"Look Better, Feel Better & Live Longer- What does it take?"

Stress & Meditation

When you are stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for a minute or two and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again. And it is actually sometimes enough to just do this for a 20-30 seconds to create a remarkable effect inside of yourself.

Spend Only 20% Of Your Time On Dwelling On A Problem
And 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around. It is not always easy to do but keeping this thought in mind makes it easier to not fall into the trap of feeling like a victim or going down a spiral of perceived powerlessness.

Live In The Moment
Just because there are still things you want to do or have to doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life as it is, right now. Living in the moment doesn’t mean you get to be careless or reckless about the future, it simply means that right here, right now is where you place the majority of your attention.

Learn To Say No
Don’t try to be all things to all people. It’s OK to say “no” sometimes. In fact, it’s OK to say “no” whenever you want to. When someone asks you to do something, swallow your instant reply and ask yourself, “Is this something I want to do? Something I need to do? Or something I have to do?” If you can’t answer “yes” to any of these questions, your answer is definitely “no.”

Meditation Literally Rebuilds Your Brain
By now, pretty much all of us know and accept that meditation provides a plethora of benefits, including reduced tension and stress and improved focus and concentration. However, how and why meditation does this has long remained unknown — until now!

Harvard University scientists have published the results of an 8-week study that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the effects of meditation on the brain. Participants in the study practiced forms of mindfulness meditation every day for approximately 30 minutes. Mindfulness is a meditation style that emphasizes maintaining an objective awareness of sensations, feelings and states of mind.

MRIs were taken at the beginning and end of the 8-week study. From the results, researchers determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s gray matter in just 8 weeks — making this the very first study to document that meditation produces this kind of change over time. The changes observed in the meditators were not seen in the control group, signifying that they had not come about naturally over time, but rather that the daily act of meditating had produced them.

Research on the brain has shown that the amount and density of gray matter differs from individual to individual, and can determine or signify certain traits or talents. For example, scientists have found that professional musicians have denser gray matter in the area of the brain involved with processing music.

The Harvard study found that meditation can increase the density of the gray matter in the hippocampus, specifically. According to the Harvard Gazette, the hippocampus is, “known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.”

Participants also reported reductions in stress after the 8 weeks, which makes sense, as over the course of the study, the gray-matter density in the amygdala — which is known to play an important role in stress and anxiety — decreased.

This study is groundbreaking and empowering in that it shows that we have the power to change the structure of our own brains: to improve our memory and learning capacities, and to become more compassionate and self-aware.

Britta Holzel, first author of the study, summarized its incredible findings: “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”

Learn Meditation daily at The Spa Resorts.

Reduce Stress & Improve Your Health
(Breath through your heart!)

Can you train your heart to control the health and performance of your body in just 10 minutes a day?

First let’s review the concept of heart rate variability (HRV). It’s the time between heartbeats, and it can vary breath by breath. HRV reflects the balance between the sympathetic nervous system (which controls the body’s “fight or flight” response) and the calming, parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

An HRV pattern with little variation and erratic change is pathological and indicates an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, favoring stress and
high cortisol levels. (I’ve written before about how activities such as yoga can improve HRV.)

What’s amazing is that positive emotions from the heart can rapidly create a more PNS-predominant and organized pattern of HRV termed coherence. Coherence indicates a higher harmony between the functioning of the heart, the brain, and the entire body.

Yes, train your heat… First, imagine breathing through your heart with slow and deep breaths that last about five seconds each and make your heart area on your left chest rise and fall. Second, add a feeling of positive emotions by thinking about a loving experience, appreciation, or calm.

By maintaining the heart centered breathing and the positive emotions (perhaps with your eyes closed and a smile on your face), you increase activity of the PNS, decrease the activity of the SNS, and cause improved HRV with a pattern of coherence showing internal harmony.

Many scientific experiments using this system for 5 to 10 minutes a day have demonstrated the following benefits:

1- Enhanced immune function with increased secretory IgA concentration.
2- Lower cortisol levels with improved levels of DHEA (anti-aging hormone).
3- Lower blood pressure.
4- Improved memory on testing in seniors.
5- Improved school performance during exams in high school students.
6- Improved walking times in heart failure patients.

Stress is the root cause of most visits to the doctor and most medical ailments. Tools to manage stress are rarely taught in the medical setting, but can include exercise, yoga, meditation, tai-chi, and guided imagery.

Let’s look at 7 of the most important new findings about the central role of the heart in controlling the mind:

1- Some researchers refer to the heart as the “little brain.”
2- The heart communicates to the brain and the body.
3- There is more information sent from the heart to the brain on a daily basis via these four means of communications than vice versa.
4- The heart emits more electrical activity than the brain.
5- The electromagnetic field of the heart is incredibly strong.
6- Activity in one person’s heart can be measured in the brain waves of another person.
7- The electrical activity of the heart and the brain can be guided into a synchronous electrical rhythm easily measured and displayed by simply focusing on positive and loving emotions emanating from the heart.

Give it a try it’s good for your head and your heart….

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