5 Minute Meditation for Stress Relief

Manage-Stress-Naturallty

 

Are you feeling stressed, tired, or worn out? Don’t have time for yoga or too busy with your little ones? No problem! This 5-minute meditation plan is exactly what you need to get your day back on track! Stress is normal. It happens to all of us! It’s just a matter of how you relieve that stress, and I’m here to give you a simple and effective way!

 

  1. Find a quiet place where distractions are nonexistent. For the next 5 minutes, your focus needs to be solely on the meditation.

 

  1. Take a seat on the floor, bed, chair or couch. Cross your legs, leave them straight out, or lay down. The key is to not disrupt the meditation with movement. The most comfortable position for you is ideal. For the next 5 minutes, you will get lost in your meditation and movement would disrupt the tranquility.

 

  1. Select your favorite background music and add a few drops of lemon and lavender essential oil to your diffuser.

 

  1. Set your timer to 5 minutes. That way, you don’t need to wonder when the 5 minutes are up- your timer will do that for you!

 

  1. Begin your meditation. Close your eyes and relax. Visualize the stress and tension exiting your body from your head to your toes! Clear your mind of all thoughts, focus on your breathing, and letting go. Make sure to keep your eyes closed for the entire meditation, just don’t fall asleep! Do this for 5 minutes until your timer goes off.

 

  1. After your meditation, slowly get up from your quiet spot and enjoy a glass of refreshing lemon water. You are renewed so freshen up!

 

Meditation is the perfect tool to redirect your body and bring you back to the present. You can meditate for the first 5 minutes of your day, after a long days work, or during your lunch break. You can do this meditation on vacation, in the parking lot of your favorite store, or your work. As you become more familiar with your meditation, feel free to increase the time from 5 minutes to 10 or 15 minutes!

By spending 5 minutes redirecting your body and mind to ease stress, you are increasing your mental and emotional strength, determination, and drive. There’s a wonderful feeling about a mind and stress cleanse! The beauty is, as simple and short as this meditation seems, the benefits of a quick 5-minute meditation are astounding. Give it a try yourself!

Love and light,

Shaline

 

How to Find an Essential Oil Company You Can Trust

Aromatherapy has taken the wellness world by storm, and for good reason. From moisturizing your cuticles to positive breathing experience, essential oils have several awesome benefits.

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Finding a Reputable Essential Oil Company

 

Like any popular product on the market, not all essential oils are created equal. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant without consulting Yelp or getting your haircut  without asking for references, right? You should approach wellness companies with the same caution.

Finding reputable companies can be difficult, though. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of traits to help you choose a company that’s making oils you can trust.

 

essential oil sample bottles

 

The Essential Oils Company Checklist

 

1. They’re Transparent About Where Their Oils Come From

Because essential oils can be easily contaminated, brand transparency is everything. A company should be able to tell you how they harvest and extract their ingredients and where each oil is sourced. They should also be able to tell you the Latin name of each oil so you know exactly what plant the oil came from.

For example, there are many different species of lavender. If you don’t know the specific kind being used in your oil, you may not be getting the experience you’re actually looking for.

 

2. Their Products Are Pure and Backed by Science

So, how are essential oils regulated to ensure they’re pure? Unfortunately, the honest answer is that there is no official or standardized regulatory agency for testing the purity of essential oils. But, it helps if a company has put together a detailed, comprehensive quality and safety process to ensure their oils haven’t been contaminated or altered in any way. A company willing to use third-party testing is even better!

I’ve research several essential oil companies over the years i.e. doTERRA, Young Living, Mountain Rose Herbs, Living Libations, Taspens Organics, and Melaleuca. Recently, I’ve been checking out Isagenix’s new line of essential oils.

lavendar

 

3. Their Prices Aren’t Extreme

It can take a lot of plant matter to create one small bottle of essential oil, which is why some oils are more expensive than others. The price primarily depends on how readily available each plant is.

Frankincense oil, for instance, will be more expensive than lemon oil because lemons are much more readily available than frankincense. Frankincense requires a process in which sap is collected from a tree and then steam distilled, whereas lemon oil is cold pressed from lemon peels — a much easier process!

If a company is charging the same exact price for every single oil, you may need to question where they’re sourcing their plants.

Similarly, if a company is luring you in with the lowest prices on the market, you may need to consider if they’re being honest about the quality of their oils. On the other hand, just because a company has the most expensive oils doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best oils.  Note: check out my blog post about essential oils vs fragrance oils.

The key is understanding which oils are common and which are rare and checking bottle labels to determine oil quality.

 

Think You’re Ready to Choose?

Finding a company you trust  can be difficult, but at the end of the day, the more information a company is willing to share, the better. When a company is honest and forthcoming about their product every step of the way, you have everything you need to make an informed decision.

 

Summary

In conclusion, everyone has the essential oil company they like and would recommend, so I suggest doing your own research and find the best one for you.

