A guide to Daily Life Meditation

I’ll be back on October 1, 2020 from my “moving break”. In the mean time, here’s an article that will help you work meditation into your daily tasks and even help you set up a “meditation room” in your home.


It’s no secret to anyone, we are in uncertain and stressful times. We see this phrase everywhere, but, unfortunately, it is true. Many of us feel physically and emotionally exhausted after the covid-19 crisis, as well as the protests and civil unrest. Now more than ever, it’s important to take time to destress and meditate.

If you’re like me, you say “I don’t have time to meditate!” It always seems there are more important things to do. I always feel “guilty” when I take the time to meditate. It’s such a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing time, that it almost feels selfish. On the contrary, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it just could be the best thing you do for your loved ones. You’ll be happier, calmer and more productive in your life.

What if you could meditate while doing daily chores, exercising and walking? Would that help alleviate some of that guilt? The following article was posted 2 1/2 years ago as part of my “project stress relief” series. It discusses the concept of “daily life meditation”, in which you can meditate while doing chores, cleaning the house, exercising, walking and more.

Here’s the original article:

We are all under a tremendous amount of stress, whether it’s work, school, family, kids, blogs, etc. So, you may be asking why this is a big deal. After all, people have been under stress since time began, how is today any different? In our fast paced world, filled with social media, television. radio, and 7 billion other people, we are constantly bombarded with negative words, energy, commentary, and images.

Anytime we experience stress, our body goes into the “fight or flight” mode. This is the same instinct that kicked in when our ancestors were chased by lions or tigers. Our digestive system shuts down, our blood pressure increase, glucose is flooded into our system to give us energy. (to run from the tiger, remember!) No matter how little or big the stress is, your body will always react the same, as if you are running from danger and your life is at risk.

The below infographic, from the article 17 Reasons To Avoid Stress, by Fawne Hansen at Adrenal Fatigue Solution, gives you an idea as to just how bad all this stress is for us.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. So if we are under chronic stress, we are constantly in fight or flight mode. This is REALLY bad for you and won’t end well, if you don’t find a way to relax, and soon.

Now we know that all of that stimuli has a huge impact on our body, mind and soul. What’s a busy person to do? As much as we want to, we can’t just stop everything and run to the beach or mountains forever, we can’t, so, we must try other methods. Meditation, even just 10 minutes, can go a long way towards calming your mind and easing the symptoms of chronic stress. However, if you’re anything like me, sitting and meditating is a guilty pleasure, of which there isn’t a lot of time.

However, what if I told you that you could meditate while doing your daily activities, like folding laundry, doing dishes, sitting at your desk at work, walking, running or lifting weights? Would that interest you?

While doing housework, yard work or any other daily activity, there are only a few key points to remember. (These tips are from the House Cleaning video below):

  1. Pay attention to your breathing, and practice deep breathing.
  2. Create a mantra and repeat while cleaning
  3. Dedicate your work to someone else.

If you’d like to set up a meditation room in your home, here is a link to an article from porch.com entitled:

The Ultimate Meditation Room for your Home:

The link below is to an article I did a while ago on how to meditate while walking.

Walking Meditation

The remaining videos will either give you tips or guide you through a short meditation to be used while exercising, cleaning or sitting at your desk.

Enjoy, and try to relax!

How to Make Chores a Mindful Experience

Dishwashing meditation

4 minute at work guided meditation

Stress at work meditation

How to use mindfulness while exercising

Running Meditation: A Meditation for jogging, runners

Short Shower Meditation

8 Hours House Cleansing Frequency Music

Until next time,

wishing you

safety and good health…

Namaste my friends.

