Sunshine Makes Us Happy!

SUN yantra Mandala, available at  holisticspaces.com

SUN yantra Mandala, available at holisticspaces.com

I've said it before, and it's pretty believable during summer months, but sunshine literally makes us happy. Think back to the last time you spent some time in the sun. When you step into the natural light and feel the warmth on your face, how do you feel? Do you feel content, maybe even blissful? I sure do! 

As it turns out, this happiness we get from spending time in the sun isn't just psychological. The presence of sunlight actually physically makes us happier! Here's how. 

Sunlight helps us produce serotonin, which is the chemical in our brains responsible for keeping us positive and happy. In many people who experience depression, serotonin levels are lower than normal, which results in a lower level of happiness. This also explains the phenomenon, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where people seem to be more depressed in the winter. What don't we see a lot of during the winter? That's right, the sun! Sunlight can help us all to produce the right amount of serotonin to keep our spirits high and our smiles wide. 

Based on studies across the world, sunlight can actually help to combat certain diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Of course, spending TOO much time in the sun can actually lead to skin cancer, but getting natural Vitamin D in smaller doses can help prevent certain cancers. In addition, being in warm sunlight can loosen the body's muscles and tendons, which can be helpful in easing the pain of certain conditions like arthritis. 

Sunlight gives us more energy. Spending time in the sun also affects another of our brain's chemicals, melatonin. If you've never heard of it before, melatonin is the substance our brains release when it's time to calm down and go to sleep. The sun suppresses this chemical, making us feel more energized, and therefore happier! 

There are countless other perks to spending time in the sun, but it's very clear that one huge benefit is that natural sunlight can make us happy. In fact, without it, many people tend to become depressed and suffer from low energy, so it seems that the sun is actually an integral part of our happiness. So get outside and soak up some healthy rays!

by Anjie Cho


Turn Your Home Into a Sacred Space

featured this week on Over the Moon 

image credit: Svyatoslava Vladzimirska/Shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Svyatoslava Vladzimirska/Shutterstock via Over the Moon

All of us deserve to have a sacred space that supports and nurtures—mind, body and soul. We all require homes that help regenerate and restore us, and it’s something we can share with others.

Chögyam Trungpa wrote,

“You should regard your home as sacred, as a golden opportunity to experience nowness. Appreciating sacredness begins very simply by taking an interest in all the details of your life.”

When you come home, recognize it as a sacred space for you to inhabit and take care of. Sometimes there are spaces in your home that you don’t dust, use or take care of. You can transform your home into a sacred space by taking notice of the sometimes ignored spaces in your home: the dark corners, the backs of closets or even dining room tables. These disregarded spaces tend to collect dead qi, or life force energy. It’s a good idea to take some time to regularly attend to these areas of your home. You can stir up the energy by dusting, shining a light, adding a plant, or even ringing a bell can create energetic vibrations to lift the qi.

Someone recently told me that it’s almost rude to not engage your sacred spaces, such as an altar. Pay special attention to the special areas that you forget about as well. Is your shrine collecting dust? It may reflect upon your spiritual life. Since stoves represent wealth and health, if yours has not been used in months, that may mean that your wealth and nourishment is not as healthy as it can be. Even a vase of dead, wilted flowers may signal sadness and lack of joy.

Taking an interest in the mundane details of your home may require you to let things go. When an object has fallen to disarray and no longer can serve its role, thank that item and let it go!

Remember—everyone deserves to have a sacred space. Simply pay attention and be conscious, especially of the smallest details. 

by Anjie Cho


Holistic Spaces + Jacq's Organics GIVEAWAY

The giveaway includes: 

  • 1- Signed book 108 Ways To Create Holistic Spaces by author Anjie Cho
  • 1- Holistic Spaces Aromastick
  • 1- Sampler that includes a Happy Mist, Clarity Mist & a Clearing Mist
  • 1 - 8 oz Lune Candle
  • 1 - 8 oz Le Soliel Candle

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!

GOOD LUCK!

Start date: July 13, 2015 (12:00 a.m. Eastern Time)

End date:  July 21, 2015 (12:00 a.m. Eastern Time)

Oranges Are Happy

I recently launched a new apothecary section in the Holistic Spaces Store, and one of my first products is the HAPPY room mist.

Holistic Spaces worked with Aromatherachi to create unique blends for each of the mists for our apothecary, creating scents to support and enhance the energy in any interior environment.  Our formula no.1 HAPPY is a blend of orange essential oils and clear quartz crystals for uplifting abundance and positivity. We used oranges for this scent because they provide positive and life-affirming energy to lift your mood, and added 9 pieces of Clear quartz in each bottle to support positive transformation.

But why orange oil for a scent called "Happy?" When you peel an orange…how does the orange peel smell make you feel? Happy, bright and cheery, right? In feng shui, we use oranges in many adjustments. They’re used for space energy clearings and to uplift the qi of an environment. The yang quality of the scent of oranges invokes positivity, happiness and brightness like the brilliant sun at high noon. 

Neal’s Yard Remedies also notes that orange essential oil is beneficial if you have trouble getting things done and are lazy about making changes in your life. Orange oil can hurry the sluggishness, so the “tenor of your life will also begin to change as you become more optimistic and purposeful." There are scientific, historical and symbolic explanations for this too!

On the scientific end, oranges are a fruit high in vitamin C. One orange can provide 90% of the daily recommendation. Plus, in Alice Water’s Chez Pannise Fruit book, she tells us that oranges are seasonal year round. If they’re available year round, they can brighten up even the darkest of winter days and provide much needed immune system support no matter what the season. Not to mention they smell awesome! Actually, The Food Lover's Companion tells us that the word "orange," comes from a transliteration of the sanskrit, "naranga," which is derived from the Tamil, "naru," or "fragrant." That, they are! 

When we smell a fragrance, that olfactory information is delivered directly to our limbic systems and hypothalamus, producing deep emotional and behavioral transformations. Studies have linked the smell of oranges to improved emotional and immune responses, serving as everything from anti-depressants to energizing and revitalizing agents. In fact, a 2000 study in a dental office found patients experienced reduced anxiety during visits when orange oil was diffused. 

Oranges are significant historically and symbolically as well. Having originated in China, oranges are considered by the Chinese culture to be symbols of good luck and auspiciousness. Oranges are also associated with wealth in China, since the Chinese term for "orange" rhymes with the term for "gold." For this reason, they are very popular during the Chinese New Year and are shared freely to encourage nationwide wealth and good luck. 

Oranges are round in shape as well, so they are associated with the pure, never-ending cycle of a circle and are considered to be a symbol of completeness as well as to provide bright, positive energy to any space. Even now, oranges and other citrus fruit are used to brighten food and the visuals on a plate..

It's not difficult to see why oranges hold so much importance in some cultures. All natural, sweet, filling and an easy way to add color.  What do you think? Does this energizing citrusy aroma of sweet oranges make you happy?

by Anjie Cho