NEZEL PADAYHAG: “6 Ways Staying Near Water Affects Your Health Positively”

People associate water with calm, relaxation and connection. In fact, when taking vacations, spending a day at the beach is often included on the to do list.

We often see a large crowd of people gathered at the beach, by the lake, or at the waterfalls than we do in the mountains. This is how we can see the magical effect of the water element has on people.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols said that we have a “blue mind” that he describes as a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, a sense of happiness and a satisfaction with life at the moment, which are all triggered when we’re in or near water.

Water has a positive effect on our brains due to its simplicity. It’s a kind of break our brain needs from the clutter it has always been exposed to.

By gazing at the blue sea or serene lake, our thoughts suddenly pause for a while from all the overstimulation. Even listening to the sounds of a running brook or splashing waves can turn our minds into a relaxed and hypnotic like state.

Aside from the transformative and healing effects water has on us, it also boosts our mental health and enhances our well-being.

6 Ways Staying Near Water Affects Your Health Positively

1. Water calms your mind.

Water can calm your mind not only through observation but also through listening to the sounds of different water forms.

Listening to the sound of the crashing waves by the sea alters your brain’s wave patterns and induces a meditative state. Observing the water’s movement also calms your mind.

When your mind is in a state of calm, your stress levels drop, and your mind becomes much clearer.

2. Water helps you to get creative.

Because staying near water promotes a relaxed state of mind, your brain opens up to more inspiration and creativity.

Great insights only come up when your mind is switched off from overstimulation. And water has the ability to naturally get your focus off from that million thoughts.

3. Water amazes you in unexpected ways.

By simply observing water that cascades over a lofty waterfall, you can’t help yourself but be amazed and feel a sense of awe.

Recent studies that explored the feelings of awe found the connection between the experience of awe and an enhanced critical and creative thinking faculties.

By being in a state of awe, you immerse yourself in the present moment.

4. Water amplifies the benefits you get from exercise.

Water alone has its own benefits. When combined with exercise, like running or walking by the sea, you’re increasing ten folds the benefits that you reap.

It’s because you’re surrounded by an environment that triggers a more positive benefit to exercising and increases the negative ions into your system.

5. Water provides you more negative ions.

The positive and negative ions have an influence on how we feel.

Positive ions emitted by electrical appliances, like computers and microwaves, drain our natural energy. On the other hand, negative ions that are generated by water forms, like waterfalls, ocean waves, and thunderstorms, enable us to absorb oxygen much quickly.

Negative ions help us balance our serotonin levels and rejuvenates our mind, making us more alert and focused.

6. Water revitalizes your body.

When you submerge yourself in a sea or lake, the natural water revitalizes your body. The cold chill of the water soothes and treats your nerves while refreshing your body and stimulating your mind.

A warm water relaxes your muscles and eases your body of tensions.

If you’re feeling out of the blue, treat your blue mind with a blue space.

Whether you choose to be in the sea or be at your locality’s fountain, your brain is sure to achieve a mental clarity and you will have that extra dose of a sense of well-being.

 

 

~via LifeCoachCode.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “Amazing Tree Energy — How Trees Help Us Heal”

Trees are the most spiritually advanced living beings on the Earth who are constantly in a meditative state and subtle energy is what they speak as a language.

Trees can help open your energy channel and help them reciprocate with healing their blockages. A relationship with the tree is a mutually beneficial one which needs to be nourished.

Healing Abilities Of A Tree

Taoist masters observe that trees not only have the power to convert Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen but they have the capacity to absorb any negative energy and convert into something useful. The trees are firmly rooted in the earth and the more firmly the trees are rooted into the earth, higher they reach the heavens above. Trees are the wisest absorbing the vital energies from the earth and universal forces from the higher dimensions.

Tree: Healer And Friend

As a spiritually advanced living being, they co-exist with nature and human beings. Trees are quite intelligent and they do have a sense of touch and feel and they have conscious emotions too. Trees have the ability to calm you down when you are under the weather and they can also end all your miseries — however, this relationship needs to build up.

