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31 Days To Less Stress - July 12th - Try Yoga

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SP's "31 Days To Less Stress" tip today is,

"Try yoga. This form of exercise helps reconnect your mind and body in the present moment, decreasing stress and enhancing well-being. Try a class at a local studio, or a video in the privacy of your home."

Yoga combines exercise, controlling breathing, clearing the mind, and relaxing the body. Interestingly, the word yoga means to connect, join or balance in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. It is all about the union that occurs between the mind, body and spirit when the poses of yoga and breathing exercises are practised.

tells us that, as we Sparkers know, physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is particularly true of yoga. Because of the concentration required, daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. After a yoga session, you will feel less stressed than when you started.

explains how yoga works in reducing stress.

There are many different kinds of yoga, some are slow and more focused on stretching, others are fast and more of a workout. Any exercise will help relieve stress by keeping the body healthy and releasing endorphins, natural hormones that make you feel better. Yoga also relieves stress through stretching. When you are stressed, tension is stored in the body making you feel tight and often causing pain. The intense stretching of yoga releases tension from problem areas, including the hips and shoulders.

Breath Control:
Breath work is an important part of any yoga practice. Yoga increases your awareness of the breath as a tool for relaxing the body. Although breathing is an involuntary act (you have to keep doing it to stay alive), you can choose to regulate the breath. Just learning to take deep breaths and realizing that this can be a quick way to combat stressful situations is amazingly effective.

Clearing the Mind:
Our minds are constantly active which can be very tiring and stressful - yoga offers several techniques for help settle it down. One is breath work, as outlined above. Each breath is tied to the present moment; you are not breathing in the past or the future, but only right now. Focusing on each inhale and exhale to the exclusion of other thoughts is one way to clear the mind, It is also a basic meditation technique. In addition, the performance of yoga poses also acts as a form of meditation. The poses are so physical, and have to be done with such concentration, that all other thoughts and worries are put to the side, giving your brain a much-needed break.

Each yoga session ends with five to ten minutes spent relaxing in corpse pose - known as savasana. While this enforced relaxation can be difficult at first, eventually it serves the purpose of a total release for both body and mind. Savasana transitions you back into the world feeling refreshed and equipped with the tools to combat stress in your daily life.

Sounds well worth trying, doesn't it!

Today's "food for thought" is,

Everyday brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.
~ Joan Borysenko

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 7/14/2011 9:45PM

    I've often wondered about Yoga... but never got around to trying it. I think I may have get to that.

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EGRAMMY 7/13/2011 9:40PM

    Yoga sounds great. Your blog is so informative. emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/13/2011 4:14PM

    I'm still looking for the right yoga DVd for me.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/13/2011 1:50AM

    I enjoy yoga, it's one of my favorite things to do. Thanks for the info.

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DEE107 7/13/2011 12:09AM

    thanks for sharing

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31 Days To Less Stress - July 11th - Use Aromatherapy

Monday, July 11, 2011

SP's "31 Days To Less Stress" tip today is,

"Experience aromatherapy. Certain scents can evoke a calm state of mind. Known relaxants include lavender, chamomile, patchouli, rosemary and more. Try candles, incense, or air fresheners."

tells us that aromatherapy is a technique that uses the body’s sense of smell to help boost your mood, relieve stress, energize and encourage better health.

Below are essential oils helpful in the relief of certain stress-related problems. Try adding a few drops of a related essential oil to a cotton ball and inhaling.

Lavender, Geranium, Palma rosa, Jonquil, bergamot, Chamomile, Basil, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium Jasmine, Juniper, Melissa, Neroli, Ylang ylang

Jasmine, Geranium, Lavender, Bergamot, Neroli, Nutmeg, Clary sage, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Ylang ylang, Rose, Vetiver

Grapefruit, Rosemary, Lavender, Pettigraine, Neroli

Marjoram, Lemon, Vetiver, Valerian, Rose, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Neroli, Ylang ylang

Irritability/Nervous Tension:
Sandalwood, Pettigraine, Clary sage, Lavender, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Palma rosa, Vetiver, Jasmine, Ylang ylang

Peppermint, Rosemary, Jasmine, Basil, Cinnamon, Lemon, Clary sage, Lavender, Nutmeg, Sandalwood, Rose, Vetiver, Geranium

tells us how we can use essential oils.

You can buy essential oils neat (full strength) or blended a certain percentage (usually 1-10%) with a vegetable based carrier oil. If your oils are full strength, blend 1 part essential oil per 9 or 10 parts carrier oil. Good carrier oils include olive, jojoba, rapeseed and more expensive kinds like apricot kernel. Try to have your massage oil be at least room temperature before you slap it on!

Fill the tub and THEN add 6 to 10 drops of the essential oil. Some people need more drops, but only use 6 - 10 to start with and to be sure your skin doesn't get irritated. The reason you fill the tub first and then add the drops is because the good properties of the oil gets too agitated by the moving water and doesn't benefit you as much. Stir gently, step in, soak and say "AHHH!"

For just a footbath, 4 to 5 drops are usually sufficient.

The receptors in the nose trigger reactions in the brain when they smell certain smells, which can help alter your moods or help clenched muscles relax. You can inhale essential oils in several ways:
•straight from the bottle in emergencies
•add a few drops to a tissue or hanky and sniff as needed
•put a few drops on a aromatherapy oil burner (keep a close eye on it!)
•place several drops in a bowl of water and place under a radiator to fill the room with the aroma

Steam Inhalation:
Get a kettle of water boiling. Get a big bowl and your essential oil bottle and a towel. Also get a timer if you wish. Pour the boiling water into the bowl, add six or seven drops of essential oil, set the timer for ten minutes, lean you face over the steam and drape the towel over your head to make a mini sauna.

