It is, yet again, that time of year when societal tides begin to turn. We’ve officially entered that too fast transition from living life through the lens of indulgence to having to focus on wellness, structure, and personal goals. We know the pattern all too well—dash around like mad through holiday mobs, stressing through last-minute shopping and wrapping up loose ends before transitioning into that no-man’s land, day-less week between Christmas and New Year’s they now refer to as “Twixmas” which isn’t named after a Twix bar, though it might as well be given that you likely spent the entire time digging through the kids’ leftover Halloween bucket or that See’s Candy box your Aunt Myrtle gifted you for lack of any better ideas; then drinking too much, sleeping too much or too little, and eventually just morphing into the left side of the couch. From December 26 to January 1st, you and the couch became one, stuffed full of pie, fast food, chocolate bars, and stale buttered rolls. Not our finest hour and yet it’s just what we needed. From this bleak but awesome time period we rise, on the first of January (or, in 2022, that would be Monday, January 3rd) with the urge to rapidly eschew all the damage of the holidays in one transformative week. Probably not the best way to go about this, but we are stubborn creatures of mostly bad habits so we’re going with it. Ready or not, here it is. The time to foster the new you. ‘New year, new you’ as they say.
We tend to hear a lot about wellness trends. Some old school—diet, exercise, water, sleep!—and some more “New Age”—Reiki, vibrational sound therapy through tuning forks or sound bowls, and even brute physical practices à la The Wim Hof Method. These wellness methods are more spiritual than scientific at times, making one understandably skeptical.
But let’s back up. What even is wellness?
To sum it up, wellness is a 1.5 trillion dollar market with good intentions. Market research out of McKinsey & Company shows that we value wellness based on six pillars: health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. Focusing on strengthening these pillars, then, for all intents and purposes, is what it means to be well.
Research has shown that conversations surrounding wellness look differently between the sexes. These discussions, for men more so than women, tend to center around the physical. The underlying message in wellness content geared to men seems to focus more on enhancing physical performance and less so on spiritual wellness. Additionally, study findings have noted that men have more difficulty embracing more new age-leaning techniques. In particular, one of the major movements which tends to be most overlooked by men is that of intuitive crystals.
The integration of crystals into western mainstream wellness movements may be part of new-age spiritual trends, but in fact, this practice has a vast, global history. Crystal traditions are passed along generationally in Indigenous cultures and are mentioned in ancient Vedic and Egyptian texts as sources of energy and protection. One way to look at crystals is as a way to fuse your spiritual needs with the physical realm—a space wherein there exists an abundance of opportunity for you to tap into meditative energy.
These days, spiritual gurus and current wellness enthusiasts cite crystals as an overall intuitive tool or spiritual aid to use during a routine. An example of this would be to set an intention with a crystal, by itself or in a daily routine, and use it as a spiritual guide. Findings show that doing so can be good for your brain. Consider the scientific study of neuroplasticity and epigenetics: the idea that we can change our thinking patterns as well as alter our genetic expression through changes in our environment and behavior.
Epigenetics and neuroplasticity allow humans to learn how to self-regulate their nervous systems, which plays a crucial part in developing physical and mental wellness. In this particular context, using specific crystals as an overall wellness tool through setting intentions and mindful meditation can be a great way to help re-write our perspectives, shift our energy, and help us feel good. Mindfulness and meditation are some of the best methods that humans can use in order to create neuroplasticity changes, brain re-wiring, and general feelings of wellness. Similar to your biceps, your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised, and this is one easy way to do it. It is as simple as picking a crystal, setting an intention, and creating a daily affirmation to repeat.
Furthermore, there is some interesting science to add to the idea of drawing energy from them. One practice is the idea of using energy from a crystal to help influence our own. Before you get too skeptical, consider that crystals, like some other solid materials, actually carry an electric charge known as piezoelectricity. This supports the overall idea of crystal energetics and may be a key reason why they are widely adopted through the lens of new-age wellness practitioners. Not to mention the recent quantum physics breakthrough of time crystals (#what) and the fact that they represent a new phase of matter. Though they are different in energetic properties to regular crystals, these scientific facts prove that there is definitely something interesting happening at an atomic level with these things.
Despite it sounding like the plot of the next Marvel movie, it’s fair to say that crystals have energy and the idea would be to tap into it. This is where “crystal types” come into play, because different crystals are used to support different areas of our lives: health, love, protection, and clarity are some of the most requested. The best suggestion would be to pick a crystal type that focuses on the area of your life that you want to change and use it as an energetic tool in conjunction with intuitive meditation. At the very least, crystals can help integrate a mindfulness and meditative wellness routine into your life. Perhaps not a bad way to start your new year. If nothing else, keeping your mind open to new possibilities is half the battle.
READY TO DO A CRYSTAL DEEP DIVE? HERE ARE SOME STARTER PICKS
Smudge Wellness is a fantastic go-to for a la carte crystals to get you started. Below are some of our favorite basic crystals:
- Black Tourmaline: Used for overall energetic protection and grounding.
- Rose Quartz: Used for love, aura cleansing, nurturing, and heart-opening to all types of relationships.
- Amethyst: Stress and anxiety relief, regeneration, and can help break negative thoughts.
- Clear Quartz: The healing stone and energy amplifier. Keep clear quartz with your other crystals to intensify them.
- Pyrite: To help attract financial abundance, protection, wealth, and good fortune—use especially when channeling new opportunities.
- Citrine: Good for self-esteem and health.
- Verdite: Association with the solar plexus, heart, root, and sacral chakras. This is used for strength, reliability, and body wellness.