Listen everyone! Stress is not going anywhere. We live in such a faced paced society that sooner or later you are bound to feel the effects that stress can take on a person. The important thing to note is that you can create a sense of calm and peacefulness even in stressful situations. Here are 10 steps that I use to stay happy and focused even when it seems like everything is exploding all around me, by doing these simple things, I ensure that the negative effects of stress do not cause stress damage within me.
1. Breathe deeply; The way you breathe is the way you live your life. Breathing heightens our awareness and will encourage the release of many long held tensions. Go ahead and let it out in your breath...it feels great and it massages the muscles involved in respiration.
2. Drink plenty of water; Being in water is a healthy experience, and giving our cells enough water is healthy as well. Water is important so that the minerals can wash out waste that is accumulated. Water is a life enhancing elixir and helps our immune system to function effectively.
3. Enjoy Aromatherapy; Natural oils and scenst can help to calm our nerves and relax us. I love fresh oil of lavender to help calm me when I am feeling tense. The olfactory portion of our brain is closely related to our limbic system, this is the ancient primitive part of the brain where our emotions are stored. Only use 100% pure essential oils and never use synthetic oils in aromatherapy, synthetic ingredients can cause more stress to your nervous system.
4.Move your body to some healing music; I love doing my Yoga and Pilates to calming healing sounds of nature. Music has a power to me that restores, calms and even tames the wild beast called stress. The key for me is to allow myself to get into the music, I do not listen with my mind, but with my heart and my gut and I just let the music fill me. I let it permeate my being and I let it sweep me away. I listen with openness and expectation, and as I do this I also release my tensions and emotions.
5. Eat only whole foods; When we are experiencing stress, many nutrients are used up in the high energy process. It is very important for us to replenish the nutrients that are lost by eating high quality foods. When we eat nutritious foods, we provide organic molecules that can used in the production of raw materials that are needed for building and repairing our body parts.
6. Exercise daily and keep the body moving; Movement is one of our basic expressions of energy output. Everything within us is moving, our lungs expand, our heart pumps, our cells transport and so forth. We were made to move. When we do not move our body, we halt our ability to be well at optimal levels. Think about a river that stands still, still water gets stagnant, moving water cleanses itself and anything that is moving can constantly channel energy. Get moving today!
7. Practice meditation; Meditation helps me to connect with my senses. It helps me to center myself and to come into union with that which is sacred to me. I like Yoga because Yoga is about union. In every pose, we seek to create a union between opposing forces.
8. Confront and accept you fears; Fear is a non specific reaction to real or imagined pain. When we allow stress to take root within us, most of the time, we are reacting to fear of the unknown, in our mind we are thinking...what if...When we allow fear to take root, we will experience stress damage because we are anticipating the worst. Ask yourself, is my fear based on fact? Is there anything I can do about it now? And what are some possible solutions? Most of the time when we face our fears it helps us to work towards possible resolutions and keeps you in control.
9. Change your thought patterns; It is very important to change irrational belief systems that we fall into, because these thought patterns can add to our stress. Unrealistic expectations, jumping to conclusions, taking things personally and equating feelings with facts can lead us down a trail of hurt and pain. Negative thought patterns will show up as physical symptoms, so it is very important to get a grip on those thoughts if you are going to manage stress.
10. Think creatively; when I am stressed, I try to find new ways of looking at situations and I look for creative ways to solve the issue. There are some things that will happen in life that are beyond our control, but one thing that is in our control is how we look at the situation and how we choose to respond.
I love Yoga! I love taking my body places I never imagined it could go. I love the feeling of wellness that envelops me as I practice. I love the serenity that comes to me as well. Yoga is derived from the sanskrit root yuj meaning union. In yogic terminology, this union connotes the union of one’s soul with the Supreme Soul or the Supreme Power called God. I love the connection that I feel holistically as I practice Yoga. Here are some of the benefits I have noticed:
Yoga purifies the body and the mind
Yoga increases self-control, self-discipline, and self-confidence
Yoga improves the physical and mental health
Yoga enables one to manage his body and mind well
Yoga cures a wide array of diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, kidney and lung diseases, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, metabolic and endocrine imbalances, allergies, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress, Parkinson's disease, insomnia, arthritis, hernia, infertility, depression & anxiety.
Yoga strengthens the immune system.
Yoga’s key constituent Pranayama activates the parasympathetic nervous system
Yoga takes one towards a healthy lifestyle
Yoga enhances strength and stamina
Yoga reduces stress and tension
Yoga perks up the concentration power
Yoga reduces Fat, Weight and alleviates weight related problem
Yoga improves blood circulation
Yoga decreases cholesterol
Yoga decreases the pulse rate and the respiratory rate
Yoga increases Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), Cardiovascular Efficiency, Respiratory Efficiency, Hemoglobin, and Thyroxin
Yoga improves posture, memory, and intelligence
Why practice Yoga? I say why not!
We live in a very busy society, and we are constantly wired in one way or another. The truth is that our busy, wired life is a contributing factor to many of the illnesses and disease that are prevalent today. Our body must have time to repair itself, and this is done when we are in a state of rest. Ask yourself this question is my busy, wired life really worth my wellness? If you do not ask this question now, in the future you will be asking was my busy wired life really worth it all.
Now is the time to come back to the center and to glean from the basics of life. Peace can truly be found in simplicity. Our body functions at its maximum level when we get enough rest and sleep. Most people need at least 7-8 hours of sleep at a time, and this is because our body is using this sleep cycle to center itself and balance. Our immune system is hard pressed to keep up its work and it is very hard to do so when it is constantly stimulated.
