Practice Mindfulness

by Danielle Lauren


What is mindfulness?  Mindfulness is the ever present witnessing of awareness - meaning you are conscious of each moment that encompasses thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and your surrounding environment. 

Mindfulness helps reduce stress by reducing negative emotions, in turn, helping us accept the present moment with positive acceptance. 

How do you cultivate mindfulness? 

- Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when experiencing intense emotions.  Focusing on the in flow and out flow of your breath.

- Notice the sensations in your body, how are you feeling at this present moment? Take in all that is around you from the feelings in your body to the environment around you. 

- Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you, an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.  This moment too shall pass.

- Find stillness and let your thoughts come and go, focusing on your breathing and accepting where you are at any given moment. 

Whenever you feel you are feeling anxious about the future or dwelling on the past, bring your mind and body to the present moment, focusing on the here and now, how you feel at this exact moment.  If you are feeling tired, negative, stressed or depressed, allow yourself to feel these feelings and have a sense of awareness of all that is around you. 

When you become conscious of how you are feeling at any given moment and find stillness within you will experience mindfulness. 

Mindfulness

 

 


Relax Tip: Breathe Deeply

by Danielle Lauren


Go to a place where you can truly relax – whether that is sitting on the soft sand at the beach, looking out over the water on your kayak, hiking up a mountain and enjoying the view from the top.  Whatever it is go to that place and close your eyes and breathe in deeply for 6 seconds, hold and breathe out slowly for 6 seconds. 

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Benefits of Deep Breathing:


- Detoxifies and Releases Toxins

- Releases Tension

- Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity

- Relieves Emotional Problems

- Relieves Pain

- Massages Your Organs

- Strengthens the Immune System

- Improves Posture

- Improves Quality of the Blood

- Increases Digestion and Assimilation of food

- Improves the Nervous System

- Strengthens the Lungs and Heart

- Boosts Energy Levels and Improves Stamina

- Elevates Mood

- Improves Cellular Regeneration

Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. 

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Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. 


Take your Dog for a Walk

by Danielle Lauren


I find a good way to reduce my stress is to take my dog for a walk.  If you don't have a dog then go for a walk by yourself or with a friend or family member.  When life gets hectic it is good to get out of the house and get some fresh air.  

The benefits of taking a beloved pet for a walk are more then you might imagine.  

A study published in the January 2006 issue of the "Medical Journal of Australia" found that dog walking provided similar benefits for senior citizens. The study showed that walking a dog provided a greater buffer against stress than walking without a dog, possibly because of the interactive component of spending time with a companion animal.

 

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When you go for a walk you allow yourself to escape from distractions from work or home.  Walking allows you to think and breathe.  This is called mindful walking.  

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Pets have a positive affect by enhancing your mood, encouraging exercise, providing unconditional love, helping to lower blood pressure and by reducing your stress.

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Find time in your day to take your dog for a walk and instantly feel the difference and enjoy the benefits.


Plan a Vacation

by Danielle Lauren


It can be difficult to change your daily routines to stop what you are doing and go on a vacation.  You may have responsibilities such as work, family or school.  You may not have the finances to go on a vacation, however, there are ways you can still go.  Take some time out of your busy schedule and plan a getaway, even if it's only for a day.  You don't have to plan an expensive trip to Bora Bora and you don't have to go right away.  

Look at your calendar and your budget and see what works for you.  Planning a trip can be exciting and if it's 6 months away it gives you time to save up and mentally relax.   When we get caught stressed from work it can help if there is a vacation in the future to take your mind off of it.  You can say to yourself, this is temporary and I will get my time to relax on this day...

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There are also other reasons taking time off is good for you.

It gives you a break from stress inducing factors such as work and pressure.  

It allows you to be with loved ones.  

It gives you time to think and relax.   

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Take some time today and plan a holiday, someday soon or far away, for a long time or only a day.  Trust me, you will feel better just planning it!  


Meditate

by Danielle Lauren


7 Ways Daily Meditation Can Improve Your Life

Take a deep breath, focus on your breathing, let go of your thoughts and relax.  

