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6 Surprising and Natural Stress Relievers

6 Surprising (& Natural) Stress Relievers

Everyone gets stressed sometimes. Whether it be financial or personal, significant stress is an unfortunate aspect of modern living. But, too much stress can be a bad thing. Whether you have trouble sleeping or find yourself becoming more irritable, stress takes a toll on our bodies. It is the leading cause of innumerable diseases, and can be single-handedly responsible for symptoms such as hair loss, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, drastic weight changes, ulcers, and more. So, next time you feel the need to pop a chill pill, try one of these more natural remedies instead.
Lavender. If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, try spritzing some lavender essential oil into the nighttime air. Lavender helps calm anxiety and can soothe the mind and body to help you sleep more soundly. Intrigued? Aromatherapy has been shown to trigger various moods and sensations, and can be used to fight depression, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, indigestion, et cetera. Find a specialist near you to learn more.
Sweet Potato. What do you normally reach for when you’re stressed out? Probably sweets or salty carbs, I’d gamble. Next time, try some sweet potato instead. It will kill your cravings, satisfy your frenzied emotions, and help you digest more slowly due to their high fiber content. Plus, there will be no post-splurge guilt, as there would be if you ate a huge piece (or two) of cake. If you are really craving comfort food, try steamed and mashed sweet potatoes with a dash of coconut milk. Yum!
Chamomile. Chamomile tea has been shown to relax the body and muscles before sleep. Although chamomile’s benefits have not been medically proven, it has been used for centuries for its sedative qualities as well as an immune booster. Go ahead and brew up a pot of fresh tea to give your body a helping hand. Even better, add some raw honey into your tea (once it has cooled to drinking temperature to retain raw honey’s beneficial enzymes) for an additional boost.
Dark Chocolate. As if you need another reason to enjoy chocolate! A recent study has shown that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate lowers your body’s stress hormones and reduces anxiety. The stress hormone cortisol, in particular, can easily become imbalanced and lead to long term disease and disfunction. It is well known that too much cortisol can also lead to accumulated belly fat, so, in a way, a small piece of chocolate a day could help to keep the belly fat at bay! (OK, it’s a lot more complicated than that, but a girl can dream.) Also, your brain releases endorphins when you nibble chocolate, so it’s a double-whammy of happiness! Just be sure to enjoy in moderation.
St. John’s Wort. Useful if you’re feeling down-and-out, this herb has been shown to significantly increase mood and attitude in patients with mild depression. It has been used for centuries as a natural anti-depressant and is a fairly ubiquitous plant, often regarded as a weed. However, be sure to consult your doctor before adding any new herbs or regimens into your diet to avoid allergic reaction or misdiagnosis.
Peanut Butter. If you aren’t getting enough sleep and are feeling cranky, grab a spoonful of organic, unsweetened peanut butter. Being high in vitamin B6, it helps to regulate blood sugar, which stabilizes mood swings. And, of course, peanut butter is another great comfort food. Just don’t go out of control. If those 6 remedies aren’t enough for you, some other excellent ideas are practicing yoga or meditation, regular exercise, enjoying a hot bath, or even writing in a personal journal. Relieving yourself of stress will make your life a lot healthier and more enjoyable. If you are stressed out and are reaching for the tub of cookie dough ice cream, try one of the 6 aforementioned edibles instead. Take time for yourself, let your mind relax, and enjoy a bit of this crazy ride we call life.
By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life! Live Well! Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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4 Ways Mindfulness Transforms Your Life (As It Did For the Seahawks!)

4 Ways Mindfulness Transforms Your Life (As It Did For the Seahawks!)

There’s an amazing epidemic sweeping America and it’s a healthy, vital and enriching one. In every walk of life people are hearing about the value and importance of mindfulness and meditation. For instance, the Seahawks include yoga and meditation in their training and they just won the Super Bowl!

Ohio congressman Tim Ryan, author of A Mindful Nation, calls mindfulness a “meditative practice that focuses on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future.” He has helped land a $1 million grant in 2009 for Youngstown and Warren schools to teach mindfulness to elementary students. We interviewed Congressman Ryan on our radio show, and his commitment to mindfulness and meditation is awe-inspiring.

