Slowing Down

Most of us live hectic lives, trying to cram into a day all the things we feel we have to do and a lot of what we want to do. It is a formula for stressful living that starts in school where we are expected to achieve, and continues when we go to work where we are urged to do more, more, more! In trying to do more, stress becomes an everyday presence in our lives, leading to health issues and relationship problems.

But what would happen if we just slowed things down? What if we didn’t check off everything on the to-do list? What if we were able to just focus on what really matters and let go of the rest? It’s not about slacking off, it’s really about being realistic about what your can do, and at the same time taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s about spending your time in a way that is most meaningful to you and those you love.

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12 Ways to Beat Stress

Most of us live stressful lives. We have too many commitments and too little time. We say “sure I can do that” when we should say “no, I don’t want to take on anything else right now.” Sometimes we don’t even know how stressed we are until we realize we are cranky and short-tempered or feel the tension somewhere in our bodies. We can’t avoid stress completely, but here are some things that can help reduce it:

1. Focus on your breathing. Slow things down by breathing in through your nose to the count of 4, then out through your mouth to the count of 4. You can also breath in and out through your nose if that is more comfortable. Take normal breaths and just focus on the breath going in and out.

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Boosting Your Immune System?

Wander around online and anywhere else that products are advertised and you will find hundreds of claims about boosting the immune system to ward off colds, flu and other illnesses. There are lists of vitamin supplements and specific foods that are said to do that very thing. But, it’s complicated…

If you look further you’ll find researchers who say that these claims are exaggerated. According to Charles Bangham, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, the immune system is a very complex system of different types of cells that interact to fight off bacteria and viruses. In other words, it would take more than just eating a certain food or taking a particular vitamin or mineral to affect your immune system in any meaningful way. I’ve been researching this subject and had actually hoped to find studies that show the immune system could be strengthened through diet. Sadly, I have not found good evidence that this is the case.

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Stress and One Good Way to Relieve It

Where in your body do you feel stress? In your neck? Your back? Your stomach? Or maybe you feel it all over your body. We live such busy and distracted lives we may not even notice how stress is affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally until some disease or disorder has taken hold.

Stress is the body’s response to anything that we believe to be threatening, challenging or dangerous. The stress response, or the fight-or-flight response, is activated whenever the brain decides there is some sort of a threat nearby. Signals from the brain release adrenaline and cortisol, stress hormones, into the bloodstream, and energy is diverted to the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and the muscles of the arms and legs, so we can either fight or run away from the danger. It’s a pretty amazing response really.

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What Can Yoga Do For You?

There are a ton of books, DVDs and websites that show you, step-by-step how to perform yoga poses, and they can do that much better than I can. Just search “yoga poses” to find a bunch of them. In this post though, I just want to focus on the overall benefits of yoga. First though and this is very important…if you have a health condition of any kind, check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise program, including yoga!

The word yoga is the Sanskrit word for breath and also the word for life. Yoga is the combination of breath and movement practiced in such a way that the movement follows your breath. Yoga has been around for about 5000 years and each day people around the world practice some form of it. In the west the most common form is Hatha Yoga, a gentle and relaxing type of yoga, but there are other types, including Iyengar, Kundalini, Vinyasa, and Bikram, or Hot Yoga which is practiced in a sauna-like setting. Follow this link for more information: https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise

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