Benefits of Mindfulness

Thanks so much to Higher Existence for this wonderful infographic illustrating the benefits of mindfulness:

benefits of mindfulness

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Day 30: Doctor of the Future

day 30

 

This is so incredibly true.  It’s just too bad that there is so much money to made in keeping people unhealthy and sick.  People are on all types of pills to “cure” one disease, which then has side effects and creates and feeds another disease.

The last time I was at the doctor for my yearly physical (because hey, it’s free!) I had a raspy voice and decided to ask her about it.  I had never lost my voice before, but otherwise felt fine.  Naturally, as a Millenial, I had already checked WebMD, read several yahoo questions and done quite a bit of research on possible causes before heading into the doctor, the “trained professional”.   Instead of offering suggestions on possible causes, and what to do differently to try to prevent losing my voice in the future, she proceeded to write out TWO different over-the-counter drugs that I might try for 6-8 weeks to see if symptoms would get better.

I think I left her recommendations sheet on the table in the room.  I went home, drank some herbal tea, got some sleep, and my voice came back within the next day or two.

I hope in the future that more and more people continue to realize that eating healthy in the first place is the first step to preventing diseases, and that drugs aren’t always the best option.  Perhaps someday, as Thomas Edison has stated, there will be a massive industry for keeping people healthy.  I’d like to think our society would be a whole lot happier then too.

Day 27: Just Breathe

day 27

When we’re stressed, we tend to hold our breath or shallow breathe, which can cause a wide range of health issues.  If there is tightness in your chest, it is usually due to chemical sensitivities such as smoking, too much alcohol or a poor diet.  Your body just needs to learn how to breathe deeply again.  One tip?  Breathe from your belly – inhale deep down and make your tummy stick out as far as you can, then exhale.  Repeat this 5 times.  This helps relax you, bring you to the present moment, and most importantly – reduces stress!  Try to set a goal to do this breathing exercise at least once every day.

There are many different types of breathing exercises out there – have you found any that work great for you?  If so, please share!

Day 26: Essential Oils

day 26

Essential Oils used to scare me a bit – I had no idea what I was looking for, didn’t understand how to use them, and there seemed to be so many scents, I didn’t know where to start!

This website: Essentialthree.com has some great information to learn more about all types of oils and what the different scents promote within your body – physically, psychologically, and as an addition to your skin care regimen. It also helps give you an idea of what to look for in an essential oil, and you can even purchase them on the site!  (Yes, they’re expensive, but they are pure, and great for your body – without all the toxins that cheaper oils might have.)

Here are my Top 3 Essential Oils:

(Uses are copied from the above website)

1. Lavender: (one of the most versatile oils)

Physical uses: Respiratory congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, colds, flu, tense breathing, muscle spasms, muscle aches, muscle cramps, infections (bacterial,viral), headaches, inflammation, lymphatic support.

Skin care uses: Imbalanced oil production, small wounds, bruises, burns, sunburn, insect bites and stings, infections (bacterial, viral), inflammation, irritations, itching, blemishes, eczema, skin tonic.

Psychological uses: Stress, nervous tension, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, mood swings, anger, sleeplessness.

Subtle uses: Balances the energy centers. Calms. Clears energy blocks. Brings in positive energy.

2. Spearmint: (uplifting)

Physical uses: Respiratory congestion, bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, flu, fevers, infections, muscle aches, muscle spasms, stiff joints, indigestion, nausea, headaches, menstrual cramps.

Skin care uses: Oily skin, blemishes, congested skin, infections, body odor, itching, small wounds.

Psychological uses: Mental fatigue, mild depression.

Subtle uses: Energizes, uplifts, and rejuvenates.

3. Sandalwood: (popular for meditation)

Physical uses: Dry coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throats, respiratory congestion, inflammation, infections, muscle spasms, nerve pain, poor circulation, lymphatic support, immune support.

Skin care uses: Dry skin, mature skin, sensitive skin, rough skin, devitalized skin, oily skin, blemishes, eczema, itching, chapped skin, inflammation, infections, small wounds, skin tonic.

Psychological uses: Anxiety, tension, stress, sleeplessness, sense of isolation, emotional instability, low libido.

Subtle uses: Calms and comforts. Promotes the ability to trust and accept. Encourages meditative state and a sense of peace.

Day 19: Pepitas! (Pumpkin Seeds)

day 19

Not only is it a fun word to say, but they provide incredible health benefits (especially as a source of omega-3s!) to anyone on a plant-based diet.  Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a great source of magnesium and zinc as well – promoting immune health, heart and liver health and even help promote a restful night’s sleep!

There was a study done recently that found that pepitas were beneficial in reducing inflammation – and were as good as a treatment drug for arthritis – without the side effects!  Read more here.

Day 18: Cranberry Love

day 18

Cranberry juice, cranberry sauce, and dried cranberries are some of my favorite snacks to incorporate in any given week (not just over thanksgiving!).  As long as there isn’t a ton of added sugar, they seem to work some magical properties within many of your detoxifying organs, including your kidneys and bladder.  It is believed that cranberries help to regulate the bacteria within those organs, which is why they are known to help prevent urinary tract infections and to lower blood pressure.

They are also great sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and fiber.  Read more about cranberries and their health benefits here.