Mindfulness – which is being present and aware – enables stress to be released, difficulties become workable, and true happiness become possible. Meditation is the training ground for mindfulness, as it teaches us how to focus our attention. But how does mindfulness shift our priorities and enable us to make friends with ourselves?

Here are some of the ways mindfulness and meditation can make your life more meaningful and enjoyable!

1. Stress Out, Relaxation In

It only takes a few minutes to chill out. As soon as we start paying attention, being aware and mindful of what is going on, then our whole physiology responds by calming the stress response and increasing the relaxation response, says our partner at RevolutionaryMindfulness.com, Brian Jones.

Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus: to care or to cure. Which means both meditation and mindfulness are, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind.

Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm, just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in-and-out breath: Breathing in, I calm the body and mind; breathing out, I smile. Becoming aware of the breath makes it easy to then be awareness to your body, thoughts, feelings and your world.

2. Appreciating the Details

Mindfulness brings us into an awareness of all the small things – those that get missed when we are stressed, and which give life real meaning. Take a moment right now to appreciate the chair you are sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the place where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it — all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that appreciation to everything and everyone, so you take nothing for granted.

3. From Self-Centeredness to Other-Centeredness

Mindfulness increases awareness of ourselves, which means we become aware of any self-centeredness, selfishness and neurosis. We don’t often accept negative feelings too easily, we’re more likely to repress or disown them. But when denied they cause shame, depression, anger, and anxiety. Mindfulness invites us to openly meet these places, to see how selfishness, aversion and ignorance create endless dramas and fears.

Mindfulness also connects us to the stillness that is always there between our thoughts, behind the story, beneath the noise. And it enables us to be less focused on ourselves, more aware of others, and more aware of the interconnection between us.

4. Kindness Rocks

In a stressed state, we lose touch with inner peace, compassion and kindness; in a relaxed state, our mind is clear and we can connect with a deeper sense of purpose and altruism. Mindfulness awakens us to caring and kindness: how can we cause harm when we are aware that in the process we are also causing ourselves harm? Simply through the intent to cause less pain you can bring greater dignity to your world so that harm is replaced with kindness.

Every time you see or feel suffering, every time you make a mistake or say something stupid and are just about to put yourself down, every time you think of someone you are having a hard time with, every time you encounter the confusion and difficulty of being human, every time you see someone else struggling, upset or irritated, you can bring kindness and compassion. Breathing gently, silently repeat: May I be well, may I be happy, may I be filled with loving kindness; May they be well, may they be happy, may they be filled with loving kindness.

Leesa recommends dahn yoga!

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ed and Deb are the co-founders, with Brian Jones, of RevolutionaryMindfulness.com. Join to get our newsletter, free meditation downloads, community support, and learn to balance your nervous system. They are the authors of award winning Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World. See more at RevolutionaryMindfulness.com and EdandDebShapiro.com

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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Top 10 Sleep Mistakes and Their Solutions

Top 10 Sleep Mistakes and Their Solutions

 

Although we may not like to admit it, many of the sleep problems we experience are the result of bad habits and behaviors. We stay up late or sleep in late. We eat foods that disagree with us or enjoy a drink late at night, oblivious to its disruptive impact on our sleep rhythms. Over time, we teach our body not to sleep. For relief we often turn to sleeping pills, which mask rather than solve the problem, and can lead to addiction. Ultimately for real success, with insomnia as with any chronic problem, one must look for the underlying imbalances and root causes and address those.

Here are the common sleep “mistakes” I see in my practice and their solutions.

MISTAKE #1 Not keeping a consistent sleep schedule.
We often think we can make up for lost sleep by going to bed extra early another night, but the body clock’s ability to regulate healthy sleep patterns depends on consistency. We stay up late on weekends, expecting to make up sleep later or use the weekend to make up for lost sleep during the week. Both practices disrupt bodily rhythms and late-night weekends in particular can cause insomnia during the workweek.

