4 Ways to Treat Yourself at Home and Feel Rejuvenated

So often we don’t make time for ourselves; that includes taking care of our body, mind, and spirit. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a little free time at home, give these inner and outer beauty activities a shot.

DIY Pampering

Yes, consider yourself lucky if you have the time and means to get treated like you deserve. But if you’re life is like most—busy, complicated, and spending time taking care of others—you will need to make a conscious choice to make time for yourself. Choose an activity below and see how good you can feel by treating yourself to something just for you.

Scrub

  1. Dry Brush. Take a soft-bristled brush and make contact with your bare skin, over every inch of your body. Dry brushing will invigorate your skin. Some dermatologists suggest using a circular motion from one area to another. Other specialists recommend brushing straight in one direction as if it were a mane of hair. Regardless of your technique, the overall consensus is that ultra-fine bristles are best.

The massage definitely improves circulation. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, which will help flush toxins from the body. Exfoliation will scarf off the dead skin cells, leaving the epidermis in better shape to receive hydration, thus moister skin. After dry brushing, treat yourself to a warm shower and after, apply coconut oil to your skin.

Glow

  1. Organic Facial. Create a concoction made from fresh produce. Ingredients like lemon, strawberry, olive oil, and honey are often used in organic mask mixtures. A simple favorite is to beat an egg yolk and then add-in half a ripe avocado and blend well. Start applying at the chin, moving up towards your forehead, leaving space around your eyes and mouth. Leave on for about 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water.

After, take the inside of the avocado, the peel, and massage your face with it. The peel has oil, which contains humectants, and is a natural moisturizer. You can leave that on, or rinse off.

Chill

  1. Create a Meditation Space. You want to meditate and a quiet spot to relax, but it doesn’t exist. Yet. All you need to do is pick a spot in your home, preferably one that is not heavily trafficked. It can even be a corner or a closet! Starting with a seat—it can be a pillow, beanbag, or a blanket covering the floor. Then make whatever space is around your “seat” clean and beautiful.

Keep the lighting soft. Paint with warm colors. Decorate your space with objects that are meaningful to you. Go ahead and enjoy your creation. Hopefully, you’ll get to visit daily.

Prepare

  1. Freeze, Cook, or Bake. Being able to feed yourself a healthy, delicious food is satisfying to your entire being. Taking the time to do or make something special will go along way. One thing you can do is take your fresh produce, wash, cut, and then freeze. Slice bananas, chop spinach, cut stems off the berries—you get the picture. Your supply will be ready when you want to make that last-minute smoothie!

Look up (or check your bookmarks) for that Mediterranean dish you’ve been wanting to cook. Check out recipes for muffins, bread, or cakes. GetThrive.com has gluten-free ideas for treats and breakfast suggestions, too. Pour your joy of food into your creation. Revel in the experience when you get to eat it!

For more tips on reducing stress and making your life simpler and healthier, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

 

 

Getting Sick from Anger and Stress?

Sick of It

Holding onto anger and stress can certainly lead to making you sick. Stress-related illness in women is on the rise. Here are some interesting ways to dispel your negative emotions.

Getting it All Out

One theory about a way to release stress and anger is to physically indulge in the emotions. A new workshop in the UK encourages women, in a safe environment, to rage until their hearts’ content. Tantrums are welcomed—punching pillows, screaming, jumping on bubble wrap, and more.

In general, we are taught to restrain ourselves—for the sake of civility. What about our inner emotional turmoil? Long work hours, low pay, screaming kids, ignoring spouses, traffic, no chocolate, all the things that can make us downright frustrated and furious, but we have no outlet.

Adele Theron has created a space designed for stressed ladies of all ages and statuses to “shout and pummel their way to inner peace.” Her philosophy is that the negative emotions need to be released. Two tantrum instructors currently guide the workshops.

The participants are urged to write angry thoughts on balloons and then pop them, don goggles and a bat and smash various items, all while screaming expletives as loud as they desire. The theory is that our anger is suppressed. Once it’s experienced, it makes room for us to experience greater joy and happiness.

