How to Take Care of Yourself During Unprecedented Times (Part One: Emotional Health and Gratitude)
by Dr. Shiaoting Jing, O.M.D., Ph.D
Thank you for allowing TCM Healing Center to care for you and your family during this tough time. We all must hold hands (figuratively!) and stay united to get through this. Today, I’d like to discuss the first of several different ways on how to take care of yourself and stay healthy.
We always try to keep ourselves healthy by eating healthily, exercising, taking supplements, etc. - especially during this pandemic time, even more so than ever. In addition, though, I really believe that one’s emotional health is extremely critical for one’s overall health. We must focus on how to keep our minds clutter-free, less fearful, more proactive, and happy. This is the key to maintaining balance for optimal physical health.
It is okay to be happy! UCLA research experts say that now and more than ever, it's important to focus on our emotional health. Happiness can increase motivation, creativity, and enhance problem-solving.
Happiness is not only a personality and mood; it is also the discipline to fight off negative thoughts and having a good habit of implementing it as part of your regular lifestyle. You may be asking me, “Dr. Jing, how do I achieve this?” A few simple practices bring good emotional and physical harmony, such as:
Practice being thankful for the good things in your life, whether big or small. As human beings, we very easily turn to negative thoughts first and easily forget that we have precious gifts to be grateful for. Take this moment to remind yourself that we should be thankful simply for the air we breathe in, the food and water we eat and drink, and the family relationships that hold us together.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, it can be very frustrating for everyone. Let’s keep in mind that in many places and countries such as India, South Africa, and more, people do not even have soap to wash their hands or have the space to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. Many people do not have the proper resources or enough food to nourish and sustain their bodies.
Count Your Blessings
Everyday, think of three positive words to say out loud, such as love, grateful, kind, peace, and more. Enjoy and love everything you do and show compassion and happiness to everyone you meet. Your true happiness will increase by threefold. In the world, I consider a person lucky if you have a happy and peaceful mind and a healthy body with enough food.
Practice smiling 3-5 times per day. Even if you don’t feel like it, do it! Research shows that this improves both mood and health.
Practice slow and deep breathing in any kind of form. For example, we can follow the “TCM Six Sounds Breathing Meditation” method. It is very beneficial in clearing organs from stagnation. When you breathe in and exhale the sound “Shu” (or “Xu,” in pinyin form), it is a very powerful way to stabilize your mood. Let me know if you would like a demonstration in the future to follow!
Good quality sleep is very important for one’s physical and mental health! Sleep before 11:00 PM and get up around 7:00 AM. Deep sleep helps to regulate the Liver channel, Gallbladder channel, and Large Intestine channel. Our body is naturally smart to detox during the liver hours, and good quality sleep allows the liver to do its job. At the start of a new day between 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM, the large intestine channel engages and continues to eliminate toxins. Having plenty of rest boosts your overall mood.
Read a Book
Now, I’d like to share a book recommendation from the author Dr. Masaru Emoto called “The True Power of Water”. After reading his book, it gave me some answers to happiness - a powerful foundation of healing. I highly recommend reading this. Enjoy it! Buy book here
There is also a beautiful YouTube video which shows the different water crystal formations produced when different words or intentions such as “love,” “thank you,” and “happiness” are projected in the presence of water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVWv1KZ7ypQ . This shows us how positive thoughts and emotions can affect the world at a physical level.
In Part 2, I will be discussing the importance of a balanced physical body. In the meantime, let’s all practice having a powerful mind, gratitude, and counting our blessings.