SOLUTION: Create a routine and stick to it.
Getting up and going to bed around the same time, even on weekends, is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits. Our bodies thrive on regularity, and the best reinforcement for the body’s internal clock is a consistent sleep schedule.

Waking and sleeping at set times reinforces a consistent sleep rhythm and reminds the brain when to release sleep and wake hormones, and more importantly, when not to.

MISTAKE #2 Using long naps to counter sleep loss. 
Long naps during the day especially after 4 p.m. or even brief nods in the evening while watching TV can damage a good sleep rhythm and keep you from enjoying a full sleep at night.

SOLUTION: Nap for no more than 30 minutes.
If naps are absolutely necessary, make sure you only nap once a day and keep it under a half hour and before 4 p.m. In general, short naps may not hurt sleep and in fact a short siesta for half an hour after lunch or a 20 minute power nap before 4 p.m. works well for many people.

MISTAKE #3 Not preparing for sleep.
Expecting the body to go from full speed to a standstill without slowing down first is unrealistic. Our bodies need time to produce enough sleep neurotransmitters to send feedback signals to the brain’s sleep center, which will result in the release of sleep hormones to allow you to sleep.

SOLUTION: Take the time to slowly shift into sleep. 
a) Create an electronic sundown. By 10 p.m., stop sitting in front of a computer screen (or TV screen) and switch off all electronic devices. They are too stimulating to the brain and will cause you to stay awake longer.
b) Prepare for bed. Dim the lights an hour or more before going to bed, take a warm bath, listen to calming music or soothing sounds, do some restorative yoga or relaxation exercises. Getting your mind and body ready for sleep is essential. Remove any distractions (mentally and physically) that will prevent you from sleeping.

MISTAKE #4 Not giving your body the right sleep signals. 
Our bodies depend on signals to tell them when to fall asleep and wake up, the two most fundamental ones being darkness and light. But we live and work in artificially lit environments and often miss out on the strongest regulatory signal of all, natural sunlight. When we do go to sleep and our bodies need complete darkness for production of the important sleep hormone, melatonin, our bedrooms are not pitch dark, thereby interfering with this key process.

SOLUTION: At night, keep the room as dark as possible.
Look around your bedroom: the alarm clock read-out that glows in bright red; the charging indicator on your cell phone or PDA, the monitor on your computer, the battery indicator on the cordless phone or answering machine, the DVD clock and timer. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of sleep hormones and therefore disturb your sleep rhythms.

Conceal or move the clock, cover all the lights of any electronic device and use dark shades or drapes on the windows if they are exposed to light. If all of that is not possible, wear an eye mask.

If you get up in the middle of the night, try keeping the light off when you go to the bathroom. Use a flashlight or night light.

MISTAKE #5 Having a bed time snack of refined grains or sugars.
These are metabolic disruptors which raise blood sugar and overstress the organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body. This hormone roller coaster can affect sleep cycles by waking you up at odd times during sleep as the hormone levels fluctuate.

SOLUTION: If you have to eat, have a high-protein snack.

It is better not to have anything before bed. But if you must eat something, a high protein snack will not only prevent the hormone roller coaster, but also may provide L-tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce melatonin.

MISTAKE #6 Using sleeping pills to fall and stay asleep. 
Sleeping pills mask sleep problems and do not resolve the underlying cause of insomnia. Many sleep studies have concluded that sleeping pills, whether prescription or over-the-counter, do more harm than good over the long-term. They can be highly addictive and studies have found them to be potentially dangerous (see references, page 11).

For short term use, there may be indications for needing sleeping pills, but over time, sleeping pills can actually make insomnia worse, not better. If you have been taking them for a long time, ask your doctor to help you design a regimen to wean yourself off them.

SOLUTION: Learn relaxation techniques. 
Aside from physical problems, stress may be the number one cause of sleep disorders. Temporary stress can lead to chronic insomnia and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Many people tell me they can’t switch off their racing minds and therefore can’t sleep.

Do some breathing exercises, restorative yoga or meditation. These will calm the mind and reduce the fears and worries that trigger the stress.