A Different Philosophy

Indeed now is always the best time to improve our health—emotional and physical. And no doubt, stress-related illness is on the rise. But is feeding into the anger the best way to release it? Some therapists, yogis, and other healers would promote a different way of dispelling anger.

For example, meditation instructor Surbhi Sharma believes anger can be redirected. In order to manage inner rage, he states three essential aspects that must be considered: 1) restlessness in the body and mind; 2) past impression of anger in the mind; and 3) lack of awareness or imperfections. Basically, control the anger before it controls you.

The advice is simple, but not always so easy to practice. Guess that’s why it’s called practice—it’s a work in progress. Get your chemistry balanced: eat nutritionally, sleep well, and get some exercise and/or convene with nature. That’s a start. He then suggests that the moment you sense yourself becoming angry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Observe the change in your state of mind. Deep, mindful breathing releases stress and calms the mind.

Meditation can also be a superb tool for calming the beast within. For other articles on mental and emotional best health, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Meditation Can Enhance Your Professional Life

There is no arguing that meditation practice garners positive effects. Most people are happy to express how their personal life and health have benefitted. But what many don’t know is that meditation can actually enhance your professional life as well!

 

Meditation Actualization

There isn’t an exact figure on how many people across the globe meditate. A consensus revealed that more than 18 million American adults practiced (that was back in 2012.) Today, certainly more people in the U.S. have considered meditation, especially since the National Institutes of Health suggests that stress affects over 75 million people each day.

Some experts estimate, considering countries that subscribe to Eastern traditional practices, there may be over 250 million people in the world who participate in daily meditation.

 

Your Life on Meditation

It’s no secret that the practice of meditation can benefit your life in many different ways and areas. And that’s not to say that you have to meditate everyday, or for a particular period of time each time. Proof of its advantages has been experienced by those who meditate 10-20 minutes every few days or so. (Additionally, those who practice longer each session, more frequently, and for many, many years reap even more benefits.)

Here are the most recognized results of even a casual meditation program:

 

  • Stress reduction
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Boosted immune system
  • Increased patience and empathy
  • Clearer thinking
  • Better decision-making ability
  • Boosted creativity

 

A Professional-Life Enhancement

If your job and career matter to you, it makes sense that you want to perform at your peak. There are several key factors, which can enhance your productivity in the workplace (even if you work from home.) These aspects are important for professional success and can be made easier through the practice of meditation.

 

1) Fewer sick days. Meditating helps boost your immune system because it reduces stress. Studies have shown a decrease in the amygdala from meditation practice. (The amygdala is the fight or flight part of the brain.)

Change in that section of the brain is linked to a reduction in stress levels. Stress can create headaches, inflammation throughout the body, changes in gut microbiota, and fatigue. Reduction of the effects will keep you healthier and working more days, productively.

 

2) Better relationships with co-workers. A study out of Harvard University explained that those who meditated showed a thickening (a growth) in particular parts of the brain. One of them was the temporo parietal junction—an area associated with empathy and compassion. Trust and collaboration are essential for successful working relationships. It appears that meditation can help our people skills.

 

3) Improved decision-making. Another area of the brain that recharges from meditation is the left hippocampus. Emotional regulation is guided in that center of the brain, which can help us to make choices made from experience and cognition rather than just emotion. Learning ability is also boosted, which can help with future decision-making as well.

 

4) Creativity is boosted. Meditation allows the brain to rest—to switch off—but then switch back on again. Once it’s invigorated, it has the ability to think more freely. Without constriction, creativity is invited to flow. Improvement in attention to detail is another bonus.

 

5) Working memory is enhanced. In the same Harvard study as mentioned previously, it was found that those who meditated had more grey matter in the frontal cortex of the brain. That area is associated with memory and cognition and can help you to be on the ball in a moment’s notice.

 

Meditation as a Part of Your Life

Again, there is no formula or specific amount of meditation time required to reap its benefits. Different teachers, studies, or pundits may suggest various practices, but, truly, it is a personal endeavor. However, now understanding that meditating can enhance your professional life, you may be more inclined to offer it more attention.