Charlie Brown’s Guide to Holiday Depression

Many view the Christmas season as a wonderful and joyous time of year filled with decorations, lights, parties, food, and gifts. However, not everyone feels this way about the holidays. While it is a complete myth that suicides increase during the holidays, anxiety and depression do, in fact, increase. I knew my article for today would focus on dealing with holiday depression. However, my research took me in a quite unique direction. I always follow my heart when I look for blog topics and I’m often quite surprised where it takes me.

download (2)

As I did research for today’s article, I came across an interesting video I’d like to share with you. The video takes an in depth look at the Charles Schultz Christmas special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and how it relates to holiday depression and the meaning of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas –

Coping with Holiday Depression

The video summarizes the theme and storyline of the show, while showcasing Charlie Brown’s holiday depression and quest for the true meaning of Christmas. Throughout the show, Charlie Brown witnesses his friends and even Snoopy as they succumb to the shallow corporate version of Christmas, such as wanting money/gifts, desiring a showy aluminum tree or big lighting displays. Charlie is saddened by this and searches for a more meaningful holiday. He is tasked by his friends to purchase a tree for the Christmas play and finds what he thinks is the perfect tree, a spindly little tree, which he views as a rejection of the fake corporate holiday.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.59.04 AM.png

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go over well. After being laughed at by his friends, Charlie can’t handle anymore and screams “DOESN’T ANYONE KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS?”  Linus happily complies, by reciting from the Gospel of Luke. After this, everyone seems to realize where they’ve gone wrong, and help Charlie bring his little tree to life.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 11.04.47 AM.png

How does any of this relate to holiday depression? As it turns out, quite a bit. In my search for tips for dealing with holiday depression, I realized many aspects of this Charles Schultz classic, have tips embedded in the story line. The following tips are from www.healthstatus.com and www.psychologytoday.com, but also coincide with this classic Christmas tale.

Tips for dealing with holiday depression (1, 2)

  1. Don’t worry about trying to be like everyone else. Don’t compare your holiday with movies or what society dictates. Don’t try to make a corporate, or  cutout Christmas. Instead, make it your own.
  2. Donate money to a charity instead of buying mindless gifts.
  3. Don’t fuss about the small stuff. Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to make everything perfect.
  4. Help others… Help a friend who is sad. Volunteer to help the homeless or those less fortunate. “Christmas is supposed to be giving; make a happy dent in the lives of others.
  5. Get others to help out.  “Don”t do everything yourself. That in and of itself is depressing.
  6. Don’t be alone or isolate yourself. Find a way to join in with family, friends or the community.
  7. Don’t spend too much money. “Remember it’s not about the presents, it’s about the presence.
  8. Learn to forgive and accept others. Chances are, if someone does annoying things, that’s not going to change. Don’t get angry or upset by someone being themselves. Accept people for the beautiful and flawed people God made them to be.

Closing thoughts:

Christmas was once my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, and seeing the look on peoples’ faces as they open my surprise. As I’ve grown older, however, I became very much like Charlie Brown did, frustrated and disillusioned by the corporate, stale and fake nature of Christmas.

Over the last few years, I’ve changed the way I view Christmas. It’s more about spending time with family and celebrating our lives together. At the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?

Until next time….Namaste my friends.

Tamara

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/depression-stress-anxiety/holiday-depression/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201112/10-tools-dealing-holiday-stress-and-depression

The Wellness Mindset ~ Emotional Wellness: Laughter is good for your brain

 

(Scroll to the bottom for today’s video)

6 dimensions of holistic wellness.png

Last week, we began discussing the 6 dimensions of holistic wellness. Starting today, we’ll focus on one of the dimensions each week. Each time I write a post you’ll see a badge, such as the one below, which indicates which dimension is covered in that article. All of this week’s videos will focus on how to improve your emotional wellness.

emotional wellness (2).png

What is emotional wellness?

 The ability to cope, manage and experience feelings appropriately; positive and optimistic attitude about life; high self-esteem; balanced emotions; recognize and cope with life issues; (EXAMPLES: POSITIVE ATTITUDE, SET PRIORITIES; SEEKING SUPPORT; LEARNING FROM MISTAKES)

TODAY’S VIDEO IS:

Listen as Ellen tells us why laughing is good for your brain.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

Sleep tips: How To Fall Asleep In 40 Seconds

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Today’s video will give you some great and unique tips to fall asleep quickly.

 

Sleep tips: Sleep Hygiene Tips

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Do you have proper sleep hygiene? Today’s video will help you figure out your nighttime routine.

