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A beginners guide to Mindful Breathing

A beginners guide to Mindful Breathing

I know how busy your daily lives are, which is why I love to share with you expert tips and articles to help keep your mind, body and soul in perfect balance without eating into your precious down time.

This week as it is Mental Health Awareness week (13th – 19th May),   I have been looking at how to use mindful breathing as a daily remedy to stress and anxiety, amongst other ailments.  Like much of meditation in general, Mindful Breathing has its roots in Buddhism.  According to the Buddhist Centre, the definition of Mindful Breathing is the art of ‘using breath as an object of concentration.’  By focusing only on your breathing you become aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another and in practicing breathing techniques, you are then able to be completely in the present moment, aware of all of the rich and intense experiences of the ‘right now’ – Calming your mind and channeling your energy.

If you haven’t yet become acquainted with Mindful Breathing then there is no need to worry, I have your simple beginners’ guide to some simple techniques that you can use every single day.

Two simple Mindful Breathing exercises that you can easily fit into your daily routine:

Meditation, healthcoach

1 – The five-minute mindful breathing technique. 

With everything else you have going on daily, five minutes is sometimes all that we seem to have left to focus on ourselves.  Luckily, Mindful.Org have come up with a five-minute Mindful Breathing exercise that won’t take up your free time.  The instructions are as follows:

  • Find a comfortable position. You can be standing or sitting.
  • Notice and relax your body. Try to really feel your body and connect with what it is feeling, touching and experiencing.
  • Tune into your breath. Focus your mind only on your breathing and nothing else.
  • Be kind to your mind. If your thoughts do wander from breathing, gently acknowledge it to yourself, and refocus your mind back onto your breathing.
  • Stay there for five minutes. Stay as you are for five minutes, with your attention solely on your breath.
  • Appreciate that you did this today. Give yourself a pat on the back for completing your Mindful Breathing.  You will reap the benefits all day long.

2 – The Body Scan. 

This guided meditation, also according to Mindful.org, seeks to focus your attention in a detailed way, on every aspect of your body.  This can help those who struggle to get to sleep or to release the anxieties of a busy day at work. A little more time-consuming, the key is to train your mind to give it’s entire attention to a particular part of your body, one piece at a time.

  • Lie comfortably on the floor, a mat, or a bed.
  • Get in touch with the movement of your breathing until you are focused on that only. Now you are ready to start.
  • You can begin at any point of the body, but experts suggest beginning in the abdomen. Focus fully on any sensations in this region.
  • Once you feel you have connected to your abdomen, allow your focus to travel down your left leg and feel each toe individually. After focusing on your entire foot, come back up the leg slowly, feeling all sensations along the way.
  • Repeat with the other leg and both arms before moving to your upper body.
  • For any tension you feel, use your breathing to concentrate on it and breathe it away.
  • After you have scanned your entire body, take a few minutes to focus on your body as a whole, feeling your breath flowing in and out as you do.

Psychology Today suggests that the four best times to use Mindful Breathing exercises for maximum effect are:

–  First thing in the morning to set you up for the day.

–  When you are feeling stressed, to relieve the tension.

–  On your lunch hour, to improve your mood for the afternoon.

–  At the end of your working day, to signal the barrier between work and leisure time.

It is said that by practicing Mindful Breathing techniques, you will relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, increase your ability to relax, and have a positive effect on your general physical and emotional wellbeing.  I  don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty fantastic to us. Try and incorporate these simple techniques into your life and embrace mindful breathing.

Share in the comments the benefits of mindful breathing has for you

Love xxx Monika

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

My love for essential oils has started a long time ago. Whenever I go to a SPA I always take the aromatherapy massage. Combining smell and the tissue massage has amazing effects on your body and multiplies the impact. Aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries by different cultures. The use of herbal remedies is well documented for their medicinal properties. The signs of using plants for medicinal purposes is backdated to the prehistoric times. Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced for millennia and is still being used by 90% of the Indian population to treat not only the body but the mind and the spirit.

A short history of Aromatherapy*

The aromatic plants and their extracts were used across Egypt, Greece, and the Roman empire. Cleopatra was well known for her everlasting beauty and lavish regimes. She loved to take baths in fermented milk infused with the essence of jasmine, myrrh and rose to preserve her youthfulness.

In XVII century England, Nicholas Culpepper was a botanist and herbalist who helped many people with herbal remedies. During the Great Plague of London, the ‘Plague Doctors’  wore beak-like masks with aromatic herbs and spices in order to protect them from the disease. Victorian brides carried bouquets using orange blossoms which were a symbol of purity but also in order to calm the nerves.

Unfortunately, with the rise of commercially produced drugs, the aromatherapy started to decline. Aspirin was invented in Germany by the end of the XVIII century and became popular due to its low cost, effectiveness and ease of use.