Choose A Tree To Work With

Through the time in history, trees have been used for various healing and medicinal purposes and for this the bugger trees have always been the best choice, especially the Pine trees.

They radiate Chi, nourish the blood system, strengthen the nervous system and ensure longevity. These trees fill the soul and our spirit. Pines are the immortal trees. Although pine trees are mostly the best choice, many other trees or plants can be used. The larger trees contain the most energy. Among the most powerful are trees growing near running water. Some trees feel warmer or hotter than others; some feel cooler or colder than others.

Here are certain trees that have the energy to heal and you can choose one among them to work with:

1. Cypresses and cedars lower the temperature and feed Yin energy.

2. The Willows help fight the dry winds to eliminate excess moisture from the body, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen the urinary tract and bladder.

3. The Elms calm the mind and strengthen the stomach.

4. Maples fight the dry winds and help reduce the pain

5. Banyan trees (Indian Fig) purify your heart and help eliminate bodily moisture.

6. Cinnamon can remove the cold from the heart and the stomach

7. Fir trees help to absorb bruises to reduce sweating and first heal bone fractures.

8. Hawthorns help digestion, strengthen the intestine and fight low blood pressure.

9. Birches lower body temperature, eliminate body moisture and help detoxify the body.

10. The Prunes feed the spleen, the stomach, the pancreas and calm the mind.

Establishing A Communication With A Tree

To communicate with a Tree, you have to have the heart to understand they are as human in their emotions than you can believe. When you talk to a tree, you will notice that they respond. As you choose to begin working with a tree, you have to see to the fact that a tree is nothing but a counter part of you and they are all but trying to tell you to be humble and humane with them.

They have the power to unlock your intuition and help you in your spiritual journey.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

ALEXA PELLEGRINI: “The Power of Water for Healing and Spiritual Growth”

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Our organs and our cells are comprised of water — in fact, up to 60% of our bodies is made from water alone!  Yet as a society, we continue to forget the healing benefits of water and consistently choose soft drinks, coffee, flavored water and energy drinks as water substitutes.  Water — and not Vitamin water or sparkling soda, but real, pure water is your best friend on your journey to repairing your mental and physical health and increasing your vitality.

Why Water is Vital to Your Overall Health

Imagine a dam in a river that’s been closed off.  Suddenly, the river’s flow begins to weaken, and everything that’s a part of the river’s ecosystem begins to fall apart.  Fish and small mammals can no longer absorb the nutrients they need from the water.  Waste from the river has nowhere to go, so its population dies off.  When the water disappears, so does the vitality of the environment.  The human body operates similarly: without water to usher nutrients and proteins throughout the body, the body’s organs begin to shut down.  Even the food we absorb can’t be properly digested without water to act as a lubricant.  Without water, our body also has no way to expel toxins or pollutants, which increases our chances of acquiring serious ailments from constipation to cancer.  The body’s ‘ecosystem’ perishes.

There’s one organ in your body that needs water the most: your brain!  The brain is 75% water.  Without proper water intake, the clarity of your thinking will decrease and you may be in a perpetual state of fatigue without knowing why.  The best way to preserve your brain health and boost its performance is not just to use it, but to nurture it and care for it.  Your brain never stops running, and it requires constant fuel.  So, before you reach for that cup of coffee in the morning, start your daily routine off on the right foot by showing some love to your gray matter and having an 8 ounce glass of water.

Water Not Only Nourishes Us – it Also Heals the Soul

Water has always been emphasized for its nutritional value, but its other healing benefits shouldn’t be overlooked.  Even observing the ocean or a flowing stream of water can soothe the troubled mind.  Perhaps one of the reasons we feel so comfortable in the water and listening to the sounds of rushing water is because it mimics the fetal state.  From conception, we develop while floating in the embryonic fluids of our mother’s womb.  Floating on the surface of a warm bath or pool can draw us into a state of total comfort and relaxation as we subconsciously return to feeling completely nurtured and protected, just like we did before birth.  When we surrender our need to be physically grounded and allow the water to hold us, we also lose our need for rigid self-control and total self-reliance.  One of the best ways to mentally unwind and relieve stress is to go for a swim, then float on your back and do some simple deep breathing.