Regardless, meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and for any length. If you desire to participate, whatever time you have or you make will be advantageous to your personal and professional life. Best of wishes in your endeavor to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?utm_term=.5f8d5a26d72c

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6763007

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/december-2014/how-stress-affects-cancer-risk.html.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2017/09/22/five-reasons-why-meditation-will-improve-your-career/#c1346662189b

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/meditation

 

Is Meditation a Replacement for Student Discipline?

We’ve already outlawed the ineffective and inhumane practice of beating students as a form of punishment for bad behavior. Should detention be dismissed as a “lesson in behavior” as well? It seems that schools that are implementing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are reporting boosted grades and better behaviors. Let’s explore their success…

Social Media Following

A short video on Facebook highlighting the benefits of meditation practice at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School has been circulating as of late. The trending video is not brand new, but the message may be for many. The West Baltimore school is one of many around the country utilizing meditation and yoga to help students monitor their own behavior.

At Coleman, all the students practice deep breathing and yoga in the morning. It centers them and gets them ready to do schoolwork. It also helps them focus and reset, allowing them to shed negativity they could be bringing in from their lives outside of school.

A Good Form of Discipline

When two students have an altercation, instead of sending them to the principal’s office, they are sent to a “mindful” room. In some schools there are counselors in the spaces set up specifically for kids who are angry or having a hard time. Going to the special room allows them to “blow off steam” and get calm. (The room can have distinctive lighting, beanbags, blankets, soothing music, colorful walls, trace scents of essential oils—anything to invoke serenity in the environment.) Once the students are calm, they are more apt to explore and discuss their feelings. They are encouraged to look at better ways of handling challenges and frustrations.

Schools implementing meditation practices report fewer office referrals, fewer or zero suspensions, and overall improved school environments. Mindfulness has also shown to help students attend better and perform more proficiently on tests. The main bonus is that the child learns that he/she has the ability to attain calmness and make better behavioral choices.

Is Meditation a Form of Religion?

The most concise answer is that practicing meditation is not a religion. There are certain religions that advocate meditation and yoga as tools to center oneself. But in and of itself, the practice of deep breathing, stretching, and bringing awareness to the body and mind is not a religious thing. It may actually be more rooted in science.

Mindful Meditation

Any child (or adult) can reap benefits from yoga and meditation, regardless of his or her faith. JAMA Internal Medicine published a study reporting that mindfulness meditation can help decrease stress. School is a huge stressor for kids. The research also revealed that meditation can not only ease anxiety, but depression, and actual physical pain as well.

Other benefits of meditation for students:

– It removes the feeling of competition. The practice is about getting to know yourself; you win when you learn about you.

– You don’t have to have any athletic ability; anyone can do it.

– It improves self-image. Kids are very self-conscious, especially about their bodies. Positive self-image improves overall health.

– It increases respect for the body.

– It improves posture.

– It improves the ability to manage stress and the ability to respond more appropriately.

 

A mental health professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health had a beautifully articulate talking point about the introduction of yoga and meditation into schools. She said this about deep breathing, “When we sit with pain or discomfort rather than act on it, we learn that feelings and sensations come and go. We don’t necessarily need to act on them all. We have a chance to pause and make a thoughtful choice about how to respond.”

It’s this type of statement that can help us to understand that detention or other forms of punishment many not be as effective as once thought.

Check out GetThrive for more articles on healthy living tips for you and your family.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/10/health/yoga-in-schools/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/04/health/meditation-in-schools-baltimore/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

3 Surprising Benefits of Meditation

Who can deny the positive power of meditation? Perhaps those who have never tried it or read anything about it? And although meditation is touted as overall “being good for you”, in general, there are a few specific benefits that may surprise you.

Meditation Practice

There are many various techniques on how to study and practice meditation. It’s an ancient application, which has transformed over time and the globe. The core of any meditation practice is the breath. Focusing on breathing is essential regardless of one’s style. And decreasing stress is the number one priority.

Whether you’re sitting on the floor, lying down, in the dark, in a room heated to 90 degrees, etc., the objective of meditation will all basically be the same. The goal is to enjoy a calm body and mind. When meditating, the basic objective is to relieve your mind of thoughts and stressors. It’s a guide to help stop random thoughts and worrying, and just “be.”