 

 

Sleep tips: Tips to Stop Insomnia and Get Back to Sleep

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Today’s really quick tip come from National Jewish Health, and is a great tip if you’re having trouble falling asleep…

 

 

How to do Laughter Yoga

I must admit, this one was a bit odd to me, and not something I’ve ever tried, until I sat down to research this post. I felt quite silly and made sure I was alone, as I was participating in the videos below. However, isn’t that the whole purpose…to be silly?

What I found? It was fun and my laughter, which began fake, became genuine in the end. As my research indicates, laughter is INCREDIBLY beneficial. You reap the benefits of an aerobic workout by GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS OF LAUGHTER. In other words, it doesn’t have to be genuine laughter, because your body can’t tell the difference.

Benefits of laughter – Shares benefits with aerobic exercise! (1)

  • The movement of the diaphragm floods the body with oxygen.
  • Releases the same endorphins which cause the effect known as “the runners high” In fact, it has been found that endorphins increase by approximately 27%
  • Research shows that HGH (the anti-aging – human growth hormone) increased by 87% when subjects THOUGHT ABOUT watching a funny movie.
  • Reduces stress hormone levels, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
  • A good laugh burns 3 1/2 calories
  • Exercises the abs, as well as the shoulders
  • Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your life
  • Helps eliminate negative emotions such as fear, sadness, and anger
  • Improves circulation and cardiovascular health
  • 15 minutes of laughter is equivalent to 2 hours of sleep

Decadence is (8).png

The history of laughter yoga (3)

In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria was writing an article entitled “Laughter – the best medicine”. He discovered the many wonderful, and proven benefits of laughter. Inspired by what he found, Dr. Kataria decided to test the impact of laughter on real individuals.

On March 13, 1995, he ventured to a local park, and recruited 4 people to start a “laughter club”. They began laughing in the park, and the group quickly grew to 50 participants. They began by standing in a circle, with one person in the middle telling jokes. As you might imagine, this didn’t work well, and within 2 weeks, they ran out of “material”.

Dr. Kataria went back to his research and discovered one important factor: your body can’t tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. Both ways produce the same benefits and beneficial body chemistry. So, he went back to his club and suggested they “act out” laughter for one minute and the results were wonderful.

For many individuals in the club, the fake laughter quickly became contagious and turned into genuine laughter. Instead of just one minute, they session went on for almost 10 minutes. It was after this class, that Dr. Kataria developed a routine and specific laughter exercises, developed around pranayama/yogic breathing, and laughter yoga was born.

What happens in a laughter yoga session? Here are the four steps. (2)

  1. Step 1: Clapping and Warming-up Exercises –  Full finger-to-finger and palm-to-palm clapping, with movements, chanting and rhythm
  2. Step 2: Deep Breathing Exercises – In between laughter exercises, participants do deep breathing exercises.
  3. Step 3: Childlike Playfulness – Acting in a childlike way or swinging arms up into a Y shape with “thumbs up in childish exuberance and exhilaration“.
  4. Step 4: Laughter Exercises – Three types of laughter exercises
    1. yogic laughter –  based on yogic breathing
    2. playful laughter – Convert forced laughter into genuine laughter, as well as reduce shyness/inhibition
    3. value-based laughter – Increase positive feelings

LIBERATING YOUR LAUGHTER TEDX TALK (12:55 MINUTES) – The benefits of laughter and history of laughter yoga, along with a short laughter yoga routine.  It’s interesting because she talks about her discomfort at laughing for no reason, saying it was “out of her comfort zone.” As I said above, you do feel a bit silly at first.

HOW TO DO LAUGHTER YOGA

4 STEPS OF LAUGHTER YOGA (5:42 MINUTES)

100 LAUGHTER YOGA EXERCISES (11 MINUTES) – This includes several routines to do on a regular basis.

Closing thoughts

Although this form of yoga is a bit unusual, it’s fun and literally anyone can do it! As you can see from the list of benefits, you really can’t go wrong with this one. After all, who doesn’t want the benefits of running….WITHOUT HAVING TO RUN?

Until next time…Namaste my friends.

blogsignature12-11

Source:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m5wsro7OPc
  2. https://laughteryoga.org/what-happens-in-a-laughter-yoga-session-2/
  3. https://laughteryoga.org/history-of-laughter-yoga/

8 Ways to Cut Holiday Stress

To go along with my article on holiday depression, here are 8 wonderful tips on handling holiday stress. Thank you to Kenzie, at Fit and Frugal Living. Great article Kenzie.