Salt water is also a wonderful natural alternative to traditional anti-inflammatory agents.  Gargling with salt water helps strip away excess mucus and bacteria lingering at the back of the throat and in the tonsils to either prevent or treat a cold and a bad sore throat.  Bathing in warm salt water or swimming in the sea can help dry up acne, scab over minor open wounds and encourage the drainage of harmful toxins from the lymph nodes.

Listening to water during meditation and visualizing water are two excellent ways to help reduce stress after a long, difficult day.  The body, when held in a constant state of tension for long periods of time, has been proven to suffer — scientists have found a link between consistently high stress levels and an increased chance of getting heart disease, cancer, anxiety disorders and other serious conditions.  The following exercise will help you take advantage of the healing power of water to reduce your stress levels and stay well.

Step 1:  Begin by taking some deep breaths.  Continue to breathe until you quiet your thoughts and feel relaxed.

Step 2:  Start to envision any kind of water: an ocean, a stream, a brook, even the rain.  Construct this visual in your mind, then try to picture what the water sounds like.  Focus solely on the images and sounds running through your mind.  How does the sight and sound of the water make you feel?

Step 3:  Now, picture immersing yourself in the water.  Whether it’s allowing the rain to glide over your skin, or diving head-first into a beautiful, warm pool, visualize your anxiety, fear, anger and stress melting away as soon as the water touches your body.

Step 4:  Close the exercise with a few deep breaths, and exit the meditation feeling cleansed and revitalized.

 

About the author: Alexa Pellegrini is a poet and freelancer from Denver, Colorado. Her poetry has been featured by West Chester University and Scholastic, Inc. An expert in her field, Alexa has several years of experience as a working psychic. She attends University of Colorado Denver for International Studies.

©Universal Copyright 2017 is authorized here. Please distribute freely as long as both the author Alexa Pellegrini and www.QuantumStones.com are included as the resource and this information is distributed on a non-commercial no charge basis.

KIMBERLY SNYDER: “The Amazing Healing Benefits of Gratitude”

Healing Benefits of Gratitude

If you’re alive and reading this, you have something to be grateful for.  That’s great news!  This post will give you support in practicing gratitude on a regular basis, so you can better heal yourself, while lowering stress and anxiety, enhancing your sleep, and improving your relationships.

The Healing Benefits of Gratitude

You may not realize that something as simple as expressing gratitude — something that costs nothing and takes very little time — can have such an impact on your health.   Yoga Masters have been teaching for centuries that gratitude is a key component of a happy, balanced and healthy life, but it’s nice to see that it’s in alignment with modern findings.  A comprehensive look at gratitude and its effects  [1]  showed that when you routinely appreciate others or even just the positive parts of your life, you can experience:

  —Less aggression  [2]

  —Heightened feelings of altruism, empathy, warmth, a greater desire to treat friends, family, and strangers with more kindness (you may even set off a chain of random acts of kindness!).  When someone does something nice for you, you’ll be inspired to pay it forward  [3]

  —Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and more optimism  [4]

  —More trust in others 

  —Extra intrinsic motivation to do and achieve more  [5]

  —More satisfaction from relationships (romantic relationships also get a boost from gratitude!)  [6]

  —Better ability to deal with criticism/less sensitive to others’ negativity

  —Better sleep

  —Lowered likelihood of developing a drug or alcohol problem

  —Lowered risk of eating disorder (thanks to a healthier body image)

   —Quicker recovery from post-traumatic stress

The review suggests that there could actually be a causal relationship between gratitude and well-being.  That means increasing gratitude could directly enhance many different aspects of your life, most notably your health.  Could there be an easier, or more inexpensive way to enhance both your happiness and health?  (Okay, sometimes gratitude can be challenging when you’re feeling down — especially in the beginning–but with practice, it becomes much easier, I promise!)  Training yourself to think this way only takes a few minutes at a time, per day or even per week. Eventually, it will help shift your whole perspective on life in a much more positive way.