MISTAKE #7 Using Alcohol to fall asleep.
Because of alcohol’s sedating effect, many people with insomnia drink alcohol to promote sleep. Alcohol does have an initial sleep inducing effect, but as it gets broken down by the body, it usually impairs sleep during the second half of the night leading to a reduction in overall sleep time. Habitual alcohol consumption just before bedtime can reduce its sleep-inducing effect, while its disruptive effects continue or even increase.

SOLUTION: Take nutrients that calm the body and mind, getting you ready for sleep. 
Don’t drink alcohol to help you sleep. Look for a calming formula that has some of the following: amino acids, L theanine, taurine, 5 HTP and GABA, and herbs like lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile and valerian root. Taking the minerals, calcium and magnesium at night is also helpful. For some people, especially those of us over 50, melatonin can be helpful too. This is because the body produces less melatonin with advancing age and may explain why elderly people often have difficulty sleeping and respond well to melatonin.

MISTAKE #8 Watching television to fall asleep.
Because we have no trouble at all falling asleep in the living room in front of the TV many of us watch TV in bed to fall asleep. But when we fall asleep in a bed watching TV, we invariably wake up later on. This sets up a cycle or conditioning that reinforces poor sleep at night. I have had many patients over the years develop insomnia due to this type of conditioning.

SOLUTION: Get the TV out of the bedroom.
Don’t watch TV in bed. The bed should be associated with sleep (and sex).

MISTAKE #9 Staying in bed hoping to fall asleep.
If you can’t fall asleep within 30-45 minutes, chances are you won’t for at least another hour, and perhaps even longer. You may have missed the open “sleep gate” or missed catching the sleep wave. A “sleep gate” is the open window of time your body will allow you to fall asleep. Researchers have found that our brain goes through several sleep cycles each night where all sleep phases are repeated. These cycles last from 90 minutes to two hours, and at the beginning of each cycle, the body’s “sleep gate” opens. You won’t be able to fall asleep when your sleep gate is closed. 

SOLUTION: Catch the sleep wave. 
If you find you can’t fall asleep within 45 minutes, get up and get out of the bedroom. Read a book, do a restorative yoga pose or do some other calming activity for another 1 -1 1/2 hours before trying to sleep again. Staying in bed only causes stress over not sleeping.

It is like surfing; you need to catch that sleep wave. Have you ever been exhausted and yet you avoid going to sleep and then a few hours later when you are ready for bed, you are suddenly wide awake? You missed the wave.


MISTAKE #10 Making sleep a performance issue. 
Often just thinking about sleep affects your ability to fall asleep. What happens frequently is that the way you cope with the insomnia becomes as much of a problem, as the insomnia itself. It often becomes a vicious cycle of worrying about not being able to sleep which leads to worsening sleep problems. Like so many things in life, it is about letting go, going with the flow. Sleep needs to become a natural rhythm like breathing, something that comes automatically and you don’t think about.

SOLUTION: Let go and go with the flow.
Use the time to practice breathing exercises or meditation and to become aware of how what you eat, what medications you take, what behaviors or certain activities can affect your sleep cycle.

Increase your awareness by paying attention to your body and becoming conscious of how you react to different foods and situations. Use this time productively, instead of getting upset that you can’t fall asleep.

One final point.
For chronic insomniacs, especially if you are a heavy snorer, make sure Sleep Apnea is not the cause. This is a serious condition that affects at least 12 million Americans, many of whom have not been diagnosed. Usually they are heavy snorers. What happens is that the tissues at the back of the throat relax and in so doing block the airways. The brain senses oxygen deprivation, and sends wakeup signals. There is a release of adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormone. Not only does this interfere with sleep, it can increase blood pressure, raising your risk of heart problems and stroke. It can also interfere with insulin sensitivity, and increases your risk of diabetes.

EFERENCES

1. What’s wrong with prescribing hypnotics?“. Drug Ther Bull 42 (12): 89-93. December 2004. doi:10.1136/dtb.2004.421289PMID 15587763http://www.nelm.nhs.uk/en/NeLM-Area/Evidence/Drug-Class-Focused-Reviews/498264/.