I have a good time and enjoy many aspects of the holiday season: Turkey Trot, Hallmark movies with Gretchen Wieners, getting together with family, singing Christmas carols and Christmas Eve mass, to name a few.

However, the stress that comes along with this time of year gets to me and sometimes clouds the joy and the real purpose for the holidays. The season is supposed to be about getting together with family, giving thanks, doing things for others, and sharing in the joy of the celebration of Jesus’s birth.

So I’ve decided this year will be different. No more panic attacks when shopping at Walmart. No more meltdowns when I can’t find the right tupperware after Christmas dinner (true story). I’m not going to let stress get to me, and here’s how I’m going to do it:

kari-shea-485935-unsplash.jpg1. Make gift giving simple and fun. I have a list of people…

View original post 468 more words

Tension Myositis Syndrome: Stress & Pain Between Shoulder Blades

I had another article in mind, one for my pioneer recipe series, however I’m a bit under the weather. For the past few weeks, I’ve had severe, almost debilitating pain in my back, between my shoulder blades. If is so strong and feels as if I’m being stabbed in the back. I had a recent doctor appointment with blood work, so I know I’m physically okay, IE: no cancer or heart issues. I’ve done some research and here are some of the causes:

  • muscle strain
  • trauma
  • herniated disc
  • arthritis
  • heart attack
  • cancer
  • gallbladder disease
  • nerve entrapment
  • scoliosis

While gallbladder disease, a herniated disc, or nerve issues are a possibility, a more likely cause is stress. I’ve found an article on something called Tension Myositis Syndrome. Here is a quote from the article:

This syndrome is the brain distracting the body from an emotional stress by restricting the flow of oxygen [to] muscles in the body.

In most cases, it’s the lower back.  In some cases, migraine headaches; and even in some cases, it is the pain between shoulder blades.

I haven’t had a sinus migraine for weeks, for which I am eternally grateful, however, it appears to have moved down my spine to my shoulder blades. The difference is, I can get rid of my migraines with pain meds, such as Excedrin Migraine. The back pain doesn’t respond to anything. I’ve been spending much of my time switching between heating pads and ice packs. Looks like some mental exercises are in order! Isn’t it amazing how mental stress can have such a strong influence on a physical level?


HERE IS THE MAIN ARTICLE, FROM: TensionMyositisSyndrome.org

I think everyone can say that they felt it at least once – pain between shoulder blades. You’re sitting at your job, you’ve had a particularly stressful day …

For the full article follow this link: Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Until next time,

Namaste and God bless!

blogsignature

Sources:

  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/pain-between-shoulder-blades-2248950

Why is stress management so important? U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High – The New York Times

 

Recently,  I re-posted an article on the Suicide Prevention Collaborative. A bit later, I received a comment wondering about the relevance of Suicide to my blog. I have a couple reasons for this.

Decadence is.png

First, I firmly believe that positive emotions and outlook on life is essential to good health. You could eat the healthiest diet on the planet, but if you’re consistently negative, and under constant stress, you won’t be healthy. Stress management is ESSENTIAL to good health. The fact that the suicide rate has surged to a 30 year high, only underscores the importance of proper stress relief techniques. This is why my blog puts such a strong focus on positive posts and stress relief techniques. Yoga and meditation are 2 of the best ways to relieve stress. Reading inspiring, motivational stories is another. Laughing, through my laughter therapy posts, is another. AND, helping others…is another, which leads us to the second reason…

Second, this blog is a form of stress management for me. When I post things like inspiring quotes, laughter therapy, or stories about non-profits who help others, I am uplifted. I hope, through posting stories about non-profits, I am sending some positive energy into a very negative world, and am uplifting you as well.

This positive, uplifting energy, as stated by Brian Tracy in the quote above, is the key to health, happiness and wellness.

THAT, my friends, is what this blog is all about.

For the article from the NY Times, follow the link below.

Until next time…Namaste my friends.

blogsignature12-11