What Is Gratitude, Really?

That seems simple enough to answer, right?  You can feel gratitude when someone helps you out, but being thankful isn’t always related to another person.  Are you thankful for your warm clothes in the winter, even if you purchased them yourself?  What about your meals, even if you’re the one who has to prepare and cook them?

No matter what, you can focus more on the positive and choose to feel gratitude for anything, or anyone, at any time.  Once you get into the habit of consciously appreciating the positives around you, that attitude spreads over into the times when you aren’t actively practicing the feeling of thanks.  I do this when I walk down the street or wander into my backyard and gaze at the lemon tree.  I express gratitude every day for each and every unique, beautiful tree and plant I see.  I think we should all be more grateful for nature and her beauty every day!

Final note about the research. When comparing feelings of gratitude to other areas of the subjects’ lives in the studies, there were correlations between gratitude and:

  —Feelings of satisfaction with life in general

  —Feelings of living life to the fullest

  —More self-acceptance and personal growth 

  —A feeling of staying true to themselves

  —The belief that they have quality relationships in their lives

How to Practice This Universal Language

Learning to practice gratitude isn’t a long, drawn-out process.  You can start right now and begin noticing differences in how you feel and your outlook on life in just a few weeks, even if you’re not practicing daily.

Keep a gratitude journal.  At the end of the day or week, write down five things you’re grateful for.  This could be something as simple as being happy the weather was warm enough for you to hike before work earlier in the week or that your spouse did the dishes.  You can even be grateful for the lemons that you use to make your hot water with lemon in the morning, that fill you with beautifying vitamin C and enzymes!

Set an alarm on your phone that will go off periodically throughout the day.  Each time it goes off, stop to remind yourself of something you’re grateful for.

Don’t jump right out of bed at the sound of your morning alarm.  Take a minute to take a few deep breaths and think of a few things that you’re happy to have in your life or experience, whether it’s a beautiful sunrise or the warm blankets you have covering you.

Do something nice for someone else, family or stranger, even if it’s just giving them a compliment and thanking them for something they did.  Spreading joy and showing your appreciation for another human being not only brightens their mood, but yours, too!

Talk with your spouse or best friend at the end of the day about what you’re grateful for.  These daily talks are more interesting than asking if they took the trash out or fed the dog, and may open the door to strengthen your relationship, especially if you start naming things you’re grateful for in each other.

Leave little notes for yourself around the office or at home that remind you of the things you’re grateful for.  Running across those during a stressful moment could make you feel better.  Try sticking them on the top of your smoothie cup or one of the meals you’ve packed for the day.

Really think about what you’re thinking. No, that isn’t a typo.  Your thoughts affect your mood, and you’ll be happier if you’re thinking thoughts of gratitude!  When a negative thought crosses your mind (it happens to everyone, of course!), take a closer look at it.  Are you just feeling grumpy and turning your bad mood into one big growing ball of negativity?  Was your ego, the image and labels you hold about yourself, somehow wounded in some way?  Is there any truth in the thought that you can use to change your situation or use as a catalyst to turn your thought into something more positive?  Once you glean the useful bits from your negative thoughts, kick the rest and give your thoughts a more positive spin.  Here’s an example. Let’s say you tried something new and failed.  Instead of saying, “I’m a failure,” remind yourself that failing — sometimes multiple times — brings you closer to your goal.  It’s still progress and you can still learn from it.  And that’s something to be grateful for.

Tell someone that you appreciate them and why.  They’ll feel good, and so will you!

Start Today!

Use this today as a starting point for a lifetime of feelings of gratitude.  Your whole outlook on life will change once you give yourself that nudge, and you’ll feel better in so many different ways when you begin focusing on the positives.  Look at what you do have, be thankful, and strive to reach out to help other people and keep the goodwill going.

The goodness in your life will blossom in even more abundance as you do.