While we are sleeping we experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep states and non-REM sleep, alternating between light sleep and deep dream states. This is how we process the mental and emotional events of the previous day and refresh our minds for the day ahead. When we do not get enough sleep, our immune functions can be compromised and this will ultimately lead to illness and disease. If you are not well rested, you will be off balance and you will not be centered. In everything that we do in life there must be a center, a focal point a nucleus so to speak.
It is from this nucleus that life is given and we are energized. Today, come back to the center and live a life of energy and optimal wellness..Holistically
One of the aspects I enjoy about mind body fitness is the focus on the breath. The focus is on the breathing because breathing provides a link between our somatic and autonomic nervous systems. Our body, breath and mind are all interconnected. We would not even be able to move a finger without it first originating in our mind what it is we are about to do. Breathing from our diaphragm truly helps us to maintain balance.
Most of the time in many disease the cause is found to be a lack of oxygen to our cells. We must truly invite breath into our body and to inhale from our nose and exhale through our mouth. This ensures that we are getting the proper balance of oxygen to the parts of our body that need it. We have the ability to regulate our breath. When we breathe wrong, we create blocks in various parts of our body and these blockages hinder the full flow of Chi in our life. When we learn to breathe from our core, we are then able to loosen up these obstructions so that the life force can freely flow.
Breath control is truly important to our overall fitness and wellness. When you learn to breathe properly your daily exercise seem more enjoyable because you are allowing yourself to flow and just breathe. Breathe deeply from your core and enjoy a life full of energy and balance.
Lets take a walk. I find walking to be a peaceful form of exercise, and when we add the component of mindfulness we can maximize our every step. Most of the time, many take the benefits of a simple walk for granted.
Walking is a form of body movement that will provide benefits in a very holistic way. As I walk, I love to observe nature all around me. I breathe in the fresh air through my nostrils and exhale through my mouth. I intently open up my senses so that I can be aware of something as simple as a squirrel gathering food, or a butterfly passing by.
I even take the time to notice how the dew sits on the leaves. I listen as the birds chirp and I also am mindful of the wind as it gently blows by. Mindfulness walking makes me happy, it fills me with a sense of awareness of my surroundings that is quite liberating and comforting.
As I am walking I realize that there is truly a purpose for everything under the sun and that truly includes me. I focus on my breath as I am walking and I believe that this is the reason for such a wonderful experience, it is almost as if the universe is greeting me as I walk by and I feel very connected.
Walking truly allows one to just BE in that very moment and that is truly a stress buster. We tend to scurry in our society never really taking the time to be aware, mindfulness walking will create that awareness you so need and desire.
We all have a perspective of life. Sometimes we allow our perspective to lean more towards the negative than we should, when we do this, we also affect our mood in a negative way as well. Speaking positive affirmations to our self is a great way to change your perspective and alter your mood for the positive. I like to encourage myself daily, because if I wait for someone else to do it...well it may not come. If I am sitting in a traffic jam(which I hate) I shift my focus on to something positive.
If I am out around town or at work and I come in contact with someone with a negative attitude, I shift my focus to something more becoming. What ever it is that you meditate on the most, that is the thing that will occupy your mind, seep into your heart and ultimately affect your behaviour. Choose to meditate on things that are beautiful, encouraging and productive. I could sit in traffic and scream, get really angry and think about all the reasons why I hate being in that situation, or I could just shift my focus to how I am going to have a relaxing lunch, and about the very productive day that I am going to have. Our perspective sets the very tone for our day.
If we allow our perspective to be clouded and negative, then everything we see from that point on will be clouded with negativity. If we choose to change how we see things thus shifting our perspective we will have a positive impact on our mood and everything that follows will be like a cool much needed breeze.
Change your perspective and affect your mood!
When you do a word study on the word fitness, you will find that it is related to ability or having the capacity to do something. Whenever I am trying to help my clients understand mind body fitness, I relate it in this way. Mind body fitness is the understanding that your mind has the capacity and the ability to influence your behaviours as it relates to your wellness. When we become conscious of our actions we began to understand the benefits or the consequences derived from a particular act. In mind body fitness we come to understand that in order to change our behaviours, we must first change our thoughts.
It is very important to visulaize what it is we want in life as it pertains to our fitness goals. Not everyone wants to be a body builder, or a yoga master, but we all have a goal to be healthy and fit. Taking the time to understand how our mind relates to our fitness goals will yield great results. Having a goal is not enough. It is equally important to envision the end result of that goal, feel it, walk in it and live it as though it is already a reality.
How would you feel if you actually loss the weight you wanted to lose? Start creating that feeling right now. What would your life be like if you could actually finish that wellness and fitness goal that you started out with at the beginning of the year? How important is it to you to align your fitness goals up with how it is you actually want to live your life. Mind body fitness helps you to understand that only you are the master of your fitness goals and only you can create in your minds eye the desired outcome.
As you rehearse it in the corridors of your mind it becomes real to you and that is a very important concept. When we tell ourselves we will never complete a marathon, or we will never be that fit like this or we will never lose that much weight, that becomes our truth, and that truth affects your behaviour on a subconcious level. It is important for you to take those same thoughts and focus on what is is that you truly want. Your goals must first start in the theater of your mind and as you do this those powerful communicators travel throughout your body and it all becomes one, yielding positive results. You began to walk in it today, you began to feel stronger right now, you can feel the pounds shedding and your body and mind getting stronger. You can achieve your fitness and life goals, but you must understand the important power of the mind body connnection.