; you find it difficult to listen to other people, your lacking in self esteem and have speech problems. You know when it is under-active when you don’t speak much, you are very introverted, perhaps shy, even not speaking your personal truth.

Opening or balancing your Throat Chakra can be achieved by singing out load very loudly, by speaking louder than usual, and by saying something as simple as, ‘Hi’. Not many people realize this… just saying, ‘Hi’ to people on the street is a great way of doing this. Reading poetry out loud is another great way of doing it, as well as standing firm in your opinions, in a non-argumentative way. If the opinion is going to create an argument, the best thing to do is to stop the opinion.

When it is open, you don’t have any problems in communicating, and may consider yourself to be a bit of an artist.

The next one is one that most people are curious with. It is often talked about, and one that has the most attention, and that is your 3rd Eye Chakra, located between your eyebrows, but slightly above.

It is all about insight and visualizing. When it is opened, you have very good intuition, but you may also tend to fantasize a lot.

You need to work on it if you are not very good at thinking for yourself, if you find yourself relying on other people, like your parents, and your friends; you may be rigid in your thinking and rely on your beliefs too much, which may lead to confusion. If you suffer from panic and anxiety attacks and you cannot think clearly or if you have trouble concentrating, and are having problems finding a purpose in life, this could also be an indication. Another indication is that you lack goals for example, if you lack faith or you cannot find your own inner voice.

One thing I read, is that it could be blocked or very imbalanced if you have learning disabilities or if you have hearing problems, so that’s worth bearing in mind (no pun intended;-).

If it is over-active, you tend to live in fantasy land too much, and in some cases may even hallucinate. If you are not careful, you do tend to lose focus very easily. The 3rd Eye Chakra is the gateway to intuition and higher perception and people who have a strong vibration with this Chakra are people we would call psychics. We are all psychics, and we all have that ability, but most of us have to work on it as you would do like a muscle.

It can be opened/ balanced by being in the, ‘Now’, which helps reduce mental chatter, or meditating with Yoga. Theta and Delta, brainwave states between 0.5hz to 7 Hz (the measurement of the electrical activity of your brain, commonly before you go to sleep and when you wake up) are also a good way of opening up this Chakra. Now unless you are a trained meditation expert, you would need CD’s to help you achieve Theta or Delta. A package I personally recommend is the ARVARI course, which not only helps you get to Delta (which lowers your mental noise), but also helps you reduce your stress and allows you to manifest a lot easily, as you are very close to your soul.

The feeling of an active 3rd Eye Chakra is the equivalent of someone gently tapping your forehead. It is like a tiny, throbbing sensation, and in some peoples cases, can cause small headaches if it is being opened, or balanced for the first time.

The final Chakra is one that is above your head, and is called your Crown Chakra, which emits a whitish hue and is your connection to source, higher consciousness, or essentially your soul.

Remember what I said about the root one being the lowest vibration? Well your Crown Chakra is your highest vibration because it is the vibration closest to your soul/higher self.

When it is blocked, unbalanced, you are not aware of your spirituality, you have very rigid thinking, you may even suffer from depression or a mental disorder, and you may have a weak immune system or you suffer from chronic fatigue.

On the other side, if you intellectualize a lot, obsessed with spirituality, or neglect your basic bodily needs, it may be over active and you may need to work on it.

When it is balanced, you do connect to your inner being, and you feel a oneness with divine source; you feel a sense of bliss, with an understanding of your life’s purpose. You become more aware of the beauty around you, with nature, and you feel its natural energy. You are happier because you are connected to the, ‘all that is’, and as a result, you don’t feel lonely. This means you are unprejudiced, and are aware of yourself and this world. You become very non-judgmental, and exhibit unconditional love.

To open this Chakra or balance it, you do need to meditate daily, it’s as simple as that! Take time to be still, being in the, ‘moment of now’ really helps. Try and be thankful and grateful for everything you are and have. By being thankful, you uplift your soul. This connects you more to the spiritual aspect of yourself very quickly. Again, being in Delta also helps in this case.

So, this is just a quick run-down of the Chakras, as they are pretty essential, not just to manifesting your reality, but also to your emotional, psychological and physical well-being. You can also help balance your Chakras when you have an out-of-body experience, by using the healing power of love to flow though your consciousness and direct it to one of your Chakras, and as a result, begin to self-heal in that way.

Combining your Chakras with other mental and emotional tools (like EFT, please see my article about it) will help you reduce your stress or depression, give your life purpose back to you, and allows you to not only recover from your illness, but lead a more healthier and happier lifestyle. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. You should be pleasantly surprised;-)