Now here’s my turn: I’m sending gratitude to YOU for being you and part of this wonderful community.

Love,

Kimberly

 

 

[References]:

[1] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf
[2] http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/09/02/1948550611416675.abstract
[3] http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Papers/Gratitude_CDPS_2008.pdf
http://www.socialemotions.org/page5/files/Bartlett.DeSteno.2006.pdf
[4] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/Labs/emmons/PWT/index.cfm?Section=4
[5, 6] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

 

 

~Thanks to In5D.com – via KimberlySnyder.net

GIOVANNI DIENSTMANN: “Four Meditation Superpowers — Why Meditation Matters”

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One of the questions I get from time to time is “Why should I meditate?” or “How did meditation change your life?”. In other words: “Why meditation?”.

In response, I could speak about the over 70 benefits of meditation on your health, mind, emotional life, and performance. Sometimes that helps, but I often feel it doesn’t really communicate the real value of this practice. Personally, I didn’t start meditating because I was seeking any of those benefits – they were just very nice side effects.

Personally, I didn’t start meditating because I was seeking any of those benefits – they were just very nice side effects. At the same time, I cannot answer that question by mentioning the spiritual value of meditation, because not everyone is spiritually inclined.

Why Meditation Matters

The real point that meditation addresses, and that makes it quite relevant and universal, is this:

You have a mind, but you are not the boss of your mind.

Often, your mind is the boss of you.

Your mind is your most valuable asset. What’s going on in your mind can make you happy or miserable, successful or broken, energetic or lifeless. In short, the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life.

So, then, what is the value of meditation? It helps you to know your mind, and master your mind (gradually). And this affects everything else, in all spheres of your life.

Let me now dive in and be really specific. I’ll cover fours main “skills” that meditation will give you. These are so great that I actually prefer to call them “superpowers” .

1. Zooming In

The first skill that you gain from meditation is improving your ability to focus. Focusing means that you can zoom in your attention on anything, and sustain it there, ignoring distractions. The length of time you can sustain your attention increases with practice.

It’s quite evident how the ability to focus is essential in all spheres of life: career, education, finances, and performance (be it in work, sports, or art). We live in times of continuous distraction – our attention span keeps getting shorter. We lack focus because so many things are auditioning for our attention, and as a result our mind easily gets dispersed everywhere.

There are also many other expressions of focusing in daily life. Focusing allows you to:

  • Be more present in your daily activities, rather than getting lost in your mind
  • Be a better listener and communicator, because you become more present
  • Not fall into the trap of multitasking, enabling you to become more time and energy efficient
  • Enjoy more deeply the blessings of your life, however small (a good meal, time with your family, your favorite hobby, etc.)
  • When there are competing voices in your head (such as the voice of fear and the voice of confidence) you can zoom in and focus on the voice that is most empowering to you.

In meditation, we are training this skill every time we zoom in our attention into the object of our focus (breath, mantra, etc.).

2. Zooming Out

If zooming in gives you focus, zooming out gives you perspective. It’s the ability to not get sucked into mental and emotional stuff. It’s the ability to see with clarity and serenity.

Oftentimes we don’t want to zoom into something, but we just can’t help it. Emotions are usually the driving force for this. They can get sticky and messy pretty quickly.

  • Maybe it’s a traumatic incident from your past, or an addictive emotional pattern such as victimization or negative self-talk.
  • Perhaps everything is going well with your day, until someone says something that triggers you to fall down a rabbit hole of confusion, anger, and doubt.
  • Or maybe it’s just your thoughts bullying you into interpreting things through the lenses of fear and pessimism.

In situations like these, zooming out comes in handy. It frees your mind, allowing you to see the bigger picture.

It won’t stop those pesky thoughts and feelings – but it will make them be more like a cup of salt thrown into the ocean, rather than a cup of salt thrown into a small bucket.

In meditation, we train zooming out every time we realize that we’ve gotten sucked into a stream of thoughts, and reclaim our attention by removing it from that thought-funnel.

3. Pausing

This is the skill that most people associate with meditation.

