Reduce Stress Through These Simple Steps

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Hi there my beautiful lovelies! Hope you all are doing well and staying safe. As promised I will share with you today some simple steps to reduce stress. One thing for sure, the current pandemic and brought out stresses in our lives that we never thought existed. It is also put havoc on our body and digestion. Read the entire blog and I have a bonus for you at the end. Don’t scroll down….

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Stress…what do we mean when to talk about stress?How do we describe stress. It’s our body’s fight or flight response. National Institution of Mental Health (NIMH) defines stress as the following:

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“Stress can be defined as the brain’s response to any demand. Many things can trigger this response, including change. Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived. They may be recurring, short-term, or long-term and may include things like commuting to and from school or work every day, traveling for a yearly vacation, or moving to another home. Changes can be mild and relatively harmless, such as winning a race, watching a scary movie, or riding a rollercoaster. Some changes are major, such as marriage or divorce, serious illness, or a car accident. Other changes are extreme, such as exposure to violence, and can lead to traumatic stress reactions.”

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Nevertheless, our exposure to stress might be it can have a big toll on our health, hence my today’s blog. I, like many of us have dealt with stress to the point that I always had palpitation, high heart rate (higher than my usual benign high heart rate), insomnia, and anxiety. However, all that changed when I decided to take the 8 week Mindful Based Stress Reduction class Dr. Gina L Sager. She is a retired board-certified general surgeon, named one of Baltimore’s Top Docs in October 2000. Gina taught us to be aware of the present and be in the moment. I am currently in the 7th week of the class and I have so much difference in the class. You can talk her class in Town for $500 or simply her CDs 10% of the proceed of which will go to HopeWell Cancer Support. I use her Yoga Nidra, a deed relaxing guided meditation CD every night help me fall asleep along with Melatonin. I have to say that has been a lifesaver for me. I also use her guided Sitting meditation CD during my one hour subway commute to work everyday that help feel focused and ready to take on the day with all my attention even with my ADD personality.

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During one my long morning commute to work in the past, a lady tapped my shoulder while I was on my meditation mode, and gave a local Washington Post Express newspaper pointing to a particular newspaper article, and saying “this is you”. What was interesting was that she observed it right. The lady in far left was like me. This is what I do everyday. So I am not alone. The article provided the following mindful commuting tips: 1) Focus on your surroundings: Focus you attention from when you will get to you destination to what you notice via your senses, like the sounds, the feel of you feet touching the ground, or places of your body that feel tense. 2) Focus on your breath: If you’re not riding a bike or driving take five slow, deep breaths, then return to normal breathing but try to notice each breath and the space between breaths. 3) Refuse your thoughts: you red lights or stops on a train or bus as a reminder notice whether you’re lost in though. Then refocus on your breathing or your senses.

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There are some great free apps with guided meditation. The one that I love that most is Calm. It’s free in both Google Play. This app can help you meditate, sleep, relax, focus and much more. Don’t let stress take over your health and life. Let’s start by focusing on the moment and being aware of the present. However, in on order to conquer stress to we have to be aware of our feeling.

Now I will share with a bonus video that I have created to help reduce step. Just follow this guided meditation everyday and improve your mental awareness and health, and reduce stress and anxiety in your life.

Please come back tomorrow to learn more about my short 7 days workout challenge toward a flatter stomach and healthier me. Also I will add a separate post on mindful eating (remember the side effect of eating fast?). Until next time, I leave you with the following quotes from Jerry Spinelli,

“Live Yesterday.
Not Yesterday.
Not tomorrow.
Just today.
Inhabit your moments.
Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”

Hope you enjoyed my post as much I enjoyed writing it. What do you do to reduce stress. Did you find my video helpful. What more would you want do see. Please leave your comments.

In the meantime don’t forget to checkout my Facebook Page, YouTube channel, and bloglovin page, My Amazon recommendations. Please follow me.

