6 Tips for the Best Bath & 12 Ingredients to Add
When people think of an ideal way to relax, a nice hot bath is usually what comes to mind. However, there are a few lesser-known tips and tricks that can take your bath from a simple relaxation to a full-blown healing, medically therapeutic investment!
Before you dive in, however, be sure you follow these tips for the best cleansing bath you’ve ever had:
1. Some like it hot…but not too hot!
How hot can you stand it? For some, if it feels like bathing in a bubbling cauldron of bliss, it’s just the right temperature. But did you know that superheated baths actually get your nervous system revved up? In actuality, there’s a threshold of heat where the relaxation is just a bit of an illusion. If you’re pregnant, this is especially important; keep your baths to a maximum of about 37˚C (100˚F) — just barely above body temperature!
Not only is your nervous system…well, a little nervous, but homeostatically it can be a bad idea to start boiling your system. Contrary to popular belief, if you can’t sleep, a piping hot bath is actually more likely to keep you awake than soothe you to sleep.
The most relaxing baths are not quite piping hot. If you are bathing for sedation or specifically to help you sleep, keep the temperature easy on your body.
2. Keep it cool
Ever feel wilted and sluggish after a hot bath? You may have even gotten a headache afterwards. Avoid this post-bath syndrome by keeping your head, hands, feet, or all three cool with a cold washcloth, ice cubes wrapped in a towel, or pouring cold water on these spots on occasion. They are your body’s ideal spots to release heat, which is important.
Your body isn’t actually too fond of getting too hot when it doesn’t have a chance to release heat. This creates an artificial fever. An artificial fever has its uses, but it can also have some unpleasant side effects, such as headaches. Give your body some opportunity to shed some heat. Your core body temperature will still go up (and you’ll get the benefits of that), but it will cause less physiological stress. You may be quite surprised at how much this improves your experience.
3. Make it a massage time
Treat yourself completely with a little self-massage, perhaps to release tension in trigger points. You can try something like a self-abhyanga massage after your bath, or you bring a ball into the bath with you and trap it under your body to apply pressure to stiff and aching muscles. Simply run a warm bath, and trap a ball between your body and the bottom or back of the tub to rub your back muscles — your buoyancy allows for excellent control over moderate pressures without being too intense.
4. Stay hydrated, my friends!
Guess what? Even if your bath is only slightly warmer than your body, your systems start to attempt to cool you off in the way it knows best: sweating! You can end up losing a lot of valuable fluid this way, so do yourself a favor and drink plenty of liquids before, during and after to replenish your body.
Choose liquids that are indeed hydrating rather than any diuretics, such as caffeinated tea, alcohol (sorry, bath wine!), or coffee. Instead, try a refreshing cool lemon water! This way, you will also help avoid a post-bath headache.
5. Lower back love
If you have lower back pain, a hot bath is the treatment for you! It’s even better than trying to ice it (which might even be on the harmful side).
The myth that a hot bath will only worsen the “inflamed” back is simply not true. The great majority of low back pain is essentially muscular in nature, contrary to the popular and mistaken view that it’s usually caused by something “mechanical” like a intervertebral disc herniation. Specifically, the cause of most back pain is myofascial trigger points (“knots” in your muscles), which can cause far more grief than most people realize — and yet they are relatively treatable. A little reassurance, rubbing, and a hot bath go a surprisingly long way, even with the most horrendous case of low back pain. A hot bath is amazingly good therapy for back pain, and the price sure is right.
Once again, trigger points are eased by heat, and usually irritated by cold.
6. Deep bath breathing
What better place to “blow off steam” breathing than in the bath? Controlling your breath moves energy throughout your body, and with the right technique, can be a hugely helping hand in relaxation.
Conscious, deeper breathing is always relaxing, grounding, and embodying. It can make you more comfortable in your own skin. But it seems to be particularly effective in a hot bath.
Now that you’re a bath pro, discover what bath ingredient is best for you! For example, did you know that by adding tea bags into your bath, you can help your body balance its energy and hormones, aid in clearing it of toxins, and also provide the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants? Check out this infographic, and see what ingredients you’d like to start trying.
7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Negativity
At some point in your life, you’ve encountered a negative person. It may be that you have a negative person in your life at this very moment, whether it be a spouse, family member, co-worker, friend or even a stranger. An encounter with a negative person can be emotionally taxing. These people can imprint their negativity onto you in such a way that may leave you feeling sad, angry, afraid, or completely drained of energy. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As there are many reasons behind a person’s negativity, there are also many ways to protect yourself from that negativity.
