Posts for: October, 2018
For over 3,000 years meditation has been used to help us connect to our sweet divine inner selves. Meditation helps calm and clear the mind, relax the body, and promote self-awareness and mindfulness, among many other benefits. While many of us are beginning to learn and incorporate the ancient practice of meditation into our daily or weekly routines, for a lot of us it is still a challenge to make the time and create the habit.
The trend of 2018 has shifted from long meditation to shorter breathwork series. Meditation is a very useful practice and one that we should all learn how to do. However, in moments of anxiety and stress, many of us are seeking a quicker and more accessible means of alleviating such uncomfortable and oftentimes debilitating responses.
There are hundreds of different breathing techniques. But learning how to breathe as a holistic approach to alleviating psychological and neurological ailments isn’t difficult by any means. When we aren’t intentionally focusing on our breath, most of us are naturally shallow and short breathers. Learning how to control, deepen, and elongate the breath is a simple practice that can have immense and immediate benefits.
What makes breathwork more accessible than a full meditation practice is that you can do it anytime and anywhere. It is a practice that can quickly quell stress and anxiety as well as other maladies such as headaches, insomnia, and depression. Coherent breathing also promotes an overall sense of wellbeing and can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
While there are classes and professional energy healers you can seek out to learn various breathing techniques, you can learn and practice simple breathing techniques easily on your own. One of the most basic breathing exercises is to breathe in through your nose for four counts and then breathe out through your nose for four counts. There are all different inhale, hold, and exhale configurations though.
The breath is one of the most powerful energies we possess. Breathwork goes hand and hand with meditation and yoga, but it can be used in shorter sequences when you find yourself in a situation or moment where you feel anxious, flustered, stressed, overwhelmed, or fatigued. It is also a discreet practice that can practiced literally anywhere!
Here are two videos links to get you started and a very useful link to six basic breathing exercises.
All you have to do is breathe in and breathe out.
The ketogenic diet, good fats, and mitochondrial health are ranking high right now on the trending scale of 2018. The word mitochondria probably induces a flashback to when you were a kid in science class learning about the parts of cells. Just to remind you in case that particular lesson in science class didn’t stick with you, the mitochondria is the power plant in the cell that turns food and oxygen into energy.
So, how are these three buzzing words interconnected? Well, in order to obtain optimal mitochondrial health, you need to fuel this very important part of your cells with good fats. The ketogenic diet is a diet that focuses on eating a lot of good fats. While we don’t promote any one way of dieting or eating, we do believe it is important to eat enough good fats in order to fuel your power plant and other systems and functions in your body.
The most common and noticeable symptom of cells' mitochondrias performing at a sub-par level is the feeling that you can’t pinpoint something being wrong but you just kind of feel like crap. It is probably safe to say that every one of us has felt this way at least once before. Your body and brain are heavily dependent on good fats being a steady part of your diet.
The trend of 2018 is pro-fat! We all know that not all fats are good fats though. Even when eating good fats, you still need to consider their caloric value in order to stay within your normal daily caloric intake. Two of the most popular good fat foods are avocado and coconut oil. Other good fats come from dark chocolate, cheese, eggs, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, and trout), nuts, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and full fat yogurt.
The benefits of a diet rich in monounsaturated fats (good fats) can also include a reduction in the risk of heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. Many of the animal and plant-based foods that are high in monounsaturated fat also have a long list of other benefits, vitamins, and minerals. When you fuel your body with the right types of foods, the result will not only be noticeable but long lasting.
If there is one thing that you are going to make a personal priority from this moment on it should be sleep. Not only is it important to get enough sleep every night, it is equally as important to get quality sleep every night. Sleep science, technology, and aids trended high on the charts in 2018.
This is a trend that is likely to hold its ground as more and more of us are realizing the immense value sufficient sleep has to our health, wellness, and quite honestly, all components of our lives. Are you getting enough sleep?
Regular sleep deprivation has been linked to
Weight gain and obesity
Type 2 diabetes
Lapses in neurological functions, such as concentration and coordination
High blood pressure
Regular sleep sufficiency has been linked to
Sharper mind and memory
More positive mood
Regulated metabolism and appetite
Improved quality of life
Less inflammation in the body
Lower stress levels
Too much sleep can be detrimental to your health, mood, and wellness, as well. The sweet spot is right around eight hour of sleep each and every night. If you are not regularly getting eight hours of sleep or are regularly sleeping significantly more than eight hour a night, it might time to look at your sleep environment and sleep habits.
The most common things that are keeping us up at night are screens and an over-active future-thinking mind. Here are some helpful tips to create the most ideal and dreamy sleep environment and simple ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
Tip 1: Keep screens out of the bedroom. This means when you enter the bedroom, your phone, tablet, or laptop does not. Treat your bedroom as a technology-free sleep sanctuary.
Tip 2: Make a to-do list before you get into bed so that you aren’t making that list in your head while you are in bed.
Tip 3: Invest in the perfect mattress and bed accessories (pillows, sheets, blankets, etc.) We are living in the golden age of choices! Whatever your mattress preference and budget is, that mattress is out there. There are even digital and “smart” beds where you can customize, set, and adjust everything from firmness to temperature.
Investing is a sleep-inspiring bed is one of the best investments that you can make for yourself.
Tip 4: Try aromatherapy. Scents like lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus all help promote rest and relaxation.
Tip 5: Turn on a noise machine. Sometimes a little white noise or subtle sounds of waves or rain can help you drift into dreamland.
Tip 6: Enjoy a cup of caffeine-free tea like chamomile or sleepy time tea.
Tip 7: Instead of watching television before bed, try reading.
Tip 8: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Tip 9: Exercise. Regular exercise helps promote better and deeper sleep.
Tip 10: Practice gentle or restorative yoga in the evening.
If you want to be the best and healthiest you, you must allow your body and mind to rest soundly every night. Supplements like melatonin and CBD have also been proven to help you obtain optimal sleep, if you need a little extra help.
Now, make yourself a cup of tea, grab a good book, and tuck yourself into a comfy bed!
In the past few decades, organic, sustainably-sourced, fair trade, cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free options were once only available in small boutique health and grocery stores or directly from the producers (small farmers and small niche wellness companies). These types of items also typically came with a far heftier price tag compared to their big box store alternatives.
When did eating real food that wasn’t drenched in pesticides and preservatives become only accessible to those with a bit more cash flow? When did the deciding factor as to whether or not one could use products that were not only healthy and safe for the body but also for the environment become a matter of income?
We rapidly and almost unnoticeably transitioned into an instant-gratification and convenience-driven society. Bulk and bargain dominated for decades. Cheaper was better in the eyes and wallets for many, and this was also in part because the other options were far beyond financial reaches. So much so that Whole Foods even received the nickname “Whole Paycheck.”
Times are changing though! Thank goodness!
In 2018, a noticeable shift really started to take place in the health and wellness market. Ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly products, both food and other, are becoming more affordable and more accessible as the demand for them has dramatically risen. Big box brands are really starting to get on board too.
As consumers, we hold the power. This is a realization that each and every one of us needs to have and embrace. As a whole, we want to know what’s in the food and drinks that we are consuming and what’s in the products that we are using. We want to know where things are coming from and that the sourcing of those ingredients aren’t contributing to environmental destruction, global warming, and harm to animals.
The shift that is starting to take place is that companies are being held more accountable and are being forced to be more transparent about the ingredients and materials that they are using to create the items that are seeking. We are shifting toward to an era where organic, ethically-sourced, and environmentally-friendly products are the norm for everyone regardless of income.
In order for this trend to continue though, we must demand it!