Stressed? Overwhelmed?

Tension seems to mount unbearably sometimes and now with the stress of winter weather, sub zero temperatures…what to do?

We are hard wired to react to danger with our adrenals pumping out fight or flee hormones. Unfortunately, we don’t fight or run, so our bodies are searching for ways to express this extra energy. Keeping constant contact with our electronics adds to the tension, as the brain never has a moment to rest.

The key is relaxation. I know – “you can’t relax!” But it may be easier than you think. Here are three simple tips:

Breathe. Yes, really, try taking a deep breath when the computer doesn’t work, the news pounds at you, or any other stress trigger. The key here is to intend to be AWARE of when you have stopped breathing and are tensing up.

Exercise. Dance, swim, ride, run, jump on a trampoline… Do something, and do a little each day. Try the 15 minute workout. Just get into the gym or down to your trend mill.

Eat: Food affects your moods. REDUCE starches – breads, pastas, potatoes, chocolate, pastries, candies, alcohol. Their relief is temporary at best and then after the crash, you are back at it, powerless. Stop the “cycle of crave, consume, and crash.” INCREASE spinach, lettuce greens, kale, broccoli, squash, cabbage, bok choy and protein. Whatever protein you like; eggs, chicken, beef, fish, beans… Protein will help break the carbohydrate cycle.

As William Ernest Henley says in his poem Invictus: “I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”

And as I say, “Be the Master of your body and your  mind.” 

Here’s to your freedom!

Optimal Breathing for Health

Breathing is the key to relaxation and to life, but we don’t know how to really have an optimal breath.

Try this:

Sit with your eyes closed and feel where your breath is in your body. Just notice for a few breaths.
Now, breathe your breath down lower into your body. With each breath, drop it down until it is in your belly and hips. Ahh, enjoy for a few moments!
As you inhale your belly extends. As you exhale your belly contracts. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
Feeling better all ready? Now, drop your mental chatter into your breath. Breath deeper, slower…
As you breathe, think “breathing in, breathing out.”
Do this every day for ten minutes or more and notice how your life improves.
And finally, share this with a friend. You may change their life.

Freedom for You

“We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts.” Stephen Covey from Seven Habits of Very Effective People. Our feelings and our moods are just energy-in-motion. E-Motion. As Buddha explained, they arise, then fall away.

Now, just take a deep breath if an unpleasant emotion, thought, or mood arises. Feel it fall away. It may take a moment or two. No rush. This practice keeps you aware of what is happening inside of you. Keep breathing.

For three days, watch, listen, feel how your emotions, moods, and thoughts arise and then fall away. Remember the breath and be amazed. You will realize that you are not your feelings, moods, or thoughts. They are transient. More on getting free next time.