2. D. Maiuro PhD, Roland (13 Decemember 2009). Handbook of Integrative Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Medicine: Perspectives, Practices, and Research. Springer Publishing Company. pp.128-130. ISBN 0-8261-1094-0http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4Tkdm1vRFbUC

3. Lader, Malcolm Harold; P. Cardinali, Daniel; R. Pandi-Perumal, S. (22 March 2006). Sleep and sleep disorders: a neuropsychopharmacological approach. Georgetown, Tex.: Landes Bioscience/Eurekah.com. p.127. ISBN 0-387-27681-5.

4. Authier, N.; Boucher, A.; Lamaison, D.; Llorca, PM.; Descotes, J.; Eschalier, A. (2009). “Second Meeting of the French CEIP (Centres d’Evaluation et d’Information sur la Pharmacodependance). Part II: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal.” Therapie 64 (6): 365-370. doi:10.2515/therapie/2009051PMID 20025839.

5. Glass J, Lanctot KL, Herrmann N, Sproule BA, Busto UE (November 2005). “Sedative hypnotics in older people with insomnia: meta-analysis of risks and benefits“. BMJ 331 (7526): 1169. doi:10.1136/bmj.38623.768588.47PMID 16284208PMC 1285093http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/331/7526/1169

By Frank Lipman MD,  an internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine. A practicing physician, he is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC, where for over 20 years his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality. To bring his approach to a wider audience, he created Eleven Eleven Wellness, Guided Health Solutions. He is the author of Revive (previously called Spent) and Total Renewal. To hang with Frank, visit his blog, follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook community today.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

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Super Bowl and TIME Magazine Both Focus on Mindfulness

Super Bowl and TIME Magazine Both Focus on Mindfulness

 

Guess what, we all meditate! We may be unaware of this because we believe meditation means sitting still and closing our eyes. However, the moment we focus attention on one thing and bring the mind into a quiet place then we are meditating, which means it can be as much active as it is being still.

The most well-known forms of meditation are watching the flow of the breath or repeating a mantra, as these focus the mind. But it could just as easily be mindfully throwing a football or the stroke of a brush as you paint; most meditation traditions do walking meditation as well as sitting practice. This is meditation in action, which is mindfulness: awareness of the present moment.

“The Seahawks believe their kinder, gentler philosophy is the future of football,” says Alyssa Roenigk in ESPN The Magazine. So could mindfulness and meditation be a way to win the Super Bowl? The Seahawks obviously believe that it can. They are taught yoga and sitting meditation as a part of their training, as it’s difficult to be focused if they are distracted by a monkey mind jumping from thought to thought.

“Meditation is as important as lifting weights and being out here on the field for practice,” says Russell Okung of the Seahawks. “It’s about quieting your mind and getting into certain states where everything outside of you doesn’t matter in that moment. There are so many things telling you that you can’t do something, but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them and change them.”

Meditation focuses the mind in one place and this equally applies to the Denver Broncos, even if they may not knowingly meditate. In football, mindfulness is needed for the accuracy of a touch-down pass down the field, or the presence to know when to throw or when to run with the football: Payton Manning’s great passes are made mindfully, Knowshaun Moreno runs with awareness, Eric Decker receives in the moment!

We taught meditation to the Torquay United Football team in England, sitting in the men’s locker room. They were at the bottom of their league but won their next game, which meant they advanced to the next division. Filmed by the BBC on the 6:00pm evening news, the coach was convinced that the mindfulness training had enabled the players to stay positive, despite being in such a losing position.

As our partner, Brian Jones says: “Meditation is as much something that happens to us as, as something we do, like the “ah-ha” moment when we first learn to ride a bike. All of a sudden it just makes sense, becomes familiar, and comfortable. Meditation and mindfulness, like riding a bike, are about embodiment, self-mastery, and self-fulfillment.”