When we live in an unconscious, automated way, we become the product of our environment. We react, rather than respond. In this mode, we are acting on the loudest impulse in our heads. We’re reproducing our past conditioning.

Living a creative and fulfilling life requires just the opposite. It means to be intelligently present in the moment, acting fresh. For that, the ability to pause is essential.

Pausing gives you the space to:

  • Prevent your from acting on anger or other destructive impulses that ruin relationships and lives. (In a way we can say that when pausing is absent, regret takes its place.)
  • Break bad habits
  • Find clarity about what’s really going on
  • Make wiser decisions based on the needs of the moment
  • Re-align your actions in life to your core values
  • Think less, worry less, and be more

Reacting without thinking is easy – it’s the path of least resistance. Pausing is harder – it’s a skill that needs to be trained, a virtue to be developed.

In meditation, we train pausing every time we notice that we’re distracted, and we interrupt that stream of thoughts. It’s a condition for you to be able to zoom out.

4. Changing The Channel

The powers of pausing, zooming out, and zooming in come together as the ability to “change channels”.

Think of your mental world as a TV with several channels. Some of them are informative, entertaining, or useful. Others are full of bad shows, even though you might find them addictive.

The problem is that this TV doesn’t obey you all the time. It randomly pops up shows from channels you dislike, and doesn’t even allow you to mute them. Sometimes you try to change the channel, but after five seconds you find yourself back to the old channel.

The more you develop the abilities to pause, zoom out, and zoom in, the more you fine tune your remote control. As a result, your favorite channels get more screen time, and the crappy ones end up being discontinued due to lack of attention.

The formula for changing the channel is:

  1. Notice that a unhelpful channel has come up. It could be fear, anxiety, self-hatred, etc. Sometimes labeling the feeling can be helpful.
  2. Pause it. Breathe in and take a step back. Don’t fight with it, but rather realize that you don’t really need to be watching it.
  3. Zoom out. See the bigger picture – your consciousness is larger than this thought/emotion. Let the thought be there, but realize that you don’t need to zoom into it.
  4. Switch channels, and then powerfully zoom into a more helpful or enjoyable channel.

(See another version of this exercise here.)

This is changing channels. It is a natural exercise of control over your attention – reclaiming the power to decide where it should be focused on. It is not repression, and doesn’t involve any self-violence.

In meditation this ability is trained every time we gently return our attention back to our chosen object (breath, mantra, etc.). So basically hundreds of times!

5. A New Baseline (Bonus)

What is your baseline emotion(s)? By that I mean, what are the feelings that are always there in the background of your mind during most of your day?

For many people it is anxiety, depression, fear, self-pity, or greed. Or perhaps an intangible sense of dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s life.

Meditation helps you become aware of your baseline emotions, and slowly uproot their causes, or at least “change channels” before you get all sucked in.

For me, my baseline emotion was a sense of restlessness and a hunger for something. After years of training, that cooled down. Now my baseline emotion is peace, contentment and a solid sense of ‘unfuckwithability’.

Having said that, it is misleading to say that meditation alone will accomplish this. For most of us, it is meditation coupled with continuous self-reflection, contemplation, and radical self-honesty. Studying spiritual texts or personal growth literature can also help; and so can therapy, deep relationships, and making real changes in your life.

Feelings come and go. Yet our baseline emotions seem to persist for much longer, and define what is our level of wellbeing. So for me it seems like a good idea to put some love into upgrading it.

Parting Thoughts

So these, dear reader, are some of the reasons why meditation is valuable. These skills are all forms of mastery over your attention, over your mind.

You don’t get these “superpowers” quickly, though. They are muscles that develop with consistent practice. But know that every time you meditate, you are taking solid steps in increasing these natural superpowers.

I’d love to hear from you. How have you been applying these meditation skills in your life? Which superpowers do you want from meditation?

Do you need some help choosing a meditation technique and establishing a solid practice? Check out my course, Master Your Mind, which will guide you to develop your skills through 5 different meditations, week by week.

 

 

 

~via liveanddare.com