Founder of Work From Om®, the NYC-based wellness company bringing yoga, meditation and mindfulness to your workplace and corporate events. We've all had those moments where we're not sure whether to scream, run and hide or drop everything and get on the next plane to a faraway island. Meditation is a simple and effective way to steady the mind, give clarity to your thoughts and help you to manage stress.
Use this meditation when feeling anxious, pressured or panicked for immediate intervention and stress relief.
A simple exercise to activate the parasympathetic nervous system - ie, the relaxation response - involves regulating the breath to lower the heart right and blood pressure quickly and effectively. When our exhales are longer than our inhales, our body signals its "rest & digest" mode (vs. The practice: Close your eyes and take a deep breath in for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of eight. Use this meditation twice daily to develop better focus, attention and a greater overall sense of clarity and calm over time.
Mindfulness is the practice of awareness of the present moment, enabling us to disassociate with notions of past and future that trigger rumination and stress. In perhaps the most significant mindfulness study to date, a team of Harvard researchers found that after 8 weeks of daily practice, mindful meditators reported a sense of increased peace and clarity while non-meditators did not. Use this meditation to build body awareness and ease tension after a long day or before falling asleep at night. A body scan meditation allows us to identify where unconscious holding patterns reside and helps to release them with our own awareness, enabling us to relax more completely. Research suggests that including body scan meditation in a mindfulness practice significantly reduces sleep problems and improves symptoms and severity of fatigue and depression. The practice: Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and take a few moments to find a calm, steady breath.
The best thing about meditation is that each of us has the tools we need to practice available to us at all times. This fragrant aromatic herb can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more. Make lavender lemonade to stop headaches and anxiety with this quick and simple recipe by Tipsographic. I don’t know about you, but the holidays are one of my biggest sources of mindfulness failure. I had heard of Trisha but hadn’t yet had an opportunity to sit in on one of her classes.
When we’re mindful, Trisha explained, we learn to identify the stories that our thoughts create. When someone asked what the difference was between mindfulness and meditation, Trisha explained that mindfulness is a component of meditation. Once you’ve figured out your priorities, state them explicitly or, even better, write them down. When we feel stress in our bodies (for me this feeling usually manifests as tightness in my chest or a knot in my stomach, but it may be different for you), it means that something is out of whack with how we feel about what we’re doing. Even if you’ve made progress in changing your eating habits, the holidays can pose an ominous threat to the best intentions. I had a couple of cocktails with my husband several weeks ago when we were on vacation, since I didn’t want him to have to drink alone. So what do you do when you’re at that holiday party having stated your intention to not overeat?

