Easy Ways To Meditate

Given that meditation has been practiced for centuries, various movements have emerged. But regardless of their names or techniques, this can be grouped into two basic approaches.

The first is called concentrative meditation. Here, the person focuses attention on the breath, an image or a sound to create a greater awareness and clarity. Think of it as looking at something through a microscope so you are able to narrow your focus.

It’s easy…all you have to do is sit down and breathe. The correct way of doing it is to inhale and exhale slowly and through it, your focus becomes deeper and slower, your mind becomes more aware and tranquil. [Read more…]

Stress Relieving Activities – Part 2

In our last blog, we talked about hobbies as stress relievers, now we are going to tap into more adventurous stress relievers…

Going Outdoors or Indoors

Sports are not only good for stress but also for your body. They require both physical and mental ability. If you feel that you need to break away from all the problems you have, invite a friend or group of friends to have a friendly outdoor game. There are many activities that you can engage yourself in. There is basketball, volleyball, even badminton and ping pong. All of these activities do not require long attention spans and are a sure way to change your focus. Sweating from more strenuous activities has the added benefit of releasing tension in your body and provides long lasting relief.

There are also many indoor sports that you can try. Table tennis only takes up a small amount of space and can be played by many. Board games like Scrabble, Word Factory and bridge are also sports. The only difference is they require you to use your brain. Keep those brain cells alive by getting your hands on board games.

Take A Break

Long hours of work or monthly activities that are monotonous can cause stress as well.

Taking a vacation and breaking yourself away from your work is absolutely a great idea. If you think you deserve the break, ask for some vacation time and go somewhere where work can’t get to you. A change of scenery can keep you from getting all stressed out, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive spa! Anywhere in nature will do and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Vacations offer a lot of things that you can try, but so many of us don’t give ourselves that invaluable gift. There is fishing, kayaking, even rock climbing if you are the extreme type. My mother has a friend who is 91 who started camping when she was a kid and she still goes camping with her family every year! But if you are not into serene or quiet hideaways, seeing a new city or experiencing a new culture and their food and history can take you to a whole new world. You can take your vacation anywhere, even if you only have 30 minutes in your bathtub. Calgon…take me away.

Fun Stress Relieving Activities – Part 1

Working requires long hours of concentration and complete dedication. You may feel compelled to finish work to achieve a deadline, meet client satisfaction, or attain a quota. All these factors can be very stressful but they are inevitable since they motivate people to strive harder.

Even at home we all have stress. Your child may be failing in her studies, or you are late with your rent or bills. These things can be stressful even if we are just thinking about them. If you cannot prioritize what is important, you may feel stress every single day. Sometimes, you have no choice but to remove yourself from a stressful situation and just break away from everything.

Hobbies

Hobbies and pastimes are very good stress relievers. You can take your mind away from problems by having some balance in your life and concentrating on things that are enjoyable and fun. There are several activities that you can enjoy depending on what suits you best.

If you are into singing, go out with your friends and enjoy a sing-a-long at a karaoke bar. Even singing inside your bathroom is not a bad idea. You can enjoy singing almost anywhere as long as you are not bothering anyone. I love to really belt it out in the car! Doesn’t everyone? Oh, come on don’t tell me you don’t.

Dance when no one is around, or even better do it when everyone is looking! We embarrass the heck out of our daughter when we dance in public, the crazier the better, then we laugh hysterically (she is secretly laughing too — she just doesn’t want her friends to know she thinks it’s funny).

If you are not into singing or dancing but are more artistic, purchase a sketchpad and a pencil or any art materials and sketch or paint away. This is a great stress reliever. If that’s too much, you can do paint by numbers or just borrow some crayons and a coloring book from one of your kids or nieces or nephews. These are great stress relievers!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to hobbies. Other people like to tinker on things when they feel stressed. Find the things that you like doing the most and use it to relieve yourself from stress. Not one good thing comes from allowing stress to affect you. Hobbies do not need long hours of attention and they can be done anywhere and are usually cheap.

Check back for our next blog with more fun stress free tips…

Coping with Stress – Part 5

Making the most of what you have physically, emotionally and spiritually is what wellness is all about:

If you don’t have time to do a full workout, don’t let it stop you from making the most out of what time you do have.

I have an elliptical machine that has very strong resistance. If I only have 5 minutes, I will do 5 minutes. I’m 5 minutes closer to my goals of improving wellness and I feel better about myself than if I hadn’t done it.

If the weather is good, take a 5 minute walk. You might be surprised by how much you will love clearing your head and, with that positive experience under your belt, you might have the incentive to do 6 minutes the next day. You can also just bounce in place for a few minutes by lifting your heel off the ground and back down again in a quick but gentle motion. This gets the lymphatic system and circulation going.

