How to Fall Asleep Faster Tonight!

cat sleeping

Are you struggling with falling asleep?  Do you lie awake at night and count sheep? Do you often feel groggy in the morning?

Here is a great exercise to help you get to sleep quicker than ever before:

While lying on your back with your arms and legs outstretched, start to relax your body and focus on your breathing.   Feel yourself breathe in and breathe out.   Notice your chest rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.  Focus in on how oxygen feels entering and exiting your nostrils.  Take 5 deep breaths.

Now, focus on relaxing your toes… give your toes the rest they need. Breathe in and breathe out….  breathe in… breathe out…  Do they feel relaxed yet?  Next, relax the arches of your feet. Your arches had a long day, didn’t they?  Let them rest.  Breathe in… breathe out….

Continue this exercise by moving up to your ankles, then your calves and shins, all the way up to the top of your head.  Ironically,the goal is to never reach your head; because you should be sleeping soundly before you get there!!

Sending you wishes for a great night’s rest!

Health Coach Autumn (check me out at www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)

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A Quick and Useful Exercise to Deal with Stress

relax 2

Feeling Overwhelmed?  This is a quick, useful and simple exercise to center yourself and connect with your environment.  Practice this anytime throughout the day, especially if you feel like your mind is racing or you are getting caught up in your thoughts and feelings.

1. Pause for a moment and take a deep breath

2. Look around and notice 5 things you can see

3. Listen, and notice 5 things you can hear

4. Notice 5 things that are touching you (a chair, a wristwatch, air on your face, your shoes)

Done!  Feel better?

Let’s Un-stress!

Health Coach Autumn

Mindfulness Meditation Improves Depression, Pain and Anxiety

meditation

Mindfulness meditation programs can effectively improve anxiety, pain and depression in some people, according to a new review of studies from Johns Hopkins University researchers.

The review, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, included 47 different randomized trials that involved 3,515 people. The review showed that mindfulness meditation had small, positive effects in these three areas, with the improvements for depression in particular being similar to that of an anti-depressant. According to the study, mindfulness meditation programs involved “training in present-focused awareness or mindfulness.”

“Anxiety, depression, and stress/distress are different components of negative affect. When we combined each component of negative affect, we saw a small and consistent signal that any domain of negative affect is improved in mindfulness programs when compared with a nonspecific active control,” the researchers wrote in the study.

However, the review did not show a marked benefit of mindfulness meditation programs on substance use, sleep or weight. While few studies examined potential harms of mindfulness meditation (nine of the trials), none of them reported harm.

In addition, mantra meditation programs — such as transcendental meditation, which involves “use of a mantra in such a way that it transcends one to an effortless state where focused attention is absent” — did not seem to show any particular health benefits, though researchers noted that very few studies on mantra meditation met their criteria to be included in the review.

“This lack significantly limited our ability to draw inferences about the effects of mantra meditation programs on psychological stress-related outcomes, which did not change when we evaluated transcendental meditation separately from other mantra training,” they wrote.

Overall, the review showed researchers that more studies on meditation are needed, especially to see how greater meditation training, trainer expertise and amount of time spent practicing mindfulness meditation could potentially improve health even more. This is considering mindfulness meditation is a skill that does require time and practice, and that presumably the more and longer you do it, the greater benefits it may have. (However, many studies included in the review were relatively short.)

Indeed, in a related editorial published in the same journal, Dr. Allan H. Goroll, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, notes that most studies in the review were less than 12 months long, and that “longer study duration will be needed to address the question of maximum efficacy.”

“Nonetheless,” Goroll said in the editorial, “the small but potentially meaningful reductions in the distress of anxiety and depression associated with limited-term mindfulness programs argue for consideration of their use as a means of moderating the need for psychopharmacologic intervention in these conditions.”

Goroll noted that the benefits of mindfulness meditation found in the review are modest, with some studies finding no benefit. He postures that trendiness, the desire to establish control and potentially even capitalizing on common anxieties are all reasons for why mindfulness meditation has become increasingly popular today.

*This article was found on www.huffingtonpost.com

To your health!

Autumn (check me out at www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)

Want to listen to the most relaxing song ever recorded?

meditation   The song is called “Weightless” and is by Marconi Union.  Check it out!

On October 16th 2011, Marconi Union created an eight minute track, ‘Weightless’ in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. In a scientific study commisioned by the Radox, it was labelled as the “most relaxing song ever”. According to scientists at the renowned Mindlab institution it induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought test subjects resting pulse rates to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates. The song features guitar, piano and manipulated field recordings. It is punctuated throughout by low tones that supposedly induce a trance-like state. This propelled the band into the media spotlight and news reports, and was reported in newspapers worldwide.

* This article found on https://soundcloud.com/emerson-hurtatis/marconi-union-weightless.

To your health!

Autumn (check me out at pacificnorthwesthealth.com)

Is this love?

Marley tea      sleeping gnome

I made a trip to the grocery store yesterday and I came back in love…with Bob Marley.  I stumbled upon some beverages called “Marley’s Mellow Mood” and decided to give them a try.  It’s a blended decaf green tea drink–with all the good things that create relaxation–chamomile, valerian root, lemon balm and passionflower. Let me just tell you–I slept like a hibernating gnome last night (photo included).

It made me want to wake up and sing a little Bob Marley this morning, “Is this love, is this love, is this love, is the love that I’m feeling?”