Posts tagged present moment awareness
Destress Amid Chaos


Guest Post by: Art Decker

I know I'm not the only person out there who is under a lot of stress. I talk to people every day who are under severe levels of stress. In addition to the recession, many people have their own temporary (they hope) but severe stresses, such as relocating, changing jobs, getting married or divorced, surviving the death of a loved one or the death of a relationship, or coping with medical challenges. And then there are the everyday stresses--the little things that finally end up really getting to us--parenting, budgeting crises, work pressures, an unyielding travel schedule.

Nobody likes to admit that this kind of stress is getting to them. Least of all me! When people who know how crazy my schedule is ask how I am doing, my most common responses are "fine, thanks!," and "hanging in there!" I never reply, "To tell you the truth, I am having a hard time. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate!" Ah, denial. It's more than just a river in Egypt...


Stress Can do Whatever it Wants to Your Body

But my denial could only last for so long before my body decided to tattle on me. I kept having these episodes when my heart would pound and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I didn't think it was a heart attack -- I have low blood pressure, low cholesterol, all those things that are supposed to be low...but I went to see my doctor and asked if what I was experiencing was stress. Her answer was, "Absolutely. Stress can do anything; it can do whatever the hell it wants!" Stress can make it hard for you to sleep (check!) or hard to wake up (double check!). It can make your skin break out in hives (check!). It can completely overthrow the smooth functioning of your digestive system (check). It can even play a role in chronic diseases, especially autoimmune diseases (let's hope mine hasn't gone that far).

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Present Moment Awareness: Lessons from Dogs on Being Here Now

I was talking with an old friend yesterday who expressed concern about how many of us have lost sight of ourselves due to being stressed and externally focused. In essence we have lost the art of present moment awareness.

When we're too concerned about the world outside of us we become out of touch with our inner guidance, we don't hear our body's intelligence tell us to slow down, drink some water, take a break etc. If this becomes our way of life we become imbalanced and at some point our health begins to suffer.

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What Chronic Illness Taught Me About Mindfulness

When you're living with chronic illness you can't multitask, in fact sometimes you can't even complete the simplest task like getting washed and dressed without breaking things down into tiny bite sized chunks.

You might think that getting dressed is one task. Not so for those struggling with illness. The challenge of illness breaks down getting dressed into a series of small triumphs, one sock at a time.

With such a reduced capacity for activity, moment by moment awareness facilitates the understanding of accomplishment. No matter how small the achievement, a sense of inner acknowledgement can be the difference between getting by with grace and sinking into the realms of hopelessness.

Lowering the Bar

All living creatures experience pleasure as a result of completing simple tasks. And that pleasure and sense of completion is what motivates them to do more. If illness means your ability to complete tasks is reduced, it would be an act of self-kindness to lower your expectations accordingly.

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Meditation: Is 5 Minutes Really Enough?

1198523560_7afe7a109c_m.jpgNatural Health and Holistic Living expert Jane Alexander certainly thinks so. In this month’s Natural Health Magazine, meditation is number 5 in her list of 10 Ways to De-stress, and she doesn't see why it has to take hours.

Here’s what she has to say: “Even five minutes of meditation can bring your heartbeat down and soothe your stress levels.”


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