Stop right there, if you think I am saying you need to invest in fisherman's pants, a selection of linen bio degradable T shirts and stop using deodorant, I am not. This is the meditation visual of old; it has moved with the times and is I think the key to a peaceful and happy mind.
I'm writing this because travel is such a transformative, incredible, and unbeatable adventure so we naturally hear a lot about all the highs of leaping into the unknown and discovering different corners of the world. But it's not necessarily easy and most of us are carrying bags full of emotional baggage.
A new American study, by researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has now found that two sessions combining meditation and aerobic exercise per week for two months can reduce the symptoms of depression by 40 per cent.
Yeah, you read that right - do nothing. It's not easy is it? What happens when we just sit quietly? Thoughts; I should be doing this or that, glimpses at past events and conversations, daydreaming about happy events, guilt for not doing something, anything - the list is endless. It's almost harder to sit still than it is to keep on doing. Isn't it?
If you enjoy cooking it probably does take you out of yourself, and immerses you in a constructive and productive activity. You mix up a batter, pour it in a pan, whack it into he oven and, et voila, a cake. Of course that's good for your brain - if not your waistline. But I think it is more than that.
I've been doing yoga for nearly two decades, running yoga retreats for eight (hiring others to teach) and yoga has changed my life in profound ways. But I am not holier than thou. Nor do I stand on my head for five minutes every morning. Up until about 36 days ago.
New age spiritual language has become a bog of well meaning terms that in effect mean whatever you need or want them to need, or, in fact, nothing. As much as we all want to be the light, find our truth and let it all go, whilst mantra-ing our ass down to the local yoga dojo, it's sometimes not that simple.
We celebrated Valentine's Day in our usual 'low key' style. Whilst we were all at the market my husband bought me flowers. He was assisted by the toddler who did a quick spot check on various options to see how easily the petals and berries could be detached. Most, quite easily, it turned out and we may not be welcomed back by that particular florist.
Anxiety and depression can significantly affect how well people with arthritis function and what will happen to them in the future. People with osteoarthritis of the knee and who have anxiety and depression and fear of the pain of arthritis have worse function than people who are not depressed or anxious.
Self love is a term often banded about in spiritual enquiry and I touched on what it means to me in my blog post on vitality last week. It is not some selfish indulgence, as our minds might lead us to believe: in fact, it is quite the opposite. In order to love others fully and without judgment, conditions or limitations, we must first love ourselves in this way.
Stress is our bodies way of protecting itself, when we feel threatened we get stressed, encouraging adrenaline and increasing our cortisol levels. This triggers the bodies 'fight or flight' mode which makes us more alert - your heart rate and breathing increases, muscles tighten and your blood pressure rises.
I hope my children also grow into happy, fulfilled adults - once they pass the moody teen phase! But, as we all know, kids don't always want to listen to their parents. To combat this I'm planning to pass on advice I've picked up along my life journey so far, both from my own experiences and from other people.
Compassion is key when we consider pain, bringing kindness and understanding towards ourselves when experiencing pain can make a difference. Studies show time and time again the variance in pain experience when mindfulness and compassion are introduced.
Now if the decade I spent as a home-based wine rep taught me anything, it's that wearing pyjamas at midday is perfectly acceptable, and in no way related to productivity. In this case my husband had in fact been working for an hour, and the toddler and I had half-peeled a banana (it is sometimes related to productivity).
Bali is an Indonesian island located only a couple of hours from Australia known for it's beautiful beaches, rice paddies, and beautiful landscape. As well as being visually pleasing and having lot of sunshine, there's so many different places and things to see and do.
With my daughter, I paused more frequently to take it all in; to imprint the memories. Appreciating those small moments seemed to lessen the grip of the trying times; a little, at least. There could be something to this mindfulness thing after all.