TIME Magazine agrees. The Feb 3rd issue focuses on mindfulness, the far-reaching effect it is having in all walks of life, and on Jon Kabat-Zinn, who brought mindfulness to hospitals and clinics, through his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

“People come with a huge amount of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional,” says Kabat-Zinn in our Award Winning book, Be The Change. “Through the cultivation of mindfulness, they develop a more functional relationship with that suffering, they turn towards it, open to it, and actually befriend it to a degree rather than insisting that it stop, and in the process, the pain often transforms or even falls away… For the most part, they will tell you that they are more in touch with their own beauty than they may have been since they were children.”

Whether we sit in formal meditation with our eyes closed, go for a walk or throw a football, if we do it with awareness we are meditating. We can sit with our eyes closed but if our mind is scattered then there’s no stillness, while we can be running everywhere playing competitive sport but if our mind is focused and aware then we are being mindful. A clear and comprehensivetraining in mindfulness is vital, so it can become integral to every part of our life. Play to win: practice mindfulness!

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ed and Deb are the co-founders, with Brian Jones, of RevolutionaryMindfulness.com. Join to get our newsletter, free meditation downloads, community support, and learn to balance your nervous system. They are the authors of award winning Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World. See more at RevolutionaryMindfulness.com andEdandDebShapiro.com

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the Worldforewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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The Surprising Secret to Work-Life Balance

The Surprising Secret to Work-Life Balance

 

Between your job, taking care of the kids, hanging out with your friends and significant other, and making time for hobbies and some quality Netflix marathoning, who has the time or energy to add one more thing to their to-do lists?

It turns out adding one more thing will actually help you feel more in control of your work-life balance, according to researchers—and that one thing is exercise.

Trying to make time to hit the treadmill seems like it would add more stress to an already-packed schedule, but scientists found that exercisers actually experience less stress at work and have more confidence when it comes to handling conflicts between work and family. “We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work — you’re not there physically and you’re not thinking about it either,” study researcher Russell Clayton says. “And, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves.”

It’s an exciting finding, especially considering research last year that found that people say work-life balance is the top indicator of career success—even more so than money or recognition.

By Diana Vilibert 

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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20 Easy Ways to Be Happier

20 Easy Ways to Be Happier

 

What we found is that sometimes,  the tiniest changes can have a huge impact on overall happiness. These twenty  ideas will help you go from grumpy to giddy.

1. Make Your Bed Every Morning I’ve heard this one  before, and not just from my mother. For most people, outer order leads to inner  calm. And making your bed is one quick, easy way to get some semblance of a tidy  room (even when your closet is anything but.)

2. Shorten Your Commute Okay, this one may not be a  cinch. But if there’s any way you can shorten your commute, it’s certainly worth  the effort. Spending two hours a day in gridlock traffic is enough to drive even  the most Zen commuter up the wall. Not only is the drive itself infuriating, a  long commute eats up time that could be spent on proven happiness boosters, like  sleeping or interacting with other people.

3. Find a Rocking Chair You know it works for babies. Now  it seems that rockers bring similar comfort to elderly sufferers of dementia.  Researchers at the University of Rochester encouraged twenty-five residents to  rock as much as they like and they became less upset and anxious and required  less pain medication. Who’s to say it couldn’t work for you?

4. Make Lists Writing it down (whatever “it” may be. is a  successful tool for managing stress. Just make sure your list doesn’t get out of  control. After all, your list is supposed to help with your stress, not add to  it. Remember that you can always adjust your priorities.

5. Paint Your Toenails … Even in the Winter In the winter  months, it’s easy to ignore your feet until they morph into a Shrek-like  monstrosity. Who’s going to see them anyway, right? Wrong. You are! So give them  a soak, a scrub, a bit of moisture, and a dash of color. You’ll feel better  instantly.

6. Wake up the Right Way Are you coffee lover? Wake up to  the smell of freshly brewed coffee by investing in a percolator with a  programmable timer. Tired of waking up to the shriek of a buzzer or the  irritating voice of the talk radio host? Get yourself an alarm clock that wakes  you up with natural light and sounds.

7. Talk About Something New People tend to get stuck on  the same old topics of conversation. Stimulate your mind and encourage others,  too, by finding one little interesting tidbit a day and starting a conversation  by saying, “Did you hear about _________? What do you think?”

