simple pleasure of the week: setting a mood


I have had a busy few weeks to say the least. With students returning to CSUMB, my husband getting a new job, and putting our house on the market (Yes, we are moving! Up to the Bay Area I think. More to come as this develops!); I can feel stress building up in my body.  I try to create a moment in time to relax and focus my attention inward. It feels like a ritual to me, I use all five senses to alleviate stress in both my mind and body. For smell I light a candle or use my diffuser. For sight I look out my window or get a fire going in the fireplace. For sound I play my favorite calming music. For taste I make myself some tea. And for touch I will put on my comfy bathrobe and socks. We have spoken a bit about how to use your senses to de-stress in the past, but you can use these different senses to change your mood to whatever is needed. If you want to feel energized pick a citrus scent for your candle or diffuser, choose more uplifting music, put on an outfit that makes you feel good, and/or drink some cold water with lemon. To create a mood for focus try a scent with cinnamon or mint, which are known to increase attentiveness. As for sound, songs without lyrics are said to be helpful for concentration. Without words there won't be distraction from the task at hand or from your thoughts. Drink water. Apparently, dehydration leads to a lack of focus and short term memory issues. No matter what mood you want to set, it is best to achieve that without distraction from the internet or social media. Setting a mood is about clearing pathways in the brain and setting aside unnecessary distraction. Try turning off technology, or at least the unecessary open tabs if you need to be productive, and focus on this moment you have created. This whole simple ritual takes less than 15 minutes and is a wonderful way to put me in the right state of mind.