There is a well-known idea that our thoughts are responsible for creating our reality. The more I thought about this, the more I saw the actions of negative people in a much different light. I started to think that it isn’t the negativity of the people that are bringing me down and draining my energy, but rather how I allow their negativity to affect my life. What I found is, by not allowing the negativity of others to impact me, the less I experienced, because I no longer attracted it.
Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. It’s the negative person’s choice to be negative, just as it’s your choice of how you respond to the negative person. If someone says something negative to you, whether it be discouraging you on your goals and dreams, saying something disrespectful, or even making you feel less than what you really are, your first impulse may be to feel hurt, angry, or perhaps a sudden hatred toward that person. All of those are negative reactions, which subliminally enhances the negative person even more. Our bodies are reactors that radiate and transfer energy onto others. Even if we don’t verbally respond to the negative person, we still absorb their negativity into our psyche. Here are seven ways we can deflect the negativity and protect our own emotional well-being:
Use the Power of Affirmations
During a negative encounter, say to yourself, “I choose not to allow this person to impact me in a negative way.” Imagine a beautiful white light surrounding you as it creates a barrier to prevent the negativity from seeping through.
Know That You Are Not At Fault
If the negative person is making you feel discouraged or not worthy, know it’s no fault of your own. Usually, when one attacks our dreams, desires, goals, and ambitions, it’s a sign that they’re not where they want to be in their own lives. Instead of allowing them to transfer negativity onto you, try talking to them about why you want to pursue what you’re doing and even encourage them to reach for the stars, too.
Send a Loving Thought
We may have a random encounter with a stranger who has an unpleasant attitude or could’ve had a bad day and is taking it out on anyone they can. (Unfortunately, that person happens to be you.) Before engaging the person, imagine the beautiful white light barrier and silently use the affirmation, “I choose not to allow this person to impact me in a negative way.” This prevents absorbing the negativity the person is emitting.
Smile, be friendly, and stay calm. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to stabilize their mood. When the person is no longer in contact with you, silently send a loving thought to them hoping that their day will become better.
Think Something Positive
Often, an encounter with a negative person will leave lasting effects long after the initial encounter. Perhaps something happened with a person at the start of the day that really made you angry. As your day goes on, you keep thinking about it over and over again. You’re upset, and you can’t shake it from your mind. It’s these particular types of encounters that leave one feeling the most depleted of energy because the situation is on instant replay.
I’ve found the best solution is to shift the mind. If you keep dwelling on that negative moment, immediately think of something positive: something or someone that brings you joy, like a loved one, a pet, nature, a favorite movie or a hobby.
Trigger the Brain
Shift your train of thought by thinking about what happened in the last chapter of a book that you’re currently reading, or by mentally reciting the lines to a favorite song. This causes the brain to divert its attention and keeps the negative thoughts at bay.
Silence the Ego
You may feel the urge to fight or argue with the negative person. Perhaps you think that you’re right and they’re wrong, or you’ll feel better by standing your ground. It’s actually combat of the ego-mind: in most circumstances it only makes you feel worse, as all it does is fuels the fire for the other person. When they sense your anger, they feed off it by taking your energy. This gives them more power and leaves you feeling drained.
Withdrawing from an argument doesn’t make you weak, and you don’t need to prove you’re right. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?”
Simply say “I’m sorry you feel this way.” If possible, either walk away or leave the room. Once out of sight, silently send loving thoughts to the person. You don’t have to absorb their anger. Dismiss it and let it go. Usually, the argument will naturally dissipate.
If these practices sound too easy, it’s because they are! The human mind thinks that every solution needs to be complex in order for it to work. Far too much time is spent thinking and searching for the correct way to solve negativity (or anything in the world, for that matter), when in fact each of us is made up of the very ingredients of a solution.
That solution is love. Radiate love. Be love. Love is what ultimately heals us all.
There will always be negativity in the world. It’s the Yin and Yang of life. If someone doesn’t like or agree with something that you did or would like to do, then that’s their conflict, not yours. What they think is right may not be right for you, and everyone’s entitled to their own choice. No matter how negative the opinions of others are or how you may be perceived by them, know this: you’re a beautiful, magnificent being and you’re so loved – and that’s the absolute truth.