We welcome guest author Gabie Lazareff, a certified health coach, yoga teacher and freelance nutrition & wellness writer. After years of navigating the messy waters of mental health, her mission is to share her experiences and advice with others.
Through breathing, the simple practice of breathing, with intent on a regular basis can help to decrease anxiety. But how does breathing decrease anxiety? And what does breathing have to do with yoga?
We welcome yoga teacher, Manmohan Singh, who takes us through some of the poses that can help alleviate mental stress which also have many other benefits when practiced. Manmohan organises 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature, the Himalayas and trekking in India.
Every soul wants to feel like they have wings attached to their mind, and not just the shoulders. The reason is the airy vibe which allows people to taste the freedom and move wherever their heart takes them. On the other hand, a chaotic mind is a little devil which pulls us back from experiencing the feeling of ‘letting go’. So, the only solution to live an unforgettable life is to clear unwanted stress from our mind and make space for life-long cherished memories. [Read more…]
Our latest guest author is Hugh Fennell, a psychologist and blogger who writes on various topics including health and self-development. Here Hugh briefly takes us through seven games that can help to improve our brain function whilst having some fun and relaxation. Which are your favourites?
When we think of a game, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the term ‘fun’. However, there are many more benefits from playing games than just having a good time. Games can help improve how our brain functions, processing speed, and boost memory. A study by the University of London found that playing some types of video games can help our brain to process things faster and to think strategically. Gaming is a mental exercise, and like any other workout, it can improve our quality of life. Let’s take a look at 7 games with incredible benefits. [Read more…]
I know only too well how yoga can enhance one’s life. For me personally, I experienced a better balanced mind after a session, felt that sense of community, and reaped the benefits that the physical strengthening brought with it by opening up joints thus resulting in more flexibility and less pain.
Meera Watts a yoga teacher, founder of Siddhi Yoga and a mom has shared her writings on yoga and holistic health which have appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, amongst others and here shares 7 ways practicing yoga can bring great benefits to us, both physically and mentally.
When you choose to commit to a full 30 days of yoga, you will see a significant change in your lifestyle for the better. It will become second nature for you to do the best things for yourself. You will harness a sense of self-love and nurturing. The mind will become quieter and you’ll find that the aches and pains you experience, reduce or are completely alleviated. You will begin to develop a friendship with yourself and generally, the mind, body, and soul benefits. Here are 7 ways that a dedicated yoga practice can enhance your life. [Read more…]
We welcome back Caroline who is a health and wellness enthusiast, and an avid blogger. When she’s not writing about solutions for better wellbeing, she’s reading the latest studies about mental health, or catching up with her own fitness regime at the gym. Caroline also enjoys spending some time by herself each day to meditate, relax, and sip on a nice cup of coffee!
The Power of Me Time
In the fast-paced world that we live in today, it’s tempting to feel as though we all have to be moving forward at break-neck speed. We convince ourselves that if we’re not working, or putting our energy into personal projects, then we’re simply “wasting” time. However, there’s nothing wasteful about taking a little time out of your schedule to care for yourself. [Read more…]
There can be various underlying issues that may affect our sleep; issues such as anxiety, depression and stress being the most common. However, there can also be specific things that can affect our sleep such as worry, grief, trauma, lifestyle, sleep routine, mental health disorders, physical health conditions and even side-effects from taking medication.
If you are having trouble sleeping, why not try out some of these natural remedies?
A great infographic from Lifehack highlighting 40 ‘little things’ you can do to help you relax. Sometimes the simplest of things can a make BIG difference to how we feel! My five favourites are going for a walk (with Arthur, my rescue dog), attending yoga, taking a soak, meditating and watching a movie. What are your top 5?
Studying, wherever or whatever the educational environment, is nothing new yet the pressures today have arguably never been so intense. So how CAN WE reduce the associated stress, anxiety, depression and other turbulent symptoms before they become embedded and define our lives?
We cannot rely on others for our happiness, we have a choice to own some accountability!
Meditation is one important way we can reduce and remove stress, replacing it with a dose of inner peace. However, it can be a challenge to meditate without a guide. Guided meditations literally walk you through and help you find a calm and peaceful state, one step at a time. I’ve created something here for you to complement this post.
Take just 13 minutes to find some peace and become more grounded. This will enable you to get the day off to the best start, to re-set yourself during the day, or of particular benefit, last thing at night to aid with sleep. (Best listened to via earphones, click the player below.)
Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress
1. Get more Productive & Focused – Studying and trying to focus for longer periods without a break increases the time taken to absorb information. Get away from the study area and practise a few minutes (or more) of being mindful. Use a breathing exercise and some centering thoughts before an exam – to focus just on one question at a time, not the outcome!
2. Grab Regular Breaks – Taking breaks each hour will increase your performance and allow the brain to absorb and ‘sort’ information already received. Set a timer to nudge you!
3. Get Playful – Manage fatigue by scheduling ‘play-time’ as well as rest or other down-time. Seven hours’ restful sleep is sufficient for many of us, despite the belief we might need Twelve!
4. Stay Hydrated – Avoid de-hydration if you want a clearer mind and to reduce the incidence of headache (dehydration being a common cause of headaches).
5. Alcohol – Another major contributory factor to dehydration is alcohol. Clearly downtime is often going to include alcohol consumption so do make sure you replace the elevated loss of vital fluids and electrolytes after the party! Do expect less optimal performance for that exam the morning after alcohol!
6. Eye strain – Look after your eyes, this is another limiting factor for some of us. I suffer dreadfully if I don’t take breaks to rest my eyes. Do make sure you’re on top of your eye health exams.
7. Exercise – Whether it’s simply 30 minutes per day, exercise such as walking, taking in the environment, swimming, going to the gym or other low / high aerobic impact activity, all will reduce the effects of anxiety and depression and provide a natural, healthy high.
8. Socialise – It can become too easy to become ‘hermit’ like and ‘veg out’ then study and ‘veg out’ again, losing touch with others. Try to stay connected. We unconsciously learn to gain understanding when others are feeling and thinking how we are – facing challenges and doubts.
9. Eat Healthily – Our fast-food friends make it all too easy to grab some junk food – and now and again, why not indulge? But our moods and foods are very much intertwined so, if you want optimal performance, look after your physical house with foods that make you feel good, and think well.
10. Perspectives – Much of our anxiety is around perceptions and cognitions. If we can come to our breath and body by way of a regular daily practise, we can retain a more realistic sense of our reality in this moment. Spending study and down-time ruminating over the potential for success or ‘failure’ (expectations not being met), serves only to distract you from what you are supposed to be doing!
I hope this goes some way to providing a measure of what can be possible while we attempt to reach our goals, and to live more optimally. For more advice via Skype or in-person, do call or write to me.
I’ll be creating more guided meditations in due course. If you enjoyed listening to today’s podcast, why not sign up to receive each one FREE, together with my fortnightly posts?
“If only I could get a full night of great quality sleep.” Something I hear from clients on a very regular basis. Sleeping disorders can affect as many as 7/10 adults, due, at least in part, to anxiety related thought patterns.
From the very first moment we wake – to that very last moment at night – we are available, or at least our minds are, to those intrusive thoughts and ruminations, past and present… but rarely are we appreciating the only place that truly matters – the here and now – this second… in present moment awareness.
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