Tag Archives: Self Improvement

The quest for rest: tips to curb insomnia

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Image via Mail Online

#Insomnia #SleepDisorders #Genetics #MentalHealth #SelfImprovement #HealthTips #LiveWell @MailOnline #TrendStatistics @PhilipsResp

In our modern society, insomnia, like depression and stress, has become something that most people are familiar with. I am sure everyone has gone through a period of sleeplessness at one point or another of their lives.

Insomnia, though, is more than just sleeplessness, it is the inability of a person to fall asleep or stay asleep and can go on for long periods of time. Have a look at this definition, “According to guidelines from a physician group, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.” [Sleep Foundation] Acute insomnia occurs when life circumstances cause stress. This type of insomnia is often short in duration and will resolve itself, often without medical intervention. Chronic insomnia is the inability of a person to sleep or fall asleep for a period of at 3 nights. This condition recurs over a period of at least 3 months.

As I said, modern society causes anxiety and stress, which in turn causes worry, worry that keeps us awake at night. But if you are struggling to cope with your insomnia, there may be another reason than day to day stress. Scientists recently discovered that there is a link between the presence of at least 7 genes and insomnia.

Gina Roberts-Grey writes: “Scientists say some people’s genes increase their stress-reactivity. And that increased stress response increases the likelihood of poor sleep and developing insomnia.” [sleepapnea.com] So if a close relative suffered from chronic insomnia, and you cannot catch some needed shut-eye, your genes may be to blame.

Professor Eus Van Someren, of Vrije University, Amsterdam, and his team found that one of the identified genes has previously been associated with restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). They also found a strong genetic overlap with other traits such as anxiety disorders, depression and neuroticism [Mail Online].

Mail Online also reports that 1 out of 10 British citizens suffer from insomnia and the CDC states that 1 out of 3 US citizens have difficulty falling or staying asleep [Trendstatistics]. With these statistics in mind, professor van Someren says that his hope is that their research will lead to further study that can help with the development of better medication to treat insomnia [Mail Online].

If you are one of the millions of people feeling fuzzy-brained and schlepping through your days with bloodshot eyes, here are some tips that may help you get that rest you yearn for.

Dragonfire Nutrition says that the “quality of your sleep is closely related to the quality of your waking hours.  Live happily and actively, and sleep will come more easily.”

They came up with ways that can help you calm down and ease into a restful sleep, without medication. Their tips can be introduced into your daily schedule without any effort and many of them are actually just plain common sense. Things like softening the mood with gentle music and low lighting, not eating a meal late at night, exercise, meditation techniques and more.

You can find all Dragonfire Nutrition‘s tips on combating insomnia here.

If you are tired (literally) of sitting wide eyed every single night while your family sleeps the sleep of the just, you will definitely benefit from these tips. Have a look and try them out today. You will not be disappointed.

Good night!

SOURCES:

DRAGONFIRE NUTRITION.  2017.  How to live a sleep-friendly lifestyle.  [Web:] Dragonfire Nutritionbit.ly/2fUtYHh

ROBERTS-GREY, Gina.  Is Insomnia Hereditary?  [Web:] sleepapnea.combit.ly/1R3zO1D

SLEEP FOUNDATIONWhat is Insomnia? [Web:] The National Sleep Foundationbit.ly/2pQP4db

TANNER, Claudia.  2017.  Insomnia is not ‘all in your head’ – it could be in your genetic make-up, scientists have discovered for the first time.  [Web:] Mail Onlinedailym.ai/2wbRwOk

TRENDSTATISTICS.  2016.  9 Fascinating Insomnia and Sleep Statistics.  [Web:] trendstatistics.combit.ly/2kUoyxI

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Seeking #Happiness? How #Meditation can help @yoga_journal

Thursday Blog Wellness

Image via Yoga Journal: bit.ly/2v1dvXA

Are you constantly seeking a way to find happiness? In a world filled with darkness, depression and fear, I think EVERYONE is hoping to find some sort of ‘secret way’ that they can attain utter happiness and fulfillment.

I have often looked at other people, knowing very well that what we observe is rarely the truth, and found them to look absolutely, blissfully happy. I’ve often envied them this, as my life definitely is NOT always happy. One should constantly reminds oneself that life is like a picture book and every moment a snapshot. The smiling faces we always seem to see on social media is but a photo, a quick snap, taken at a moment when the subject was smiling or told to smile. The truth is, none of us are ever really happy. But the good news is, Aadil Palkhivala, through his unique yoga and meditation philosophy, can help you to finally find what you seek.

Look what he says in his article for Yoga Journal: “Happiness happens when we choose it over trying to be like everybody else, trying to have what others have. When we compare ourselves at all times to others, we feel constant discontent. Santosha (contentment) brings happiness. And contentment must come from a constant striving for happiness; happiness stops when we stop growing or stagnate. We are here to evolve.” [07/2017]

You can read the article here and even sign up for his six-week Master Class to align your asana and transform your life through yoga philosophy.

SOURCE:

PALKHIVALA, Aadil.  07/2017.  This Is How Meditation Can Focus Your Mind—& Help You Choose Happiness. [Web:] Yoga Journal: bit.ly/2v1dvXA  [Date of Access:] July 27, 2017.