Check out the above link for more uses of essential oils.

I use lavender and bergamot - oils and lotions - for stress and relaxation. As well, I use a couple of Chinese oil mixtures that include methol, peppermint oil, camphor and eucalyptus that I inhale for sinus and headache problems.

Today's "food for thought" is,

Life is not the way it's supposed to be.
It's the way it is.
The way you cope with it is what makes a difference.
~ Virginia Satir

The limbic system supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, long term memory, and olfaction (sense of smell).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 7/14/2011 9:42PM

    Thanks. This is great information.

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/12/2011 2:31PM

    Thanks for the education. I needed to know more about those oils.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/12/2011 2:14AM

    Interesting and such great info. Thanks!

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DEE107 7/12/2011 12:16AM

    thanks for sharing so much great info

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EGRAMMY 7/11/2011 7:14PM

    emoticon So thorough. Thanks.

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31 Days To Less Stress - July 10th - Stop Multitasking

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SP's "31 Days To Less Stress" tip today is,

"Don't multitask. With a lot to do in a little time, you might think it's efficient to multitask. Talk about stressful! He who chases two rabbits catches neither. Focus on one thing a time for a better outcome."

Isn't this what busy women are all about - multitasking - but is it really good for us in the long run? Focusing on doing more than one thing at a time often leads us to feeling overwhelmed, It is suggested that in order to stop multitasking, we should learn better time management skills and how to prioritize.

tells us that

- A study showed that people distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQs. That impact of a 10-point drop has the same effect as losing a night of sleep and more than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

- Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we're getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don't actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.

- Research shows that heavy multitaskers are less competent at doing several things at once than light multitaskers. In other words, in contrast to almost everything else in your life, the more you multitask, the worse you are at it. Practice, in this case, works against you.

The author of this article, Peter Bregman (a strategic advisor to CEOs and the leadership teams) experimented by not doing any multitasking for one week. He advises he benefited in many ways and importantly he found that his stress levels were reduced considerably

- that it was a relief to do only one thing at a time,
- he felt liberated from the strain of keeping so many balls in the air at each moment,
- and that it felt reassuring to finish one thing before going to the next.

He advises that single-tasking actually reduces stress, that by giving yourself less time to do things (remember you are applying yourself to only one thing at a time) you become more productive and less stressed.

Today's "food for thought" is ,

Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started. ~ David Allen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 7/14/2011 9:40PM

    Some great insights here. Thanks.

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/11/2011 5:58AM

    This is so true. When I try to file the papers, etc. on my desk, I get so distracted by cards, lettters, etc. that I never finish.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/11/2011 1:50AM

    I agree. People try and do too much at one time and you lose focus and not able to give something the full attention it needs. Thanks!

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DEE107 7/11/2011 12:24AM

    thanks for sharing great job

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EGRAMMY 7/10/2011 4:29PM

    emoticon Blog and I sure needed it. Thanks.

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31 Days To Less Stress - July 9th - Keep A Stress Journal

Saturday, July 09, 2011

SP's "31 Days To Less Stress" tip today is,

"Keep a journal. Expressing your feelings in a positive way to deal with stress, and journaling captures emotions as you experience them. Let it out, close the book, and get on with day."

tells us that a stress journal can help us identify the regular stressors in our lives and the way we deal with them. Each time we feel stressed, we should keep track of it in our journal. As we keep a daily log, we will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down

- What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
- How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
- How you acted in response.
- What you did to make yourself feel better.

This can really help us identify the sources of stress in our lives so that we can find better ways to cope with them.

Today's "food for thought" is,

When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable. ~ Greg Anderson

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 7/14/2011 9:38PM

    I have written journals, online private journals, online public blogs... I do a lot of writing!

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/10/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon Great idea.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/10/2011 12:40AM

    This is really great advice, thanks.

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DEE107 7/10/2011 12:14AM

    thanks for sharing

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31 Days To Less Stress - July 8th - Sleep & Nap

Friday, July 08, 2011

SP's "31 Days To Less Stress" tip today is,

"Sleep in. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Staying well-rested keeps your mind (and body) healthy and better able to handle stressors. A good nap itself can even decrease tensions."

tells us that according to many experts, most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. When you don't get enough sleep, symptoms such as moodiness, anxiety, aggression and increased stress levels can result. About.com's Guide to Stress Management, Elizabeth Scott, suggests taking "power naps" to combat drowsiness, reduce stress and increase productivity. While sleeping more certainly won't eliminate all stress, it can help increase your readiness to cope with the stress of day-to-day life.

And according to stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifesty
studies show that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more rest than 20 minutes more sleep in the morning (though the last two hours of morning sleep have special benefits of their own). The body seems to be designed for this, as most people’s bodies naturally become more tired in the afternoon, about 8 hours after we wake up.

If you want to obtain more sleep, and the health benefits that go with getting enough sleep, here are some tips for more effective napping and sleep at night:

•Avoid caffeine after 3pm. It’s a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep and stay in your system longer than you think; its half-life is four to six hours!
•If you don’t want to nap a long time, set an alarm.
•If you don’t have time for a power nap, or don’t feel comfortable napping during the day, try meditation; it gives your body a rest and produces slower brain waves similar to sleep.

Today's "food for thought" is,

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~ Ovid

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 7/14/2011 9:36PM

    I tried for years to get more sleep. Going to bed earlier didn't help me fall asleep or to stay asleep. Now I get good sleep most nights, but only because of the medication I take. I worry thought that this is not as good as getting 'natural' sleep without meds.

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/9/2011 6:21AM

    Sleep is usually not a problem for me. I also naps when I can. They seem to revive me.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/9/2011 12:49AM

    What great advice. I love getting in an afternoon nap when I can.

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DEE107 7/9/2011 12:14AM

    thanks for sharing

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