Reduce Wrinkles

When we’re tense, we are apt to make strong facial expressions. Repeating the same angry or worried looks can create lines in the face. Our forehead can become creased and the lines in our furrows can dig deeper.

Meditation can quiet facial muscles. Stress affects 75 million Americans daily. It creates inflammation, even in skin. A stressed out face naturally appears to have more wrinkles.

One study showed that those who meditated looked younger—anywhere from 2 years to 12 years depending on how long they had been practicing meditation.

Reduce Acne, Beautiful Complexion

We can definitely point to stress as one culprit when it comes to acne. Stress doesn’t directly create pimples, but the inflammation from the underlying stress does. The stress hormone creates an oily substance in cells, which then mixes with dead skin cells. Pores become clogged, and, alas, acne appears.

Meditation can provide the balance necessary to improve skin condition. It works from the inside out. The results of meditating are reduced blood pressure and heart rate. Alternately, cellular oxygen and blood flow increases. This action helps remove toxins from our organs (including the skin.) Nutrients are brought to the surface, giving it moisture and radiance.

Alleviate Depression

MRI scans have shown how meditation improves mental focus. Part of what perpetuates our sense of depression is the focus on negative thoughts and despair. An Italian neuroscientist, Giuseppe Pagnoni, found that meditation can change brain patterns.

With that information, it’s possible to see how meditation may alleviate symptoms of depression. Negative continuous thoughts could conceivably be replaced by positive ones. Meditation can help an individual to ignore the dark thoughts and give the brain a rest from worry and angst.

Aside from the above benefits, meditation also provides a wealth of others. One of the most valuable, however, is that those who meditate may actually live longer.  Meditation positively affects our stress response. Less stress equals increased quality of health—and life. Read GetThrive for more tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Sources:

http://www.worldlifestyle.com/beauty-style/erase-wrinkles-meditation

http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/meditation-skin-care-acne-anti-aging

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6763007

 

Confirmed: Successful Treatment for Stress and Trauma

Information on the benefits of Meditation often seems repetitive and tedious. This time, however, a study conducted with prison inmates utilizing Transcendental Meditation offers very exciting results.

This study has shown that meditation practice has made for incredible, significant improvement in physical, mental, and behavioral health.

Let’s Go Overboard

Surely, those incarcerated are, definitely, under far more stress than those who are not in prison. Being confined, in and of itself, is enough to create incredible trauma. Aside from that, those who have been imprisoned may have had trauma long before they arrived in their cells.

So, let’s just agree that inmates suffer far more stress than those who live a “free” life. In fact, traumatic events are four times more prevalent for those incarcerated than those on the outside.

Therapeutic Help

The worse the trauma, the worse the victim makes decisions now and in the future. That’s why so many who experience trauma (and not just convicted criminals) tend to choose self-destructive paths through poor choices.

Besides behavior snafus, these unsavory choices tend to lead to adverse mental and physical health conditions. Innocent people who suffer from trauma, if not treated, can suffer from heart and metabolic disease, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.

It’s Not All a Downer—There’s Positive News!

Over the years, there’s been a ton of positive studies proving the benefits of meditation. This particular current study reveals an amazing advantage for those practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM). According to the Permanente Journal, this was the largest randomized controlled trial of TM’s effect on trauma symptoms.

The TM program showed to lower hypertension and decrease anxiety and depression. Practicing TM also showed a significant reduction in sleep disturbance.

What is a Transcendental Meditation Program?

Transcendental Meditation is a technique, by which you repeat a mantra, in order to avoid distracting thoughts in order to reach a state of relaxed awareness. The practice has been said to “produce a profound state of restful alertness.” It is a form of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and its benefits can be astronomical.

A team from Harvard in 2011 found that MBSR can actually change the structure of the brain. Scans showed improvement in the hippocampus (learning and memory) and a decrease in the amygdala (fear, anxiety, and stress).

Other studies have been conducted using TM on veterans and refugees—all showing a reduction in trauma symptoms. The results of this and various other studies point out that TM can be an effective therapy (along side others) to reduce symptoms of stress-related disorders.

Whether you pay someone to “teach” you TM, learn it on your own, or merely practice “traditional” meditation, any form can reap healthy, and positive results.