I still remember that as a child I did use aspirin for fever, however, paracetamol and other painkillers were not known. So in order to deal with some minor ailments or stomach upsets, I drank chamomile tea and mint tea. I  well remember sweating underneath the towel with my head above the bowl of hot water with some mint homemade oil in order to clear my nasal congestion. The syrup made with onions as well as garlic (tones of it) were all natural remedies which we still use nowadays. I was rarely sick when I was a child and never took antibiotics. I had no food allergies or intolerances.

Modern Aromatherapy

The rise of modern medicine especially of the painkillers means that natural ways of curing some minor alignments are long forgotten. Over the counter drugs are easy to use, can be bought at the lowest price possible and usually act fast. What most of us do not realize is their side effects and overall possibility of negative impact on our overall immune system. The excessive use of paracetamol, which is highly toxic, negatively impacts our liver and digestive system. Our liver needs to work very very hard to breakdown the toxins and neutralize them so that they are not harmful to the body. The research has shown that Paracetamol overdose is one of the leading causes of liver failure. 

The investment and research into the therapeutic use of essential oils have grown significantly over recent years. This is due to various research showing not only the potent possibilities of the essential oils derived from plants and herbs grown all over the world but also the negative side effects of the commonly used drugs.

I long researched various essential oils companies before I embarked on the journey with Doterra. I tried Neal’s Yard, Young Living and other oils, but none of them gave the smell and effect I wanted. Take the simple and most common oil Lavender. The Doterra oil smells amazing and in my opinion the closest to a  real flowering shrub. I use it for my bedtime routine, adding to a diffuser, rollerball or inhaling from the hands. Lavender is also used in the absolutely serene blend – Serenity which supports a night of healthy sleep. I use it in the diffuser as well as I take two capsules before bed and I sleep peacefully,  waking up completely refreshed and rejuvenated.

I am very grateful for companies such as Doterra, which invest not only resources but hearts and minds to deliver the pure and effective products (essential oils, supplements, beauty, and cleaning)  around the world. Doterra contributes to developing communities and supporting small farmers, ensuring they get their fair share of capital from the sale of pure products. If you want to know more please visit the amazing site to learn where the oils are being made. The source to you shows heartwarming stories of many families and the impact Doterra has on their daily lives.

The Essential Oils series will be continued

Share your thoughts and favorite essential oil.

* https://www.aromatherapyassociates.com

How to practice self-care this November!

How to practice self-care this November!

The general hustle and bustle of day to day life can leave you without the time or the energy to look after yourself.  As women, we tend to put other people’s needs before our own on a regular basis and this can lead to feelings of disaffection for our own bodies.  The prospect of making major changes to your lifestyle to include self-care can seem like too great a challenge, but one we believe is essential in finding that better version of ourselves. It will be my pleasure if you could join me on this journey of self-discovery, self-care and more balanced and healthy life. 

Here at Wellbeing Seekers we have used our expert knowledge to create the perfect solution; every day for the next month we will be publishing a guide encouraging self-love and care on our social media accounts.  Each and every day we will be giving you a small mission to accomplish, each tailored to giving you the opportunity and time to give yourself the same amount of love and care that you provide for everybody else. 

Daily challenges

The daily challenges we will be covering, include mental health, physical wellbeing as well as emotional self-care and include some of the following:

  • Mediation – taking five or ten minutes out of your busy schedule to meditate and visualise your goals can give balance and positivity to your mind and set you up for a successful day.
  • Cooking a healthy meal – ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ so the saying goes, and we believe this couldn’t be more true.  The right foods fuel both body and mind, allowing you to reach your full potential. 

soup, healthy

  • Taking a walk – Aside from the well-known fact of exercise benefitting you physically, the increase in your oxygen intake will increase the levels of serotonin released in the body, in turn making you both happier and more relaxed. If you work in the office, lunch time is great time to get some fresh air!
  • Reading – Everybody has a favourite book, magazine or online knowledge hub and research now shows that reading has several health benefits including decreasing stress, slowing cognitive decline and improving sleep.  Time to pick up that book!
  • Calling someone you love – In terms of how this tiny step can benefit your health, particularly emotionally, this is an obvious one.  Strengthening connections to those who mean the most to us is vital for our health and wellbeing.   

Included in our 30 days of self-care we will also be looking into the use of doTERRA oils to complement your daily routines.  These oils are natural solutions for a whole host of health priorities and can be used daily to promote wellbeing and aid in providing a balance between wellness, lifestyle, and healthcare. There is a huge range of oils which can tackle the symptoms of physical, mental and emotional strains.

Our experts at Wellbeing Seekers will be posting a self-care challenge every day in November, so if you aren’t already, please make sure you follow our social media accounts to join in.  Let’s improve our own self-love, worth and health together –  one simple step at a time.

Love

M.