8. Refuse to Give Advice The easiest way to get sucked  down the negative spiral is by participating. Do your friends a favor: when they  start unloading their problems on you, let them figure it out on their own. The  reverse is also true—don’t bore your friends with your problems. Focus on  fun!

9. Rearrange Your Furniture It may sound silly, but even  the tiniest shift of a kitchen table or couch can make all the difference. It’ll  make the room—and you!—feel new again. And the best part? It doesn’t cost a  thing. (Tip: If you need to move a large item on your own, stick a dish towel  under each leg and push; or if you’ve got carpet, use furniture sliders.)

10. Smile on the Outside Even when you’ve got nothing to  smile about. Forcing a smile can trick your body into changing your mood. You’ll  also find that other people will react better to you when you’ve got a smile on  your face. Voilà! You’ve just created a snowball effect of fuzzy feelings.

11. Gaze at a Photograph If the photograph is of a loved  one, it can stimulate blood supply to the brain, says researcher Andreas Bartels  from University of London. Imagine them giving you a hug.

12. Turn off the TV Happy people don’t watch TV. Instead,  they socialize, which brings them more long-term satisfaction. We’re not saying  to skip your favorite shows altogether. But if the choice is between watching  something just because it’s on, and grabbing a friend for a last minute dinner  date … well … you know what to do. Delicious and good for you!

13. Get Informed Stuck on a problem that just won’t go  away? Try Googling it. Reading up on how other people have handled your  situation may give you some clues on how to tackle it yourself.

14. Eat Avocados Avocados are good for your skin, your  hair, and—more importantly—your heart. But did you know they’re also good for  your mood? They’ve got monounsaturated fats and tryptophan, which boosts  feel-good chemical endorphins in the brain.

15. Sing or Hum a Tune Listening to music can make you  feel good, but singing or humming your own tune is even better! Try making up  the words to one of your favorite songs, and sing it out loud. Even if your cat  is the only one who appreciates it, you’ll feel good about it.

16. Break the Rules Here’s a little known confidence  booster: when you follow your own path, (especially when you go against the  grain. it’s incredibly intoxicating. We’re not advocating anything illegal, just  saying that you should do exactly what you want sometimes and not what you think  you should be doing.

17. Invigorate Your Senses A quick spray of lavender,  eucalyptus, rosemary, or lemon can clear your head quicker than you think. For  an extra-calming treat, take a nap on a pillow scented with lavender—either in  fabric spray form, or crumble some of the plant itself and put it in your  pillowcase.

18. Visit a Quiet Place Libraries, museums, gardens, and  other quiet places can give you a break from the frantic pace of everyday life.  Find a secret spot and make it your sanctuary, whether it’s in your backyard or  the Reference section.

19. Forgive Someone Research shows that those who are  able to forgive are less stressed, less angry, and more optimistic than those  who aren’t. So, if you’re holding onto old grudges for the sake of it, it might  just be time to let go.

20. Spend More Time with Your Happy Friends Misery loves  company. Too often, we find ourselves surrounded by soul-crushing negativity.  The good news? Happiness really is contagious. Research shows that happiness,  even when removed by three degrees, can make you happier than an extra $5000.  Focus on spending time with the optimistic people in your life and you might  just become one of them.

By Tania Khadder and Kayla Baxter 

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Thank you for visiting!  I believe that Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common

10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common

 

We all want  to be happy in some way or another. We strive each day  to find the  path of happiness whatever we think it is. But some of us come up  way  short. Some of us make mistakes day in and day out that take us away  from  the shining beacon of happiness at the end of the tunnel.