 

 

Meditation Helpful for Disruptive Students

Some elementary schools are replacing detention or other inconsequential punishment with meditation insteadsuccessfully.

Acting Out

We all know the kid who disrupts the class with unsavory behavior. He or she runs around the classroom, doesn’t follow directions, acts disrespectful, or starts fights with other students. Some classes have more than one kid who engages in this type of behavior.

Traditional “punishments’ such as detention or suspension don’t work. Kids get bored sitting in a room, fake-reading after school; and it has no connection to their recent misbehavior. Suspension might be what the student wants—to avoid going to school.

One elementary school in Baltimore, however, is having great success with their “mindful moment room.”

How it Works

When a student becomes persistently disruptive in the classroom, the teacher asks them to go to the meditation room. It’s in that space that the child is encouraged to partake in self-soothing, calming behaviors like mindful breathing and simple yoga poses.

The mindful meditation room has plush pillows, soft lighting, and warm colors. The kids are encouraged to engage in deep breathing in order to get their bodies and mind more still. They are also given an opportunity to reflect and then discuss their previous actions.

Does it Work?

According to the principal, teachers, parents, and students of Robert W. Coleman Elementary, meditation instead of punishment is working quite well. They’ve noticed that the children’s focus and attention spans have increased. The Holistic Life Foundation partnered with the school to create the meditation room. Kirk Phillips, one of the coordinators, said the program is amazing. “You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.”

Parents are also claiming that they are seeing changes at home. They’re finding that their kids are less stressed out.

There’s also been noted a greater awareness of surroundings. The students have been more participatory in the community like helping out cleaning up parks and creating local gardens.

One high school practicing the meditation room programs reports that suspension rates dropped significantly, and attendance is the highest it’s been.

It’s great news to hear that change is occurring. Since traditional styles haven’t been working all that well, why not revert to an ancient practice? Especially one that been proven over thousands of years to reap mental and physical benefits.

For more articles on children, families, health, meditation, and progressive, alternative remedies and solutions, check out www.GetThrive.com

Getting Sick from Anger and Stress?

Anger and Stress

Holding onto anger and stress can certainly lead to making you sick. Stress-related illness in women is on the rise. Here are some interesting ways to dispel your negative emotions.

Getting it All Out

One theory about a way to release stress and anger is to physically indulge in the emotions. A new workshop in the UK encourages women, in a safe environment, to rage until their hearts’ content. Tantrums are welcomed—punching pillows, screaming, jumping on bubble wrap, and more.

In general, we are taught to restrain ourselves—for the sake of civility. What about our inner emotional turmoil? Long work hours, low pay, screaming kids, ignoring spouses, traffic, no chocolate, all the things that can make us downright frustrated and furious, but we have no outlet.

Adele Theron has created a space designed for stressed ladies of all ages and statuses to “shout and pummel their way to inner peace.” Her philosophy is that the negative emotions need to be released. Two tantrum instructors currently guide the workshops.

The participants are urged to write angry thoughts on balloons and then pop them, don goggles and a bat and smash various items, all while screaming expletives as loud as they desire. The theory is that our anger is suppressed. Once it’s experienced, it makes room for us to experience greater joy and happiness.

A Different Philosophy

Indeed now is always the best time to improve our health—emotional and physical. And no doubt, stress-related illness is on the rise. But is feeding into the anger the best way to release it? Some therapists, yogis, and other healers would promote a different way of dispelling anger.

For example, meditation instructor Surbhi Sharma believes anger can be redirected. In order to manage inner rage, he states three essential aspects that must be considered: 1) restlessness in the body and mind; 2) past impression of anger in the mind; and 3) lack of awareness or imperfections. Basically, control the anger before it controls you.

The advice is simple, but not always so easy to practice. Guess that’s why it’s called practice—it’s a work in progress. Get your chemistry balanced: eat nutritionally, sleep well, and get some exercise and/or convene with nature. That’s a start. He then suggests that the moment you sense yourself becoming angry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Observe the change in your state of mind. Deep, mindful breathing releases stress and calms the mind.

Meditation can also be a superb tool for calming the beast within. For other articles on mental and emotional best health, check out www.GetThrive.com