A Quick Note To My Email Subscribers: I apologize for the random blog email that you received yesterday morning. I did not click the “publish” key, so I am perplexed as to why you all received an August 2009 blog post out of the blue. My apologies…
And now back to today’s originally scheduled blog post.
I love walking on the beach.
I also love to sit and watch the waves. I call this my wave-watching-meditation.
Last week I taught my final wellness classes of 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At the end of each day I made a bee-line to the beach.
Nothing calms me and centers me more than watching and listening to the ocean.
What is your favorite relaxation practice? Do you prefer yoga, meditation, going out into nature (mountains, oceans), soothing music, or something else?
A regular relaxation practice is just as nourishing as eating healthy food.
Since I can’t sit on a beach and watch waves on a regular basis, here are some of my other favorite Healthy Discoveries for relaxation and stress reduction.
1. Hold Your Neurovascular Points
One of the areas that blood is drained from when you are stressed is your forebrain; so the first step for dealing with stress is to bring the blood back into your forebrain.
You can do this by holding two points on your forehead called the neurovascular points. These points are located on the balls of your forehead as illustrated in the above image. Just hold these points – lightly – for 2-5 minutes and breath slow and deep. This will bring the blood back into your forebrain and induce a state of relaxation. – instant stress management.com
2. Listen to Ambient Music
I’m a big fan of the Liquid Mind CD’s. Click here to listen to a sample. Chuck Wild used to be part of the 1980’s rock band, Missing Persons, but he struggled with chronic panic attacks, anxiety and insomnia from too much stress. Chuck says;
“I originally wrote the music of Liquid Mind to help myself, my friends and family dealing with the anxiety and stress of working long hours, and also for friends and family dealing with the stress of life-threatening illnesses like cancer & HIV. The Liquid Mind albums seem to have an immediate “slowing down” effect on the listener and may help some people get to sleep, as well as to relax deeply after a tension-filled day.”
3. Breathe Like a Yogi
- Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Let the rest of your fingers point toward
- Inhale through the left nostril then close the left nostril with the right pinkie and exhale
through the right side.
- Inhale through the right nostril (always inhale through the nostril that you have just
exhaled with). Close with the right thumb and exhale through the left nostril. Inhale
through the left nostril and continue for 2 or 3 minutes minimum. Repeat the steps
starting on your left side.
This exercise produces optimum function to both sides of the brain. The yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the nervous system.
4. Meditate With Alpha Sounds
The Alpha brain wave state is known as “aware relaxation”. We normally operate in the beta brain state where our brain waves range from 15-26 HZ. When we are in the Alpha state our brain waves average range are around 7-12 HZ.
The Alpha brain wave state calms and relaxes your body and mind. The brain’s thought process slows down and the mind is clear. Research has found the Alpha brain wave rhythm puts you in a positive state of mind and mood. Tension and stress begin to melt away and negative attitudes are released.
Here’s a five minute YouTube Alpha Meditation. Plug your headphones into your computer and sit back and relax. Note, you must use headphones to hear the full range of sound.
5. Relax With Alpha-Stim
Brain expert, Eric Braverman M.D. talks about this device in his book, The Edge Effect. It is approved by the FDA for depression, anxiety and insomnia. You hook a clip on each ear and sit for 20-60 minutes as the device sends a light “zap” onto your ears. I’ve tried the Alpha-Stim and it’s very relaxing! I think it can be extremely beneficial for people who suffer from chronic stress. The research is promising and sound. However, you can only obtain an Alpha-Stim with a prescription from a medical doctor. Click here for the Alpha-Stim website and view video clips of Alpha Stim in the news; it’s pretty amazing! (and Alpha-Stim does not pay me to say that).
6. Try Jin Shin
Jin Shin is a combination of acupressure and yogic breathing. According to Jin Shin theory, stressful experiences increase tension at certain acupoints in the body. In Jin Shin you hold a series of pressure points on the body to release tension and balance your energy.
I have taken healing touch, yoga, and reflexology training courses but I have to say this simple technique is fast becoming my favorite. I like it! This book shows you how to do acupressure on yourself and loved ones.