Live 2 Your Potential
Summer Solstice and Your 5 Senses
The month of June brings on Summer Solstice… Light and Renewed Energy.
A solstice happens when the sun’s zenith is at its furthest point from the equator. On the June solstice, it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.4 degrees. It’s also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere.
‘Solstice’ (Latin: ‘solstitium’) means ‘sun-stopping’. The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day. The solstice marks the first day of astronomical summer and, where I live, it occurred 10:24 pm on June 20th. Here is my Summer Solstice Sun Set.
I find that June brings on a rebirth for many. As the Summer and the Sun brings us energy and opportunity for more Vitamin D absorption – which helps improve our mental health, Summer helps me with positive mindset. Bringing in all of our senses is so powerful when we are shifting our mindset to positive. Summer brings us the opportunity to use all of our senses in a more heightened way.
Keeping your mental health in check could be a priority on your “to do list”. If you are like most people and you have no idea where to start here are a few tips using your Five Senses.
You don’t know how to meditate, you don’t know what foods to eat for mental health and you may not feel that you have the tools necessary to take any big steps.
I’m here to tell you that you have everything you need, right now. You have the tools to improve your mental health and they are literally within you. Best of all you can utilize them every day especially in the Summer Months. Here is how!
Taste and your Mental Health
When you plan your next meal, try to give yourself more time than you normally would. An extra half hour is a good place to start. Sit down, spend some time to enjoy. Eat slowly, with each bite, allow yourself to chew thoroughly, and then swallow before returning the fork.
Focus on the taste, how the food feels on your tongue and which area of taste buds responds the clearest to the flavor. Put all of your energy on experiencing the flavor of your food. With so many fresh foods available to us in the Summer, this is a perfect time of year to practice mindful eating and enjoy the process of fueling your body.
Smell and your Mental Health
Take in the summer scents. Leave your window open at night to bring in fresh air into your home. Take stock first thing in the morning before you get out of bed to breathe in the fresh scent of the morning dew or flowers blooming. Breathe in deeply 3 full breaths through your nose.
Going for a short walk in the morning, taking in the scents, also will give you a burst of mental and physical energy. At night, a relaxing walk taking in the different scents of evening with help relax your mind, while still providing strength training for your mental focus – as long as you remain aware of the way your sense of smell responds.
Hearing and Mental Health
Giving yourself a few minutes every day where you can go somewhere quiet is crucial for this step. This space doesn’t have to be absolutely silent, but it has to be still enough that you won’t be distracted by any major sounds. Once you’re there, try to shut off your other senses (closing your eyes will help) and just listen to your environment. Birds chirping, the sound of lawn mowers, airplanes over above, babbling brook, wind through the trees, all are sounds of summer.
You don’t necessarily have to identify each sound; just accept it, and follow its direction with your mind. If you can find a quiet enough place, you can possibly hear your own heartbeat and your own breathing (which is most definitely a spiritual experience). By doing this exercise you will experience mental stillness, which is vital for a health mind.
Sight and Mental Health
Now that you have mental stillness down, it’s time to ramp your brain activity back up. On your daily routine, take some time to look closely at the world around you. Try to view every person, place, and thing as a piece of art. Notice the lines and colors of buildings, admire the shape and color of bushes and plants. Enjoy the colors of a sunrise, sunset or the contrast of the white clouds amidst the blue sky.
See everything around you, and try to find beauty in things you normally wouldn’t. Using your sense of sight in a positive light will reinforce its importance to you and will remind you how to view the world in a way that will bring you true inner peace and happiness.
Touch and Mental Health
While your sense of feeling gives you pain and suffering, it also is capable of giving you the most positive simulations possible. Spend more time exercising your sense of touch. Run your hands/feet along different textures like blades of grass, dirt in your garden, pebbles on the beach.
Explore the temperatures of different objects like hot sand, cool lake water, warm pavement and cold glass of ice tea. Make more physical contact with your loved ones. Whether your children or your spouse, your connection with them is never complete without a sense of touch involved. A hug can bring so much positive energy. Focus on them for an ultimate sense of relaxation and gratitude. A positive sense of touch will do wonders for your mental health.