Meditation Made Easy

A daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

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Better Breathing for Better Health

breathing

With the confusing myriad of exercise programs out there, people often have difficulty choosing -- and sticking to -- a healthy physical regimen.  It's not all about burning up the calories, either.  The reason aerobic exercise is good for us is because it enables us to take in more oxygen, expel carbon dioxide and give that muscle known as our heart a healthy workout. Do you know that you can also begin improving your health by simply changing the way you breathe throughout the day?   When we breathe too shallowly, which many of us do, over time our chest and lung tissue can become constricted.  This reduces the flow of oxygen to all our tissues.  Consciously practicing deep, rhythmic breathing throughout the day has a number of benefits, including expansion of the diaphragm, the cone-shaped muscle beneath our lungs.  It also expands the air pockets in our lungs, which triggers a relaxation response in our bodies.

But it's not just about the lungs and the heart.  When we breathe our circulatory system carries oxygen and nutrients throughout our body; the lymphatic system completes the equation by eliminating what we don't need.  Deep, regular breathing stimulates and enhances the functioning of our lymphatic system, which in turn carries away toxins, dead blood cells and other matter that our body no longer requires.

Start being healthier and more relaxed right now.  Before you get up from your chair, take a few moments to sit up straight.  Breathe in deeply, expanding your chest and filling your lungs with air.  Slowly exhale.  Repeat three or four times.  You've just taken a great first step toward better health!

Article by Kim Washetas, contributing writer and enthusiastic whole health advocate.

Meditation Made Easy

meditation techniquesA daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

  1. Dress comfortably and find a quiet location where you will not be interrupted. (This is sometimes the most difficult part!)
  2. Sit or lie down (some people say that meditation should never be practiced lying down, but it can as long as you are not prone to falling asleep... sleep and meditation are two very different things and do not have the same effects.)
  3. Relax your body by taking a few slow, deep breaths. (Make sure that your belly rises before your chest as you breathe in. This is known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing or "belly" breathing and helps the body to relax. Deep breathing is a great relaxation technique on its own.)
  4. Now, simply close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts while focusing on your breathing... as thoughts do come into your mind (and they will), gently acknowledge them and then let them go, refocusing each time on your breathing. Your goal is to stop thought as much as possible and you will find that as you practice meditation daily, it will become much easier and more beneficial. Some people find that listening to a constant sound such as the air conditioning or a hum will help them focus. In this type of basic meditation, there is no need to use a mantra (a word or phrase used to focus the mind in some types of meditation).

Be sure to keep your practice simple and it will be much easier to maintain. It's as easy as that!

Terri R. Marshall is the owner of Tranquility Bay Relaxation Therapy & Wellness Coaching in Annapolis, Maryland. She is a Relaxation Therapist, Certified Stress Management Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Therapeutic Guided Imagery Practitioner and Green Living Consultant. Terri specializes in local individual Relaxation Therapy sessions which relax the body, calm the mind and soothe the spirit as well as Wellness Coaching sessions which promote a health and happiness. In addition, she is available for out-of-area telephone consultations and gift certificates are now available for all Tranquility Bay services. Visit Terri's website for more information or a copy of any of her great self-help publications: http://www.tranquilitybaywellness.com.

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