Getting in a five or six minute burst of exercise is better than not doing it at all. It will give you the oxygen that you need to provide an energy boost, especially, when done in the middle of the day. And, of course, fresh air will help your body re-oxygenate, assisting in the recovery from accumulated stress.

Whatever you can do, just do it! Your body will love you for it and it will pay you back 10 fold with increasing wellness.

Coping with Stress – Part 4

Exercise tips

You will want to follow an exercise routine to make the most out of your valuable time and have the results you desire. Jogging around the block or lifting some weights will not provide the desired overall effect of a complete workout.

Here are some tips that will help in releasing stress through physical exercise:

1. Time. Before indulging in some serious sweating, it’s important to set some time aside allowing you to have an uninterrupted workout. No screaming kids to drag you down, no phone solicitors, no nosy neighbors knocking at your door. Getting going before anyone gets you going — usually early morning– is the best time for exercise.

2. Warm-up exercise. It is very important to engage in “light” exercise to warm up before engaging in a heavy-duty workout. Painful cramping and soreness can be avoided by doing some light stretches, bending, flexing, etc., utilizing all muscle groups from your feet up to your head.

Make sure you do this slowly and with pre-set time intervals so your body won’t react negatively.

Why warm-up? It allows your body to adapt to the work-out slowly, safely and comfortably.

3. Tools. If you decide not to go to the gym and choose to exercise at home, there are a myriad of books and videos to which you can and should refer to ensure you exercise safely. Choose the one you feel you would most enjoy while making sure you incorporate routines for different parts of your body.

If you want to create a serious exercise routine you might want to consider purchasing equipment that will enhance your workout and improve your body’s performance. A machine can make it so much easier and more effective, especially, since it serves as that friend who reminds you that it really needs you to make it work. Aww, isn’t that sweet? It also can make the workout itself so much easier since it takes some of the thinking and planning work out of it.

4. Proper Diet. Probably, the most important facet of health and, of course, your physical workout is your food intake.

While improving your muscles, make sure that your internal organs are supported through a healthy diet. Make sure that you eat enough so that your body won’t get tired from the physical exercise, but also avoid unwanted cholesterol and calories. Stay away from fast and junk foods. Stick with fruits and veggies…they’re always a healthier choice. Please see our site, www.BeingCancerFree.com for some healthy alternatives.

Next we will talk about the 5 minute workout…

Coping with Stress – Part 3

Physical exercise can improve your body’s adaptability to stress.

Exercise should involve routine movements that will improve your cardiovascular functions and strengthen your heart. This, in turn, improves the circulation of your blood and other bio-chemicals which your body requires to maintain good health.

When your muscles are supplied with oxygen, muscle health improves increasing endurance, stamina and flexibility. Also, when engaging in physical exercise, an outlet for your mental stress is created providing a healthy release of depression, anxiety, anger, fear, etc.

In addition, endorphins, which are wonderful body chemicals that are natural painkillers and add to a sense of well-being are released through exercise. Even better – research has shown that serotonin levels are likely increased from vigorous aerobic exercise therefore improving mood. Now that’s something to smile about!

Tomorrow, I will give a few exercise tips that may be helpful with stress management.

Coping with Stress – Part 2

Have you experienced aches and pains while you work?

Have you felt tired even before you’ve started working? Are your kids pulling you by your feet telling you it’s time to get out of bed? Is your snooze button the one that needs a siesta because of over-use?

This is the effect of stress on your body.

Most medical experts agree that stress can have a profound influence in the decline of your normal bodily functions resulting in tight muscles, migraines, drowsiness, etc.

Experts also agree that physical exercise can improve your health despite stress caused by factors like career, personal, social or health issues and, boy, have we have our share of that last one.

Because of the above, the obvious first things to consider are to take some time off from work (like a “mental and physical health day”) when you can, get a good night’s sleep, wake up early in the morning and engage in some type of physical exercise or meditation. Diet (yes, sorry java lovers, especially caffeine) is another big factor as well and we will cover more of that in future blogs.

This may sound like a solution that is too simple to make a difference, but a little bit goes a very long way. Or if it seems too difficult, we are here to make it easier for you.

We will continue in the next blog to talk about some simple remedies to increase stress relief.

Coping with Stress – Part 1

Stress is something that affects each and every one of us. It is complicated to define because it is a feeling based on each individual’s own experience and each person feels it differently. Most agree that stress results from change…any change with even positive change being stressful.

Also, stress is one of the major contributors to diminishing wellness and the impact on your health is determined by how you handle it.

According to the American Psychological Association, 73% of Americans name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level. That statistic comes from 2004.

Imagine what it is now…

Over the next couple of days, I am going to talk about some strategies to help us cope more effectively with stress.