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Incorporate daily meditation into your life to reduce stress and anxiety and become more mindful of your surroundings and understanding in relationships.

1. FOCUS

Daily meditation will help you gather your thoughts and help you focus.  You don’t need to step away from what you were working on for long. Many meditation exercises take only fifteen to twenty minutes and can actually increase your productivity! Give it a try when your mind is in knots!

2. ANXIETY

Research has shown that individuals with no experience in meditation who commit to meditation sessions for as little as 4 days can significantly change specific brain mechanisms that correlate with a reduction in anxiety.

3. DIGESTION

One thing you may not have known about meditation is its impact on your digestive system. There has been a lot of research done related to the gut microbiome and its direct relationship to the brain, stating that anxiety and stress can greatly impact your digestion. By dedicating time in your schedule to relax and be mindful also helps to relax your muscles and digestive system – it’s a great way to get things moving!

4. MINDFULNESS

Meditation is really focused on increasing mindfulness. When you focus your energy inwards, you will undoubtedly notice a greater sense of mindfulness.  When you are mindful, you tend to observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance. Instead of letting your past define you and watching your life pass you by, mindfulness gives meaning to living in the moment and embracing all of the experiences that come your way.

5. DEPRESSION

Research has shown daily meditation will show a significant reduction in depression and show an improvement in mood.

6. RELATIONSHIPS

Having less stress and anxiety in your life, along with a greater mindfulness has a huge benefit on your relationships. Meditating can give you a calmer disposition and can assist you with potentially difficult discussions. Spending a little bit of time every day that is focused on you and your wellbeing gives you a real edge on improving relationships, whether they are personal or work related.

7. GRATITUDE

Practicing a thankful state of mind gives back to you time and time again. Chances are, the more grateful you are for the things in your life, the more you will attract positivity your way. There are many meditations based around practicing gratitude.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, meditation can play a fundamental role on bringing you peace and wellbeing. Having a greater self-awareness and appreciation for life and your surroundings has so many benefits, all entrenched with practicing meditation on a daily basis.

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Take a Relaxing Bath

by Danielle Lauren


For those who love taking bubble baths and relaxing listening to calming music with candles in a dim lit bathroom, then you will love this.  Bath detox: fill your tub with warm water, a cup of Epsom salts, 10 drops of lavender oil, half a cup of baking soda and fresh cut flowers.  This miracle mixture will draw out toxins and detoxify your body inside and out.  This bath with lower stress related hormones and balance out your internal ph levels.  Turn on your favorite calming music and add candles of your choice.  A warm bath will help you relieve stress and will also relax your muscles.  Find time to unwind. 


Exercise, Shower and Sauna

by Danielle Lauren


Making time to go to the gym and exercise can sometimes take up precious time.  The key to relaxation is allowing yourself that time to do what is best for you.  If you can spare some extra time after your workout at the gym then enjoy the benefits of showering at the gym and using the sauna.  The sauna has a lot of health benefits if practiced correctly.  Ensure you drink lots of water before, during and after the sauna.  Do not spend too much time or you can become dehydrated.  Taking a sauna will flush out toxins in your body.  Saunas relieve stress and relax muscles and soothes aches and pains in muscles and joints.  Taking a sauna is really good for your skin too because it unclogs pores.  Medical studies have shown saunas to provide stress relief from the heat of the sauna relaxing the body's muscles, improving circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. 


Read a book in a quiet place

by Danielle Lauren


When your life gets busy and sometimes pretty hectic it can be difficult to even find 10 minutes in your day to just relax and unwind.  Try to schedule your time so that you can allow yourself some time to rest and relax.  What do you like to do to relax?  Find a quiet place either inside or outside and read a book.  Sometimes taking your mind off of your current situation can help you relax.  If reading is a book is not your thing, then read a magazine, or look at photos on Instagram.  Find what makes you happy and schedule yourself a bit of quiet time each day in order to relax.