 

29 Benefits for Starting a Yoga Practice

Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in India as a comprehensive system for well being on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. While Yoga is often equated with Hatha Yoga, the well-known system of postures and breathing techniques, Hatha Yoga is only a part of the overall discipline of Yoga. Today, many people use various aspects of Yoga to help raise their quality of life in such areas as fitness, stress relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind, and spiritual growth.

 

There are the reasons why you need to begin a yoga practice if you haven’t already started one.

 

29 Benefits of Yoga

 

  • Improves your flexibility. Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga.

 

  • Builds muscle strength. Yoga protects us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and it helps prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility.

 

  • Perfects your posture. Your head is like a bowling ball i.e. it’s big, round, and heavy. When it’s balanced directly over a straight spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it.

 

  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown. Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through a full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or reduces disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.

 

  • Protects your spine. Spinal disks are the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves. The vertebrae craves movement. This is the only way they get their nutrients.

 

  • Improves your bone health. It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight.

 

  • Increases your blood flow. Yoga gets your blood flowing. The relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which help them function better. And twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist pose is released.

 

  • Drains your lymph and boosts immunity. When you contract and stretch your muscles, move your organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of the lymph. Lymph is a viscous fluid rich in immune cells. These movements help the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

 

  • Increases your heart rate. When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise.

 

  • Helps drop your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you might benefit from yoga. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop.

 

  • Regulates your adrenal glands. Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise your immune system. Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain. Additionally, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.

 

  • Makes you happier.  Sit in a Lotus pose when you’re feeling sad. Then rise up into a back bend pose. While it’s not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.

 

  • Helps you create a healthy lifestyle. Yoga can help on both fronts: diet and exercise. A regular practice gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.
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  • Lowers your blood sugar. Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL or bad cholesterol and boosts HDL or good cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin.

 

  • Helps you with focus/concentration. An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and recall information better. This is probably due to the fact that they’re less distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like an endless tape loop.

 

  • Relaxes your system. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs—comprising what Herbert Benson, M.D., calls the relaxation response.

 

  • Improves your balance. Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance. People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain. Better balance could mean fewer falls. For the elderly, this translates into more independence and delayed admission to a nursing home or never entering one at all. For the rest of us, postures like Tree Pose can make us feel less wobbly on and off the mat.

 

  • Maintains your nervous system. Some advanced yogis can control their bodies in extraordinary ways, many of which are mediated by the nervous system. Scientists have monitored yogis who could induce unusual heart rhythms, generate specific brain-wave patterns, and, using a meditation technique, raise the temperature of their hands by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If they can use yoga to do that, perhaps you could learn to improve blood flow to your pelvis if you’re trying to get pregnant or induce relaxation when you’re having trouble falling asleep.

 

  • Releases tension in your limbs. Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.

 

  • Helps you get a deeper sleep. Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleep—which means you’ll be less tired and stressed and less likely to have accidents.

 

  • Boosts your immune system functionality. Asana and pranayama probably improve immune function, but, so far, meditation has the strongest scientific support in this area. It appears to have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, boosting it when needed (for example, raising antibody levels in response to a vaccine) and lowering it when needed (for instance, mitigating an inappropriately aggressive immune function in an autoimmune disease like psoriasis).

 

  • Gives your lungs room to breathe. Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume, which is both calming and more efficient. A 1998 study published in The Lancet taught a yogic technique known as “complete breathing” to people with lung problems due to congestive heart failure. After one month, their average respiratory rate decreased from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6. Meanwhile, their exercise capacity increased significantly, as did the oxygen saturation of their blood. In addition, yoga has been shown to improve various measures of lung function, including the maximum volume of the breath and the efficiency of the exhalation. Yoga also promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold, dry air is more likely to trigger an asthma attack in people who are sensitive), and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs.

 

  • Prevents digestive problems. Some digestive problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation are caused by stress. So if you stress less, you’ll suffer less. Yoga, like any physical exercise, can ease some of these digestive issues.

 

  • Gives you peace of mind.  It slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems i.e. from migraines and insomnia to lupus, MS, eczema, high blood pressure, and heart attacks; if you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier.

 

  • Increases your self-esteem. Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively—take drugs, overeat, work too hard —you may pay the price in poorer health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you’ll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine. If you practice regularly with an intention of self-examination and betterment, you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you’re part of something bigger. While better health is not the goal of spirituality, it’s often a by-product, as documented by repeated scientific studies.

 

  • Eases your pain. Yoga can ease your pain. According to several studies, asana, meditation, or a combination of the two, reduced pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions. When you relieve your pain, your mood improves, you’re more inclined to be active, and you don’t need as much medication.

 

  • Gives you inner strength. Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts.

 

  • Connects you with guidance. Good yoga teachers can do wonders for your health. Exceptional ones do more than guide you through the postures. They can adjust your posture, gauge when you should go deeper in poses or back off, deliver hard truths with compassion, help you relax, and enhance and personalize your practice. A respectful relationship with a teacher goes a long way toward promoting your health.

 

  • Builds awareness for transformation. Yoga and meditation build awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks as are smoking, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind. It also increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain calm in the face of bad news or unsettling events.

yoga child pose

 

Starting and/or maintaining a yoga practice can be challenging from both a time and energy standpoint.