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Being in the Moment

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Hi there my lovely readers! Happy eve of Christmas Eve to everyone. For those who celebrates Hanukkah, happy eve of the first day of Hanukkah to you all! As you know, the holidays are wonderful time of the years to spend quality time with your family. This is the time when we all come together and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the magic of togetherness. Life is short and we set aside our differences and embrace each other. However, I want to share some small tips that may help make each small moment more memorable for you. Happy reading!

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Here in the western hemisphere, we are too busy with our everyday life and have very little time to stop and take a deep breath. We always tend to verbally process information in an analytical and sequential way looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. However, rarely do we take the time to be non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words. It is in the later part that allows us to be more connected and allow us to experience more.

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Life is literally unfolding in front of us in the present. However, we let it slip away, and allowing time to move past us unseized, and unobserved, while we squander away precious moments of our time worrying about what could have been or what could be. When we are at work we daydream about the dream vacation; on vacation, we worry about work piling on our desk. Most of us do not take part in our thoughts in awareness. Rather, we let our thought control us. As Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindful-based meditation put it, we need to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being”.breath

Mindfulness is living in the moment. It’s a state of openness; an intention on the present. When are mindful you we become an active observer of your thoughts, as they are. You are awakened to your life experience. It is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present, which in turns reduces stress. Studies have shown that mindfulness that led to boosting immune function and chronic pain, lowering blood pressure, and even helping people cope with cancer. Even my colleagues at Children’s National Health have been using this technique to help adolescents with congenital heart disease.

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So why I am talking about mindfulness in the context of holidays? Well, when you are mindful, you are more likely to experience yourself as part of a greater universe, and be right here right now. This keen awareness will allow you to focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem. If can tune out the chaos surrounding you and just tune into your immediate experience. You want to ice skate with your family but don’t know how? Don’t worry about other people starring at your. That’s the first paradox of living in the moment: Thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually makes you do worse. Just loosen up, as no one’s watching you. People are too busy worrying about themselves. There is a term about people like you and me, absolute beginner. Focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room, less on your mental chatter and more on yourself as part of something. Once you do that you will be able to enjoy the experience so much more.

This is living in the moment. You need to start by taking deep breaths. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that people can condition themselves to slow down and appreciate the present. It all begins with one question. “Ask yourself, ‘Am I still breathing?’” Tolle says. “You suddenly feel the air flowing into your body and out of your body… At that moment, you’ve entered the state of presence. Even if it’s only five seconds.” Another exercise involves using all your senses when going through usual everyday motions, such as washing your hands, or even eating. Do these things consciously. As Tolle instructed, “When you wash your hands, feel the water. Smell the soap. Becoming acutely conscious of sense perception means looking, hearing, touching. It brings you into the present moment. ”These exercises may take a little effort at first, but Tolle says that they do end up becoming second nature. “The more you bring those moments of presence into your life, the more your old conditioning becomes eroded, gradually,” he says.

I do the same thing when eating. Making time to focus on what and how we eat is the most important step to mindful eating. Set aside time to enjoy your meal. It’s important to eat in a place that allows you to focus on your food. I then acknowledge my food. This acknowledgement is not simply an opportunity to give thanks. It also allows me to disengage from what I was doing and turn my focus to the food and experience before me. As I eat, savor one bite at a time. I feel the texture of the food with my tongue and before I put the food in my mouth I smell it. I try to feel all the favors, and textures through mouth. Eating is a very sensual experience, hence I enjoy the moment. Before finishing my meal,I would take a moment to appreciate the food I’ve just eaten, and recall my dining experience and notice how I feel. Such everyday experience become very satisfying through the mindful experience.

In conclusion, living in the moment will allow you capture the present and not letting precious moment squander away worrying about what could be. Follow the small techniques. So, when you go out today, follow the above breathing technique and just absorb the moment, use your intuitiveness and pictures surroundings instead of just focusing on you and words. Don’t stay too much into your head and be in the moment and let me know how your experience changed as a result. After all, as the Chinese proverb says, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why it’s called a present”. May your holidays be as merry and blessed as ever.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram @allaboutme3181.

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