Why Mindfulness Matters

John Parrott, who runs Relax Like A Boss, a blog that teaches people how to reduce stress and relax in a busy world and has a passion for helping and inspiring others to beat stress and live a healthier, happier lifestyle shed the following information with Healthy Lombard.

Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years.

But just what does being mindful mean and how does it work?

In this guide, you’ll learn why being mindful matters and how to practice it.

Mindfulness is the practice of being consciously aware in the present moment, without judging your experience.

You see, we’re often worried about what could happen tomorrow – or ruminating on problems from the past.

By being ‘mindful’, we can enjoy every moment in the here and now. By achieving this state of awareness, we can enjoy a sense of peace within – rather than being distracted by our anxiety.

What Are The Benefits Of Mindfulness?

So let’s look at some of the benefits of mindfulness:

  • It can help improve our self-awareness
  • It’s a skill that almost anyone can develop
  • Mindfulness can create an inner sense of peace and calm
  • Being mindful helps us reconnect with others – who we might usually take for granted
  • Increased confidence and levels of self-esteem
  • Enhanced levels of energy and productivity
  • More compassion for the people around us and for ourselves

 

Note: Looking for scientific evidence? Then check out these research-based studies on mindfulness.

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Can stress cause cancer?

Edward-Elmhurst’ Healthy Driven blog shared that most of us go through some sort of short-term stress at one point in our lives. Acute or short-term stress generally subsides as soon as the event passes. During this type of stress, our body reacts with a fight-or-flight/response and releases endorphins designed to help us flee or take action.

Sometimes, short-term stress can have protective and beneficial effects. When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up. This is our body’s way of guarding against injury and pain.

On the other hand, long-term or chronic stress happens when the biological stress response is activated for months or years. This type of stress is more damaging to our health.

With chronic stress, your body has to work even harder when it’s at rest to keep you functioning normally. You may notice your body showing other signs like an increase in resting heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

There are more than 50 common symptoms of stress, like:

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting or grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips and hands
  • Lightheadedness, faintness or dizziness
  • Hearing ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
  • Frequent blushing or sweating
  • Having cold sweaty hands and feet or problems swallowing

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Yoga Sayings That Will Inspire, Transform And Enhance Your Life

John from Relax Like A Boss, a site that helps people to deal with stress. shared with Healthy Lombard that there really are some beautiful, inspiring yoga sayings out there.

Yoga is one of the most powerful ways to relieve stress through physical exercise.

And it’s just as positive for your mind as your body.

So in this post, we’ll run through 15 of his favorite yoga sayings.

John’s feels that they will not only enhance your yoga practice – but also inspire, transform and improve your life too.


1. “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”
– Eckhart Tolle

An important part of yoga is your breath.

When we perform a new stretch or try to hold our balance, it’s our breathe that we rely on.

It’s no wonder really – this is what brings us to the present.

And when we’re too busy feeling bad about the past or worrying about the future, our breath is always there to guide us through it.

So what I love about this quote is that it’s expressing that beautiful moment when you’re truly focused on your breathe.

…It’s that point when your thoughts and your mind become silenced and calm, and you’re totally absorbed by the moment.

These moments during can be rare – but they’re also totally inspiring!

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Having Flowers Shown to Improve Physical and Mental Health

Coastal Living shared that fresh flowers and plants may improve more than color in a room. According to new research, pretty blooms can also benefit your mental and physical health.

Apartment Therapy recently bubbled up a 2008 study by the American Society for Horticulture Science measuring the effects of having flowers and plants in a hospital room on a person’s recovery from surgery. The study involved 90 patients who were recovering from appendectomies. Some of them received flowers and plants in their hospital rooms while others did not.

Fascinatingly, the patients who did have flora in their rooms benefitted from lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue than those who were plant-less. They also reported more positive feelings and higher satisfaction with their rooms. Can you blame them?

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How Bullying Can Lead to Suicide Risk in Kids

Melissa Howard is on a mission to prevent suicide with her website, www.stopsuicide.info.  As part of that mission, she is writing articles on emotional wellness and fitness – in particular, some of the warning signs that indicate it’s time to seek help.  Following is an article she shared with Healthy Lombard:

Do you know a child who is being bullied? Children are notorious for being cruel to each other, but while we often think of suicide as an adult issue, some statistics indicate it’s the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10 and up. What can you do to help a child at risk, and how do you recognize the warning signs?