If you prefer to practice yoga in the comfort of your home, YogaDownload offers online yoga and meditation that you can take anywhere and do anytime! You will have access to a library of over 1000 online yoga classes you can do at home or on the go. YogaDownload features world class instructors teaching classes from super relaxing to more vigorous, in a wide variety of lengths and levels. The versatility of YogaDownload is perfect for your busy schedule and makes it easy to get your yoga practice in, even on those days when you only have 20 minutes to spare!

 

Source: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

Mindfulness: Why You Need It

How often do you find yourself faced with an increasing amount of distractions or multi-tasking to get everything done at once?

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and relaxing your body.

Mindfulness is your ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not over reacting or feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.

One approach to mindfulness

Meditation begins and ends in the body.  It involves taking the time to pay attention to where you are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of your body. This act can be calming, since your body has internal rhythms that help it relax if you give it a chance.

 

Who should practice mindfulness?

Anyone can begin a mindfulness practice. There are no barriers. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your physical ability is, and if you’re religious or not.

 

How do you practice mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness is available to you in every moment, whether through meditation, yoga, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the doorbell rings instead of rushing to answer it.

5 Basics of a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness helps you put some space between yourself and your reactions, breaking down your conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:

1.Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion, bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skill. You do need to set aside some time and space.

2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: you’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.

3. Let your judgments roll by. When you notice judgments arise during your practice,  make a mental note of them, and let them pass.

4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Your mind may get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.

5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

 

That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The secret is to just keep doing it. Once you are consistent, it will be easy.

 

 

 

Five-Minute Meditation

So, you may not have 15-20 minutes to meditate.  How about five minutes daily? First thing in the morning is a good time.

Why is meditation good for you? Meditation reduces anxiety levels up to 22% according to research by Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Anyone can do it.  The more consistent you are, the easier meditating will get.

This is what you need to do. First, get a timer, a journal and pen, find a quiet room with dim lighting.  Sit straight up in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor.  If you haven’t already, remove your shoes..

Minute 1 – Breathe deeply. Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms up.  Close your eyes. Take a deep breathe.

Minute 2 – Find your natural pace.  You don’t need to count, allow your breathing to fall into an easy rhythm. Pay attention to what your breathe feels like. Tune into your body. Feel your body relaxing – softening.

Minute 3 – Stay focused. Continue to be aware of your breathing. If random thoughts pop into your head, don’t push them out.  Instead, imagine each one as a harmless floating cloud.  This visualization helps you to acknowledge your worries without responding to them emotionally. If a thought still doesn’t drift away, jot it down in your journal. Go back to meditating.

Minute 4 – Relax. Release your focus on your breathing.  Remind yourself that there is nothing to do, change, or fix.

Minute 5 – Give thanks. Think about something that you’re grateful for. When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Do this quick meditation every day.

To your health and happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Minute Meditation for Stress Relief

Feeling stressed, tired, or worn out? Don’t have time to attend yoga or don’t have a sitter for your little ones? No problem! This 5-minute meditation plan is exactly what you need to get your day back on track! Stress is normal. It happens to all of us! It’s just a matter of how you relieve that stress, and I’m here to give you a simple and effective way!

 

  1. Find a quiet place where distractions are nonexistent. For the next 5 minutes, your focus needs to be solely on the meditation.

 

  1. Take a seat on the floor, bed, chair or couch. Cross your legs, leave them straight out, or lay down. The key is to not disrupt the meditation with movement. The most comfortable position for you is ideal. For the next 5 minutes, you will get lost in your meditation and movement would disrupt the tranquility.

 

  1. Select your background music (waterfalls or soft piano music is a great choice) and add a few drops of lemon and lavender essential oil to your diffuser.

 

  1. Set your timer to 5 minutes. That way, you don’t need to wonder when the 5 minutes are up- your timer will do that for you!

 

  1. Begin your meditation. Close your eyes and relax. Visualize the stress and tension exiting your body from your head to your toes! Clear your mind of all thoughts, focus on your breathing, and letting go. Make sure to keep your eyes closed for the entire meditation, just don’t fall asleep! Do this for 5 minutes until your timer goes off.

 

  1. After your meditation, slowly get up from your quiet spot and enjoy a glass of refreshing lemon water. You are renewed so freshen up!

 

Meditation is the perfect tool to redirect your body and bring you back to the present. You can meditate for the first 5 minutes of your day, after a long days work, or during your lunch break. You can do this meditation on vacation, in the parking lot of your favorite store, or your work. As you become more familiar with your meditation, feel free to increase the time from 5 minutes to 10 or 15 minutes!

By spending 5 minutes redirecting your body and mind to ease stress, you are increasing your mental and emotional strength, determination, and drive. There’s a wonderful feeling about a mind and stress cleanse! The beauty is, as simple and short as this meditation seems, the benefits of a quick 5-minute meditation are astounding. Give it a try yourself!
Hugs,

Shaline