Tag Archives: relax

Meditation: The Natural Pain Reliever

Rather than popping pills to kill the pain of your aching back or for the headache from too much rushing around, we can tap into a natural pain reliever. Meditating can reduce pain by 40%. If you’re glazing over, thinking “I don’t do that stuff”, it can be as simple a starting with 5 minutes a day and focusing on your breath. I’m allergic to ALL pain meds, so every time one of my joints dislocates (almost daily), meditation IS my medication. Robert Cargill, PhD, a neurobiology professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine did a study showing that meditation decreases pain better than morphine. If you have never tried meditation, are you a little curious now, knowing it can relieve your pain? If you do meditate, have you experienced this?

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Relax with Yoga

Some people begin yoga for the health benefits and some for the calming, relaxing effect. I find yoga to be almost like a meditative practice. I gain strength, flexibility and relaxation. It can be intimidating to those who have never tried it… looking at photos of people twisted like pretzels, especially for men. It’s more important to honor your body and only do what is comfortable for you. If you’re not ready to start a class, try a video in the comfort of your home. Yoga for Stress Relief & Flexibility by Ashley Turner gives clear instruction and her voice is so calming. Have you tried yoga and did it relax you?

Body Scan Meditation

If you think meditation is only sitting with a quiet mind, try this technique. Sit comfortably or lie down and breathe slowly and deeply for a couple of minutes. Start to scan your body, focusing your attention on each body part from the top of your head all the way day to your toes. Notice any sensations in each body part, whether it’s discomfort, tight muscles, warmth or relaxation. When you find an area of discomfort or tension, imagine breathing warm or relaxation into that area. What area might be tense or uncomfortable in your body scan__________?

Sleep Well Tonight

We all awaken several times during the night, but some of us aren’t even aware because we drift right back to sleep. But there are some who have difficulty getting back to sleep. Turn the clock away from your bed so you are not tempted to keep checking the time. Not only does this induce more anxiety about not being able to sleep, but it sends a signal to your brain to wake up. Better yet, keep it covered all the time to eliminate the glow of light that has been shown to alter the cycles of some light sleepers. What is your night-time sleep secret for better sleep?

Turn Your Mood Around

If you are feeling overwhelmed at work (and we all have those days), you can make a few choices: you can moan and groan to your colleague, send a complaining text to your spouse or you can turn your mood around.
On your next break, listen to some upbeat music; at lunch, take a brisk walk outside, even if it’s cold; do some stretches and breathe; play a game on your phone (but keep track of your time) or call a friend to meet you after work for fun time to recharge. What works for you?

Stop Worrying

Round and round your head they go… thoughts and worries just keep swirling, preventing you from focusing on anything. When you are having one of those days when no solution makes a clear entrance into your scattered mind… STOP. The uncomfortable feeling from the anxiety over what to do next can be short-circuited if you sit down and write out your thoughts/worries on paper: pros and cons, research needed yet, resources on hand, etc. The process of writing out your thoughts helps to clarify and organize the jumble in your head. How do you manage those days?

Are You More Prone to Stress?

Certain characteristic traits may make you more prone to perceiving stressors. Do you catastrophize situations- expecting the worst-case scenario? Do you should all over yourself- having a rigid list of shoulds and should nots and feeling miserable if you don’t follow it? These are just a couple of the traits that will make you more stressed than your laid back friend. As always, awareness is the first step. Then learning to take charge of your stress is next. How do you manage your stress?