Widespread Trouble

According to some research, bullying is an epidemic in our society, with 90 percent of kids in grades four through eight reporting issues. Verywell Family explains that overweight children are frequently targeted, and then a vicious circle develops in which those kids feel poorly about themselves and lash out against others, themselves, or both. Kids who are overweight can experience feelings of depression, self-loathing, and hopelessness.  Read more

Cyberbullying – A Widespread Problem

Broadbandsearch.net has recently published a post on cyberbullying statistics that has been updated with all the latest info and data for 2019.  This is useful since widespread internet access is an exceptionally positive development for education and access to information, but it can also open the door for a lot of negative and otherwise unsavory behavior. An online presence comes with some risks one opens oneself to, and an extra level of care that needs to be applied to any information one supplies about themselves. You never know who is going to use your personal information to target and harass you.

Bullying is an issue that has always existed, not only among children, but also adults, and technology has made it possible for bullies to reach their victims in new ways. People you know or complete strangers can reach you with hurtful words, threats, and other forms of abuse via cyberbullying. This is a real problem that is only growing, with statistics showing that 34% of people report that they’ve been a victim of cyberbullying in their lifetime.

Thankfully, there are ways to curb, avoid, and minimize instances of cyberbullying and its effects. The most important step is to seek help when it happens, and not allow the bully to silence you. There are authorities that deal with this issue and you should never face this alone. Read more

Bringing mindfulness to the dinner table

Toni Havala, MS, RD, LD dietitian for Edwards Elmhurst health shared in their Healthy Driven Blog that it’s not easy to be mindful.

We’re faced with a barrage of texts, push notifications, videos, and Tweets every day, all vying for our attention.

There’s so much to take in and think about, it’s tough to slow down and focus on something as simple as breathing. Or the sound of the wind in the trees. Or the taste of the food you’re having for dinner.

Breaking free of the magnetic pull of the smartphone or television isn’t easy, but it’s worth the struggle.

Practicing mindfulness — keeping your attention on the present moment, your current experience — can help you feel peaceful. It also helps you focus on what you need and what you don’t.

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Viewing Zoo Animals Reduces Your Stress Levels

 suggested in the Detroit Free Press that you imagine a beautiful day checking out the animals at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, feeling a bit calmer and happier. There’s actually some science to that.

The results of a recent wellness study conducted by the Detroit Zoological Society and Michigan State University researchers found that viewing animals reduces stress levels.

According to a news release, study participants were hooked up to electrodes in a lab, given a verbal math test and then asked to deliver a speech off-the-cuff.

Then the participants were separated into three groups and showed a video of either a plain white screen, Detroit traffic or animals at the Detroit Zoo.

MSU scientists measured stress indicators, like heart rate, skin conductance, and facial reaction. The results showed that stress levels were lowest in the group who were shown animals.  Read more

Bullying

College of DuPage Nursing student Janett Barrera wrote for Healthy Lombard that Bullying has become a national problem. Thinking back to my childhood I realize that bullying has always existed, although perhaps not as nasty as it is today. Bullying is not something that has popped up within the last few years, but it was not talked about as much as it is today. Bullying is not a game, it can have serious consequences such as death. Just the other day I was reading a news article about a boy who committed suicide because his classmates were making fun of the odors of his colostomy bag.

The National Centre Against bullying talks about four different types of bullying which include verbal bullying, social bullying, physical bullying and cyberbullying. With the advances in technology and the easy availability of it, children can very negatively impact someone else’s life through cyberbullying. Millions of people miles away can read and add to negative posts online. There is such a thing online as “trolls”. These people hide their faces on the internet and the majority of the time make nasty remarks on an already existing post, adding to the bullying being done online (cyberbullying). These four types of bullying can be done at school and sometimes the faculty is not aware that it is going on. Read more

The Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

College of DuPage Nursing Student Camille Volkening shared that Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an interaction between a person and a trained animal, supervised by the animal’s trainer. AAT should not be confused with animal-assisted activities (AAA). AAT is a formal set of sessions that help people reach specific goals, whereas AAA includes more casual visits at places like high schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.  AAT is used to help people of all ages cope and recover from health problems or mental disorders, and ultimately get back to feeling better again. People undergoing chemotherapy, residents in nursing homes, veterans, children having surgery, stroke victims, and people with mental health disorders, among many others, are great candidates for pet therapy. The most common animals used in AAT are cats and dogs, but other animals including horses, pigs, and fish may be used. The type of animal selected and pet therapy used depends on the desired goal(s) listed in the treatment plan by your doctor or therapist.

Some benefits of AAT include:

  • Reduction in blood pressure and heart rate
  • The release of endorphins (oxytocin) that produce a calming effect; In turn, this can ease pain and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improvement in fine motor skills, wheelchair skills, balance, and coordination
  • Improvement in recovery time
  • The decrease in feeling lonely or isolated

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