Are you striving to find peace? Are you striving to locate that inner  glow  that you know must exist? Are you coming up short or finding  happiness that’s  always fleeting? Life is a journey and on it we find  what works and what  doesn’t work.  However, the most unhappy people tend  to have a few things in  common. If you’re looking to find peace,  balance, and joy in your life, here’s  what NOT to do. These people have  it all wrong:

1. They Hate Their Jobs

You spend eight hours, sometimes much more at work. If you hate your  job you  can’t help but hate your life because you’re spending 40 out of  the 168 hours  in a week doing something you can’t stand. What’s worse,  we often take our  anger from work home with us, bringing that  disgruntled attitude into our  homes. I’m not saying go out and quit your  job tomorrow. Instead, take an  aerial view of your life. Why don’t you  love your job? What’s missing? Is it  the career itself? Is it your boss  or your company? What’s your passion? What  are you good at? Take time to  answer these questions and then make a plan to  move towards change,  however long it takes.

2. They’re Constantly Worried About Money

Studies have proven that being  rich won’t make us any happier. A Princeton  University study showed that people needed an  annual income of  $75,000 per year per household and no more to be happy. Above  that  amount, more cash has no effect on “emotional well-being.” What this   really means is that you need to be able to comfortably pay bills and  save  without worrying about finances. On the other hand, financial  uncertainty does  make us unhappy so this is another chance for  evaluation. Are you overspending?  What can you downsize? How can you  minimize your life so that you can afford  it? This is in no way an easy  question, but it’s part of the journey.

 

3. They Don’t Have Any Active Hobbies

Happiness  is linked to activity level. You have to move to  feel good. What  about yoga, hiking, swimming, surfing, biking, or running?  Happiness is  also linked to doing what you love so find active hobbies that  make you  happy and get to it.

 

4. They Have Wandering Minds.

According to Science  News, “[a] wandering mind often stumbles  downhill emotionally.  People spend nearly half their waking lives thinking  about stuff other  than what they’re actually doing, and these imaginary rambles  frequently  feel bad, according to a new study.” The more you can focus on what   you’re doing when you’re doing it, the happier you are. Meditation allows you to learn to focus on the present  moment so you can actually  live the life you’ve been given.  (Leesa recommends Dahn Yoga!  Visit www.dahnyoga.com to located a Dahn Yoga center near you! ) 

 

5. They Commute a Long Distance

A long commute can take a toll on your life and after a while it can  really  bring you down. How much of your life are you losing in commute?  It’s hard on a  relationship as well. A recent Swedish study found that divorce  rates were higher the longer the commute.

6. They Think “Stuff” Will Make Them Happy

Unhappy people are constantly trying to fill the void by consuming,  whether it be alcohol, food, or shopping. But  the problem is happiness  can’t be consumed, it’s cultivated from within.  Meeting desires only  brings fleeting happiness.

 

 

7. They’re Lonely

Cultivating relationships is important for both your health and your   happiness. And that doesn’t just mean how good you are at social  networking.  Unfortunately nowadays more than a few of us view our laptop  as our very best friend. Single or not, married or  not, it’s  important to always strive both to make friends and to keep them  while  also keeping close ties to family.

 

8. They Don’t Like Their Town

So often we feel stuck in our lives. We live in a town that we no  longer  love and aren’t sure how to feel better about the situation. This  is another  opportunity to take a step back and ask why you feel the way  you do. Is it the  town or is it you? Get the newspaper and look into  new events, volunteer some  place new, or, well, move. Who says you have  to live in the same place your  whole life? I certainly haven’t. I’ve  already tried out Charlottesville,  Athens, Washington DC, Florence,  Charleston, and Columbia and I’m just getting  started.

 

 

9. They Don’t Have Pets

Pets  serve as support and provide unconditional love that  we grow to  depend on but at the same time, they don’t disrupt other human   relationships, according to a new  study. If you’re considering pet ownership, adopt a pet  in need and  follow this guide  to responsible pet ownership.

 

10. They Don’t Like Themselves

We make ourselves happy by the way we view life and by learning to  enjoy the  moment. We make ourselves happy by the way we view ourselves.  By opening our  hearts we find peace but that peace has to first start  off with you. If you  dislike yourself, you can never be happy so give  yourself a break. Learn to  love yourself, you deserve it!

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the  environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the  planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two  robust websites,   PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com,  offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve  to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery  Communications.

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Thank you for visiting!  I believe that Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~  www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

 

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