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For many years, holidays were simply a reminder of my father’s death when I was 9 and the subsequent years of poverty. I'm Martha Brettschneider, a writer and photographer with a passion for finding beauty and meaning through mindfulness practice. Sign up to receive new posts and updates via email and receive my eBook on beating procrastination and boosting productivity as a gift.
Whether work life, personal life or the delicate balance of the two is causing you stress, there are better ways to dealing with life's pressures than explosive noises or an impromptu relocation.
Check out these three breathing meditations that will help you to slow things down, increase your productivity and your ability to make rational decisions in high stress situations. With mindful breathing meditation, we use the breath as an object of meditation, concentrating deeply on the rhythm and sensation of our most basic life force. Not only that, but their MRIs showed an increase in gray matter in parts of the brain associated with focus and attention and a decrease in gray matter associated with stress and anxiety (non-meditators remained unchanged).
Now, bring your awareness to sensations in the body, where you will spend several slow breaths on each focal point beginning with the left toes and checking in with left foot, left ankle, calf, knee, thigh - all the way through the left hip. Using the body and the breath, we can calm our bodies, sharpen our minds and improve perceptions of and reactions to stress. Flavoring your lemonade with lavender blossoms is a great way to utilize the amazing medicinal properties of lavender, a wonderful aromatic herb that calms the senses.
It possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties. A perfect form to calm your stomach, mind, and skin is to combine it with lemon juice in a tart, refreshing, lightly floral lavender lemonade.
We enjoy celebrating the cultural traditions of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas, focusing on gratitude, the spirit of giving, time with family and friends, and connection with our community. I fall back into my old habits of taking on too much, falling into the trap of perfectionism, worrying about gifts, and feeling overwhelmed. If we can get quiet and pay attention to what our own heart is telling us, we can hear what’s important.
Announcing your intentions out loud or on paper makes them more likely to come to fruition.
Try listening to your body instead of those bullying thoughts that insist you have to bake cookies because your neighbor already dropped hers off at your doorstep. Trisha explained that our habits around food are among our most strongly ingrained patterns. Having moved to a low carb and almost alcohol-free nutrition program earlier this year, this is an area that I’m particularly anxious about.
My husband hadn’t pressured me at all to have those drinks, but I wanted to be fun and good company. Along with the ebook, you’ll receive updates on the January launch of my new book Blooming into Mindfulness, weekly blog posts, and photography event news. Sales via these links provide a small commission, but I only include affiliates that I have tested out myself and believe will benefit my readers. Our mother helped us find a better way, by making a Christmas for others with a food and clothing drive. I can imagine that your early childhood trauma would carve deep grooves in those neural pathways during the holidays. As a former stressed-out economist and a cancer survivor, I'm proof that anyone can transform their life experience from chaotic to contented.

An excellent tool for those moments of panic and anxiety (think, stuck in traffic, walking into a big meeting or during a heated argument), relaxation breathing tackles physical responses to sudden, acute stress while buying us time to respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively. Think of it as an exercise for your brain that strengthens your "attention muscle" by forcing your awareness inward and challenging you to stay focused.
When you notice an area of tension or discomfort, breathe into it, relaxing on the out-breath. To learn more about what meditation and yoga can do for your mind and body, read up on these four powerful scientific findings. Noelia specializes in business development and mindfulness coaching for entrepreneurs, professionals and attorneys. Throw in a couple of family birthdays in December, and the to-do list this time of year becomes pretty long.
Mindfulness trains us to let go of the stories and observe whether there are habits and patterns in our life that we want to change. Personally I’ve found that announcing my intentions to others makes me more accountable, increasing even further the likelihood of my reaching my goals. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stabbing pain in my head and a voice of despair wailing, “Why did you do that to me? I’ve shared this on Twitter and will also share it with my Organized at Heart readers.
What is always tricky for me this time of year is that when I do for others less fortunate, I can also feel overwhelmed by the poverty around me.
Alternatively, we could think back to an unpleasant holiday experience to figure out what we want to avoid.
Stare at the food on the plate—notice the textures, colors, and aromas before it even goes into your mouth. For quite a while I couldn’t even watch the evening news without that energy creating deep despair inside me.
When you've completed five cycles of breath-counting, simply continue to breathe at this calm, steady pace, for two-to-three minutes, visualizing the breath moving through the respiratory system and appreciating its physical relationship with the body. Follow with the pelvic region, abdomen and lower back, moving up through the torso and heart region. Noelia will be sharing tips on using the Mindfulness practice and other quick and easy relaxation techniques so that you can learn to find calm in the midst of chaos. Your body will tell you what your authentic priorities are in a given year if you listen closely enough and honor that message, rather than just doing something out of habit.
Give me a third drink and I’ll either fall asleep or throw-up before I see the bottom of the glass. With several years of mindfulness practice under my belt, that part has gotten a little easier. From there, follow and breathe through the sensations in the fingers, hands, wrists, up the arms, through the shoulders, neck, jaw, temples, ears, eyes, forehead, crown of the head and skull.
If I feel I have no control over a negative situation, letting go and doing my best to emit as much positive energy into the world as possible is the only way I’ve figured out to stay grounded.

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