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Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary's Karina Stewart

Karina Stewart – master of traditional Chinese medicine and founder of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary – offers tips on how to find balance and calm during periods of stress or change.


Take time to just be

Taking time every day to do nothing and just be has got to be one of my favorite things – just to be by myself, resting in silence, peace and serenity, even if only for 10 minutes. During these moments of stillness and presence, I find myself reconnecting to myself and to life all around me and gratitude naturally arises within. The immersion in nature during this process is something I find most supportive – listening to the sounds of birds, smelling the scents of plants and flowers and allowing all of my senses to expand as if absorbing myself in nature helps bring me fully into the present moment and slows me down.

Sleep well

Make a good eight hours of restful sleep a night your number-one priority. Getting enough sleep is vital for prevention, management and treatment of various health imbalances. An inadequate amount of sleep has been associated with a weaker immune system, higher risks obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes and even colon cancer. Research has shown that we recover best when we go to bed between 9 and 10pm, allowing our bodies to wake rested in the early morning.

Get moving

Make sure you get sufficient movement in every day, whether it is walking, swimming, dancing or stretching. It should be something you really enjoy doing. Try and make time for 45 minutes daily – ideally outdoors in nature, as this will have a large impact on your overall health and wellbeing.

Load up on veggies, eliminate sugars

Food also affects our moods and emotions. Improper diet and specific eating habits will contribute to disruptions and imbalances, while improving our diet, nutrition and eating habits can have a positive impact on our emotional balance. To ride your way through challenging times try to eliminate sugar from your diet altogether. This includes corn syrup, fructose, and sugary foods and beverages such soft drinks, pastries and candy as well as refined carbohydrates, which are basically just broken down into sugar. These foods provide only short-lived energy bursts with little to no nutrient value. They also disrupt blood sugar balance, which leads to mood swings.

Take a fresh breath

One great way to slow down and to stay in balance is to pause what you are doing and take 10 long and deep abdominal breaths. Ideally, pause for two minutes every hour throughout the day.

Bend, sit and breathe

Gentle mind-body practices such as yoga, meditation and breath therapy will help you become free of stored anger, tension and stress. Practiced regularly, they are a very effective way to bring about and sustain emotional balance.


The best mantra for a positive emotional state is to smile. Even when you are going through a troubled mental process, make a physical effort to smile and breathe. This will ease your body and hence your perceptions, and will increase clarity of thought.

Join Karina and the MiNDFOOD team at our first MiNDFOOD Sydney Reader dinner in association with Kamalaya at Three Williams on October 29.  Purchase tickets at 

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