Yoga Meditation: start changing your life today

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“Yoga meditation is about quieting a busy mind,’ says Wade Imre Morissette,” [Best Health]

When I started yoga a few years back, I envied  my instructor SO much. He had this aura of absolute calm around him. He spoke softly, slowly and seemed in total control of his thoughts. I would glare at him with green envy while he went serenely about the business of teaching a bunch of old ladies to bend and stretch the old limbs into weird positions.

My mind has NEVER been quiet. I always have a thousand things running through it: what to make for lunch/dinner, where to buy wool for my crochet group, what to tell my next client, how to get funding for my charity. On and on, a constant rumble of ideas, memories, reminders, not to mention those ‘eureka’-thoughts that popped up now and then. In the end it turned out that calming all this chaos in my head was the more difficult part of yoga class. The bending and stretching I did without trouble (oh, I did fall over a few times), but that meditation part…eish!

After much giggling (mostly me), frowning (the rest of the class) and sighing (my ever serene instructor), I finally got it right. After about 6 months (YES SIX!). And boy, how it changed my life. I learned to treasure those moments of utter stillness. Meditation is like cultivating a ‘dream garden’ to which one can return to once in a while to recharge your ‘batteries’.

I noticed that, after half an hour of meditation, sometimes only 15 minutes, I can make sense of all those thoughts and ideas rushing through my mind. It is almost as if meditation causes the thoughts to behave, to stand in line, so that I can tackle each one in turn. These days, if I feel overwhelmed by the craziness of life, I switch off my computer, put my phone on silent and breathe. For just a few  minutes I take a quick stroll through my dream garden. It works like a charm.

Being a lifelong sufferer of insomnia,  I decided to put aside some time for meditation at night, just before bedtime. I’ve been sleeping like a baby ever since. I wake up rested and feeling in control of my life and my thoughts.

I don’t think I will ever be able to achieve my teacher’s serenity, but through his example and calm instruction, I’ve managed to change my daily life from a wild dash to a gentle trot.

Feel like giving it a shot? Why not have a look at this brilliant article, published in Reader’s Digest’s Best Health Magazine? Don’t worry, they explain everything in great detail and you will see, you CAN do it. It may take time, but the article shows you how to begin slowly and, after a bit, you will find yourself wandering your own little ‘dream garden’! I challenge you to try it.

Remember: “Considering that serious yogis spend a lifetime honing the art of meditation, there’s no sense in pressuring yourself to perfect your own meditation technique after just a few sessions.” [Best Health] You see! All you have to do is keep on trying and you WILL reap the benefits. I can vouch for that. So, why wait! Read the full article here.

SOURCE:

Best Health Magazine.  Yoga meditation: A beginner’s guide.  [Web:] bit.ly/2sSLDEP  [Date of Access:]  June 21, 2017.

* Image source: Best Health

gtryrliz

“Who am I?” question answered

By Deepak Chopra, MD [via The Chopra Foundation]

Not many people reflect philosophically on the age-old question, “Who am I?” For practical purposes, everyday life depends on accepting the self that gets up in the morning, eats breakfast, and goes off to work. This makes it seem as if “Who am I?” is a given. But in fact, it isn’t. You are shifting unconsciously from one persona to the next all the time. There is tremendous importance in this fact, because the shifting self isn’t the real you.

Continue reading here.

SOURCE:

CHOPRA, Deepak Dr.  2017. A surprising answer to “Who am I?”  [Web:] The Chopra Foundation.  [Date of Access:]  June 14, 2017.

science20spirituality

NewYear, NewBeginning

I’ve seen the phenomena many times; people come to see the counselor/psychologist for whatever reason. Diagnosis is often anxiety or depression, which is quite correct, but what many individuals fail to understand is that the root of many of their problems lie in the choices they have made themselves.

Life is about choices, and granted, sometimes making such choices take some chemical intervention. Less anxiety, better choices….making certain choices can be really hard, but the bottom-line is, they are CHOICES. You can decide to cut off connections with a poisonous friend or to stop drinking alcohol, smoking, negative thinking, whatever your vice maybe. Whether you need the support of a professional and a pill or two, well, that is also entirely up to you. In the end, you see, you have the power to change your life, whether you believe it or not.

The problem is, people rarely take responsibility for their own miserable dispositions. They blame it on colleagues, exes, family members, past traumatic events, illness, and so forth. All these are valid reasons to be depressed, yes, and you may have been completely innocent of causing any of these bad events and/or relationship break-ups, but you are still responsible for your own decision to cling to it. I understand that letting go is never easy, therefore you have the option to get help; someone you can talk to who can guide you through your healing process.

Why not decide today to take back control of your life, reclaim your power and move forward, leaving those old hurts behind. Trust me, you CAN, yes, you cannot change the past, it is done, but you can decide today to change your future.

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Come on friends, life can be such a beautiful adventure, a wonderful and precious gift, don’t let old grudges, pains and sorrows it away from you. And if you need help? Don’t ever be embarrassed to reach out; talk to somebody.

This then is my challenge to all: don’t let the past steal your joy, close the door on it and start living YOUR life with gratitude, peace and happiness.

IMAGE SOURCE:

COLEMAN, Chrystal.  2012.  Persephone Magazine: Positivity Challenge Week 7: Staying Positive at Your Non-Ideal Job.  [Web:] http://bit.ly/2iXoEQZ  [Date of Access:] January 10, 2017.

VIDEO SOURCE:

MIND INNOVATION.  2014.  Excuses and Negativity – Inspirational Video. [Web:] https: