Stress – Life by Daily Burn http://dailyburn.com/life Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:53:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep, Stat http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/guide-better-sleep-beat-exhaustion/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63855 Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep, Stat

[caption id="attachment_63880" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

If you consider sleep a luxury or live by the motto “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” let this be your wake-up call. When you don’t get enough zzz’s, all aspects of your health fall apart, including your gut health, metabolism, sports performance and productivity.

So how much sleep do you really need? And what are the best ways to overcome insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues? It’s time to take a closer look at everything from your bedroom setup to your diet and exercise routine. With these expert-backed tips, you’ll check exhaustion at the door and start cozying up to better sleep.

30 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

[caption id="attachment_63868" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sleep Better Guide: How to Create a Bedtime Ritual Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Create a Bedtime Ritual You Can Follow

If you stay up late and wait to feel tired to go to sleep, you’re doing it all wrong. Instead, set a shutdown alarm to alert you when it’s time to go to bed. Check out these pro tips on how to wind down effectively, and score a more consistent sleep schedule.

7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

Whether it’s stress or a more serious health condition, many people struggle to sleep for different reasons. Adopt these healthy sleep habits to help you snooze soundly.

Stressed? These GIFs Will Help You Relax, Stat

When meditation apps just won’t do, these soothing GIFs will cue you to inhale and exhale and lull you to bed like a lullaby.

Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

You work out and eat healthy, but the scale just won’t budge? Your late-night routine might be to blame, so follow these tips to get consistent zzz’s.

6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road

Don’t lose sleep due to wanderlust. Try these traveler-tested tips to get the best night’s sleep when you’re away from home.

9 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster (Without Counting Sheep)

Chamomile tea and bedtime stories don’t work for everyone, but here’s what you can do to finally pass out and get quality shut-eye you so need.

10 Unexpected Things That Can Ruin Your Sleep

Hint: It’s not just your wine nightcap. Avoid these surprising sleep snatchers, and you’ll have better chances of drifting off to dreamland.

[caption id="attachment_63870" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep: Bedroom a Makeover Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Give Your Bedroom a Makeover

Your bedroom is your sleep sanctuary. Make sure it’s low on zzz’s-thieving devices and high on hygge (aka coziness). Here, we highlight some feng shui tips that can help infuse some zen into your bedroom. You’ll be surprised how much more rested you feel with the right mattress, colors, images and even positioning of your bed.

Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

Does your bed directly face the door? If you’re guilty of this and other common feng shui mistakes, you could be losing your ticket to dream world.

Can the Right Mattress Change Your Life?

If you wake up with the sweats or with neck and back pain, it might be time to change your mattress. Use this checklist to find out what kind of mattress is right for you.

3 Athlete-Approved Mattresses for Better Sleep and Recovery

These mattresses are equipped with special features like customizable foam support and infrared lights for better circulation and muscle recovery.

7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen

Want less stress in your life? Fill your home with relaxation-forward finds. See our top picks for meditation pillows, essential oil diffusers and other zen must-haves.

[caption id="attachment_63871" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Address Sleep Issues, Stat Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Address Sleep Issues, Stat

Sometimes getting better sleep is much more complicated than simply going to bed earlier. Maybe you’re jet lagged from travel, or working later than usual to meet a tough deadline. Or, maybe you’re dealing with a more serious health issue, like insomnia and sleep apnea, which can also rob you of much-needed shut-eye. Instead of throwing down a pillow fight, it’s time to get to the root of your sleep problem and have the sweet dreams you deserve. 

Can’t Sleep? Your Guide to a Better Night’s Rest

These sleep hacks can help you keep your circadian rhythm — your body’s natural sleep cycle — in check and get on a steady slumber schedule.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It

Insomnia is a chronic sleep disorder that stems from a variety of mental and health issues. Keep these helpful facts in mind.

Think Snoring Is Normal? Why Sleep Apnea Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious health condition that’s been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Find out how to treat it.

Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep

If you’re always craving a nap or sip on coffee all day to stay awake, then you’re definitely not getting enough shut-eye. Here are other bleary-eyed habits you need to address.

6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road

When you’re in a different time zone, it can be difficult to fall asleep, much less get eight hours. Follow these expert tips to sleep better while traveling.

Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?

We’ve all had those nights when you got only four hours of sleep. Can snoozing extra hours make up for the sleep you lost the night before? Find out here.

Is Your Sleep Position All Wrong?

There are pros and cons of sleeping on your side, back or stomach. Here’s what your sleep position says about the quality of zzz’s you get.

[caption id="attachment_63873" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Enhance Your Zzzs Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Enhance Your Zzz’s

Nope, we aren’t recommending popping pills. But what’s shelling out a few dollars on a set of comfy pillows, melatonin-inducing LED lights or a sleep tracker in the name of better sleep? These special gadgets, meditation apps and sound machines will gear you up for the best slumber of your life.

9 Cool New Gadgets to Sleep Better Tonight

When counting sheep doesn’t work, these tools, sheets and gadgets will help make falling and staying asleep easier.

Want Better Sleep? These 6 Products Can Help

From softer, more breathable pillows to next-level sleep trackers, these snooze enhancers can help set you up for success.

3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

Kelsey Patel, a reiki master and meditation healer, created these three five-minute meditations to help release tension in the body and mind.

What Is Melatonin and Should You Really Take It for Sleep?

Melatonin can induce sleep, but it won’t necessarily help you stay asleep (and it affects everyone differently). Here’s what you need to know.

I Tried It: 40 Minutes of Lucid Dreaming

What if you could control what happens in your dreams? That’s exactly what lucid dreaming is. Learn how it helped one writer nod off Inception-style.

[caption id="attachment_63874" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Make the Perfect Nightcap Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Make the Perfect Nightcap

If you’re wondering how you can help improve the quality of your sleep, look no further than your gut. As the “second brain," your microbiome holds essential nutrients for optimal slumber. While we love de-stressing with a glass of wine once in a while, your Malbec nightcap might be hurting your sleep stats. Instead, consider the sleep-promoting snacks and smoothies listed below. 

Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

Your gut is responsible for producing 95 percent of your body’s serotonin, the building block for melatonin. So when you don’t have enough of it, sleep issues may arise.

7 Snacks That Will Actually Help You Sleep Better

Craving a bedtime snack? Instead of munching on milk and cookies, enjoy these savory, sweet and creamy dishes to knock you right out.

8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes to Help You Sleep

A creamy smoothie packed with potassium- and magnesium-rich foods is the remedy for sleeplessness. Whip up one of these delicious drinks before you hit the hay.

10 Simple Snacks for Better Sleep

Certain minerals and vitamins influence your sleep patterns and help your body get the rest it needs. These nighttime nibbles are only 200 calories and provide a dose of sleep-inducing nutrients.

[caption id="attachment_63875" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Revamp Your Evening Workouts Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Revamp Your Evening Workout Routine

Early birds aren't the only ones that get the worm! Working out in the evening helps you de-stress. But because exercise can increase cortisol levels — the stress hormone — falling asleep can block snooze-triggering melatonin. Follow these tips to avoid post-workout insomnia.

Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights

Sometimes you have no choice but to squeeze in a sweat session late in the evening. So to avoid post-workout insomnia, follow these tips to wind down with ease.

5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

Downward dog your way to REM by incorporating these yoga poses into your bedtime routine. You’ll ease tension, calm the mind and sleep better.

3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Who says you can’t meditate while you work out? These three moving meditations from Holly Rilinger will help you catch your breath so you can lunge deeper, squat lower — and snooze better.

5 Restorative Yoga Poses to Ease Your Muscles (And Your Mind)

In restorative yoga, you hold each pose for at least five minutes to deepen the stretch. Use a bolster, like a pillow or folded blanket, to relax into each position.

The post Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep, Stat

[caption id="attachment_63880" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep Photo: Twenty20[/caption] If you consider sleep a luxury or live by the motto “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” let this be your wake-up call. When you don’t get enough zzz’s, all aspects of your health fall apart, including your gut health, metabolism, sports performance and productivity. So how much sleep do you really need? And what are the best ways to overcome insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues? It’s time to take a closer look at everything from your bedroom setup to your diet and exercise routine. With these expert-backed tips, you’ll check exhaustion at the door and start cozying up to better sleep.

30 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

[caption id="attachment_63868" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sleep Better Guide: How to Create a Bedtime Ritual Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Create a Bedtime Ritual You Can Follow

If you stay up late and wait to feel tired to go to sleep, you’re doing it all wrong. Instead, set a shutdown alarm to alert you when it’s time to go to bed. Check out these pro tips on how to wind down effectively, and score a more consistent sleep schedule. 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia Whether it’s stress or a more serious health condition, many people struggle to sleep for different reasons. Adopt these healthy sleep habits to help you snooze soundly. Stressed? These GIFs Will Help You Relax, Stat When meditation apps just won’t do, these soothing GIFs will cue you to inhale and exhale and lull you to bed like a lullaby. Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism? You work out and eat healthy, but the scale just won’t budge? Your late-night routine might be to blame, so follow these tips to get consistent zzz’s. 6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road Don’t lose sleep due to wanderlust. Try these traveler-tested tips to get the best night’s sleep when you’re away from home. 9 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster (Without Counting Sheep) Chamomile tea and bedtime stories don’t work for everyone, but here’s what you can do to finally pass out and get quality shut-eye you so need. 10 Unexpected Things That Can Ruin Your Sleep Hint: It’s not just your wine nightcap. Avoid these surprising sleep snatchers, and you’ll have better chances of drifting off to dreamland. [caption id="attachment_63870" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep: Bedroom a Makeover Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Give Your Bedroom a Makeover

Your bedroom is your sleep sanctuary. Make sure it’s low on zzz’s-thieving devices and high on hygge (aka coziness). Here, we highlight some feng shui tips that can help infuse some zen into your bedroom. You’ll be surprised how much more rested you feel with the right mattress, colors, images and even positioning of your bed. Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep Does your bed directly face the door? If you’re guilty of this and other common feng shui mistakes, you could be losing your ticket to dream world. Can the Right Mattress Change Your Life? If you wake up with the sweats or with neck and back pain, it might be time to change your mattress. Use this checklist to find out what kind of mattress is right for you. 3 Athlete-Approved Mattresses for Better Sleep and Recovery These mattresses are equipped with special features like customizable foam support and infrared lights for better circulation and muscle recovery. 7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen Want less stress in your life? Fill your home with relaxation-forward finds. See our top picks for meditation pillows, essential oil diffusers and other zen must-haves. [caption id="attachment_63871" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Address Sleep Issues, Stat Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Address Sleep Issues, Stat

Sometimes getting better sleep is much more complicated than simply going to bed earlier. Maybe you’re jet lagged from travel, or working later than usual to meet a tough deadline. Or, maybe you’re dealing with a more serious health issue, like insomnia and sleep apnea, which can also rob you of much-needed shut-eye. Instead of throwing down a pillow fight, it’s time to get to the root of your sleep problem and have the sweet dreams you deserve.  Can’t Sleep? Your Guide to a Better Night’s Rest These sleep hacks can help you keep your circadian rhythm — your body’s natural sleep cycle — in check and get on a steady slumber schedule. 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It Insomnia is a chronic sleep disorder that stems from a variety of mental and health issues. Keep these helpful facts in mind. Think Snoring Is Normal? Why Sleep Apnea Shouldn’t Be Ignored Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious health condition that’s been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Find out how to treat it.

Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep

If you’re always craving a nap or sip on coffee all day to stay awake, then you’re definitely not getting enough shut-eye. Here are other bleary-eyed habits you need to address. 6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road When you’re in a different time zone, it can be difficult to fall asleep, much less get eight hours. Follow these expert tips to sleep better while traveling. Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? We’ve all had those nights when you got only four hours of sleep. Can snoozing extra hours make up for the sleep you lost the night before? Find out here. Is Your Sleep Position All Wrong? There are pros and cons of sleeping on your side, back or stomach. Here’s what your sleep position says about the quality of zzz’s you get. [caption id="attachment_63873" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Enhance Your Zzzs Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Enhance Your Zzz’s

Nope, we aren’t recommending popping pills. But what’s shelling out a few dollars on a set of comfy pillows, melatonin-inducing LED lights or a sleep tracker in the name of better sleep? These special gadgets, meditation apps and sound machines will gear you up for the best slumber of your life. 9 Cool New Gadgets to Sleep Better Tonight When counting sheep doesn’t work, these tools, sheets and gadgets will help make falling and staying asleep easier. Want Better Sleep? These 6 Products Can Help From softer, more breathable pillows to next-level sleep trackers, these snooze enhancers can help set you up for success. 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings Kelsey Patel, a reiki master and meditation healer, created these three five-minute meditations to help release tension in the body and mind. What Is Melatonin and Should You Really Take It for Sleep? Melatonin can induce sleep, but it won’t necessarily help you stay asleep (and it affects everyone differently). Here’s what you need to know. I Tried It: 40 Minutes of Lucid Dreaming What if you could control what happens in your dreams? That’s exactly what lucid dreaming is. Learn how it helped one writer nod off Inception-style. [caption id="attachment_63874" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Make the Perfect Nightcap Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Make the Perfect Nightcap

If you’re wondering how you can help improve the quality of your sleep, look no further than your gut. As the “second brain," your microbiome holds essential nutrients for optimal slumber. While we love de-stressing with a glass of wine once in a while, your Malbec nightcap might be hurting your sleep stats. Instead, consider the sleep-promoting snacks and smoothies listed below.  Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection Your gut is responsible for producing 95 percent of your body’s serotonin, the building block for melatonin. So when you don’t have enough of it, sleep issues may arise. 7 Snacks That Will Actually Help You Sleep Better Craving a bedtime snack? Instead of munching on milk and cookies, enjoy these savory, sweet and creamy dishes to knock you right out. 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes to Help You Sleep A creamy smoothie packed with potassium- and magnesium-rich foods is the remedy for sleeplessness. Whip up one of these delicious drinks before you hit the hay. 10 Simple Snacks for Better Sleep Certain minerals and vitamins influence your sleep patterns and help your body get the rest it needs. These nighttime nibbles are only 200 calories and provide a dose of sleep-inducing nutrients. [caption id="attachment_63875" align="alignnone" width="620"]Guide to Better Sleep: How to Revamp Your Evening Workouts Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Revamp Your Evening Workout Routine

Early birds aren't the only ones that get the worm! Working out in the evening helps you de-stress. But because exercise can increase cortisol levels — the stress hormone — falling asleep can block snooze-triggering melatonin. Follow these tips to avoid post-workout insomnia. Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights Sometimes you have no choice but to squeeze in a sweat session late in the evening. So to avoid post-workout insomnia, follow these tips to wind down with ease. 5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed Downward dog your way to REM by incorporating these yoga poses into your bedtime routine. You’ll ease tension, calm the mind and sleep better. 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher Who says you can’t meditate while you work out? These three moving meditations from Holly Rilinger will help you catch your breath so you can lunge deeper, squat lower — and snooze better. 5 Restorative Yoga Poses to Ease Your Muscles (And Your Mind) In restorative yoga, you hold each pose for at least five minutes to deepen the stretch. Use a bolster, like a pillow or folded blanket, to relax into each position.

The post Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Better Sleep, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/effects-of-stress-health/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63734

[caption id="attachment_63740" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Health Effects of Stress That Should Convince You to Make a Change Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: The effects of stress can harm both your mind and your body. Not only can tension affect your mood and mental health, but experts and research also link it to major health concerns like heart disease, insulin resistance and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Stress is not something that is all in your mind. It’s a set of objective, measurable events that take place in body and brain, a complex physiological process,” says Kyle Davies, psychologist and author of The Intelligent Body. “The body’s stress response is exactly the same regardless of whether the ‘trigger’ is a physical injury (such as a car accident), an illness (like a virus) or a blockage of emotion.”

“We are now beginning to see that emotional stress contributes to a massive range of social, economic and health problems,” Davies continues. “Emotional stress plays a part in almost everything from mental health problems like anxiety and depression to a huge array of chronic physical problems.”

Considering all the health effects of stress, the question is: Do you have it on your wellbeing-boosting priority list? To convince you take care of it stat, we’ve listed five sneaky ways stress can mess with you both physically and mentally. Read on, then start your de-stress journey with expert-approved tips and meditation apps that make calming down a little more doable.

RELATED: Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

5 Surprising Effects of Stress on Your Well-Being

1. Poor Gut Health

Think it’s just greasy burgers and milkshakes that can wreak havoc on your tummy? It turns out stress can be just as bad for your belly as an unhealthy diet.

New research from Brigham Young University shows that when female rats were exposed to stress, their gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract and influence everything from digestion to immunity to sleep quality to brain health — changed to resemble the digestive tracts of mice who ate a high-fat diet. In other words, stress can make your microbiome appear like you just downed a load of french fries even when you didn’t. Yikes. While more scientists call for more research to understand this link, they think that these changes in the gut may be part of the puzzle that links stress, mood disorders and obesity.

RELATED: Here’s What to Eat to Help You De-Stress

2. Slower Workout Recovery

Sure you need to physically “stress” your muscles to get stronger, but mental stress can also have a big impact on your body’s ability to recover post-workout.

“You can be doing all the right things training-wise, but if you’re not managing stress properly or getting proper rest, it affects the body’s ability to bounce back,” says Angie Fifer, certified mental performance consultant and Association for Applied Sport Psychology executive board member. Translation: Instead of reaping a workout’s rewards — like an energy and mood boost, as well as muscle gain — you could end up feeling more fatigued and sluggish and curbing results.

3. Trouble Sleeping

Speaking of fatigue, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a good night’s rest when you have a lot on your mind. According to W. Christopher Winter, MD, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of The Sleep Solution, stress tinkers with our zzz’s by sacrificing deep sleep for more light sleep. This leads to more frequent (and longer) awakenings in the middle of the night. So in the morning, you end up feeling tired, rather than refreshed.

Stress also tends to hinder our perception of sleep duration. “Think about that one for a bit...stress makes us think we have gotten far less sleep than we actually have. In some cases, it can make an individual who has slept 6 hours feel like he or she got no sleep,” he says. This can then lead to feeling even more stressed. Talk about a bad sleep cycle.

RELATED: 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

4. Mouth Problems

Canker sores, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth — yes, stress can bring on all of these issues. According to a study in the International Dental Journal, people who reported oral health problems, such as sensitivity and bleeding, had higher work stress scores compared to those who didn’t. In another study published in the Annals of Periodontology, people who experienced higher levels of financial stress and poor stress coping skills had higher levels of periodontal (or gum) disease. The good news: Those with high money-related stress, but good coping skills had the same incidence of gum disease as people under low stress.

5. A Cranky Jaw

Do you ever clench your jaw or facial muscles when you feel tense? Not only can this lead to unwanted wrinkles, it can cause your jaw to ache, click or lock. When you tense the muscles around your face and jaw or grind your teeth, you put extra pressure on the joint, which can lead to pain. In fact, researchers have found that stress, anxiety and depression may contribute to symptoms of temporomandibular disorders aka TMD.

Read More
8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)
Stressed Out? Here’s How to Finally Find Relief
11 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

The post 5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_63740" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Health Effects of Stress That Should Convince You to Make a Change Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: The effects of stress can harm both your mind and your body. Not only can tension affect your mood and mental health, but experts and research also link it to major health concerns like heart disease, insulin resistance and chronic inflammatory conditions. “Stress is not something that is all in your mind. It’s a set of objective, measurable events that take place in body and brain, a complex physiological process,” says Kyle Davies, psychologist and author of The Intelligent Body. “The body’s stress response is exactly the same regardless of whether the ‘trigger’ is a physical injury (such as a car accident), an illness (like a virus) or a blockage of emotion.” “We are now beginning to see that emotional stress contributes to a massive range of social, economic and health problems,” Davies continues. “Emotional stress plays a part in almost everything from mental health problems like anxiety and depression to a huge array of chronic physical problems.” Considering all the health effects of stress, the question is: Do you have it on your wellbeing-boosting priority list? To convince you take care of it stat, we’ve listed five sneaky ways stress can mess with you both physically and mentally. Read on, then start your de-stress journey with expert-approved tips and meditation apps that make calming down a little more doable. RELATED: Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

5 Surprising Effects of Stress on Your Well-Being

1. Poor Gut Health

Think it’s just greasy burgers and milkshakes that can wreak havoc on your tummy? It turns out stress can be just as bad for your belly as an unhealthy diet. New research from Brigham Young University shows that when female rats were exposed to stress, their gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract and influence everything from digestion to immunity to sleep quality to brain health — changed to resemble the digestive tracts of mice who ate a high-fat diet. In other words, stress can make your microbiome appear like you just downed a load of french fries even when you didn’t. Yikes. While more scientists call for more research to understand this link, they think that these changes in the gut may be part of the puzzle that links stress, mood disorders and obesity. RELATED: Here’s What to Eat to Help You De-Stress

2. Slower Workout Recovery

Sure you need to physically “stress” your muscles to get stronger, but mental stress can also have a big impact on your body’s ability to recover post-workout. “You can be doing all the right things training-wise, but if you’re not managing stress properly or getting proper rest, it affects the body’s ability to bounce back,” says Angie Fifer, certified mental performance consultant and Association for Applied Sport Psychology executive board member. Translation: Instead of reaping a workout’s rewards — like an energy and mood boost, as well as muscle gain — you could end up feeling more fatigued and sluggish and curbing results.

3. Trouble Sleeping

Speaking of fatigue, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a good night’s rest when you have a lot on your mind. According to W. Christopher Winter, MD, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of The Sleep Solution, stress tinkers with our zzz’s by sacrificing deep sleep for more light sleep. This leads to more frequent (and longer) awakenings in the middle of the night. So in the morning, you end up feeling tired, rather than refreshed. Stress also tends to hinder our perception of sleep duration. “Think about that one for a bit...stress makes us think we have gotten far less sleep than we actually have. In some cases, it can make an individual who has slept 6 hours feel like he or she got no sleep,” he says. This can then lead to feeling even more stressed. Talk about a bad sleep cycle. RELATED: 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

4. Mouth Problems

Canker sores, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth — yes, stress can bring on all of these issues. According to a study in the International Dental Journal, people who reported oral health problems, such as sensitivity and bleeding, had higher work stress scores compared to those who didn’t. In another study published in the Annals of Periodontology, people who experienced higher levels of financial stress and poor stress coping skills had higher levels of periodontal (or gum) disease. The good news: Those with high money-related stress, but good coping skills had the same incidence of gum disease as people under low stress.

5. A Cranky Jaw

Do you ever clench your jaw or facial muscles when you feel tense? Not only can this lead to unwanted wrinkles, it can cause your jaw to ache, click or lock. When you tense the muscles around your face and jaw or grind your teeth, you put extra pressure on the joint, which can lead to pain. In fact, researchers have found that stress, anxiety and depression may contribute to symptoms of temporomandibular disorders aka TMD. Read More 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) Stressed Out? Here’s How to Finally Find Relief 11 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

The post 5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/wellness-hotels-stress-relief/ Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:15:11 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63402 10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen

[caption id="attachment_63411" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen Photos (clockwise from top left): Sunrise Springs; Mohonk Mountain House; Hilton Head Health; Sundance Mountain Resort[/caption]

If we had to list the top three de-stress strategies, we’d probably say vacation, exercise and any form of meditation. So, why not put that trio together? Whether you want to round out 2017 feeling super fresh or start off the New Year with a clear mind and renewed drive, we rounded up the best places to find the ultimate stress-relieving schedules. Try something new — from hiking to rock climbing to SUP — then head back inside to relax and recover. And if these mind-body offerings aren’t tempting enough, each resort boasts beautiful lodgings and Instagram-worthy views. Permission to indulge in some serious R&R.

RELATED:  Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods

These 10 Wellness Hotels Have the Perfect De-Stress Itineraries

[caption id="attachment_63412" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Amira Resort, St. George, UT Photo courtesy of Amira Resort[/caption]

1. Amira Resort

Location: St. George, UT
Cost: from $229/night 

Move Your Body: If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting a national park, this destination is for you. It’s planted near three big-time attractions: Zion National Park (less than an hour), Bryce Canyon National Park (just over two hours) and the Grand Canyon (two-and-a-half hours). The best part, though, is that the resort offers private hikes at these jaw-dropping locales, all hosted by a local guide. You can also opt for mountain biking or rappelling in a nearby canyon. Any activity you choose, you’ll walk away with an unforgettable experience.

Relax Your Mind: After climbing mountains, return to the resort for a rejuvenating spa treatment. Take your pick between three mind-body offerings: “The Awakening” to balance your chakras, “The Journey” complete with gentle drumming to help you get in touch with your spiritual side, and “The Reading,” which includes a card reading to point you in a positive life direction.

[caption id="attachment_63413" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia Photo courtesy of The BodyHoliday[/caption]

2. The BodyHoliday

Location: St. Lucia
Cost: from $665/night/person for two guests all-inclusive

Move Your Body: You’ll find no shortage of fitness activities at this all-inclusive resort. Opt for a range of group fitness classes from spin to aqua aerobics to Pilates. Or, better yet, get outside for some fun new ways to break a sweat. The Caribbean resort offers kayaking, guided walks, runs and bike rides, stand-up paddlebarding, tennis, scuba diving and more. You’ll even find beach volleyball, hikes through the rainforest and water skiing on the schedule. The toughest part is figuring out how to fit it all into your vacay.

Relax Your Mind: Beyond the endless outdoor activities and ocean views, the best part of your trip might just be the complimentary daily spa treatments. Book anything from a full-body massage to a facial to an aloe body wrap — all included in your package. Plus, you have the option to squeeze a few yoga and meditation classes into your schedule.

RELATED: Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster

[caption id="attachment_63414" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, AZ Photo courtesy of Canyon Ranch Tucson[/caption]

3. Canyon Ranch

Location: Tucson, AZ
Cost: from $1,179/night/person for two guests all-inclusive

Move Your Body: Boost your basic gym workout with underwater treadmills, racquet sports and more at this world-class facility. Want to spend some QT with nature? Take a hike, rent a bike (lesson included if needed!) or sign up for a bird-watching walk. With each stay, you also get a resort credit to use for an activity of your choosing. We suggest testing your skills on the high ropes challenge course, climbing the rock wall, a golf or tennis lesson or a nighttime hike, complete with star gazing.

Relax Your Mind: Combine movement and meditation with guided walks that help you tune into your surroundings. Or, use your resort credit to sign up for a spa specialty, like an ayurvedic massage or oil treatment. If you’ve been on your feet all day, choose the “sole rejuvenation” massage, which aims to soften your steps. And for something a little more spiritual, sign up for a “astro-gemology” session. It fuses crystal healing with your astrology reading to channel energy and set intentions.

[caption id="attachment_63415" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head, SC Photo courtesy of Hilton Head Health[/caption]

4. Hilton Head Health

Location: Hilton Head, SC
Cost: from $2,850 for a seven-day all-inclusive stay

Move Your Body: Turn your refreshing beach vacation up a notch on the wellness scale. An all-inclusive stay at this southern resort includes unlimited yoga classes offered in several varieties, from gentle to aqua to one that focuses on bone health. Because you’re so close to the ocean, you also have ample opportunity for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and power walks through the sand. What’s more, you get access to fitness classes like cardio boxing, TRX and resistance training. With all the active options, you just might have trouble sitting still. 

Relax Your Mind: Practice meditation four days a week at Hilton Head Health, where you can put a resort credit toward spa treatments, including massages, facials and manicures. Another place to get centered: the kitchen. Learn how to turn your favorite meals into healthier options via cooking lessons with the hotel’s chef. Take home the recipes, play some music and have yourself a relaxing meal prep Monday upon your return.

RELATED: Stressed out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat

[caption id="attachment_63416" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Kalon Surf Luxury Resort, Costa Rica Photo courtesy of Kalon Surf Luxury Resort[/caption]

5. Kalon Surf Luxury Resort

Location: Costa Rica
Cost: from $2,490 for a seven-day all-inclusive stay

Move Your Body: Learn to ride waves in one of the world’s most gorgeous settings. You get daily three-on-one surf lessons at Kalon, where first-timers will learn essential skills and seriously challenge their balance. The resort also offers pre-surf Pilates as a warm-up, as well as at least two traditional Pilates classes per week.

Relax Your Mind: If sitting at the resort’s canopy overlooking the ocean and pool isn’t enough to help you unwind, then your complimentary 60-minute mid-week massage should. The farm-to-table chef also leads a tour of the resort's greenhouse (where it grows all its produce), complete with a pit stop through the rainforest. It’s the ultimate recipe for relaxation — a stroll outdoors with a delicious, good-for-you meal to follow. You can even do a coffee tasting after with one of the surf instructors (he's also a barista).

[caption id="attachment_63418" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY Photo courtesy of Jim Smith Photography / Mohonk Mountain House[/caption]

6. Mohonk Mountain House

Location: New Paltz, NY
Cost: from $440/night

Move Your Body: It’s time to try a new snow sport — and we have the most picturesque place to do it. Located just 90 miles outside of New York City, this resort offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating on its breathtaking (and big!) enclosed rink. Outdoors, you'll trek through wooded paths with stunning views of the Hudson River and the Mohonk Mountain House itself — a Victorian castle worthy of your post popular IG post. 

Relax Your Mind: In addition to its award-winning spa and new ultra-moisturizing “ginger rejuvenator” treatment, Mohonk has meditation methods down to a T. Choose from fireside meditations to help you sleep better at night. Or, still get outdoors with a forest bathing session, where you tune into each sense as you walk among the trees.

RELATED: From Suring to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps

[caption id="attachment_63419" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, VT Photo courtesy of New Life Hiking Spa[/caption]

7. New Life Hiking Spa

Location: Killington, VT
Cost: from $259/night

Move Your Body: As the name suggests, your getaway will be all about getting onto the trails to soak in the very best of Vermont. With options for beginner, intermediate and advanced hikers, you’ll find a tree-lined walk or climb to fit your fitness level and challenge your skills. You’ll also have the option to go on kayaking excursions or take a strength or bootcamp class. Guests can choose a two- to four-night mini vacation, an 11-night weight loss retreat, or a 21-day wellness-immersive vacation.

Relax Your Mind: Each three-night stay includes one spa treatment. You can opt to work out tense muscles with a deep tissue or hot stone massage, roll out your fascia with myofascial release, or go with a total-body exfoliation treatment. Most schedules also include a morning stretch to prime your body and mind for movement, plus an evening yoga session.

[caption id="attachment_63420" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, UT Photo courtesy of Sundance Mountain Resort[/caption]

8. Sundance Mountain Resort

Location: Sundance, UT
Cost: from $200/night

Move Your Body: Embrace the winter temps and shred some gnar on the slopes (ski and snowboard passes start at $40 for a night session). Nothing quite compares to skiing the awe-inspiring peaks of Utah, where the mountains are so big, you don’t typically have to worry about long lift lines or crowded descents. Want to see the sights from even higher? The resort also offers alpine zip lining (from $49).

Relax Your Mind: With meditation and yoga classes offered daily, you can find your flow and peace of mind at any time. Book the Journey to Wellness package for an hour-long spa treatment and art classes — an extra chance to tap into your creative side and practice mindfulness.

RELATED: 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies

[caption id="attachment_63421" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Sunrise Springs, Santa Fe, NM Photo courtesy of Sunrise Springs[/caption]

9. Sunrise Springs

Location: Sante Fe, NM
Cost: from $205/night

Move Your Body: Start every day at Sunrise Springs with a yoga class and guided hike. Trekking the trails of New Mexico offers unique views of the desert, featuring ancient petroglyphs and sand formations. You can also pick up your pace for trail running, grab a bike for a two-wheel adventure, or make a splash while river rafting. Have more in the tank? Participate in a group fitness class or personal training session to really break a sweat.

Relax Your Mind: Soak in your surroundings — literally — at Sunrise Springs’ private pools and eucalyptus steam rooms. Sit back and relax in the warm waters overlooking tranquil greens, a peaceful setting you can reserve for 50 minutes (from $45). Or, opt for a magnesium-based soak for 25-minutes ($30), designed to help aching muscles and stress relief. Another favorite offered on site: sound baths. Lie down and listen to the tones of crystal bowls to help you reach a meditative state.

[caption id="attachment_63422" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: The Westin Bear Mountain, Victoria, British Colombia Photo courtesy of Westin Hotels[/caption]

10. The Westin Bear Mountain

Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Cost: from $136/night

Move Your Body: A stay at any Westin hotel gives you access to a Run Concierge, who will take out you for a jog or at least share the best routes in the area. (And for just $5, you get a New Balance outfit to borrow if you forgot your workout clothes.) While cityscapes are fun to run, this Westin in Canada also lets you take your stride to the trails. The hotel offers an on-mountain bootcamp or yoga class before taking on a challenging five-mile hike. You can repeat one of the classes at the peak and pre-descent, too.

Relax Your Mind: Because nothing says relax like a little pampering post-workout, unwind after your mountain trek with a massage, manicure, pedicure or facial. This location even offers a relaxation-specific massage to help your mind feel at ease and refreshed by the time your masseuse is finished.

Read More
The 6 Best Women’s Retreats to Reboot Your Health
6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)
How Climbing Mountains Helped These 7 Women Heal

The post 10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen

[caption id="attachment_63411" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen Photos (clockwise from top left): Sunrise Springs; Mohonk Mountain House; Hilton Head Health; Sundance Mountain Resort[/caption] If we had to list the top three de-stress strategies, we’d probably say vacation, exercise and any form of meditation. So, why not put that trio together? Whether you want to round out 2017 feeling super fresh or start off the New Year with a clear mind and renewed drive, we rounded up the best places to find the ultimate stress-relieving schedules. Try something new — from hiking to rock climbing to SUP — then head back inside to relax and recover. And if these mind-body offerings aren’t tempting enough, each resort boasts beautiful lodgings and Instagram-worthy views. Permission to indulge in some serious R&R. RELATED:  Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods

These 10 Wellness Hotels Have the Perfect De-Stress Itineraries

[caption id="attachment_63412" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Amira Resort, St. George, UT Photo courtesy of Amira Resort[/caption]

1. Amira Resort

Location: St. George, UT Cost: from $229/night  Move Your Body: If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting a national park, this destination is for you. It’s planted near three big-time attractions: Zion National Park (less than an hour), Bryce Canyon National Park (just over two hours) and the Grand Canyon (two-and-a-half hours). The best part, though, is that the resort offers private hikes at these jaw-dropping locales, all hosted by a local guide. You can also opt for mountain biking or rappelling in a nearby canyon. Any activity you choose, you’ll walk away with an unforgettable experience. Relax Your Mind: After climbing mountains, return to the resort for a rejuvenating spa treatment. Take your pick between three mind-body offerings: “The Awakening” to balance your chakras, “The Journey” complete with gentle drumming to help you get in touch with your spiritual side, and “The Reading,” which includes a card reading to point you in a positive life direction. [caption id="attachment_63413" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia Photo courtesy of The BodyHoliday[/caption]

2. The BodyHoliday

Location: St. Lucia Cost: from $665/night/person for two guests all-inclusive Move Your Body: You’ll find no shortage of fitness activities at this all-inclusive resort. Opt for a range of group fitness classes from spin to aqua aerobics to Pilates. Or, better yet, get outside for some fun new ways to break a sweat. The Caribbean resort offers kayaking, guided walks, runs and bike rides, stand-up paddlebarding, tennis, scuba diving and more. You’ll even find beach volleyball, hikes through the rainforest and water skiing on the schedule. The toughest part is figuring out how to fit it all into your vacay. Relax Your Mind: Beyond the endless outdoor activities and ocean views, the best part of your trip might just be the complimentary daily spa treatments. Book anything from a full-body massage to a facial to an aloe body wrap — all included in your package. Plus, you have the option to squeeze a few yoga and meditation classes into your schedule. RELATED: Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster [caption id="attachment_63414" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, AZ Photo courtesy of Canyon Ranch Tucson[/caption]

3. Canyon Ranch

Location: Tucson, AZ Cost: from $1,179/night/person for two guests all-inclusive Move Your Body: Boost your basic gym workout with underwater treadmills, racquet sports and more at this world-class facility. Want to spend some QT with nature? Take a hike, rent a bike (lesson included if needed!) or sign up for a bird-watching walk. With each stay, you also get a resort credit to use for an activity of your choosing. We suggest testing your skills on the high ropes challenge course, climbing the rock wall, a golf or tennis lesson or a nighttime hike, complete with star gazing. Relax Your Mind: Combine movement and meditation with guided walks that help you tune into your surroundings. Or, use your resort credit to sign up for a spa specialty, like an ayurvedic massage or oil treatment. If you’ve been on your feet all day, choose the “sole rejuvenation” massage, which aims to soften your steps. And for something a little more spiritual, sign up for a “astro-gemology” session. It fuses crystal healing with your astrology reading to channel energy and set intentions. [caption id="attachment_63415" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head, SC Photo courtesy of Hilton Head Health[/caption]

4. Hilton Head Health

Location: Hilton Head, SC Cost: from $2,850 for a seven-day all-inclusive stay Move Your Body: Turn your refreshing beach vacation up a notch on the wellness scale. An all-inclusive stay at this southern resort includes unlimited yoga classes offered in several varieties, from gentle to aqua to one that focuses on bone health. Because you’re so close to the ocean, you also have ample opportunity for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and power walks through the sand. What’s more, you get access to fitness classes like cardio boxing, TRX and resistance training. With all the active options, you just might have trouble sitting still.  Relax Your Mind: Practice meditation four days a week at Hilton Head Health, where you can put a resort credit toward spa treatments, including massages, facials and manicures. Another place to get centered: the kitchen. Learn how to turn your favorite meals into healthier options via cooking lessons with the hotel’s chef. Take home the recipes, play some music and have yourself a relaxing meal prep Monday upon your return. RELATED: Stressed out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat [caption id="attachment_63416" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Kalon Surf Luxury Resort, Costa Rica Photo courtesy of Kalon Surf Luxury Resort[/caption]

5. Kalon Surf Luxury Resort

Location: Costa Rica Cost: from $2,490 for a seven-day all-inclusive stay Move Your Body: Learn to ride waves in one of the world’s most gorgeous settings. You get daily three-on-one surf lessons at Kalon, where first-timers will learn essential skills and seriously challenge their balance. The resort also offers pre-surf Pilates as a warm-up, as well as at least two traditional Pilates classes per week. Relax Your Mind: If sitting at the resort’s canopy overlooking the ocean and pool isn’t enough to help you unwind, then your complimentary 60-minute mid-week massage should. The farm-to-table chef also leads a tour of the resort's greenhouse (where it grows all its produce), complete with a pit stop through the rainforest. It’s the ultimate recipe for relaxation — a stroll outdoors with a delicious, good-for-you meal to follow. You can even do a coffee tasting after with one of the surf instructors (he's also a barista). [caption id="attachment_63418" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY Photo courtesy of Jim Smith Photography / Mohonk Mountain House[/caption]

6. Mohonk Mountain House

Location: New Paltz, NY Cost: from $440/night Move Your Body: It’s time to try a new snow sport — and we have the most picturesque place to do it. Located just 90 miles outside of New York City, this resort offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating on its breathtaking (and big!) enclosed rink. Outdoors, you'll trek through wooded paths with stunning views of the Hudson River and the Mohonk Mountain House itself — a Victorian castle worthy of your post popular IG post.  Relax Your Mind: In addition to its award-winning spa and new ultra-moisturizing “ginger rejuvenator” treatment, Mohonk has meditation methods down to a T. Choose from fireside meditations to help you sleep better at night. Or, still get outdoors with a forest bathing session, where you tune into each sense as you walk among the trees. RELATED: From Suring to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps [caption id="attachment_63419" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, VT Photo courtesy of New Life Hiking Spa[/caption]

7. New Life Hiking Spa

Location: Killington, VT Cost: from $259/night Move Your Body: As the name suggests, your getaway will be all about getting onto the trails to soak in the very best of Vermont. With options for beginner, intermediate and advanced hikers, you’ll find a tree-lined walk or climb to fit your fitness level and challenge your skills. You’ll also have the option to go on kayaking excursions or take a strength or bootcamp class. Guests can choose a two- to four-night mini vacation, an 11-night weight loss retreat, or a 21-day wellness-immersive vacation. Relax Your Mind: Each three-night stay includes one spa treatment. You can opt to work out tense muscles with a deep tissue or hot stone massage, roll out your fascia with myofascial release, or go with a total-body exfoliation treatment. Most schedules also include a morning stretch to prime your body and mind for movement, plus an evening yoga session. [caption id="attachment_63420" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, UT Photo courtesy of Sundance Mountain Resort[/caption]

8. Sundance Mountain Resort

Location: Sundance, UT Cost: from $200/night Move Your Body: Embrace the winter temps and shred some gnar on the slopes (ski and snowboard passes start at $40 for a night session). Nothing quite compares to skiing the awe-inspiring peaks of Utah, where the mountains are so big, you don’t typically have to worry about long lift lines or crowded descents. Want to see the sights from even higher? The resort also offers alpine zip lining (from $49). Relax Your Mind: With meditation and yoga classes offered daily, you can find your flow and peace of mind at any time. Book the Journey to Wellness package for an hour-long spa treatment and art classes — an extra chance to tap into your creative side and practice mindfulness. RELATED: 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies [caption id="attachment_63421" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: Sunrise Springs, Santa Fe, NM Photo courtesy of Sunrise Springs[/caption]

9. Sunrise Springs

Location: Sante Fe, NM Cost: from $205/night Move Your Body: Start every day at Sunrise Springs with a yoga class and guided hike. Trekking the trails of New Mexico offers unique views of the desert, featuring ancient petroglyphs and sand formations. You can also pick up your pace for trail running, grab a bike for a two-wheel adventure, or make a splash while river rafting. Have more in the tank? Participate in a group fitness class or personal training session to really break a sweat. Relax Your Mind: Soak in your surroundings — literally — at Sunrise Springs’ private pools and eucalyptus steam rooms. Sit back and relax in the warm waters overlooking tranquil greens, a peaceful setting you can reserve for 50 minutes (from $45). Or, opt for a magnesium-based soak for 25-minutes ($30), designed to help aching muscles and stress relief. Another favorite offered on site: sound baths. Lie down and listen to the tones of crystal bowls to help you reach a meditative state. [caption id="attachment_63422" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wellness Hotels to De-Stress: The Westin Bear Mountain, Victoria, British Colombia Photo courtesy of Westin Hotels[/caption]

10. The Westin Bear Mountain

Location: Victoria, British Columbia Cost: from $136/night Move Your Body: A stay at any Westin hotel gives you access to a Run Concierge, who will take out you for a jog or at least share the best routes in the area. (And for just $5, you get a New Balance outfit to borrow if you forgot your workout clothes.) While cityscapes are fun to run, this Westin in Canada also lets you take your stride to the trails. The hotel offers an on-mountain bootcamp or yoga class before taking on a challenging five-mile hike. You can repeat one of the classes at the peak and pre-descent, too. Relax Your Mind: Because nothing says relax like a little pampering post-workout, unwind after your mountain trek with a massage, manicure, pedicure or facial. This location even offers a relaxation-specific massage to help your mind feel at ease and refreshed by the time your masseuse is finished. Read More The 6 Best Women’s Retreats to Reboot Your Health 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired) How Climbing Mountains Helped These 7 Women Heal

The post 10 Wellness Hotels That Have Your Ticket to Zen appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/insomnia-causes-treatment/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/insomnia-causes-treatment/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:15:19 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31613 6 Things You Didn't Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It

[caption id="attachment_63379" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Waking up on the right side of the bed can be tough…if you only fell asleep 30 minutes ago. We all know what it feels like to toss and turn throughout the night but for nearly 10 percent of Americans, insomnia is a chronic problem — lasting a month or longer, and characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep.

"Sleep is a powerful biological drive and if you don't mess it up, it tends to work."

Untreated insomnia can be a dangerous issue, too, says Steven Feinsilver, M.D., director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Even if you're not nodding off behind the wheel, a consistent lack of sleep can still contribute to headaches, back pain, irritability, lowered immunity and other health problems, he says. "People with poor sleep quality have a higher risk of everything from depression to high blood pressure to early death."

That doesn't mean that sleepless sufferers are doomed. Talking to your doctor can help you determine the root cause of your disorder and the best treatment to get you back on schedule. (Hint: It's probably not a pill!) But before you make an appointment, here's what you should know about insomnia.

RELATED: Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?

What You Didn't Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It

1. You may be predisposed.

"Some people are simply better at shutting their brains off at night," says Feinsilver. Those who aren't naturally good sleepers could have a biological reason as to why they’re not (having to do with unique brain chemicals, perhaps). They could also have grown up with bad “sleep hygiene” — never having a regular schedule or a consistent bedtime routine, for example.

Even if you are prone to insomnia, though, treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help retrain your brain. "Sleep is a powerful biological drive and if you don't mess it up, it tends to work," says Feinsilver. "And if it does get messed up, it's usually fairly easy to fix once we pinpoint what the patient is doing wrong."

2. Look out for the "two p's."

When a person who has always slept well suddenly has trouble falling or staying asleep, doctors look for two factors, says Feinsilver: the precipitating cause and the perpetuating cause. The former is a stressful event, good or bad, that creates an initial disruption of sleep. The latter is the reason insomnia continues, even after that stressful event has passed.

Precipitating causes can be anything from an upcoming test you’re worried about and need to study for to planning a wedding. The biggest perpetuator, says Feinsilver, is behavior — for instance, not going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

RELATED: This Is Your Body on Sleep Deprivation

[caption id="attachment_58931" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Signs You're Too Stressed (And How to Deal With It) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. It's linked with depression.

"Depression can cause bad sleep and bad sleep can cause depression; it's often hard to tell which one comes first," says Feinsilver. A recent Australian study found that insomnia was linked to depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in teenagers, and the study authors note that "having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder."  Likewise, a 2013 Canadian study found that treating the two conditions simultaneously can improve symptoms of both.

4. Popping pills won’t get you far.

If you want to kick insomnia for good, medication isn't the answer. (Sleeping pills may help jumpstart your slumber party, but their effects can wear off if they're used long-term.) What's really important is following the rules for good sleep, says Feinsilver. Keep your bedroom dark and cool; avoid caffeine up to 12 hours before bed; go to bed at the same time every night; and don't sleep in more than an hour on the weekends — even if you broke the previous rule and stayed out late the night before. "You're better off getting up at your regular time and taking a nap midday to make up for some of that lost sleep," he says.

And about those naps: They can be very helpful for people who don't get seven or eight hours of sleep at night. But keep them to an hour or less, and don't take them within six hours of your bedtime. Plus, if your doctor recommends sleep restriction therapy (which means spending only a set number of hours in bed, whether you sleep or not), you'll want to avoid crawling under the covers during the daytime entirely.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night's Sleep

5. Kitchen "cures" may or may not help.

A recent Louisiana State University study found that drinking tart cherry juice before bed improved insomnia symptoms in older adults, and previous research has suggested that herbal remedies, like chamomile tea, may help as well.

Feinsilver says these probably won't hurt, but believes that much of their benefit comes from the placebo effect. "That's not to say they won't work or that I'm against them," he adds. "If drinking something seems to help you fall asleep, I'm all in favor of it."

Sometimes, the calming herbs in drinks and teas can help slow your mind and give you that sleepy feeling. (Even just hot tea or milk sometimes works for individuals.) Give it a try and see if it’s right for you.

RELATED: 7 Snacks That Will Actually Help You Sleep Better

6. Attention can make it worse.

Doctors sometimes ask their insomnia patients to keep sleep diaries in order to help identify lifestyle factors keeping them awake, but Feinsilver advises against logging and analyzing your slumber for an extended period of time. "The more you think about it, the harder it is to fall asleep," he explains. "The best thing you can do is try to ignore it and take your mind off it."

One way to shut out the worry could be through meditation: In a recent study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, insomniacs who practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks reported better sleep and higher remission rates than those who didn't.

To learn more about insomnia and other sleep disorders visit the American Sleep Association. Originally published September 2014. Updated November 2017. 

Read More
Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep
Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat
The 5 Most Common Sleep Issues (And How to Find Relief)

The post 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Things You Didn't Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It

[caption id="attachment_63379" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Waking up on the right side of the bed can be tough…if you only fell asleep 30 minutes ago. We all know what it feels like to toss and turn throughout the night but for nearly 10 percent of Americans, insomnia is a chronic problem — lasting a month or longer, and characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep.
"Sleep is a powerful biological drive and if you don't mess it up, it tends to work."
Untreated insomnia can be a dangerous issue, too, says Steven Feinsilver, M.D., director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Even if you're not nodding off behind the wheel, a consistent lack of sleep can still contribute to headaches, back pain, irritability, lowered immunity and other health problems, he says. "People with poor sleep quality have a higher risk of everything from depression to high blood pressure to early death." That doesn't mean that sleepless sufferers are doomed. Talking to your doctor can help you determine the root cause of your disorder and the best treatment to get you back on schedule. (Hint: It's probably not a pill!) But before you make an appointment, here's what you should know about insomnia. RELATED: Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?

What You Didn't Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It

1. You may be predisposed.

"Some people are simply better at shutting their brains off at night," says Feinsilver. Those who aren't naturally good sleepers could have a biological reason as to why they’re not (having to do with unique brain chemicals, perhaps). They could also have grown up with bad “sleep hygiene” — never having a regular schedule or a consistent bedtime routine, for example. Even if you are prone to insomnia, though, treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help retrain your brain. "Sleep is a powerful biological drive and if you don't mess it up, it tends to work," says Feinsilver. "And if it does get messed up, it's usually fairly easy to fix once we pinpoint what the patient is doing wrong."

2. Look out for the "two p's."

When a person who has always slept well suddenly has trouble falling or staying asleep, doctors look for two factors, says Feinsilver: the precipitating cause and the perpetuating cause. The former is a stressful event, good or bad, that creates an initial disruption of sleep. The latter is the reason insomnia continues, even after that stressful event has passed. Precipitating causes can be anything from an upcoming test you’re worried about and need to study for to planning a wedding. The biggest perpetuator, says Feinsilver, is behavior — for instance, not going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. RELATED: This Is Your Body on Sleep Deprivation [caption id="attachment_58931" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Signs You're Too Stressed (And How to Deal With It) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. It's linked with depression.

"Depression can cause bad sleep and bad sleep can cause depression; it's often hard to tell which one comes first," says Feinsilver. A recent Australian study found that insomnia was linked to depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in teenagers, and the study authors note that "having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder."  Likewise, a 2013 Canadian study found that treating the two conditions simultaneously can improve symptoms of both.

4. Popping pills won’t get you far.

If you want to kick insomnia for good, medication isn't the answer. (Sleeping pills may help jumpstart your slumber party, but their effects can wear off if they're used long-term.) What's really important is following the rules for good sleep, says Feinsilver. Keep your bedroom dark and cool; avoid caffeine up to 12 hours before bed; go to bed at the same time every night; and don't sleep in more than an hour on the weekends — even if you broke the previous rule and stayed out late the night before. "You're better off getting up at your regular time and taking a nap midday to make up for some of that lost sleep," he says. And about those naps: They can be very helpful for people who don't get seven or eight hours of sleep at night. But keep them to an hour or less, and don't take them within six hours of your bedtime. Plus, if your doctor recommends sleep restriction therapy (which means spending only a set number of hours in bed, whether you sleep or not), you'll want to avoid crawling under the covers during the daytime entirely. RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night's Sleep

5. Kitchen "cures" may or may not help.

A recent Louisiana State University study found that drinking tart cherry juice before bed improved insomnia symptoms in older adults, and previous research has suggested that herbal remedies, like chamomile tea, may help as well. Feinsilver says these probably won't hurt, but believes that much of their benefit comes from the placebo effect. "That's not to say they won't work or that I'm against them," he adds. "If drinking something seems to help you fall asleep, I'm all in favor of it." Sometimes, the calming herbs in drinks and teas can help slow your mind and give you that sleepy feeling. (Even just hot tea or milk sometimes works for individuals.) Give it a try and see if it’s right for you. RELATED: 7 Snacks That Will Actually Help You Sleep Better

6. Attention can make it worse.

Doctors sometimes ask their insomnia patients to keep sleep diaries in order to help identify lifestyle factors keeping them awake, but Feinsilver advises against logging and analyzing your slumber for an extended period of time. "The more you think about it, the harder it is to fall asleep," he explains. "The best thing you can do is try to ignore it and take your mind off it." One way to shut out the worry could be through meditation: In a recent study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, insomniacs who practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks reported better sleep and higher remission rates than those who didn't. To learn more about insomnia and other sleep disorders visit the American Sleep Association. Originally published September 2014. Updated November 2017.  Read More Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat The 5 Most Common Sleep Issues (And How to Find Relief)

The post 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Insomnia and How to Treat It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/meditations-visualizations-fitness/ Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:15:55 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62978

[caption id="attachment_62983" align="alignnone" width="620"]Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, basketball star Kobe Bryant and Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington all have one thing in common — beyond dominating their respective sports. They make training their brains a priority, just like their bodies. And their go-to methods: meditation and visualization.

By now you’ve probably read 10 times over about the stress-relieving, productivity-boosting benefits of meditation. Well, those same advantages trickle into athletic performance. Research shows that mindfulness and relaxation training helps power athletes through tough intervals and reduces anxiety while doing so.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

“Mindfulness is the ability to remain focused and engaged in the present moment, activity, task or communication without being distracted by the extraneous noise of unrelated thoughts or other stimuli,” says Danielle Mika Nagel, Lululemon’s director of mindful performance. (Yes, coolest title ever.) “Many athletes have labeled this thought process as being ‘in the zone’ — meaning they can’t miss a shot, don’t hear the crowd or get distracted by anything outside that moment.” That also means these hyper-focused athletes can work at higher intensities, without letting the emotional and physical stress hold them back from reaching their goals.

Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need a crowd watching you crush a workout or a million-dollar contract to make fitness gains via meditations. By incorporating a daily mindfulness practice into your regular routine, you might also see your runs improve, your yoga practice flourish or even hit some lifting PRs.

RELATED: How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide

How Regular Meditations Can Enhance Your Workouts

Nagel has led athletes, yogis and even business people through simple meditations to help them find more success. And she often uses specific visualizations for various activities. To launch your own journey to fitness-improving zen, Nagel suggests starting with just five minutes a day.

“Find an activity that you already do, and attach the practice of meditation to that activity,” she says. For example, “right after your run or right after you wake up, before you drink your first cup of coffee or check your phone.” If you want to find peace post-workout, allow your heart rate to come back to normal before you start meditating, Nagel suggests. Giving yourself a few minutes to stretch prior to a mental practice will do the job.

Another time meditation can come in handy? When you’re experiencing those pre-race jitters. “If you find yourself anxious before a race, or anytime you need to settle yourself, you can incorporate the practice at that very moment,” Nagel says. “It is important to establish a foundation, though, so you don’t turn into a crisis meditator. Simply put: The more you meditate, the lower levels of stress you will experience.”

RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Meditations to Improve Your Walking, Running and Strength Training


Get Outside to Walk It Out
Prefer strolling for your cardio? Take this meditation with you to the road or the trails. It helps you focus on the present rather than trying to make it to a finish line. You just might find you don't want to stop stepping.


Run Into a Positive Mindset
Add this 10-minute meditation to your typical training schedule. As Nagel says in this series, meditation teaches you to focus on one tough task at a time, while bringing your attention to your breath — rather than any fatigue you're feeling in your muscles. By listening, you'll also gain visualization tools to help you feel powerful on the pavement.


Find Your Strength, Physically and Mentally
Getting strong isn't only about lifting heavy weights (though that's impressive, too). Let Nagel guide you toward mindful aptitude via powerful mantras so you can tackle any emotional obstacle with ease. Then take those newfound mental reinforcements to the gym, so you come out of your sweat session stronger than ever.

Read More
9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now
40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day
Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach

The post Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_62983" align="alignnone" width="620"]Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, basketball star Kobe Bryant and Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington all have one thing in common — beyond dominating their respective sports. They make training their brains a priority, just like their bodies. And their go-to methods: meditation and visualization. By now you’ve probably read 10 times over about the stress-relieving, productivity-boosting benefits of meditation. Well, those same advantages trickle into athletic performance. Research shows that mindfulness and relaxation training helps power athletes through tough intervals and reduces anxiety while doing so. RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate “Mindfulness is the ability to remain focused and engaged in the present moment, activity, task or communication without being distracted by the extraneous noise of unrelated thoughts or other stimuli,” says Danielle Mika Nagel, Lululemon’s director of mindful performance. (Yes, coolest title ever.) “Many athletes have labeled this thought process as being ‘in the zone’ — meaning they can’t miss a shot, don’t hear the crowd or get distracted by anything outside that moment.” That also means these hyper-focused athletes can work at higher intensities, without letting the emotional and physical stress hold them back from reaching their goals. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need a crowd watching you crush a workout or a million-dollar contract to make fitness gains via meditations. By incorporating a daily mindfulness practice into your regular routine, you might also see your runs improve, your yoga practice flourish or even hit some lifting PRs. RELATED: How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide

How Regular Meditations Can Enhance Your Workouts

Nagel has led athletes, yogis and even business people through simple meditations to help them find more success. And she often uses specific visualizations for various activities. To launch your own journey to fitness-improving zen, Nagel suggests starting with just five minutes a day. “Find an activity that you already do, and attach the practice of meditation to that activity,” she says. For example, “right after your run or right after you wake up, before you drink your first cup of coffee or check your phone.” If you want to find peace post-workout, allow your heart rate to come back to normal before you start meditating, Nagel suggests. Giving yourself a few minutes to stretch prior to a mental practice will do the job. Another time meditation can come in handy? When you’re experiencing those pre-race jitters. “If you find yourself anxious before a race, or anytime you need to settle yourself, you can incorporate the practice at that very moment,” Nagel says. “It is important to establish a foundation, though, so you don’t turn into a crisis meditator. Simply put: The more you meditate, the lower levels of stress you will experience.” RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Meditations to Improve Your Walking, Running and Strength Training

Get Outside to Walk It Out Prefer strolling for your cardio? Take this meditation with you to the road or the trails. It helps you focus on the present rather than trying to make it to a finish line. You just might find you don't want to stop stepping. Run Into a Positive Mindset Add this 10-minute meditation to your typical training schedule. As Nagel says in this series, meditation teaches you to focus on one tough task at a time, while bringing your attention to your breath — rather than any fatigue you're feeling in your muscles. By listening, you'll also gain visualization tools to help you feel powerful on the pavement. Find Your Strength, Physically and Mentally Getting strong isn't only about lifting heavy weights (though that's impressive, too). Let Nagel guide you toward mindful aptitude via powerful mantras so you can tackle any emotional obstacle with ease. Then take those newfound mental reinforcements to the gym, so you come out of your sweat session stronger than ever. Read More 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach

The post Simple, Quick Meditations to Get Stronger and Faster appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/outdoor-adventures-health-benefits-nature/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/outdoor-adventures-health-benefits-nature/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:15:39 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62540

[caption id="attachment_62545" align="alignnone" width="620"]Escape the City: Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life Photo: Për Jerner / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

Ask me the best and worst thing about living in New York, and I’d say it’s the hustle. The city’s energy instills a relentless drive to do better, work harder and achieve more. But that can also translate to more time with your head down (likely staring at a tiny screen), and less time reveling in moments spent with friends, wandering the city, or simply getting outside. In other words: Goodbye Girl Scout glory days and weekends camping in the PA woods; hello long work days and some mood-busting subway commutes.

The trouble with that is, being cooped up inside can certainly take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Meanwhile, science backs up what most of us probably know to be true — that nature gives your body and brain a serious reboot.

So, when the Camelbak Pursuit Series beckoned me to San Francisco, I knew I had to answer to some outdoor adventures. Similar to events like REI Outessa or Wanderlust, the Camelbak weekend allows you to pack in as many activities as possible, including rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, trail running and classes in yoga, backpacking and photography — all amidst the picturesque California Redwoods.

Fast-forward three device-free days later, and I realized that the blissful benefits of a date with nature are real. Here’s why you might just want to follow suit and book your own getaway ASAP.

RELATED: 14 Must-Haves for a Perfect Camping Weekend

7 Reasons to Plan More Outdoor Adventures This Season

[caption id="attachment_62546" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: It Boosts Your Mood Photo: Jason Hatfield / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

1. The mood-enhancing rumors are true.

Think about how good it feels to step away from your desk and onto the sidewalk for a walk around the block. Now imagine doing that for a full weekend — except with a little more greenery around you. Research shows that people who take just a 90-minute walk in nature experience a reduction in brain activity associated with mental illness like depression. Similarly, strolling with other people has been shown to increase feelings of positivity. When you’re feeling drained from the week, take your stride — and your bestie — to a tree-lined block.

2. The minutes seem to slow down.

Time flies when you’re paddling through open waters or sitting by a fire with live music, a beer and new friends. But being outside also gives you the sense that you actually have more minutes to enjoy what’s around you — especially when you put down your phone and put the kibosh on multi-tasking. So when I had time between activities to hang in my tent, I didn’t check Instagram 10 times for new followers. Instead, I just laid on my cot. (OK fine, there was no cell service anyway.) Lo and behold, I found myself thinking about how much I appreciated the moment — not an everyday thought when rushing around the city to make a meeting or catch a train.

Sure enough, science shows how tuning out of notification overload and into a single activity gives your brain a much-needed break, considering multi-tasking can lead to mental fatigue. “When we’re constantly multitasking and responding to emails and working through the to-do list... we’re overtasking the frontal cortex [of the brain],” explains Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix and frequent contributor to Outside magazine. “That makes us grumpy and fatigued, and eventually, it makes us not so sharp,” she says. “The brain is like a muscle and it helps to rest it at times. And that’s what nature does, helps us rest our minds.”

RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress and More Productivity

3. You come back less stressed, more focused.

 It’s no secret that spending time among the trees can help you de-stress while perking up productivity, thanks to the positive feelings that cultivate in nature, as well as the above mentioned ability to disconnect. (And vacations almost always work as a way to recharge.) But studies even link healthier levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, to areas with more green space. Translation: Those who live near more grass and trees tend to feel more relaxed. (This is especially true for women, more so than men, according to research.) Even more important, spending time in green space has also been linked to a longer life.

[caption id="attachment_62547" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: It Helps You Be More Mindful Photo: Jason Hatfield / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

4. You actually get in tune with your senses.

You’ve probably read about the benefits of mindfulness for mental health. Well, being outside makes mindful meditation a little easier, because you’re exposed to more pleasing scents, beautiful sights and soothing sounds. This idea follows principles similar to forest bathing — or taking a walk in nature, as you pay closer attention to the details you spot in leaves or bark, the sounds of waves crashing onto the shore, or whatever else fills your surroundings. Research links these sensory-enhancing walks through the woods to lower blood pressure and fewer stress markers, compared to taking a stroll through city streets.

“Being outdoors heightens your senses in a way that cannot be replicated indoors,” says Kirsten Beverley-Waters, founder of Thryve fitness and yoga instructor for the Pursuit Series. “The fresh air elevates your breath awareness, which makes it easier to become more self-aware and present in your breathing. Nature becomes this incredible facilitator of unplugging from the distractions around us and dropping into what our body really needs,” she says.

RELATED: Is Forest Bathing the New Meditation?

5. You experience that “awe” feeling.

When you take in a pretty waterfall, a breathtaking landscape or a park covered in gorgeous greenery, you’ve already achieved something: immersing yourself in the moment. “The science of awe is pretty new, but seems to suggest that when we experience awesome beauty, we react in ways that are more generous and community minded,” Williams explains. “It makes us think we’re a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves and we feel a little less stressed out.”

Another thing about getting your feet wet with different outdoor adventures is that you get to experience the world from new vantage points. “Each activity gives a different perspective,” says Julia Stamps Mallon, co-founder of CamelBak Pursuit Series and Eventus Outdoors. “For instance, when you rock climb and you’re on the edge of a cliff overlooking a valley, that’s a different feeling [and landscape] than catching a wave and riding into shore.” Though equally beautiful, different experiences with nature make you more thankful for it — and probably make you want to indulge in it more.

RELATED: 7 Active Travel Getaways You’ll Want to Book ASAP

6. Nature becomes your gym.

Working out outdoors can actually amplify results — and lead to even more health improvements. In fact, people who exercise outside the studio report more feelings of enjoyment, often sweat it out for longer periods of time and tend to expend more energy (at least in terms of running).

“When you’re in a gym, you’re often not as stimulated and you’re on consistent surfaces,” Williams says. “Outside, you have to balance and make micro adjustments to find that balance.”

Beverly-Waters agrees that taking your yoga practice outside can change the experience, too. “Cuing students to hear outside noises changes the energy of the practice,” she says. “Using directional cues such as, ‘ground down into the earth, extend your arms up to the sky’ — ‘instead of ground down through your mat, reach up to the ceiling,’ changes a student's [experience]."

I felt this first-hand during Beverly-Waters’ Pursuit yoga class, when we got to stretch it out and enjoy savasana with Redwood trees encircling us. Picture laying in yoga’s most relaxing pose, basking in true earthy beauty. It was the quintessential zen cocktail.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

[caption id="attachment_62548" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: Nature Becomes Your Gym Photo: Talia Touboul / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

7. You find new favorites (people and activities).

Beyond taking your typical gym routine to the grass, the outdoors also gives you more options to switch up your workout, adding exciting new elements and greater challenges. While you may work on pull-ups at CrossFit, rock climbing lets you put it into practice. Similarly, rowing a kayak lets you put your back-strengthening exercises to good use. Plus, there’s nothing like conquering a steep climb or nailing a gnarly trail to boost your confidence.

“We want people to find the opportunity to connect and pursue their outdoor desires,” says Mallon. “So even if you’re a pro in one area, you may not be proficient in another, [and Pursuit gives you] the chance to try something new and to soak it up with friends, family and a new community.”

By the end of a Pursuit Series weekend, “people have shared a variety of experiences that have challenged them. They’ve learned new skills together, they’ve been afraid together and they’ve celebrated at night together,” says Bart Davis, co-founder of the Pursuit Series. “Our participants arrive as strangers and they leave as a community.”

For the record, this is precisely how I felt come Sunday. Well, that and I certainly didn’t want to head back indoors where my laptop becomes my BFF.

RELATED: 15 Adventures You Should Definitely Take

How to Connect with Nature Every Day

Of course, we know it’s not so easy to slip away from the office and into the woods. So when you can’t get away, learn to take a few more breaks to find the beauty in nature — even if your surroundings involve more concrete than bark or rock.

First and foremost, Williams suggests taking out those earbuds and actually listening to the sounds around you (screeching cars even count). It also helps to go for a short walk in the morning to help reset the circadian rhythm and start the day with a positive mindset. Other ideas Williams swears by: eating lunch outside, choosing a tree-lined street to walk down or simply sitting by a window while you work.

“I think that we’re at a crossroads right now, because a lot of us are recognizing that we’re way more tied into technology than we should be, and we know that doesn’t always make us feel well rested and happy,” says Williams. “Nature is an obvious antidote. Some people love water, woods or trees — and you don’t have to like them all — but figure out what you do enjoy and go to those spaces that make you feel good.”

Williams has a mantra that I plan to borrow from here on out: “Go outside, go often, bring friends or not, and breathe.”

Read More
Urban Hiking: The Most Epic Way to Burn Calories by Walking
The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World
The 15 Most Epic Trail Races Across the U.S.

The post Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_62545" align="alignnone" width="620"]Escape the City: Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life Photo: Për Jerner / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption] Ask me the best and worst thing about living in New York, and I’d say it’s the hustle. The city’s energy instills a relentless drive to do better, work harder and achieve more. But that can also translate to more time with your head down (likely staring at a tiny screen), and less time reveling in moments spent with friends, wandering the city, or simply getting outside. In other words: Goodbye Girl Scout glory days and weekends camping in the PA woods; hello long work days and some mood-busting subway commutes. The trouble with that is, being cooped up inside can certainly take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Meanwhile, science backs up what most of us probably know to be true — that nature gives your body and brain a serious reboot. So, when the Camelbak Pursuit Series beckoned me to San Francisco, I knew I had to answer to some outdoor adventures. Similar to events like REI Outessa or Wanderlust, the Camelbak weekend allows you to pack in as many activities as possible, including rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, trail running and classes in yoga, backpacking and photography — all amidst the picturesque California Redwoods. Fast-forward three device-free days later, and I realized that the blissful benefits of a date with nature are real. Here’s why you might just want to follow suit and book your own getaway ASAP. RELATED: 14 Must-Haves for a Perfect Camping Weekend

7 Reasons to Plan More Outdoor Adventures This Season

[caption id="attachment_62546" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: It Boosts Your Mood Photo: Jason Hatfield / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

1. The mood-enhancing rumors are true.

Think about how good it feels to step away from your desk and onto the sidewalk for a walk around the block. Now imagine doing that for a full weekend — except with a little more greenery around you. Research shows that people who take just a 90-minute walk in nature experience a reduction in brain activity associated with mental illness like depression. Similarly, strolling with other people has been shown to increase feelings of positivity. When you’re feeling drained from the week, take your stride — and your bestie — to a tree-lined block.

2. The minutes seem to slow down.

Time flies when you’re paddling through open waters or sitting by a fire with live music, a beer and new friends. But being outside also gives you the sense that you actually have more minutes to enjoy what’s around you — especially when you put down your phone and put the kibosh on multi-tasking. So when I had time between activities to hang in my tent, I didn’t check Instagram 10 times for new followers. Instead, I just laid on my cot. (OK fine, there was no cell service anyway.) Lo and behold, I found myself thinking about how much I appreciated the moment — not an everyday thought when rushing around the city to make a meeting or catch a train. Sure enough, science shows how tuning out of notification overload and into a single activity gives your brain a much-needed break, considering multi-tasking can lead to mental fatigue. “When we’re constantly multitasking and responding to emails and working through the to-do list... we’re overtasking the frontal cortex [of the brain],” explains Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix and frequent contributor to Outside magazine. “That makes us grumpy and fatigued, and eventually, it makes us not so sharp,” she says. “The brain is like a muscle and it helps to rest it at times. And that’s what nature does, helps us rest our minds.” RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress and More Productivity

3. You come back less stressed, more focused.

 It’s no secret that spending time among the trees can help you de-stress while perking up productivity, thanks to the positive feelings that cultivate in nature, as well as the above mentioned ability to disconnect. (And vacations almost always work as a way to recharge.) But studies even link healthier levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, to areas with more green space. Translation: Those who live near more grass and trees tend to feel more relaxed. (This is especially true for women, more so than men, according to research.) Even more important, spending time in green space has also been linked to a longer life. [caption id="attachment_62547" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: It Helps You Be More Mindful Photo: Jason Hatfield / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

4. You actually get in tune with your senses.

You’ve probably read about the benefits of mindfulness for mental health. Well, being outside makes mindful meditation a little easier, because you’re exposed to more pleasing scents, beautiful sights and soothing sounds. This idea follows principles similar to forest bathing — or taking a walk in nature, as you pay closer attention to the details you spot in leaves or bark, the sounds of waves crashing onto the shore, or whatever else fills your surroundings. Research links these sensory-enhancing walks through the woods to lower blood pressure and fewer stress markers, compared to taking a stroll through city streets. “Being outdoors heightens your senses in a way that cannot be replicated indoors,” says Kirsten Beverley-Waters, founder of Thryve fitness and yoga instructor for the Pursuit Series. “The fresh air elevates your breath awareness, which makes it easier to become more self-aware and present in your breathing. Nature becomes this incredible facilitator of unplugging from the distractions around us and dropping into what our body really needs,” she says. RELATED: Is Forest Bathing the New Meditation?

5. You experience that “awe” feeling.

When you take in a pretty waterfall, a breathtaking landscape or a park covered in gorgeous greenery, you’ve already achieved something: immersing yourself in the moment. “The science of awe is pretty new, but seems to suggest that when we experience awesome beauty, we react in ways that are more generous and community minded,” Williams explains. “It makes us think we’re a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves and we feel a little less stressed out.” Another thing about getting your feet wet with different outdoor adventures is that you get to experience the world from new vantage points. “Each activity gives a different perspective,” says Julia Stamps Mallon, co-founder of CamelBak Pursuit Series and Eventus Outdoors. “For instance, when you rock climb and you’re on the edge of a cliff overlooking a valley, that’s a different feeling [and landscape] than catching a wave and riding into shore.” Though equally beautiful, different experiences with nature make you more thankful for it — and probably make you want to indulge in it more. RELATED: 7 Active Travel Getaways You’ll Want to Book ASAP

6. Nature becomes your gym.

Working out outdoors can actually amplify results — and lead to even more health improvements. In fact, people who exercise outside the studio report more feelings of enjoyment, often sweat it out for longer periods of time and tend to expend more energy (at least in terms of running). “When you’re in a gym, you’re often not as stimulated and you’re on consistent surfaces,” Williams says. “Outside, you have to balance and make micro adjustments to find that balance.” Beverly-Waters agrees that taking your yoga practice outside can change the experience, too. “Cuing students to hear outside noises changes the energy of the practice,” she says. “Using directional cues such as, ‘ground down into the earth, extend your arms up to the sky’ — ‘instead of ground down through your mat, reach up to the ceiling,’ changes a student's [experience]." I felt this first-hand during Beverly-Waters’ Pursuit yoga class, when we got to stretch it out and enjoy savasana with Redwood trees encircling us. Picture laying in yoga’s most relaxing pose, basking in true earthy beauty. It was the quintessential zen cocktail. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game [caption id="attachment_62548" align="alignnone" width="620"]Why You Need More Outdoor Adventures in Your Life: Nature Becomes Your Gym Photo: Talia Touboul / Camelbak Pursuit Series[/caption]

7. You find new favorites (people and activities).

Beyond taking your typical gym routine to the grass, the outdoors also gives you more options to switch up your workout, adding exciting new elements and greater challenges. While you may work on pull-ups at CrossFit, rock climbing lets you put it into practice. Similarly, rowing a kayak lets you put your back-strengthening exercises to good use. Plus, there’s nothing like conquering a steep climb or nailing a gnarly trail to boost your confidence. “We want people to find the opportunity to connect and pursue their outdoor desires,” says Mallon. “So even if you’re a pro in one area, you may not be proficient in another, [and Pursuit gives you] the chance to try something new and to soak it up with friends, family and a new community.” By the end of a Pursuit Series weekend, “people have shared a variety of experiences that have challenged them. They’ve learned new skills together, they’ve been afraid together and they’ve celebrated at night together,” says Bart Davis, co-founder of the Pursuit Series. “Our participants arrive as strangers and they leave as a community.” For the record, this is precisely how I felt come Sunday. Well, that and I certainly didn’t want to head back indoors where my laptop becomes my BFF. RELATED: 15 Adventures You Should Definitely Take

How to Connect with Nature Every Day

Of course, we know it’s not so easy to slip away from the office and into the woods. So when you can’t get away, learn to take a few more breaks to find the beauty in nature — even if your surroundings involve more concrete than bark or rock. First and foremost, Williams suggests taking out those earbuds and actually listening to the sounds around you (screeching cars even count). It also helps to go for a short walk in the morning to help reset the circadian rhythm and start the day with a positive mindset. Other ideas Williams swears by: eating lunch outside, choosing a tree-lined street to walk down or simply sitting by a window while you work. “I think that we’re at a crossroads right now, because a lot of us are recognizing that we’re way more tied into technology than we should be, and we know that doesn’t always make us feel well rested and happy,” says Williams. “Nature is an obvious antidote. Some people love water, woods or trees — and you don’t have to like them all — but figure out what you do enjoy and go to those spaces that make you feel good.” Williams has a mantra that I plan to borrow from here on out: “Go outside, go often, bring friends or not, and breathe.” Read More Urban Hiking: The Most Epic Way to Burn Calories by Walking The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World The 15 Most Epic Trail Races Across the U.S.

The post Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/stress-resources-help-de-stress/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/stress-resources-help-de-stress/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62430

Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, your head is pounding and your mind is going 100 mph. Everyone has had this all-too-familiar feeling of being stressed. That’s why we’ve put together your ultimate guide to squashing stress — when it hits you hard. If you start incorporating meditation, self-care and fika (that’s Swedish for coffee break) into your day, we can almost guarantee you’ll de-stress. Plus, you’ll become a whole lot happier, too. And science concurs! 

45 Ways to De-Stress, Starting Now

[caption id="attachment_62432" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Meditate Anytime, Anywhere Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Meditate Anytime, Anywhere

When you’re worried about an impending exam or big presentation at work, a little introspection can lend clarity and focus. Meditation has been shown to increase awareness around your thoughts, release tension in your body, and reduce stress and anxiety. Here are some simple meditations you can do to get started.

3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Forest Bathing: A New Style of Meditation

5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

9 Mantras to Find Zen from Gabrielle Bernstein’s New Book

4 GIFs Will Help You Relax, Stat

The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror

Lucid Dreaming: A New Way to Meditate...in Your Sleep

[caption id="attachment_62433" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to De-Stress in 10 Minutes or Less Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to De-Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

Reserving even just a few minutes for yourself can go a long way. Start your day with 10 minutes of yoga, go for a walk in the park during your lunch break, or take a soothing bath as your nightcap. And if those don’t work for you, we rounded up tips from the top trainers and mental health experts on how they unwind.

22 Simple Steps to a Healthy, Happy Morning

How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care

What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day

Adult Coloring Books: A New Way to Write Off Stress

7 Muscle-Soothing Recovery Baths to Wash Away a Stressful Day

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_62434" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Not Sweat the Small Stuff Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Stop Sweating the Small Stuff

Wish your days could be more productive? Bring some organization to your life to help tame the chaos. From bullet journaling to single tasking, here are some easy ways to start getting stuff done.

6 Scenarios That Stress You Out But Shouldn’t

Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion

How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life

Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

How to Reduce Stress at Work by 40 Percent

3 Easy Tricks to Get Organized and Reduce Stress

7 Daily Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Mental Health

4 Ways to Get Energized Without Caffeine

11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today

7 Desk Must-Haves to Help You Calm Down, Stat

19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

[caption id="attachment_62435" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Get Your Hygee and Fika On Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Take a Hygge and Fika Coffee Break

The Scandinavians have de-stressing down to a science — and an art. It’s no wonder that they’re the happiest people on Earth. Hygge (the Danish art of coziness) and fika (the Swedish custom of coffee breaks) are two traditions that are catching on around the globe. Both customs involve relaxation, indulgence and togetherness. And, what better way to take part in the trend than by enjoying a soothing lavender-infused cold brew or a banana-almond smoothie? Do as the Scandinavians do, take a break and sip to good health.

Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier

5 Deliciously Soothing Ways to Cook with Lavender

8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes to Help You Sleep

7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee

8 Incredible Wellness Elixirs to Start Your Day

7 Teas That Are Seriously Good for Your Health

7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning

[caption id="attachment_62436" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Actually Get More Sleep Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Actually Get More Sleep

If you’re really stressed out, sometimes the best solution is to get some sound sleep. All the stages of snoozing, including non-REM and REM, are important for cognitive function, preserving memories and refreshing your brain. In fact, research shows that poor sleep can make people even more stressed, unhappy and angry. If you’re already in the throes of losing zzz’s every night, squeezing in a 10-minute nap can also help. 

13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever

7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights

9 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster (Without Counting Sheep)

9 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road

[caption id="attachment_62437" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Bring Zen Into Your Home Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Bring Zen Into Your Home

According to many feng shui experts, your home is a direct reflection of your life. So if you’re feeling extremely stressed and beyond exhausted, don’t let it continue to pile on. Look around your home for some fixes. Remove the clutter (like those T-shirts and tote bags you’ll never use) and fill your drawers with only the things you actually need. Above all else, decorate your space with what makes you happy and generates positive energy. What you see is what you get.

Boost Productivity With This Feng Shui Makeover

Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen

How to Declutter Your Kitchen, According to Marie Kondo

8 DIY Pinterest Projects to Get You Motivated

The post Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat
Your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, your head is pounding and your mind is going 100 mph. Everyone has had this all-too-familiar feeling of being stressed. That’s why we’ve put together your ultimate guide to squashing stress — when it hits you hard. If you start incorporating meditation, self-care and fika (that’s Swedish for coffee break) into your day, we can almost guarantee you’ll de-stress. Plus, you’ll become a whole lot happier, too. And science concurs! 

45 Ways to De-Stress, Starting Now

[caption id="attachment_62432" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Meditate Anytime, Anywhere Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Meditate Anytime, Anywhere

When you’re worried about an impending exam or big presentation at work, a little introspection can lend clarity and focus. Meditation has been shown to increase awareness around your thoughts, release tension in your body, and reduce stress and anxiety. Here are some simple meditations you can do to get started. 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher Forest Bathing: A New Style of Meditation 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen 9 Mantras to Find Zen from Gabrielle Bernstein’s New Book 4 GIFs Will Help You Relax, Stat The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror Lucid Dreaming: A New Way to Meditate...in Your Sleep [caption id="attachment_62433" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to De-Stress in 10 Minutes or Less Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to De-Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

Reserving even just a few minutes for yourself can go a long way. Start your day with 10 minutes of yoga, go for a walk in the park during your lunch break, or take a soothing bath as your nightcap. And if those don’t work for you, we rounded up tips from the top trainers and mental health experts on how they unwind. 22 Simple Steps to a Healthy, Happy Morning How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now 7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day Adult Coloring Books: A New Way to Write Off Stress 7 Muscle-Soothing Recovery Baths to Wash Away a Stressful Day 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel [caption id="attachment_62434" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Not Sweat the Small Stuff Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Stop Sweating the Small Stuff

Wish your days could be more productive? Bring some organization to your life to help tame the chaos. From bullet journaling to single tasking, here are some easy ways to start getting stuff done. 6 Scenarios That Stress You Out But Shouldn’t Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity How to Reduce Stress at Work by 40 Percent 3 Easy Tricks to Get Organized and Reduce Stress 7 Daily Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Mental Health 4 Ways to Get Energized Without Caffeine 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today 7 Desk Must-Haves to Help You Calm Down, Stat 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think [caption id="attachment_62435" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Get Your Hygee and Fika On Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Take a Hygge and Fika Coffee Break

The Scandinavians have de-stressing down to a science — and an art. It’s no wonder that they’re the happiest people on Earth. Hygge (the Danish art of coziness) and fika (the Swedish custom of coffee breaks) are two traditions that are catching on around the globe. Both customs involve relaxation, indulgence and togetherness. And, what better way to take part in the trend than by enjoying a soothing lavender-infused cold brew or a banana-almond smoothie? Do as the Scandinavians do, take a break and sip to good health. Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier 5 Deliciously Soothing Ways to Cook with Lavender 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes to Help You Sleep 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee 8 Incredible Wellness Elixirs to Start Your Day 7 Teas That Are Seriously Good for Your Health 7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning [caption id="attachment_62436" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Actually Get More Sleep Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Actually Get More Sleep

If you’re really stressed out, sometimes the best solution is to get some sound sleep. All the stages of snoozing, including non-REM and REM, are important for cognitive function, preserving memories and refreshing your brain. In fact, research shows that poor sleep can make people even more stressed, unhappy and angry. If you’re already in the throes of losing zzz’s every night, squeezing in a 10-minute nap can also help.  13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights 9 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster (Without Counting Sheep) 9 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed 6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road [caption id="attachment_62437" align="alignnone" width="620"]Resources to De-Stress: How to Bring Zen Into Your Home Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Bring Zen Into Your Home

According to many feng shui experts, your home is a direct reflection of your life. So if you’re feeling extremely stressed and beyond exhausted, don’t let it continue to pile on. Look around your home for some fixes. Remove the clutter (like those T-shirts and tote bags you’ll never use) and fill your drawers with only the things you actually need. Above all else, decorate your space with what makes you happy and generates positive energy. What you see is what you get. Boost Productivity With This Feng Shui Makeover Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep 7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen How to Declutter Your Kitchen, According to Marie Kondo 8 DIY Pinterest Projects to Get You Motivated

The post Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/breast-cancer-survivors-stories/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/breast-cancer-survivors-stories/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 11:15:06 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62219 9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer

[caption id="attachment_62246" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer Photos (clockwise from top left): Bershan Shaw; Terri Coutee; Robin E. Devonish; Jen Hayden[/caption]

Breast cancer treatment has come a long way. The five-year survival rate for stage 0 or stage I breast cancer is nearly 100 percent, while the average survival rates for stage II and stage III are roughly 93 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

While those numbers are encouraging, they don’t make a breast cancer diagnosis any easier to swallow. From diagnosis to remission, breast cancer takes a toll in a number of ways, which are best articulated by the people who have lived it. While the process looks different for everyone who’s survived and thrived in the face of the disease — one thing is clear: Nothing can adequately prepare you. Here’s what four survivors have to say about the things no one tells you about life after breast cancer.

RELATED: 3 Strategies for Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

1. Cancer will try to steal your self-worth.

“[I wish someone had told me] cancer has the potential to strip you of everything,” says Robin E. Devonish, publishing maven, speaker and author of The Gift of Cancer. “What I mean by that is literally everything — your finances, your relationships, your level of confidence, your looks. A lot of that happened to me. I actually had to give up my car… because I couldn’t work when I was sick. I hadn’t even been married for a year and was diagnosed with breast cancer, and of course that affected my marriage.”

The hit to her self-confidence was among the most unexpected of them all. “There are certain parts of our bodies that we’re proud of, and I just so happened to be proud of my breasts… It took a while for me to feel desirable again.” All of these effects add up: “Cancer can wipe you out,” she says.

2. You will discover an abundance of kindness.

“I didn’t realize how many people really loved me,” says Devonish. “That blew me away. When I lost my car, my friend gave me her car. Each and every one of [my friends] took turns to go with me to chemo so I wouldn’t be by myself.”

Jen Hayden, senior social media editor at Daily Kos, had a similar experience. “I did not expect the dreaded diagnosis would give me an opportunity to heal some relationships that had fractured over time,” she says. “In many ways, it was easy to hit the reset button and put aside differences to focus on the things that really matter. There is no time for pettiness or grudges; you put it all aside, leave it in the past and move on. Focus on all the kindness around you, acts large and small. Accept all the help, all the love and try to give it back when you are able and it is needed.”

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That Will Change the Way You Think

3. Not everyone will “get it.”

“I continue to be amazed at people’s reaction when you tell them you have or had cancer,” says Hayden. “The most common reaction is to tell you a story about someone they know who had cancer. I could not believe it when I'd tell someone and they'd launch into a story about their cousin's wife who....yada yada yada. Many times it would end with the person dying, and I'd be standing there thinking, “Why did you tell me this story?” On one hand, I recognize that everyone has a cancer story and they want to share it because cancer affects nearly all families. And on the other hand, I'd be thinking, ‘OMG! Stop talking!’”

4. There will be more than one way to approach breast removal and reconstruction.

“I did not allow them to remove my breasts, because I didn’t believe that that was the best treatment plan for me,” says Devonish.

Hayden opted for a bilateral mastectomy and implants. “I had a bilateral mastectomy only seven weeks after my first ever mammogram... It was pretty much assumed I would get reconstruction; [it was] just a matter of which type of surgery I would opt for — silicone implants or flap tissue reconstructive surgery. The flap reconstruction is such an intensive surgery… and I simply couldn't face another long recovery period. So I opted for the implants. The plastic surgeon was in the operating room with my breast cancer surgeon. As soon as she finished the mastectomy, he went to work inserting the tissue expanders. The expanders were in for nearly four months and I was really taken aback by how painful they were. I could not wait for them to be taken out of my body.”

“My plastic surgeon and his staff were great and they gave me a mountain of information,” says Hayden, “but it was all matter-of-fact… In retrospect, I wish I had spoken with women who'd been through the process so I would've had a better grasp of what was ahead. I'm pleased with how they look in the end, although I've yet to get used to how they feel. I would have more heavily weighed the idea of not getting them at all, something that never really crossed my mind before the surgery. Speaking of surprises, did you know they recommend having implants swapped out for new ones every eight to 10 years? I certainly had no idea until I was considering reconstruction options.”

RELATED: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

Meanwhile, Terri Coutee, founder and director of DiepCFoundation.org, chose the reconstructive surgery. “There are those patients who have had very successful reconstruction because they [did their research and] aligned themselves with other patients, plastic surgeons and microsurgeons,” she says. “There are good and bad experiences, as with everything in life… It’s not always easy. I had to travel to have my reconstruction [with] the right doctor. I never tell anyone to have reconstruction. But what I want them to do is to get the right information so that they have successful conversations with their breast surgeon and their plastic surgeon.”

[caption id="attachment_62242" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Your body will go through changes that stick around long after recovery.

“The changes that your body goes through with cancer and recovering [can be surprising],” says Devonish. “Like right now, I can’t use my right arm for blood pressure [tests]. They can’t put needles in that arm. Some of the medicines can cause hot flashes and early menopause... There are [a lot of] physical things that you have to be mindful of.”

6. Exercise will keep you sane — and make you stronger.

“One of the things that I wish would have been encouraged more…was signing up for physical and health-related activities that could enhance…treatment and survivorship,” says Coutee. After her second diagnosis, one of her oncologists encouraged she to sign up for a fitness program at the local YMCA. Coutee did, and started blogging about her experiences. She often hears from survivors who say she inspired them to start exercising again, and how it's helped their recovery process.

RELATED: 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

7. You can’t go it alone. And you shouldn’t.

“There is a sense of isolation [during the recovery process],” says Coutee. “When you can get out and join a community…the encouragement is very empowering and helps with the mental and emotional aspect. I think a sense of community and comradeship kind of takes a cancer patient away from that daily grind and puts them in a position where they can [find] success.”

8. The silver linings are there — if you seek them out.

There's no way around it: A cancer diagnosis sucks. And while reminders to “think positive!” aren’t all that helpful, some survivors find that looking for the silver linings can help them cope with the emotional fallout of their diagnosis.

For Coutee, who was in the middle of a master’s program when she was diagnosed for a second time, her diagnosis inspired a dramatic career shift. She completed an intensive Project LEAD® Institute training with the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and she’s now a patient advocate for other survivors. “I [turned] a second diagnosis into something that is so valuable to other patients,” says Coutee. “I think it was placed before me in a really unique way, and I ran with it.”

For Devonish, “Going through cancer made me realize what a gift my life is. A lot of times when people are diagnosed, the first thing they think of are the worst things. I think… that God took me through a journey of realizing the gift of my life. The gift of love, the gift of giving, the gift of support, the gift of healing, the gift of letting people go.”

9. Even as a cancer patient, your life is your own.

“Yes, listen to doctors. But then go further than that,” says Warrior Life coach, motivational speaker and author Bershan Shaw. “It’s your life. You’re putting your life in a doctor’s hands. But you can’t put everything [there]. You have to [take charge] of your eating, exercising and your mindset. You’ve got to get past the fear of it. You’re diagnosed; you can’t change it.

“This is your reality…If you want to live, you take control of your life and you do everything [you can to survive]. I never want to say ‘Oh, I listened to my doctors, and that’s it.’ It was my life. And the only person who’s responsible for it is me. I had to say to myself, ‘You either get busy living, or you get busy dying.’”

Read More
9 Bloggers Who Changed Their Lives Through Fitness
Swin Cash on Basketball, Beating Cancer and Baring All
11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today

The post 9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer

[caption id="attachment_62246" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer Photos (clockwise from top left): Bershan Shaw; Terri Coutee; Robin E. Devonish; Jen Hayden[/caption] Breast cancer treatment has come a long way. The five-year survival rate for stage 0 or stage I breast cancer is nearly 100 percent, while the average survival rates for stage II and stage III are roughly 93 percent and 72 percent, respectively. While those numbers are encouraging, they don’t make a breast cancer diagnosis any easier to swallow. From diagnosis to remission, breast cancer takes a toll in a number of ways, which are best articulated by the people who have lived it. While the process looks different for everyone who’s survived and thrived in the face of the disease — one thing is clear: Nothing can adequately prepare you. Here’s what four survivors have to say about the things no one tells you about life after breast cancer. RELATED: 3 Strategies for Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

1. Cancer will try to steal your self-worth.

“[I wish someone had told me] cancer has the potential to strip you of everything,” says Robin E. Devonish, publishing maven, speaker and author of The Gift of Cancer. “What I mean by that is literally everything — your finances, your relationships, your level of confidence, your looks. A lot of that happened to me. I actually had to give up my car… because I couldn’t work when I was sick. I hadn’t even been married for a year and was diagnosed with breast cancer, and of course that affected my marriage.” The hit to her self-confidence was among the most unexpected of them all. “There are certain parts of our bodies that we’re proud of, and I just so happened to be proud of my breasts… It took a while for me to feel desirable again.” All of these effects add up: “Cancer can wipe you out,” she says.

2. You will discover an abundance of kindness.

“I didn’t realize how many people really loved me,” says Devonish. “That blew me away. When I lost my car, my friend gave me her car. Each and every one of [my friends] took turns to go with me to chemo so I wouldn’t be by myself.” Jen Hayden, senior social media editor at Daily Kos, had a similar experience. “I did not expect the dreaded diagnosis would give me an opportunity to heal some relationships that had fractured over time,” she says. “In many ways, it was easy to hit the reset button and put aside differences to focus on the things that really matter. There is no time for pettiness or grudges; you put it all aside, leave it in the past and move on. Focus on all the kindness around you, acts large and small. Accept all the help, all the love and try to give it back when you are able and it is needed.” RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That Will Change the Way You Think

3. Not everyone will “get it.”

“I continue to be amazed at people’s reaction when you tell them you have or had cancer,” says Hayden. “The most common reaction is to tell you a story about someone they know who had cancer. I could not believe it when I'd tell someone and they'd launch into a story about their cousin's wife who....yada yada yada. Many times it would end with the person dying, and I'd be standing there thinking, “Why did you tell me this story?” On one hand, I recognize that everyone has a cancer story and they want to share it because cancer affects nearly all families. And on the other hand, I'd be thinking, ‘OMG! Stop talking!’”

4. There will be more than one way to approach breast removal and reconstruction.

“I did not allow them to remove my breasts, because I didn’t believe that that was the best treatment plan for me,” says Devonish. Hayden opted for a bilateral mastectomy and implants. “I had a bilateral mastectomy only seven weeks after my first ever mammogram... It was pretty much assumed I would get reconstruction; [it was] just a matter of which type of surgery I would opt for — silicone implants or flap tissue reconstructive surgery. The flap reconstruction is such an intensive surgery… and I simply couldn't face another long recovery period. So I opted for the implants. The plastic surgeon was in the operating room with my breast cancer surgeon. As soon as she finished the mastectomy, he went to work inserting the tissue expanders. The expanders were in for nearly four months and I was really taken aback by how painful they were. I could not wait for them to be taken out of my body.” “My plastic surgeon and his staff were great and they gave me a mountain of information,” says Hayden, “but it was all matter-of-fact… In retrospect, I wish I had spoken with women who'd been through the process so I would've had a better grasp of what was ahead. I'm pleased with how they look in the end, although I've yet to get used to how they feel. I would have more heavily weighed the idea of not getting them at all, something that never really crossed my mind before the surgery. Speaking of surprises, did you know they recommend having implants swapped out for new ones every eight to 10 years? I certainly had no idea until I was considering reconstruction options.”

RELATED: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

Meanwhile, Terri Coutee, founder and director of DiepCFoundation.org, chose the reconstructive surgery. “There are those patients who have had very successful reconstruction because they [did their research and] aligned themselves with other patients, plastic surgeons and microsurgeons,” she says. “There are good and bad experiences, as with everything in life… It’s not always easy. I had to travel to have my reconstruction [with] the right doctor. I never tell anyone to have reconstruction. But what I want them to do is to get the right information so that they have successful conversations with their breast surgeon and their plastic surgeon.” [caption id="attachment_62242" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Your body will go through changes that stick around long after recovery.

“The changes that your body goes through with cancer and recovering [can be surprising],” says Devonish. “Like right now, I can’t use my right arm for blood pressure [tests]. They can’t put needles in that arm. Some of the medicines can cause hot flashes and early menopause... There are [a lot of] physical things that you have to be mindful of.”

6. Exercise will keep you sane — and make you stronger.

“One of the things that I wish would have been encouraged more…was signing up for physical and health-related activities that could enhance…treatment and survivorship,” says Coutee. After her second diagnosis, one of her oncologists encouraged she to sign up for a fitness program at the local YMCA. Coutee did, and started blogging about her experiences. She often hears from survivors who say she inspired them to start exercising again, and how it's helped their recovery process. RELATED: 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

7. You can’t go it alone. And you shouldn’t.

“There is a sense of isolation [during the recovery process],” says Coutee. “When you can get out and join a community…the encouragement is very empowering and helps with the mental and emotional aspect. I think a sense of community and comradeship kind of takes a cancer patient away from that daily grind and puts them in a position where they can [find] success.”

8. The silver linings are there — if you seek them out.

There's no way around it: A cancer diagnosis sucks. And while reminders to “think positive!” aren’t all that helpful, some survivors find that looking for the silver linings can help them cope with the emotional fallout of their diagnosis. For Coutee, who was in the middle of a master’s program when she was diagnosed for a second time, her diagnosis inspired a dramatic career shift. She completed an intensive Project LEAD® Institute training with the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and she’s now a patient advocate for other survivors. “I [turned] a second diagnosis into something that is so valuable to other patients,” says Coutee. “I think it was placed before me in a really unique way, and I ran with it.” For Devonish, “Going through cancer made me realize what a gift my life is. A lot of times when people are diagnosed, the first thing they think of are the worst things. I think… that God took me through a journey of realizing the gift of my life. The gift of love, the gift of giving, the gift of support, the gift of healing, the gift of letting people go.”

9. Even as a cancer patient, your life is your own.

“Yes, listen to doctors. But then go further than that,” says Warrior Life coach, motivational speaker and author Bershan Shaw. “It’s your life. You’re putting your life in a doctor’s hands. But you can’t put everything [there]. You have to [take charge] of your eating, exercising and your mindset. You’ve got to get past the fear of it. You’re diagnosed; you can’t change it. “This is your reality…If you want to live, you take control of your life and you do everything [you can to survive]. I never want to say ‘Oh, I listened to my doctors, and that’s it.’ It was my life. And the only person who’s responsible for it is me. I had to say to myself, ‘You either get busy living, or you get busy dying.’” Read More 9 Bloggers Who Changed Their Lives Through Fitness Swin Cash on Basketball, Beating Cancer and Baring All 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today

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6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired) http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/exhausted-signs-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/exhausted-signs-tips/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:15:05 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=36482 6 Signs You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

[caption id="attachment_58153" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Signs That You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

If you stifle yawns in 2 p.m. meetings and find yourself passed out cold during the previews on movie nights, you probably already know you’re run down. But there’s a big difference between being pooped out and being exhausted — and the signs aren’t as obvious as just feeling tired. It’s important to know the difference, because exhaustion can be downright dangerous.

"Sleep is one of the most under-appreciated facets of health,” says Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, MD, medical director of Take Shape for Life. “The consequences of sacrificing it can ripple throughout various areas of your life. Exhaustion has been linked to issues with appetite regulation, heart disease, increased inflammation, and a 50 percent increase in your risk of viral infection." Recent research also found a link between exhausted immune cells — bouts of little sleep can run down your immune system — and IBS symptoms.

So if you’re tired and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, it might mean you’re exhausted — and it’s time to devote some serious time to sleep, ASAP.

RELATED: Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You?

6 Clues That You’re Totally Exhausted

1. Your lips are dry.

If your lips are cracked, your skin is scaly, and you’re suffering from frequent headaches, dehydration may be to blame. Yes, this is a common woe in cold-weather climates. But, if you’re feeling drained, you should know it goes hand-in-hand with exhaustion. “You feel more fatigued the more dehydrated you are,” says Michael J. Breus, PhD, a board-certified expert in clinical sleep disorders. “If you’re constantly craving something to drink or experience dry skin and lips, you might be dealing with a level of hydration that can lead to exhaustion.”

“You won’t retain knowledge very well, as your brain depends on sleep to re-process what you experienced during the day.”

Water affects so many systems within your body that it’s impossible to maintain your energy levels if you’re not drinking sufficient amounts of H20, he explains. “People often forget to hydrate because it just isn’t on their minds. Everyone’s different, but I always tell people you should drink water to the point where your urine is clear,” says Breus.

RELATED: You'd Never  Guess These 7 Dehydration Symptoms

2. Your mind is all fuzzy.

Your brain needs sleep like a car needs gas; neither runs very well on empty. “Among other things, your body uses sleep to stabilize chemical imbalances, to refresh areas of the brain that control mood and behavior, and to process the memories and knowledge that you gathered throughout the day,” says Dr. Andersen.

This is especially important during the 90-minute period known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When it’s disturbed, your mind might be sluggish the next day. “You won’t retain knowledge very well, as your brain depends on sleep to re-process what you experienced during the day,” says Dr. Andersen. Exhaustion can leave you vulnerable to forgetting important things, like a big meeting at work, or feeling especially irritable, says Dr. Andersen.

RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal!)

3. Your workouts have sucked. 

Not crushing it at the gym like you usually do? Being exhausted causes every aspect of your life to suffer — including exercise, according to Dr. Andersen. “Exercising requires mental focus as well as physical activity,” Andersen says. “If your brain is falling behind because you are not well-rested, your ability to properly challenge your body will be limited — and that's in addition to the many performance consequences that come with poor sleep.”

Another big sign: You can’t even bring yourself to make it to the gym. “Our bodies are programmed to find the easy way out, which was useful 10,000 years ago when survival was difficult. Today that means one night of lost sleep can lead to weeks of missed workouts and unhealthy meals,” says Dr. Andersen. (If it's just a hit of motivation that you're lacking, though, check out these 33 sources of workout motivation.)

RELATED: 4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

4. You’re super stressed (and trying to ignore it). 

It’s no surprise that stress can keep you up at night, but the way you deal with it is what might cause exhaustion-inducing insomnia, according to research in the journal Sleep. For the study, researchers asked nearly 2,900 men and women about the stress in their lives, including how long it affected them, how severe it was, and how they handled the pressure. A year later, the researchers found that people who coped with stress by distracting themselves, dwelling on the issues, or trying to completely ignore it had higher instances of chronic insomnia, which they characterized as three sleepless nights a week for a month or more. This can turn into a vicious cycle of stress and exhaustion fueling one other. The researchers suggest using mindfulness techniques to ease stress might be a better way to cope.

RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

"Even a single night of interrupted sleep could screw you up the next day."

5. You’re eating more junk than usual. 

Find yourself hitting up the office vending machine on the regular? “The more exhausted you are, the more you crave high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods,” says Breus. Exhaustion often corresponds with high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. To decrease cortisol, your brain will often seek out a hit of the neurotransmitter serotonin. “[Serotonin] is a calming hormone. An easy way to access it is by ingesting comfort food full of carbs and fat,” says Breus.

Even worse, all that junk food can just wind up making you more exhausted. “With highly processed, highly glycemic foods like soft drinks, candy bars, or bagels, blood sugar and insulin levels will rise dramatically,” says Dr. Anderson. “The elevated insulin levels actually cause blood sugar to plummet, so your brain triggers [more] cravings for something full of sugar, fat, and calories.” Then, it starts all over again. Instead of reaching for comforting junk, Dr. Andersen recommends fueling your body with healthy low-glycemic foods like fruits and whole grains that can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep your insulin levels from swinging wildly in either direction.

RELATED: 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

6. You sleep poorly even once a week. 

You probably know that chronic insomnia can trigger exhaustion. But did you know that even a single night of interrupted sleep could screw you up the next day? In a study in the journal Sleep Medicine, 61 study participants slept for eight hours for one night. The next night, their rest was interrupted by four phone calls that instructed them to finish a short computer challenge before they could continue sleeping. Researchers found that after a night of fragmented sleep, people experienced worse moods along with weaker attention spans, suggesting that interrupted sleep might be as detrimental as the exhaustion that comes with full-on sleep restriction.

Or, maybe instead of dealing with interrupted sleep, you just go to bed way later than you should. “Bedtime procrastination” is a buzzy term in sleep medicine. In a study in Frontiers in Medicine, researchers discovered that on nights when the 177 participants reported procrastinating their zzz’s, they slept less and with worse quality. Plus, they experienced more intense fatigue the next day. “Set your bedtime and stick to it, counting back seven hours from when you need to wake up to determine the ideal start to your sleep latency period, or falling asleep time,” advises Dr. Andersen. “Decrease stimulation 30 minutes before you plan to sleep by shutting off cell phones, televisions and other devices.” You might even want to try these snazzy orange glasses, too.

Ready to make a change? Check out these bedtime rituals to help you battle insomnia, yoga poses for better sleep, plus tips for the best nap ever.

Originally published January 2015. Updated August 2017. 

Read More
Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?
Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion
Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights

The post 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Signs You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

[caption id="attachment_58153" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Signs That You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] If you stifle yawns in 2 p.m. meetings and find yourself passed out cold during the previews on movie nights, you probably already know you’re run down. But there’s a big difference between being pooped out and being exhausted — and the signs aren’t as obvious as just feeling tired. It’s important to know the difference, because exhaustion can be downright dangerous. "Sleep is one of the most under-appreciated facets of health,” says Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, MD, medical director of Take Shape for Life. “The consequences of sacrificing it can ripple throughout various areas of your life. Exhaustion has been linked to issues with appetite regulation, heart disease, increased inflammation, and a 50 percent increase in your risk of viral infection." Recent research also found a link between exhausted immune cells — bouts of little sleep can run down your immune system — and IBS symptoms. So if you’re tired and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, it might mean you’re exhausted — and it’s time to devote some serious time to sleep, ASAP. RELATED: Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You?

6 Clues That You’re Totally Exhausted

1. Your lips are dry.

If your lips are cracked, your skin is scaly, and you’re suffering from frequent headaches, dehydration may be to blame. Yes, this is a common woe in cold-weather climates. But, if you’re feeling drained, you should know it goes hand-in-hand with exhaustion. “You feel more fatigued the more dehydrated you are,” says Michael J. Breus, PhD, a board-certified expert in clinical sleep disorders. “If you’re constantly craving something to drink or experience dry skin and lips, you might be dealing with a level of hydration that can lead to exhaustion.”
“You won’t retain knowledge very well, as your brain depends on sleep to re-process what you experienced during the day.”
Water affects so many systems within your body that it’s impossible to maintain your energy levels if you’re not drinking sufficient amounts of H20, he explains. “People often forget to hydrate because it just isn’t on their minds. Everyone’s different, but I always tell people you should drink water to the point where your urine is clear,” says Breus. RELATED: You'd Never  Guess These 7 Dehydration Symptoms

2. Your mind is all fuzzy.

Your brain needs sleep like a car needs gas; neither runs very well on empty. “Among other things, your body uses sleep to stabilize chemical imbalances, to refresh areas of the brain that control mood and behavior, and to process the memories and knowledge that you gathered throughout the day,” says Dr. Andersen. This is especially important during the 90-minute period known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When it’s disturbed, your mind might be sluggish the next day. “You won’t retain knowledge very well, as your brain depends on sleep to re-process what you experienced during the day,” says Dr. Andersen. Exhaustion can leave you vulnerable to forgetting important things, like a big meeting at work, or feeling especially irritable, says Dr. Andersen. RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal!)

3. Your workouts have sucked. 

Not crushing it at the gym like you usually do? Being exhausted causes every aspect of your life to suffer — including exercise, according to Dr. Andersen. “Exercising requires mental focus as well as physical activity,” Andersen says. “If your brain is falling behind because you are not well-rested, your ability to properly challenge your body will be limited — and that's in addition to the many performance consequences that come with poor sleep.” Another big sign: You can’t even bring yourself to make it to the gym. “Our bodies are programmed to find the easy way out, which was useful 10,000 years ago when survival was difficult. Today that means one night of lost sleep can lead to weeks of missed workouts and unhealthy meals,” says Dr. Andersen. (If it's just a hit of motivation that you're lacking, though, check out these 33 sources of workout motivation.) RELATED: 4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

4. You’re super stressed (and trying to ignore it). 

It’s no surprise that stress can keep you up at night, but the way you deal with it is what might cause exhaustion-inducing insomnia, according to research in the journal Sleep. For the study, researchers asked nearly 2,900 men and women about the stress in their lives, including how long it affected them, how severe it was, and how they handled the pressure. A year later, the researchers found that people who coped with stress by distracting themselves, dwelling on the issues, or trying to completely ignore it had higher instances of chronic insomnia, which they characterized as three sleepless nights a week for a month or more. This can turn into a vicious cycle of stress and exhaustion fueling one other. The researchers suggest using mindfulness techniques to ease stress might be a better way to cope. RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress
"Even a single night of interrupted sleep could screw you up the next day."

5. You’re eating more junk than usual. 

Find yourself hitting up the office vending machine on the regular? “The more exhausted you are, the more you crave high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods,” says Breus. Exhaustion often corresponds with high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. To decrease cortisol, your brain will often seek out a hit of the neurotransmitter serotonin. “[Serotonin] is a calming hormone. An easy way to access it is by ingesting comfort food full of carbs and fat,” says Breus. Even worse, all that junk food can just wind up making you more exhausted. “With highly processed, highly glycemic foods like soft drinks, candy bars, or bagels, blood sugar and insulin levels will rise dramatically,” says Dr. Anderson. “The elevated insulin levels actually cause blood sugar to plummet, so your brain triggers [more] cravings for something full of sugar, fat, and calories.” Then, it starts all over again. Instead of reaching for comforting junk, Dr. Andersen recommends fueling your body with healthy low-glycemic foods like fruits and whole grains that can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep your insulin levels from swinging wildly in either direction. RELATED: 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

6. You sleep poorly even once a week. 

You probably know that chronic insomnia can trigger exhaustion. But did you know that even a single night of interrupted sleep could screw you up the next day? In a study in the journal Sleep Medicine, 61 study participants slept for eight hours for one night. The next night, their rest was interrupted by four phone calls that instructed them to finish a short computer challenge before they could continue sleeping. Researchers found that after a night of fragmented sleep, people experienced worse moods along with weaker attention spans, suggesting that interrupted sleep might be as detrimental as the exhaustion that comes with full-on sleep restriction. Or, maybe instead of dealing with interrupted sleep, you just go to bed way later than you should. “Bedtime procrastination” is a buzzy term in sleep medicine. In a study in Frontiers in Medicine, researchers discovered that on nights when the 177 participants reported procrastinating their zzz’s, they slept less and with worse quality. Plus, they experienced more intense fatigue the next day. “Set your bedtime and stick to it, counting back seven hours from when you need to wake up to determine the ideal start to your sleep latency period, or falling asleep time,” advises Dr. Andersen. “Decrease stimulation 30 minutes before you plan to sleep by shutting off cell phones, televisions and other devices.” You might even want to try these snazzy orange glasses, too. Ready to make a change? Check out these bedtime rituals to help you battle insomnia, yoga poses for better sleep, plus tips for the best nap ever. Originally published January 2015. Updated August 2017.  Read More Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion Love Evening Workouts? 5 Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights

The post 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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Is the Secret to Recovery Something Called Rolfing? http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/rolfing-massage-workout-recovery/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/rolfing-massage-workout-recovery/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 11:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60970 Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery

[caption id="attachment_60978" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Recovery has been a top priority of the fitness minded in recent years — with everything from stretching and foam rolling to ice baths and cryotherapy surging in popularity.

While I personally love the idea of focusing on R&R to become a better athlete (an excuse for a rest day? Yes, please!), I don’t necessarily spend as much time on it as I should. I might foam roll for a few minutes post-sweat, do yoga occasionally, get sports massages, and ice my legs after a long run. But still...my body is always tight.

I can probably blame this year’s line-up of marathon and triathlon training, as well as hunching over a laptop most days. But it’s definitely not fun to have throbbing shoulders and knots in my legs. While monthly massages have helped over the years, lately the effects have worn off. (And I, like many people, can’t afford weekly sessions.)

My massage therapist felt my pain. Appalled at the stiffness of my mid-back, he suggested I go see a rolfer.

RELATED: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

What Is Rolfing?

“When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently."

When I started researching rolfing, I learned it has actually been around since the 1960s. Lately, it's gotten more popular, especially among athletes and dancers. At its foundation, rolfing is a manual therapy — sort of like deep massage — that targets the fascia, or the web of connective tissue holding your muscles and organs in place. It’s known to be intense, and at times, even painful. I love deep massages, but I wondered if I could handle it.

“The thing that makes rolfing different from [other recovery] modalities is that we’re trying to get your joints in the most optimal alignment,” says Rachel Felson, a certified rolfer and cranialsacral therapist in New York City. “With foam rolling, you can’t do that — you might be opening up the tissue, but your joints are still in the compensated place. Foam rolling is a good thing to do, but it’s not necessarily enough.”

Also, unlike stand-alone massages, rolfing requires 10 sessions, 75 minutes each, known as the 10 series. These sessions also follow a very specific progression, moving from superficial areas (like your shoulders or feet) to deeper parts of the body (like your hips). The progression is meant “to unglue the areas that are short and dense and areas that have been compensating, so everything is in alignment and can work together,” says Felson.

So you might go to a masseuse to relax your muscles in a particularly tight area of your body. A rolfer, on the other hand, would examine your entire body, figure out where the imbalance is and start working from there. That means they'll often stop and hold pressure on those tight spots until they readjust. "You can work your muscles with massage till the cows come home, but if your joints are out of alignment, the muscles are still going to fire haphazardly,” Felson explains.

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ingredients for a Muscle-Soothing Recovery Bath

Why You Might Need a Rolfer

It’s pretty easy to mess with your muscles and make them tight, whether you work out regularly or stay in your seat all day. “We’re sitting at desks for eight to 10 hours a day, hunched over our phones all the time. So there’s a lot of lack of movement,” Felson says. “When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently. Muscles are overcompensating or not firing up properly.”

Once you better align your joints, however, you might experience benefits like increased blood flow and an uptick in oxygen to your brain, both of which allow for more freedom of movement. And those results often translate to improved sports performance, too. Anecdotally, Felson says the work she’s done has helped several of her athletic clients achieve new PRs. (Granted that’s not strict science, but we’ll take any finish line-crushing tactic we can get.)

RELATED: No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness

What to Expect in a Rolfing Session

"Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”

To kick off my first session, Felson observed my body as I stood barefoot. She noted nearly imperceptible details about my posture. For instance, how one shoulder was slightly higher than the other and my left hip pulled forward a bit more than my right. Then, I laid down on the table for the real session to start.

Felson started by using her fingers to make small movements and knead along my shoulders and down my upper back. This worked to open my shoulder and pelvic girdles. “When does it get painful?” I asked. Turns out, that’s part myth, Felson told me. “When Dr. Rolf started developing the technique in the ’60s, the name of the game was the more pain, the better,” she explains. “People would be on therapists’ tables screaming. But as we’ve learned more about the nervous system, we’ve learned that if you want to end that loop of fight or flight, the brain needs to feel safe.”

Later that day, I definitely noticed I was able to take bigger breaths. I stood, waiting for the subway, inhaling and exhaling deeply, just because I was astounded by how far my lungs could puff out. Maybe deeper breaths were my first step to shaving some time off my marathon?

Felson gives little assignments to focus on after each session. My “homework” for the week was to carry a backpack rather than my overloaded leather tote. I was also supposed to practice standing up straight by pulling my shoulders out to the sides, rather than rolling them down my back. (Many people roll their shoulders down their back when they’re thinking about their posture. However, she says, that actually squishes the muscles of your upper back together. And it can even make the whole area more tense.) I started doing this daily, consciously standing up by imagining my shoulders being stretched to the sides.

RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

Rolfing: The After Effects

In the time since I’ve started rolfing sessions about two months ago, I’ve become aware of how I stand and the way my feet bend when I walk. I also pay attention to the way I puff my lungs out to the sides when I breathe, how to sit on my sits bones while working, and other tiny details about the way I move throughout the day. Making a slight shift in how you stand or sit might seem insignificant, but those small actions are crucial for making lasting changes to your structure, Felson says. “The homework I give clients is maybe 40 or 50 percent of the work. Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”

I’m only halfway through my 10 sessions, so we’ll see if I end up with a new PR or start breezing through my speed drills. But so far I can claim that rolfing has expanded my breath, nixed a nagging ache that used to flare up at the beginning of every run, and improved my awareness of my body. A deep-tissue massage has never given me these benefits. Felson also mentioned the alignment-improving effects of rolfing are often long-lasting. Some people only coming back every few months (or years) for a tune-up. I’d say that’s worth a try.

If you want to give rolfing a go, Felson recommends signing up for series of 10 sessions. She says it's best to go at a time of year when you’re not deep into intense training. To maintain the results, stop in for a tune-up session every month or two while in the thick of it training. To find a certified rolfer, check out the directory at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.

Read More
I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here’s What Happened
4 Things a Physical Therapist Can Do That Your Doctor Can’t
6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

The post Is the Secret to Recovery Something Called Rolfing? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery

[caption id="attachment_60978" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Recovery has been a top priority of the fitness minded in recent years — with everything from stretching and foam rolling to ice baths and cryotherapy surging in popularity. While I personally love the idea of focusing on R&R to become a better athlete (an excuse for a rest day? Yes, please!), I don’t necessarily spend as much time on it as I should. I might foam roll for a few minutes post-sweat, do yoga occasionally, get sports massages, and ice my legs after a long run. But still...my body is always tight. I can probably blame this year’s line-up of marathon and triathlon training, as well as hunching over a laptop most days. But it’s definitely not fun to have throbbing shoulders and knots in my legs. While monthly massages have helped over the years, lately the effects have worn off. (And I, like many people, can’t afford weekly sessions.) My massage therapist felt my pain. Appalled at the stiffness of my mid-back, he suggested I go see a rolfer. RELATED: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

What Is Rolfing?

“When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently."
When I started researching rolfing, I learned it has actually been around since the 1960s. Lately, it's gotten more popular, especially among athletes and dancers. At its foundation, rolfing is a manual therapy — sort of like deep massage — that targets the fascia, or the web of connective tissue holding your muscles and organs in place. It’s known to be intense, and at times, even painful. I love deep massages, but I wondered if I could handle it. “The thing that makes rolfing different from [other recovery] modalities is that we’re trying to get your joints in the most optimal alignment,” says Rachel Felson, a certified rolfer and cranialsacral therapist in New York City. “With foam rolling, you can’t do that — you might be opening up the tissue, but your joints are still in the compensated place. Foam rolling is a good thing to do, but it’s not necessarily enough.” Also, unlike stand-alone massages, rolfing requires 10 sessions, 75 minutes each, known as the 10 series. These sessions also follow a very specific progression, moving from superficial areas (like your shoulders or feet) to deeper parts of the body (like your hips). The progression is meant “to unglue the areas that are short and dense and areas that have been compensating, so everything is in alignment and can work together,” says Felson. So you might go to a masseuse to relax your muscles in a particularly tight area of your body. A rolfer, on the other hand, would examine your entire body, figure out where the imbalance is and start working from there. That means they'll often stop and hold pressure on those tight spots until they readjust. "You can work your muscles with massage till the cows come home, but if your joints are out of alignment, the muscles are still going to fire haphazardly,” Felson explains. RELATED: 7 Surprising Ingredients for a Muscle-Soothing Recovery Bath

Why You Might Need a Rolfer

It’s pretty easy to mess with your muscles and make them tight, whether you work out regularly or stay in your seat all day. “We’re sitting at desks for eight to 10 hours a day, hunched over our phones all the time. So there’s a lot of lack of movement,” Felson says. “When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently. Muscles are overcompensating or not firing up properly.” Once you better align your joints, however, you might experience benefits like increased blood flow and an uptick in oxygen to your brain, both of which allow for more freedom of movement. And those results often translate to improved sports performance, too. Anecdotally, Felson says the work she’s done has helped several of her athletic clients achieve new PRs. (Granted that’s not strict science, but we’ll take any finish line-crushing tactic we can get.) RELATED: No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness

What to Expect in a Rolfing Session

"Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”
To kick off my first session, Felson observed my body as I stood barefoot. She noted nearly imperceptible details about my posture. For instance, how one shoulder was slightly higher than the other and my left hip pulled forward a bit more than my right. Then, I laid down on the table for the real session to start. Felson started by using her fingers to make small movements and knead along my shoulders and down my upper back. This worked to open my shoulder and pelvic girdles. “When does it get painful?” I asked. Turns out, that’s part myth, Felson told me. “When Dr. Rolf started developing the technique in the ’60s, the name of the game was the more pain, the better,” she explains. “People would be on therapists’ tables screaming. But as we’ve learned more about the nervous system, we’ve learned that if you want to end that loop of fight or flight, the brain needs to feel safe.” Later that day, I definitely noticed I was able to take bigger breaths. I stood, waiting for the subway, inhaling and exhaling deeply, just because I was astounded by how far my lungs could puff out. Maybe deeper breaths were my first step to shaving some time off my marathon? Felson gives little assignments to focus on after each session. My “homework” for the week was to carry a backpack rather than my overloaded leather tote. I was also supposed to practice standing up straight by pulling my shoulders out to the sides, rather than rolling them down my back. (Many people roll their shoulders down their back when they’re thinking about their posture. However, she says, that actually squishes the muscles of your upper back together. And it can even make the whole area more tense.) I started doing this daily, consciously standing up by imagining my shoulders being stretched to the sides. RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

Rolfing: The After Effects

In the time since I’ve started rolfing sessions about two months ago, I’ve become aware of how I stand and the way my feet bend when I walk. I also pay attention to the way I puff my lungs out to the sides when I breathe, how to sit on my sits bones while working, and other tiny details about the way I move throughout the day. Making a slight shift in how you stand or sit might seem insignificant, but those small actions are crucial for making lasting changes to your structure, Felson says. “The homework I give clients is maybe 40 or 50 percent of the work. Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.” I’m only halfway through my 10 sessions, so we’ll see if I end up with a new PR or start breezing through my speed drills. But so far I can claim that rolfing has expanded my breath, nixed a nagging ache that used to flare up at the beginning of every run, and improved my awareness of my body. A deep-tissue massage has never given me these benefits. Felson also mentioned the alignment-improving effects of rolfing are often long-lasting. Some people only coming back every few months (or years) for a tune-up. I’d say that’s worth a try. If you want to give rolfing a go, Felson recommends signing up for series of 10 sessions. She says it's best to go at a time of year when you’re not deep into intense training. To maintain the results, stop in for a tune-up session every month or two while in the thick of it training. To find a certified rolfer, check out the directory at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. Read More I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here’s What Happened 4 Things a Physical Therapist Can Do That Your Doctor Can’t 6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

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Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You? http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/oxygen-therapy-bars-benefits/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/oxygen-therapy-bars-benefits/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:15:06 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60739 Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too?

[caption id="attachment_60741" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Tired, stressed, run-down. Rinse and repeat. For most of us, this is the soundtrack of our busy, busy lives. But luckily, there are a number of quick pick-me-ups available at our fingertips. From drop-in meditation classes to IV treatments to power naps, you can recharge your batteries in less than half an hour. The latest remedy? Just breathe.

That’s right. Oxygen bars are back. The trend that started back in the mid-nineties has made a comeback, thanks in part to portable canisters and celebrity champions like Gwyneth Paltrow. Wellness junkies had a chance to chill out with some oxygen therapy at The Goop Wellness Summit this past June. Fans say that a few puffs of “pure” oxygen will lead to boosted energy, better sleep, improved concentration and less stress.

Wait, don’t you already breathe in oxygen all day every day? Here’s what you need to know about getting an extra boost with recreational oxygen therapy.

RELATED: For Better Workouts, Just Add Oxygen?

The Oxygen Bubble Effect

The idea is simple: Saddle up to an oxygen bar or buy a canister of portable oxygen and inhale highly concentrated O2 — 90+ percent oxygen. Instead of inhaling the 21 percent of oxygen in the everyday air you breathe in, proponents claim that this heftier dose delivers more oxygen to your muscles, brain and cells. More oxygen means a better range of health benefits that make you feel good.

But the truth is your body is already at full oxygen-carrying capacity. Oxygen enters through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where it hitches a ride on the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. “If you have normal lungs at sea level, your hemoglobin is essentially saturated with oxygen. Taking in more is not going to increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood by any significant amount,” says Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor with the American Lung Association and Professor of Preventative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “It’s unlikely there is a physiological effect. You’re not delivering more oxygen to the brain or muscles.”

There’s one case where supplemental oxygen may be helpful, says Edelman. And that’s after vigorous exercise. “After a football player makes a long, hard run, he goes to the sidelines, picks up a mask and breathes in some oxygen,” he says. Edelman explains that during a hard workout, physiological changes occur that stimulates your body to breathe more. “After vigorous exercise, [extra] oxygen may make you feel better,” he says.

While there is some scientific research on the effect of supplemental oxygen on athletic performance, the jury’s still out.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Running at High Altitude

[caption id="attachment_60743" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Oxygen Therapy: Is It Just Hot Air?

It may seem like there’s no harm in breathing concentrated air, but Edelman notes that oxygen is an irritant. While most oxygen therapy sessions last 15 to 20 minutes, longer sessions could irritate and inflame the mucus membranes lining your respiratory system.

Plus, recreational oxygen often comes in scented or flavored varieties. Since oxygen bars and portable oxygen isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s hard to say what’s exactly pumped out through those nose tubes and canisters. Edelman cautions that those with allergies or asthma may react to artificial or strong scents. And those with lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis should probably steer clear, too.

RELATED: Infrared Saunas Are Hot Right Now. But Are They Safe?

For those who do claim to feel better after a dose of oxygen? You might be just experiencing a placebo effect. “It may give a sense of euphoria and if it does, I don’t know how it does that,” says Edelman.

A better, cheaper alternative? Step away from your computer, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air.

Read More
IV Vitamin Therapy: Inside the Celeb Wellness Trend
Why's Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too?

[caption id="attachment_60741" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Tired, stressed, run-down. Rinse and repeat. For most of us, this is the soundtrack of our busy, busy lives. But luckily, there are a number of quick pick-me-ups available at our fingertips. From drop-in meditation classes to IV treatments to power naps, you can recharge your batteries in less than half an hour. The latest remedy? Just breathe. That’s right. Oxygen bars are back. The trend that started back in the mid-nineties has made a comeback, thanks in part to portable canisters and celebrity champions like Gwyneth Paltrow. Wellness junkies had a chance to chill out with some oxygen therapy at The Goop Wellness Summit this past June. Fans say that a few puffs of “pure” oxygen will lead to boosted energy, better sleep, improved concentration and less stress. Wait, don’t you already breathe in oxygen all day every day? Here’s what you need to know about getting an extra boost with recreational oxygen therapy. RELATED: For Better Workouts, Just Add Oxygen?

The Oxygen Bubble Effect

The idea is simple: Saddle up to an oxygen bar or buy a canister of portable oxygen and inhale highly concentrated O2 — 90+ percent oxygen. Instead of inhaling the 21 percent of oxygen in the everyday air you breathe in, proponents claim that this heftier dose delivers more oxygen to your muscles, brain and cells. More oxygen means a better range of health benefits that make you feel good. But the truth is your body is already at full oxygen-carrying capacity. Oxygen enters through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where it hitches a ride on the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. “If you have normal lungs at sea level, your hemoglobin is essentially saturated with oxygen. Taking in more is not going to increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood by any significant amount,” says Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor with the American Lung Association and Professor of Preventative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “It’s unlikely there is a physiological effect. You’re not delivering more oxygen to the brain or muscles.” There’s one case where supplemental oxygen may be helpful, says Edelman. And that’s after vigorous exercise. “After a football player makes a long, hard run, he goes to the sidelines, picks up a mask and breathes in some oxygen,” he says. Edelman explains that during a hard workout, physiological changes occur that stimulates your body to breathe more. “After vigorous exercise, [extra] oxygen may make you feel better,” he says. While there is some scientific research on the effect of supplemental oxygen on athletic performance, the jury’s still out. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Running at High Altitude [caption id="attachment_60743" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Oxygen Therapy: Is It Just Hot Air?

It may seem like there’s no harm in breathing concentrated air, but Edelman notes that oxygen is an irritant. While most oxygen therapy sessions last 15 to 20 minutes, longer sessions could irritate and inflame the mucus membranes lining your respiratory system. Plus, recreational oxygen often comes in scented or flavored varieties. Since oxygen bars and portable oxygen isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s hard to say what’s exactly pumped out through those nose tubes and canisters. Edelman cautions that those with allergies or asthma may react to artificial or strong scents. And those with lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis should probably steer clear, too. RELATED: Infrared Saunas Are Hot Right Now. But Are They Safe? For those who do claim to feel better after a dose of oxygen? You might be just experiencing a placebo effect. “It may give a sense of euphoria and if it does, I don’t know how it does that,” says Edelman. A better, cheaper alternative? Step away from your computer, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. Read More IV Vitamin Therapy: Inside the Celeb Wellness Trend Why's Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/transcendental-meditation-benefits/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/transcendental-meditation-benefits/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60691 What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)?

[caption id="attachment_60703" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Katie Karlson wanted to start a meditation practice, but couldn’t find the right fit. Mindfulness meditation didn’t work for her. Neither did focusing on her breath, which just made her anxiety worse. Guided meditations helped, but Karlson wanted something she could do on her own without relying on a tool or app.

So when her boss, who happens to be spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein, wrote about her experience learning transcendental meditation (aka TM), the 34-year old from Ann Arbor, MI was sold.

RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

While Karlson didn’t expect TM to be a cure-all, she says it’s taught her to quiet the physical symptoms of her anxiety and to find a calmer state of mind in her daily life. Plus, now she can literally breathe. “Since I’ve practiced TM, I noticed pretty quickly that I could take a full breath in a situation where my anxiety was spiked or heightened. That’s not something I could do before,” she says. “It’s a beautiful ritual to start the day. It’s energizing and I feel more awake.”

Karlson isn’t the only one to swear by the profound effects of transcendental meditation. Devotees include celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and Oprah, titans of Wall Street, the Beatles and the wellness-obsessed.

But TM is cloaked in a bit of mystery. What exactly is transcendental meditation and how does it differ from other forms of meditation? Here’s what you need to know.

RELATED: How Yoga in a Salt Room Helped Me Deal with Anxiety

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

As you may have noticed, meditation is everywhere. With the constant binging, beeping and noise in our everyday lives, who wouldn’t want a super-easy way to find quiet and peace?

That’s the promise of TM. Twice a day, you close your eyes, sit comfortably for 20 minutes and silently repeat a mantra or meaningless word in your head. The mantra is specially chosen for you by your TM teacher to access an internal state of calm.

Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation — an organization that promotes the practice of TM — describes it as a way to tap into the deep levels of the mind. He likens it to diving into the depths of the ocean where it is still and quiet, far below the breaking waves and turbulent surface of the water. That’s where TM takes you.

But the practice isn’t tied to a specific religion or philosophy, and you don’t have to change your diet or lifestyle. In fact, you don’t need to believe in the practice in order for it to work, says Roth.

“I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”

John Allon was skeptical when he first learned about transcendental meditation during his senior year of college. He visited his younger brother who has recently learned the practice and noticed his subtle transformation. “I didn’t know meditation from a hole in the ground but whatever he had, I wanted a taste of it,” he says. After a weekend on a TM retreat, he came back to school and smiled the entire week. “I was in such a state of euphoria the likes of which I had never experienced before,” Allon says, who now lives in Fairfield, Iowa and has been teaching TM for 46 years. “I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”

RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Transcendental Meditation: The Power of Positive Mantras

But doesn’t that sound like the promise of every other type of meditation? Yes and no. Roth says that there are three unique types of meditation, each with its specific purpose.

With focused attention meditation, like zen meditation, you concentrate on one specific thing — a sound, a body part, a picture — in order to train and clear your mind. With open-monitoring techniques like mindfulness meditation, you teach your mind to dispassionately observe your thoughts or body sensations and stay in the present moment. This can also be a helpful coping mechanism. Both of these meditation practices require controlling the mind to a certain extent.

In contrast, self-transcending practices, like TM, don’t involve concentrating or training of your mind. It’s effortless, says Roth. “The repetition of the mantra isn’t to focus your attention or blot out other thoughts. It’s a subtle mechanism to turn your attention within,” he says. That inward focus allows you to settle into a natural state of calm alertness. In other words, you have a transcendent experience.

RELATED: The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror

“When you access that level during TM, you experience a profound rest that eliminates the build up of deeply rooted stress and tension, improves health and wakes up and improves the cognitive function of the brain.” Research has found that TM reduced blood pressure, cortisol levels and even stress and trauma in populations like male inmates.

The other difference? You learn the practice in-person with a certified TM teacher. No YouTube video, online course, book or app necessary. To get started, you attend an introductory workshop, meet privately with an instructor (who gives you your mantra and teaches you to use it properly) and take a four-day course — all for close to $1,000.

Some scoff at the high price tag as a money-making scheme. However, the Maharishi Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization that teaches TM, claims that proceeds go to support initiatives to teach TM to under-served populations. (Think: at-risk youth, veterans and those involved in the criminal justice system.)

Is Transcendental Meditation Right for You?

Whether you practice TM, mindfulness-based meditation or focused attention, there’s no denying that meditation is a good thing with benefits for your physical and mental health. If you’re curious about transcendental meditation and have the resources to invest, you could try it for yourself.

Just remember, finding the right meditation practice for you can be like finding the glass slipper. You may have to try a few different methods before you find the best fit.

Read More
The 5-Minute App That Makes Mindfulness Easy
Meditation Meets Hits in a New Mindful Fitness Approach
30 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

The post What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)?

[caption id="attachment_60703" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Katie Karlson wanted to start a meditation practice, but couldn’t find the right fit. Mindfulness meditation didn’t work for her. Neither did focusing on her breath, which just made her anxiety worse. Guided meditations helped, but Karlson wanted something she could do on her own without relying on a tool or app. So when her boss, who happens to be spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein, wrote about her experience learning transcendental meditation (aka TM), the 34-year old from Ann Arbor, MI was sold. RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen While Karlson didn’t expect TM to be a cure-all, she says it’s taught her to quiet the physical symptoms of her anxiety and to find a calmer state of mind in her daily life. Plus, now she can literally breathe. “Since I’ve practiced TM, I noticed pretty quickly that I could take a full breath in a situation where my anxiety was spiked or heightened. That’s not something I could do before,” she says. “It’s a beautiful ritual to start the day. It’s energizing and I feel more awake.” Karlson isn’t the only one to swear by the profound effects of transcendental meditation. Devotees include celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and Oprah, titans of Wall Street, the Beatles and the wellness-obsessed. But TM is cloaked in a bit of mystery. What exactly is transcendental meditation and how does it differ from other forms of meditation? Here’s what you need to know. RELATED: How Yoga in a Salt Room Helped Me Deal with Anxiety

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

As you may have noticed, meditation is everywhere. With the constant binging, beeping and noise in our everyday lives, who wouldn’t want a super-easy way to find quiet and peace? That’s the promise of TM. Twice a day, you close your eyes, sit comfortably for 20 minutes and silently repeat a mantra or meaningless word in your head. The mantra is specially chosen for you by your TM teacher to access an internal state of calm. Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation — an organization that promotes the practice of TM — describes it as a way to tap into the deep levels of the mind. He likens it to diving into the depths of the ocean where it is still and quiet, far below the breaking waves and turbulent surface of the water. That’s where TM takes you. But the practice isn’t tied to a specific religion or philosophy, and you don’t have to change your diet or lifestyle. In fact, you don’t need to believe in the practice in order for it to work, says Roth.
“I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”
John Allon was skeptical when he first learned about transcendental meditation during his senior year of college. He visited his younger brother who has recently learned the practice and noticed his subtle transformation. “I didn’t know meditation from a hole in the ground but whatever he had, I wanted a taste of it,” he says. After a weekend on a TM retreat, he came back to school and smiled the entire week. “I was in such a state of euphoria the likes of which I had never experienced before,” Allon says, who now lives in Fairfield, Iowa and has been teaching TM for 46 years. “I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.” RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Transcendental Meditation: The Power of Positive Mantras

But doesn’t that sound like the promise of every other type of meditation? Yes and no. Roth says that there are three unique types of meditation, each with its specific purpose. With focused attention meditation, like zen meditation, you concentrate on one specific thing — a sound, a body part, a picture — in order to train and clear your mind. With open-monitoring techniques like mindfulness meditation, you teach your mind to dispassionately observe your thoughts or body sensations and stay in the present moment. This can also be a helpful coping mechanism. Both of these meditation practices require controlling the mind to a certain extent. In contrast, self-transcending practices, like TM, don’t involve concentrating or training of your mind. It’s effortless, says Roth. “The repetition of the mantra isn’t to focus your attention or blot out other thoughts. It’s a subtle mechanism to turn your attention within,” he says. That inward focus allows you to settle into a natural state of calm alertness. In other words, you have a transcendent experience. RELATED: The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror “When you access that level during TM, you experience a profound rest that eliminates the build up of deeply rooted stress and tension, improves health and wakes up and improves the cognitive function of the brain.” Research has found that TM reduced blood pressure, cortisol levels and even stress and trauma in populations like male inmates. The other difference? You learn the practice in-person with a certified TM teacher. No YouTube video, online course, book or app necessary. To get started, you attend an introductory workshop, meet privately with an instructor (who gives you your mantra and teaches you to use it properly) and take a four-day course — all for close to $1,000. Some scoff at the high price tag as a money-making scheme. However, the Maharishi Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization that teaches TM, claims that proceeds go to support initiatives to teach TM to under-served populations. (Think: at-risk youth, veterans and those involved in the criminal justice system.)

Is Transcendental Meditation Right for You?

Whether you practice TM, mindfulness-based meditation or focused attention, there’s no denying that meditation is a good thing with benefits for your physical and mental health. If you’re curious about transcendental meditation and have the resources to invest, you could try it for yourself. Just remember, finding the right meditation practice for you can be like finding the glass slipper. You may have to try a few different methods before you find the best fit. Read More The 5-Minute App That Makes Mindfulness Easy Meditation Meets Hits in a New Mindful Fitness Approach 30 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

The post What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/find-happiness-every-day/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/find-happiness-every-day/#respond Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59855

[caption id="attachment_59865" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Finding happiness seems like a pretty straight-forward task. Just turn your frown upside-down or maybe book a spa day, right? Not quite, says Christine Carter, happiness expert and author of The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less, who says that we may be trying too hard to be happy.

“There’s so much emphasis in our culture on happiness, but it’s important to recognize that the need to be happier is in and of itself a particular form of unhappiness,” she says. “It’s almost like the glass is, by definition, half empty if what you need is to be happier.”

RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You from Happiness?

Another mistake she sees: mistaking pleasure for happiness. “We pursue pleasure and gratification as though it’s the same as a positive emotion like joy, gratitude, confidence or awe,” she says. But constantly seeking pleasure can leave you dissatisfied. “When something is gratifying, it stimulates the reward system in our brain and release a little hit of dopamine. Dopamine’s primary function is to create craving or desire — it leaves us wanting more.”

Instead of chasing the elusive happiness fix, we asked Carter, as well as other happiness experts, psychologists and life coaches how they fight negativity and cultivate joy every day. Try these 11 simple, expert-endorsed tips.

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

11 Tricks to Finding More Happiness Every Day

1. Make a Wish

According to Carter, one of the best predictor’s of a person’s happiness is their connection to other people. “That’s the thing that’s going to move the needle the most — not the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, but for other people,” she says. One way to do that? Make a wish for someone to be happy, says Chade-Meng Tan, author of Joy on Demand, and former Jolly Good Fellow at Google. (Yes, that was his real title!) “As you take a deep breath and a moment to wish this person happiness, you are creating a useful mental habit,” he says. “You feel more joyful and sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others and creates trust that leads to highly productive and positive collaborations.”

2. Put Pen to Paper

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness.”

You already know that journaling about a stressful or emotional event can have long-term physical and psychological benefits. Well, it can do wonders for your happiness, too. Tara Newman, a business and leadership coach, trains herself to find silver linings with her journal. “Define happiness for yourself so you aren’t derailed by what makes other people happy,” she says. And don’t just focus on specific outcomes. Newman suggests using all your senses. Think: What does happiness look, feel, smell and taste like? “Practicing happiness every day makes it easier for us to grab hold of those feelings when things get hard,” she says.

RELATED: How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life

3. Say Thanks (More Than Once)

Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness,” says Carter. That’s why she’s builds several gratitude practices into her daily schedule. “It becomes habit,” she says.

Every morning, Carter pulls out her planner and writes down her gratitude list of three things. When her family gathers for dinner, they each share one thing they’re thankful for that day. “It shifts my attention away from what might not be working to what is working,” she says. Better yet, Carter tells her husband what she appreciates about him every day. “Even just thinking about what you’re grateful for in another person can improve the relationship,” she says.

4. Lend a Hand

“For me, happiness isn’t just feeling good. It’s also about doing good,” says Dr. Timothy Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness Institute. “I get my greatest pleasure and satisfaction when I’m doing what I can to help others and/or contributing in some way to causes that are important to me.” On a daily basis, that can mean surprising his colleagues with coffee or sending a fruit box to a friend going through a tough time.

RELATED:  Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier

5. Find Your BPO

A hectic schedule and a never-ending to-do list has a way of sucking some joy out of life. That’s why Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, the text-based service that promotes positive mental health, hone in on their BPO — aka biggest possible opportunity. “By remembering the big picture opportunities, you’re reminding yourself the purpose behind your work and what you do, which research says helps with feelings of gratitude and joy,” they say. Try starting your day with a few moments to focus on your BPO and the little things that lead to it.

6. Go with the Flow

Stress can seriously lower your cheerfulness levels. “It’s hard to feel really joyful when you’re tense and overwhelmed,” says Carter. To dial back stress, she gets in a work groove by blocking off one and a half hours, sans interruption. “It’s a sacred time for me to be able to engage deeply with my work,” she says. After all, crossing a bunch items off your list of to-dos can make you feel great.

RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

7. Reframe Your Commute

“Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.”

From road rage to delayed trains, commuting can often feel anything but happy. That’s why Sumati Gupta, clinical psychologist and a professor at Barnard College, hones in on her surroundings en route to the office. “When walking to work, I try to focus on what’s pretty around me for one block,” she says. Think: trees and architecture, instead of trash and crowded streets. “Honestly, it makes me very grateful that I get to live in New York City. It’s a really cool place, at least when you look up.”

Hirabayashi and Lidey opt for biking to work, rather than hopping on the train. “What we love about biking is you can’t be plugged in, and as a result, it gives our minds time to wander, helping us feel more balanced overall,” they say.

8. Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Most of us are pretty good about celebrating the big wins — a promotion at work or snagging a race PR. But acknowledging those everyday wins (say, a nice convo with a co-worker or making it to your fave workout class) can give you an instant mood boost, too. “Humans are hard on themselves and often fail to acknowledge how far they’ve come,” says Newman. “Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.” Think back on your day and remember the good that came from it.

RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

9. Press Pause

Always working in the fast lane? “When things feel hard, it’s usually because I’m forcing them or I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. So I slow down,” says Newman. “It might be for 15 minutes or I might rearrange my schedule to give myself more space to just be. Doing less creates the space for me to let happiness back in.” Another way to create some “me” time in your schedule to slow down: Say ‘no’ more often.

10. Have a Cuppa

One way to find calm: Pour a cup of tea. Every morning, Gupta makes a mug full of chai from scratch. “I’m focused on the act of making the chai and sipping it. In those moments, there’s nothing else I have to do,” she says. “I drink it mindfully and am grateful that I have the time to do just that.” Spend a few extra minutes making your morning tea or coffee and really focus on the task at hand. It’ll be like a moving meditation.

RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

11. Read Something Inspiring

An instant happiness booster for Carter involves reading poetry. “There are some Mary Oliver poems that, when I read them, I feel a sense of elevation,” she says. “It’s a way of fostering positive emotion.” If poetry isn’t your jam, pick up something you’ve always been curious about. It can give you the same sense of inspiration and awe.

The post 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_59865" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Finding happiness seems like a pretty straight-forward task. Just turn your frown upside-down or maybe book a spa day, right? Not quite, says Christine Carter, happiness expert and author of The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less, who says that we may be trying too hard to be happy. “There’s so much emphasis in our culture on happiness, but it’s important to recognize that the need to be happier is in and of itself a particular form of unhappiness,” she says. “It’s almost like the glass is, by definition, half empty if what you need is to be happier.” RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You from Happiness? Another mistake she sees: mistaking pleasure for happiness. “We pursue pleasure and gratification as though it’s the same as a positive emotion like joy, gratitude, confidence or awe,” she says. But constantly seeking pleasure can leave you dissatisfied. “When something is gratifying, it stimulates the reward system in our brain and release a little hit of dopamine. Dopamine’s primary function is to create craving or desire — it leaves us wanting more.” Instead of chasing the elusive happiness fix, we asked Carter, as well as other happiness experts, psychologists and life coaches how they fight negativity and cultivate joy every day. Try these 11 simple, expert-endorsed tips. RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

11 Tricks to Finding More Happiness Every Day

1. Make a Wish

According to Carter, one of the best predictor’s of a person’s happiness is their connection to other people. “That’s the thing that’s going to move the needle the most — not the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, but for other people,” she says. One way to do that? Make a wish for someone to be happy, says Chade-Meng Tan, author of Joy on Demand, and former Jolly Good Fellow at Google. (Yes, that was his real title!) “As you take a deep breath and a moment to wish this person happiness, you are creating a useful mental habit,” he says. “You feel more joyful and sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others and creates trust that leads to highly productive and positive collaborations.”

2. Put Pen to Paper

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness.”
You already know that journaling about a stressful or emotional event can have long-term physical and psychological benefits. Well, it can do wonders for your happiness, too. Tara Newman, a business and leadership coach, trains herself to find silver linings with her journal. “Define happiness for yourself so you aren’t derailed by what makes other people happy,” she says. And don’t just focus on specific outcomes. Newman suggests using all your senses. Think: What does happiness look, feel, smell and taste like? “Practicing happiness every day makes it easier for us to grab hold of those feelings when things get hard,” she says. RELATED: How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life

3. Say Thanks (More Than Once)

Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness,” says Carter. That’s why she’s builds several gratitude practices into her daily schedule. “It becomes habit,” she says. Every morning, Carter pulls out her planner and writes down her gratitude list of three things. When her family gathers for dinner, they each share one thing they’re thankful for that day. “It shifts my attention away from what might not be working to what is working,” she says. Better yet, Carter tells her husband what she appreciates about him every day. “Even just thinking about what you’re grateful for in another person can improve the relationship,” she says.

4. Lend a Hand

“For me, happiness isn’t just feeling good. It’s also about doing good,” says Dr. Timothy Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness Institute. “I get my greatest pleasure and satisfaction when I’m doing what I can to help others and/or contributing in some way to causes that are important to me.” On a daily basis, that can mean surprising his colleagues with coffee or sending a fruit box to a friend going through a tough time. RELATED:  Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier

5. Find Your BPO

A hectic schedule and a never-ending to-do list has a way of sucking some joy out of life. That’s why Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, the text-based service that promotes positive mental health, hone in on their BPO — aka biggest possible opportunity. “By remembering the big picture opportunities, you’re reminding yourself the purpose behind your work and what you do, which research says helps with feelings of gratitude and joy,” they say. Try starting your day with a few moments to focus on your BPO and the little things that lead to it.

6. Go with the Flow

Stress can seriously lower your cheerfulness levels. “It’s hard to feel really joyful when you’re tense and overwhelmed,” says Carter. To dial back stress, she gets in a work groove by blocking off one and a half hours, sans interruption. “It’s a sacred time for me to be able to engage deeply with my work,” she says. After all, crossing a bunch items off your list of to-dos can make you feel great. RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

7. Reframe Your Commute

“Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.”
From road rage to delayed trains, commuting can often feel anything but happy. That’s why Sumati Gupta, clinical psychologist and a professor at Barnard College, hones in on her surroundings en route to the office. “When walking to work, I try to focus on what’s pretty around me for one block,” she says. Think: trees and architecture, instead of trash and crowded streets. “Honestly, it makes me very grateful that I get to live in New York City. It’s a really cool place, at least when you look up.” Hirabayashi and Lidey opt for biking to work, rather than hopping on the train. “What we love about biking is you can’t be plugged in, and as a result, it gives our minds time to wander, helping us feel more balanced overall,” they say.

8. Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Most of us are pretty good about celebrating the big wins — a promotion at work or snagging a race PR. But acknowledging those everyday wins (say, a nice convo with a co-worker or making it to your fave workout class) can give you an instant mood boost, too. “Humans are hard on themselves and often fail to acknowledge how far they’ve come,” says Newman. “Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.” Think back on your day and remember the good that came from it. RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

9. Press Pause

Always working in the fast lane? “When things feel hard, it’s usually because I’m forcing them or I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. So I slow down,” says Newman. “It might be for 15 minutes or I might rearrange my schedule to give myself more space to just be. Doing less creates the space for me to let happiness back in.” Another way to create some “me” time in your schedule to slow down: Say ‘no’ more often.

10. Have a Cuppa

One way to find calm: Pour a cup of tea. Every morning, Gupta makes a mug full of chai from scratch. “I’m focused on the act of making the chai and sipping it. In those moments, there’s nothing else I have to do,” she says. “I drink it mindfully and am grateful that I have the time to do just that.” Spend a few extra minutes making your morning tea or coffee and really focus on the task at hand. It’ll be like a moving meditation. RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

11. Read Something Inspiring

An instant happiness booster for Carter involves reading poetry. “There are some Mary Oliver poems that, when I read them, I feel a sense of elevation,” she says. “It’s a way of fostering positive emotion.” If poetry isn’t your jam, pick up something you’ve always been curious about. It can give you the same sense of inspiration and awe.

The post 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/always-tired-exhaustion-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/always-tired-exhaustion-tips/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:15:13 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59773 Always Tired? 12 Tips to Combat Exhaustion

[caption id="attachment_59785" align="alignnone" width="620"]Always Tired? 12 Ways to Combat Exhaustion Starting Now Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Feeling exhausted? You’re not alone.

A whopping seven out of 10 Americans report feeling tired at work on a regular basis. And those double-shot lattes aren’t always cutting it. Tiredness can strike anyone, at any time, anywhere — including the wellness experts we profiled for this piece. The good news? A variety of strategies can help you fight back against exhaustion every day of the week. Here’s how to make it happen.

RELATED: 6 Signs That You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

12 Expert Tips to Fight Exhaustion, Starting Now

1. Get nourished.

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the energy you need to get through the day, says Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, founder of Fully Raw. “I always make sure I am properly nourished,” she says. “And by ‘nourished,’ I mean making sure my diet is rich in raw fruits and veggies. Water in the morning, smoothie for breakfast, fruit bowl for lunch, and giant salads for dinner. When my body is nourished well, it can function properly and I feel light on my feet and motivated to conquer anything.”

2. Power up with plants.

Karen Urbanek, founder of Karen’s Holistic Health, makes no bones about where she gets her energy. “I eat it! Minerals — the sparks of life — all come from plants. Vitamins, phytonutrients and bio-photons come from plants,” she says. “And all proteins (amino acids) come from plants! Yes, you heard that right: Animals eat plants or plant-eating animals to get them! So of course if I want energy, I eat plants!”

3. Black out your coffee — and your curtains.

Health experts will repeat it until they’re blue in the face: Sustained energy doesn’t happen without quality sleep. “Sleep is incredibly important to me so that I wake up feeling refreshed,” says Dave Asprey, Founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee, who also starts his day with the signature brew to boost energy and brain function. Asprey suggests investing in blackout curtains to keep out all light, and putting black tape over small lights on electronics. “Melatonin is produced at night, in the dark, to regulate our sleep. Artificial light can disrupt melatonin production. If you’re on a budget, you can cover your windows with foil paper to eliminate light,” he says. “In my room, everything that blinks or glows is covered with black tape or TrueDark filtering dots. I also turn my phone on airplane mode and leave it on airplane mode until I’m ready to start my work day.”

RELATED: Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food

[caption id="attachment_58824" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Nap if you need to.

If your weren’t able to get a good night’s sleep in spite of your best intentions, then you can help make up for the deficit (and enjoy an energy boost) with a quick power nap, says Wendy Bazilian, Dr.PH, RD, author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean: The Diet, and owner of Bazilian’s Health in San Diego. “These brief interludes allow the brain and [body] chemistry to reset and become reinvigorated,” she says. The trick is to keep the nap to about 20 minutes — longer than that, and you might actually increase your grogginess whenever you get up. For more pro napping tips, head here.

5. Stock grab-and-go greens.

“One of the main reasons most people's energy will drop, especially in the afternoon, is low blood sugar, says Brett Hoebel, author of The 20-Minute Body and a personal trainer perhaps best known for his work on The Biggest Loser. “Instead of reaching for coffee, which actually drops your blood sugar even more, I always have a powdered greens drink on hand,” Hoebel says. “It delivers a ton of nutrition in one serving and balances my blood sugar immediately. It's quick, convenient [and] effective, and I don't get slowed down from eating solid food.”

6. Bag 200-calorie snacks.

Still feeling famished? Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, health and nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY show, author of From Junk Food to Joy Food and founder of Nourish Snacks, says, “toting one to two strategic snacks in my bag is key. My criteria? Snacks must be no more than 200 calories and comprised of wholesome ingredients. Also, they have to be super-delicious to satisfy cravings and make me feel happy! I’m a big fan of almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt with fruit, hummus with veggie sticks, nut butter and crackers, [and] light popcorn. And of course, I never leave home without a few packages of my Nourish Snacks — shameless plug but the truth!”

RELATED: 15 Quick and Easy High-Protein Snacks

7. Hydrate like you mean it.

“When I'm tired, I revaluate how much water I've had to drink during the day,” says Maxine Yeung, MS, RD, CPT, CWC, and founder of The Wellness Whisk. “Even just a one-to-three-percent loss of body fluid can start making you feel tired and less able to concentrate.” Can’t stand the thought of drinking another glass of plain water? Yeung recommends shaking things up with a cup of mint tea. “Mint’s aromatic flavor is bold and pops with each sip, while the menthol adds a cooling effect to help perk you up when you're feeling sleepy,” she says. “Some studies suggest that peppermint may also help with alertness and concentration.”

8. Just add fizz.

You can also opt for something bubbly if that makes you more inclined to drink up, says Keri Gans, RDN, Nutritionist, Certified Yoga Teacher, and author of The Small Change Diet. Sadly, she’s not talking about champagne. For a work-appropriate beverage, Gans recommends mixing seltzer with a small splash of orange juice.

9. Get a move on.

“I am a new mom, so #teamnosleep is a real thing. Being exhausted has taken on a whole new meaning,” says Katie Kendall, CPT, CES, and Trainer at BRICK New York. One of Kendall’s go-to strategies for staying alert is to get moving. “When I’m feeling tired, I work out earlier in the day to get those endorphins pumping first thing,” she says.

Can’t squeeze in a whole workout? No problem. “Twenty to 60 seconds of jumping jacks or jump rope is all it takes to invigorate the entire body,” says Bazilian. “The quick exercise helps stretch the torso, increase blood flow… and bring instant energy to the body.”

RELATED: Got 10 Minutes? Your 3-Move Kettlebell Workout

10. Try this “one weird trick.” (Actually, there are two.)

Founder of Going Zero Waste Kathryn Kellogg is no stranger to exhaustion. “I have a regular job, I blog, and I'm also an actor,” she says. “Being a performer is all about energy. You’ve got to have it, and relying on caffeine is not an option, at least not for me.” So how does Kellogg pump up her energy levels fast? With this funky exercise:

  • Hold your hands near your face and squeeze them into a fist.
  • Scrunch up your face while squeezing your hands tight. The goal is to make your fists and face small and tight.
  • Hold this scrunched position for about five seconds.
  • After five seconds, let your face and your fists explode as large as possible while saying "Pah!" on the breath.
  • Repeat this process three times for an instant jolt of energy.

While we’re on the topic of unusual energizing tricks, Bazilian has another good one. Keep spoons in the freezer and retrieve them if you’re feeling fatigued. “I apply them to my eyes, wrapping [them] with a soft tissue before applying to the eyelids. [This is] to both reduce puffiness and also bring a quick ‘awake’ look and feeling,” she says. “You can also place them at the base of the neck [or] skull to wake you up and reduce any bit of naggy headache from neck or eye strain. This is a lifesaver, and it really gives me a quick 'jolt' of energy.”

[caption id="attachment_35369" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bulletproof Coffee Butter Photo: Pond5[/caption]

11. Take a page from the biohacking playbook.

Biohacking is all about strategically providing your body with different inputs so as to optimize its functioning. If that sounds complicated, it’s actually not — just take notes from Michelle Pellizzon, a health and wellness coach and founder of Better By Michelle. “I always start my day with Bulletproof Coffee, which gives me solid energy until lunch,” she says. “If I’m really dragging later in the day, whipping up a little adaptogenic almond milk helps. I add ½ teaspoon of rhodiola, ½ teaspoon of cordyceps, and a pinch of cinnamon to eight ounces of almond milk and sip!”

RELATED: From Maca to Reishi: What You Need to Know About Adaptogens

12. Give yourself some space.

Rather than beating yourself up for feeling exhausted, be gentle. “Make time to rest and restore from all the work that you do during the day,” says Urbanek. You might try a formal meditation or simply give yourself the time to enjoy 10 deep breaths.

Don’t feel guilty if you need more of these breaks than usual on the days you’re feeling fatigued. “There is so much more strength in pacing and having intermittent sessions of energy expended and [then] energy replenished,” says Bazilian. “Think about holding up a glass of water with your arm. That glass may not be very heavy, but if you held it without even a single break, your arm muscles would fatigue to the point where you couldn't hold it any longer. Alternately, if you hold it up for a bit, take a little break, and then lift it again, it's likely that you could continue that for as long as you cared to... perhaps indefinitely.”

The post Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Always Tired? 12 Tips to Combat Exhaustion

[caption id="attachment_59785" align="alignnone" width="620"]Always Tired? 12 Ways to Combat Exhaustion Starting Now Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Feeling exhausted? You’re not alone. A whopping seven out of 10 Americans report feeling tired at work on a regular basis. And those double-shot lattes aren’t always cutting it. Tiredness can strike anyone, at any time, anywhere — including the wellness experts we profiled for this piece. The good news? A variety of strategies can help you fight back against exhaustion every day of the week. Here’s how to make it happen. RELATED: 6 Signs That You're Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

12 Expert Tips to Fight Exhaustion, Starting Now

1. Get nourished.

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the energy you need to get through the day, says Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, founder of Fully Raw. “I always make sure I am properly nourished,” she says. “And by ‘nourished,’ I mean making sure my diet is rich in raw fruits and veggies. Water in the morning, smoothie for breakfast, fruit bowl for lunch, and giant salads for dinner. When my body is nourished well, it can function properly and I feel light on my feet and motivated to conquer anything.”

2. Power up with plants.

Karen Urbanek, founder of Karen’s Holistic Health, makes no bones about where she gets her energy. “I eat it! Minerals — the sparks of life — all come from plants. Vitamins, phytonutrients and bio-photons come from plants,” she says. “And all proteins (amino acids) come from plants! Yes, you heard that right: Animals eat plants or plant-eating animals to get them! So of course if I want energy, I eat plants!”

3. Black out your coffee — and your curtains.

Health experts will repeat it until they’re blue in the face: Sustained energy doesn’t happen without quality sleep. “Sleep is incredibly important to me so that I wake up feeling refreshed,” says Dave Asprey, Founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee, who also starts his day with the signature brew to boost energy and brain function. Asprey suggests investing in blackout curtains to keep out all light, and putting black tape over small lights on electronics. “Melatonin is produced at night, in the dark, to regulate our sleep. Artificial light can disrupt melatonin production. If you’re on a budget, you can cover your windows with foil paper to eliminate light,” he says. “In my room, everything that blinks or glows is covered with black tape or TrueDark filtering dots. I also turn my phone on airplane mode and leave it on airplane mode until I’m ready to start my work day.” RELATED: Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food [caption id="attachment_58824" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Nap if you need to.

If your weren’t able to get a good night’s sleep in spite of your best intentions, then you can help make up for the deficit (and enjoy an energy boost) with a quick power nap, says Wendy Bazilian, Dr.PH, RD, author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean: The Diet, and owner of Bazilian’s Health in San Diego. “These brief interludes allow the brain and [body] chemistry to reset and become reinvigorated,” she says. The trick is to keep the nap to about 20 minutes — longer than that, and you might actually increase your grogginess whenever you get up. For more pro napping tips, head here.

5. Stock grab-and-go greens.

“One of the main reasons most people's energy will drop, especially in the afternoon, is low blood sugar, says Brett Hoebel, author of The 20-Minute Body and a personal trainer perhaps best known for his work on The Biggest Loser. “Instead of reaching for coffee, which actually drops your blood sugar even more, I always have a powdered greens drink on hand,” Hoebel says. “It delivers a ton of nutrition in one serving and balances my blood sugar immediately. It's quick, convenient [and] effective, and I don't get slowed down from eating solid food.”

6. Bag 200-calorie snacks.

Still feeling famished? Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, health and nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY show, author of From Junk Food to Joy Food and founder of Nourish Snacks, says, “toting one to two strategic snacks in my bag is key. My criteria? Snacks must be no more than 200 calories and comprised of wholesome ingredients. Also, they have to be super-delicious to satisfy cravings and make me feel happy! I’m a big fan of almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt with fruit, hummus with veggie sticks, nut butter and crackers, [and] light popcorn. And of course, I never leave home without a few packages of my Nourish Snacks — shameless plug but the truth!” RELATED: 15 Quick and Easy High-Protein Snacks

7. Hydrate like you mean it.

“When I'm tired, I revaluate how much water I've had to drink during the day,” says Maxine Yeung, MS, RD, CPT, CWC, and founder of The Wellness Whisk. “Even just a one-to-three-percent loss of body fluid can start making you feel tired and less able to concentrate.” Can’t stand the thought of drinking another glass of plain water? Yeung recommends shaking things up with a cup of mint tea. “Mint’s aromatic flavor is bold and pops with each sip, while the menthol adds a cooling effect to help perk you up when you're feeling sleepy,” she says. “Some studies suggest that peppermint may also help with alertness and concentration.”

8. Just add fizz.

You can also opt for something bubbly if that makes you more inclined to drink up, says Keri Gans, RDN, Nutritionist, Certified Yoga Teacher, and author of The Small Change Diet. Sadly, she’s not talking about champagne. For a work-appropriate beverage, Gans recommends mixing seltzer with a small splash of orange juice.

9. Get a move on.

“I am a new mom, so #teamnosleep is a real thing. Being exhausted has taken on a whole new meaning,” says Katie Kendall, CPT, CES, and Trainer at BRICK New York. One of Kendall’s go-to strategies for staying alert is to get moving. “When I’m feeling tired, I work out earlier in the day to get those endorphins pumping first thing,” she says. Can’t squeeze in a whole workout? No problem. “Twenty to 60 seconds of jumping jacks or jump rope is all it takes to invigorate the entire body,” says Bazilian. “The quick exercise helps stretch the torso, increase blood flow… and bring instant energy to the body.” RELATED: Got 10 Minutes? Your 3-Move Kettlebell Workout

10. Try this “one weird trick.” (Actually, there are two.)

Founder of Going Zero Waste Kathryn Kellogg is no stranger to exhaustion. “I have a regular job, I blog, and I'm also an actor,” she says. “Being a performer is all about energy. You’ve got to have it, and relying on caffeine is not an option, at least not for me.” So how does Kellogg pump up her energy levels fast? With this funky exercise:
  • Hold your hands near your face and squeeze them into a fist.
  • Scrunch up your face while squeezing your hands tight. The goal is to make your fists and face small and tight.
  • Hold this scrunched position for about five seconds.
  • After five seconds, let your face and your fists explode as large as possible while saying "Pah!" on the breath.
  • Repeat this process three times for an instant jolt of energy.
While we’re on the topic of unusual energizing tricks, Bazilian has another good one. Keep spoons in the freezer and retrieve them if you’re feeling fatigued. “I apply them to my eyes, wrapping [them] with a soft tissue before applying to the eyelids. [This is] to both reduce puffiness and also bring a quick ‘awake’ look and feeling,” she says. “You can also place them at the base of the neck [or] skull to wake you up and reduce any bit of naggy headache from neck or eye strain. This is a lifesaver, and it really gives me a quick 'jolt' of energy.” [caption id="attachment_35369" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bulletproof Coffee Butter Photo: Pond5[/caption]

11. Take a page from the biohacking playbook.

Biohacking is all about strategically providing your body with different inputs so as to optimize its functioning. If that sounds complicated, it’s actually not — just take notes from Michelle Pellizzon, a health and wellness coach and founder of Better By Michelle. “I always start my day with Bulletproof Coffee, which gives me solid energy until lunch,” she says. “If I’m really dragging later in the day, whipping up a little adaptogenic almond milk helps. I add ½ teaspoon of rhodiola, ½ teaspoon of cordyceps, and a pinch of cinnamon to eight ounces of almond milk and sip!” RELATED: From Maca to Reishi: What You Need to Know About Adaptogens

12. Give yourself some space.

Rather than beating yourself up for feeling exhausted, be gentle. “Make time to rest and restore from all the work that you do during the day,” says Urbanek. You might try a formal meditation or simply give yourself the time to enjoy 10 deep breaths. Don’t feel guilty if you need more of these breaks than usual on the days you’re feeling fatigued. “There is so much more strength in pacing and having intermittent sessions of energy expended and [then] energy replenished,” says Bazilian. “Think about holding up a glass of water with your arm. That glass may not be very heavy, but if you held it without even a single break, your arm muscles would fatigue to the point where you couldn't hold it any longer. Alternately, if you hold it up for a bit, take a little break, and then lift it again, it's likely that you could continue that for as long as you cared to... perhaps indefinitely.”

The post Always Tired? 12 Ways Wellness Experts Combat Exhaustion appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/can-you-catch-up-on-sleep/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/can-you-catch-up-on-sleep/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 12:15:09 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59040 Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?

[caption id="attachment_59072" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We’ve all been there: We’re up crunching for an exam or can’t catch a wink of sleep on a cross-Atlantic flight. We frequently tell ourselves it’s OK — we’ll crash soon. But can snoozing 10 hours one night make up for the four hours you got the night before?

RELATED: 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

While You Were Sleeping…The Body and Brain

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults ages 18 to 60 need at least seven hours of sleep per night. That’s because sleep helps your body and mind restore from the stresses of the day. It might even help your brain consolidate memories. “Sleep specialists no longer think sleep serves a single function,” says Michael Scullin, Ph.D., the study co-author and director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory. “If we sleep eight hours a night for our whole lives, it must do more — otherwise that’s a really bad use of our time.”

By monitoring brain activity, researchers have found that the brain stays active while it sleeps, though not in the same way across the entire night. You might be familiar with rapid eye movement (REM) — the stage of sleep when you’re dreaming. We complete a cycle of all stages of sleep NREM (non-REM) 1, NREM 2, NREM 3 and REM every 60-90 minutes, Scullin says. “Those stages are also really important in terms of cognitive functioning, consolidating memories and refreshing your brain,” Scullin explains.The duration of each sleep stage changes through the night. So if you're only getting four hours of sleep, for example, you'll get very little REM sleep.

RELATED: 5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

Why It's Basically Impossible to Catch Up on Sleep

If you sleep poorly one night, you’ll feel most of the effects the next day, says Scullin. That said, we’re not always the best judges of our own tiredness. “Sometimes you’ll feel really alert and think you didn’t need sleep at all. But what’s really happening is you’re paying attention to a moment in your circadian rhythm when you’re more awake than normal,” he says.

That’s because there are changes in hormone levels throughout the day, especially melatonin and cortisol — the hormones that control sleep and stress. Your body temperature and blood pressure also change during a 24-hour period. “Because of the fluctuations in these biological rhythms, you could see alertness peak or plummet for a couple of hours at different points during the day,” he explains.

The effects of just one bad night of sleep can last longer than just one day — even after a full night of zzz’s. Scullin points to one study from 2006, where researchers looked at peoples’ brains following one night of sleep deprivation and one night of catch-up sleep. They found that the prefrontal cortex (the area involved in solving complex tasks, attention, memory and sympathy) was impaired.

Another small new study found that students who slept fewer than seven hours three or more nights a week, and caught up on sleep on other nights, had a harder time paying attention, remembering information and being creative. “It’s better to have seven hours consistently than bouncing back and forth between four hours and 10,” says Scullin.

In the short term, poor sleep has also been shown to slow down your metabolism and increase your appetite. What’s worse, it can make you more likely to reach for higher-calorie junk foods — even after just one night. Lack of sleep messes with your mood, too. (Forget not being a morning person.) Some research found that one week of poor sleep makes people more stressed, angry and sad.

That said, all is not lost: If you miss out snoozing you can get back on track. “It’s not that people should never try to catch up. It’s that they should avoid equating cutting back and catching up averages out to be the same, because it doesn’t,” says Scullin.

Here are four scenarios where you might miss out on sleep — and tips on how to get back on track.

RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

4 Sleep-Loss Scenarios, and What to Do About Them

1. You stay up super-late working or studying.

If you’re up late grinding out work, how long does it take to get back on schedule? The occasional sleepless night is like emptying your gas tank. “One night of bad sleep is probably going to have some negative impact on you the next day, whether you recognize it or not,” Scullin says.

What to do: Get two full nights of good sleep. Just one snooze session will only fill you up about three-quarters of the way to normalcy. You won’t be running at full capacity until you get at least one more night of good, consistent sleep, Scullin says. “Think of one bad night of sleep as a sunk cost. You can’t control how you slept last night, but you do have control over how you sleep tonight,” says Scullin.

RELATED: 6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road

2. You’re traveling internationally and can’t sleep on the flight.

So you finally booked that Euro trip. The problem is you can’t sleep on the plane. Then, there’s also the time zone issue. While exactly how long it takes to feel normal again varies, Scullin says it takes at least a few days — but you should be back on track within one week. “It’s really tough to switch several time zones and feel perfect the next day. Our bodies weren’t designed that way,” says Scullin. “You’ll adapt, but it takes time, some longer than others.”

What to do: When you’re dealing with a time change, your first instinct might be to sleep the next day away. But it’s better to get as much natural sunlight as quickly as you can — especially in the morning — and follow the current time zone’s schedule immediately. The night you arrive at your destination, make sure you’re sleeping in a dark, quiet room. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, eat healthy foods and drink lots of water on the flight over, he adds.

Scullin says you can also try to “phase advance” your sleep schedule several days before you travel. So if you normally go to bed at 10 p.m., start shutting down at 9 p.m. If that works, snooze another hour earlier at 8 p.m. the following night, and then 7:30 p.m. “I did that a few years ago before traveling to Switzerland,” says Scullin. “I think I was able to phase advance two and half hours, and it really helped me.”

RELATED: The Hidden Ways Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Weight Gain

3. You go out with friends all night on Friday and Saturday.

That case of the Mondays could actually be a case of the weekends. That’s because even if you slept in on Sunday after going out all night on Friday and Saturday, your body will be hard-pressed to catch up, says Scullin. “Staying out abnormally late is variability in your sleep schedule, which affects your REM and non-REM sleep, And that changes your circadian rhythms,” Scullin explains. Even if you add a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’ve shifted your body’s natural sleep rhythms. This can make it harder to fall asleep Sunday night because your body thinks it needs to go to sleep later.

What’s more, consuming too much alcohol impairs your REM sleep, resulting in what Scullin calls an “REM rebound.” Your body will try to make up for lost REM sleep at night, but most REM sleep actually happens in the morning.

What to do: This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on weekends. “Don’t start the night at midnight and have a dozen drinks,” says Scullin. “Think of sleep as one of the core health behaviors along with eating well and exercising. No one would tell you to eat really well for four or five days of the week but pig out for two or three days. Or exercise regularly for five months but take two months off. Consistency is key for all of these, including sleep,” he says.

RELATED: 13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever

4. You’re a new parent and your baby keeps you up all night.

If you’ve got a newborn in the house, there’s obviously little you can do — at least for a few months. “As the father of an infant, I know all about that!” says Scullin. “Being a new parent means not sleeping well, so just sleep when you can.”

What to do: Scullin says napping (if and when your baby dozes off) can be really helpful. While most sleep specialists emphasize that naps can’t make up for nighttime sleep in the long run, “naps can confer some benefits to cognition. Some studies have shown benefits for fatigue and moodiness,” Scullin says. So hang in there and nap when you can. This, too, shall pass.

The post Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep?

[caption id="attachment_59072" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We’ve all been there: We’re up crunching for an exam or can’t catch a wink of sleep on a cross-Atlantic flight. We frequently tell ourselves it’s OK — we’ll crash soon. But can snoozing 10 hours one night make up for the four hours you got the night before? RELATED: 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

While You Were Sleeping…The Body and Brain

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults ages 18 to 60 need at least seven hours of sleep per night. That’s because sleep helps your body and mind restore from the stresses of the day. It might even help your brain consolidate memories. “Sleep specialists no longer think sleep serves a single function,” says Michael Scullin, Ph.D., the study co-author and director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory. “If we sleep eight hours a night for our whole lives, it must do more — otherwise that’s a really bad use of our time.” By monitoring brain activity, researchers have found that the brain stays active while it sleeps, though not in the same way across the entire night. You might be familiar with rapid eye movement (REM) — the stage of sleep when you’re dreaming. We complete a cycle of all stages of sleep NREM (non-REM) 1, NREM 2, NREM 3 and REM every 60-90 minutes, Scullin says. “Those stages are also really important in terms of cognitive functioning, consolidating memories and refreshing your brain,” Scullin explains.The duration of each sleep stage changes through the night. So if you're only getting four hours of sleep, for example, you'll get very little REM sleep. RELATED: 5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

Why It's Basically Impossible to Catch Up on Sleep

If you sleep poorly one night, you’ll feel most of the effects the next day, says Scullin. That said, we’re not always the best judges of our own tiredness. “Sometimes you’ll feel really alert and think you didn’t need sleep at all. But what’s really happening is you’re paying attention to a moment in your circadian rhythm when you’re more awake than normal,” he says. That’s because there are changes in hormone levels throughout the day, especially melatonin and cortisol — the hormones that control sleep and stress. Your body temperature and blood pressure also change during a 24-hour period. “Because of the fluctuations in these biological rhythms, you could see alertness peak or plummet for a couple of hours at different points during the day,” he explains. The effects of just one bad night of sleep can last longer than just one day — even after a full night of zzz’s. Scullin points to one study from 2006, where researchers looked at peoples’ brains following one night of sleep deprivation and one night of catch-up sleep. They found that the prefrontal cortex (the area involved in solving complex tasks, attention, memory and sympathy) was impaired. Another small new study found that students who slept fewer than seven hours three or more nights a week, and caught up on sleep on other nights, had a harder time paying attention, remembering information and being creative. “It’s better to have seven hours consistently than bouncing back and forth between four hours and 10,” says Scullin. In the short term, poor sleep has also been shown to slow down your metabolism and increase your appetite. What’s worse, it can make you more likely to reach for higher-calorie junk foods — even after just one night. Lack of sleep messes with your mood, too. (Forget not being a morning person.) Some research found that one week of poor sleep makes people more stressed, angry and sad. That said, all is not lost: If you miss out snoozing you can get back on track. “It’s not that people should never try to catch up. It’s that they should avoid equating cutting back and catching up averages out to be the same, because it doesn’t,” says Scullin. Here are four scenarios where you might miss out on sleep — and tips on how to get back on track. RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

4 Sleep-Loss Scenarios, and What to Do About Them

1. You stay up super-late working or studying.

If you’re up late grinding out work, how long does it take to get back on schedule? The occasional sleepless night is like emptying your gas tank. “One night of bad sleep is probably going to have some negative impact on you the next day, whether you recognize it or not,” Scullin says. What to do: Get two full nights of good sleep. Just one snooze session will only fill you up about three-quarters of the way to normalcy. You won’t be running at full capacity until you get at least one more night of good, consistent sleep, Scullin says. “Think of one bad night of sleep as a sunk cost. You can’t control how you slept last night, but you do have control over how you sleep tonight,” says Scullin. RELATED: 6 Ways to Sleep Better and Avoid Jet Lag on the Road

2. You’re traveling internationally and can’t sleep on the flight.

So you finally booked that Euro trip. The problem is you can’t sleep on the plane. Then, there’s also the time zone issue. While exactly how long it takes to feel normal again varies, Scullin says it takes at least a few days — but you should be back on track within one week. “It’s really tough to switch several time zones and feel perfect the next day. Our bodies weren’t designed that way,” says Scullin. “You’ll adapt, but it takes time, some longer than others.” What to do: When you’re dealing with a time change, your first instinct might be to sleep the next day away. But it’s better to get as much natural sunlight as quickly as you can — especially in the morning — and follow the current time zone’s schedule immediately. The night you arrive at your destination, make sure you’re sleeping in a dark, quiet room. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, eat healthy foods and drink lots of water on the flight over, he adds. Scullin says you can also try to “phase advance” your sleep schedule several days before you travel. So if you normally go to bed at 10 p.m., start shutting down at 9 p.m. If that works, snooze another hour earlier at 8 p.m. the following night, and then 7:30 p.m. “I did that a few years ago before traveling to Switzerland,” says Scullin. “I think I was able to phase advance two and half hours, and it really helped me.” RELATED: The Hidden Ways Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Weight Gain

3. You go out with friends all night on Friday and Saturday.

That case of the Mondays could actually be a case of the weekends. That’s because even if you slept in on Sunday after going out all night on Friday and Saturday, your body will be hard-pressed to catch up, says Scullin. “Staying out abnormally late is variability in your sleep schedule, which affects your REM and non-REM sleep, And that changes your circadian rhythms,” Scullin explains. Even if you add a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’ve shifted your body’s natural sleep rhythms. This can make it harder to fall asleep Sunday night because your body thinks it needs to go to sleep later. What’s more, consuming too much alcohol impairs your REM sleep, resulting in what Scullin calls an “REM rebound.” Your body will try to make up for lost REM sleep at night, but most REM sleep actually happens in the morning. What to do: This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on weekends. “Don’t start the night at midnight and have a dozen drinks,” says Scullin. “Think of sleep as one of the core health behaviors along with eating well and exercising. No one would tell you to eat really well for four or five days of the week but pig out for two or three days. Or exercise regularly for five months but take two months off. Consistency is key for all of these, including sleep,” he says. RELATED: 13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever

4. You’re a new parent and your baby keeps you up all night.

If you’ve got a newborn in the house, there’s obviously little you can do — at least for a few months. “As the father of an infant, I know all about that!” says Scullin. “Being a new parent means not sleeping well, so just sleep when you can.” What to do: Scullin says napping (if and when your baby dozes off) can be really helpful. While most sleep specialists emphasize that naps can’t make up for nighttime sleep in the long run, “naps can confer some benefits to cognition. Some studies have shown benefits for fatigue and moodiness,” Scullin says. So hang in there and nap when you can. This, too, shall pass.

The post Can You Really Catch Up on Sleep? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Too Nervous to Talk to a Therapist? These Tips Will Help http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-find-a-therapist/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-find-a-therapist/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 11:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59048 How to Find a Therapist You'll Open Up To

[caption id="attachment_59057" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Find a Therapist You'll Open Up To Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Whether you’re coping with a major loss, struggling with persistent anxiety, or simply hoping to get a fresh perspective on life, therapy can effectively help you find resilience and clarity. Yet despite the benefits offered by therapy, many people feel intimidated by the idea of reaching out to a stranger for help.

“We are a culture that struggles to ask for help and values independence to an extreme. As a result we have forgotten the importance of and need for elders, mentors, and just an honest opinion from a neutral party,” says Jocelyn Jenkins, MA, CYT-200, CMT, a licensed professional counselor.

Step number one for finally seeing a therapist: Recognize that a professional can help and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. When you’re ready to make the first move, a few simple strategies can help you find the right therapist who will meet your needs and hopefully, help you find happiness.

RELATED:  8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal)

How to Overcome Your Nerves About Seeing a Therapist

"Therapy is more an indicator of strength than an admission of weakness.”

Before you pick up the phone and schedule your first therapy session, you may have to jump over a few mental hurdles. For instance, maybe you feel uncomfortable asking for help or you're worried that other people will judge you. Or perhaps you're concerned about a diagnosis. Whatever your hesitations, it’s important to acknowledge and process them in order to find success with a pro.

For starters, know you’re not alone in your nervousness, says Jenkins. “It’s completely normal to feel anxious when starting therapy. And any qualified therapist understands the courage it takes to admit, ‘I need help,’” she says. “A qualified therapist has had many hours of their own therapy and understands what it is like to be a client.”

It’s not only your therapist who is likely to have compassion for where you’re coming from, either. “If you start to scratch the surface and talk to people, you will learn that probably most of your friends have seen a therapist at some time or another,” says clinical psychologist and author Laurie Helgoe. “It’s not a rare thing anymore.”

It’s also important to remind yourself that asking for help doesn’t equate to admitting to some kind of impairment or disorder, says Helgoe. Instead, she says, seeking therapy is “an indication that you have the courage to consider change and the courage to admit that you might not have the right perspective on things.” Looked at this way, therapy “is more an indicator of strength than an admission of weakness,” Helgoe says.

RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

5 Steps to Identifying the Right Therapist for You

Once you’ve addressed your nerves about initiating therapy, it’s time to talk. The following strategies will help you hone in on a person you can trust:

1. Be honest about your values and preferred communication style.

For example, says Helgoe, is it important that your therapist shares your faith? Do you want someone who is not tied to a specific world view? Or do you prefer to be given clear directives? Do you want someone who will allow you to guide each session? Getting clear about these preferences is a great way to start shrinking the pool of potential therapists.

2. Pick a style.

Therapeutic styles can fall loosely into two categories, says Helgoe. On one side of the spectrum, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on increasing positive behaviors and limiting negative ones. On the other end, psychoanalysis involves a long-term, reconstructive process that dives into your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and experiences. In the middle is psychodynamic psychotherapy, which combines some of both sides. Different styles call for different therapeutic tools and lengths of treatment. The right style for you depends on the reason you’re going to therapy, as well as your personal preferences.

Also, certain therapists specialize in subjects like eating disorders, addiction, grief, PTSD and so on. So consider whether you want to see someone who has expertise in these areas, Jenkins suggests.

RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

3. Ask for referrals from like-minded people.

“It helps to talk to people who you identify with who might like the same kind of [therapist] you would,” says Helgoe. These personal endorsements can help steer you in the right direction.

4. Call around.

Once you’ve figured out your needs and received a few referrals, it’s time to start making some calls. When you do, communicate the preferences you identified above so the agency’s representative can determine whether you’re barking up the wrong tree. “I encourage people to be as clear as they can about what helps them feel comfortable and safe,” she says. Don’t be afraid to voice concerns and be firm about what you’re looking for — it’s the best way to find someone you’ll like.

5. Ask about insurance and fees.

It’s an unfortunate truth that mental health care isn’t always financially accessible. Many of us will need to ask about fees and insurance coverage in order to determine if a given therapist is a viable fit, says Helgoe.

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

Tips for a Successful First Session

The preceding tips should help you narrow in on at least one potential therapist. After that, it’s time to book a session. This first appointment will help you assess whether you’ve found the right person. And a few key questions can illuminate if you’d want to go back. For example, Jenkins and Helgoe recommend asking about the following:

  • The therapist’s credentials and hours of experience
  • What makes the therapist qualified to work with specific needs
  • The therapist’s personal commitment to growth and development
  • The therapist’s process and how long therapy generally takes

Additionally, pay close attention to your own feelings during the session. And observe the way the therapist talks to you and about your issues. “A therapist should help you strengthen your relationship with yourself and increase your capacity to navigate your own life,” says Jenkins. To determine if this is the case, Helgoe recommends noting whether the therapist is able to empathize with and listen to you in an accurate way.

Most importantly, while therapist-patient relationships take time to develop, you’ll likely get a good feeling once you’ve found the right person. “Just like you might not be completely able to describe why your best friend is your best friend or why you're not fond of a certain coworker, there is a synergy and chemistry that is present in the right therapeutic relationship,” says Jenkins.

RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You From Happiness?

On the other hand, “you know pretty quickly if it’s not a fit,” says Helgoe. “If the therapist is interrupting you, the responses seem out of left field, or you don’t feel like you’re communicating well with each other, you’ll know that pretty quickly.” It’s common not to hit it off on the first try, so don’t feel bad if you need to break it off. The key is finding what works for you.

“You won’t get everything you need from a first session,” Helgoe says. In fact, “first sessions can be a little overwhelming because you put it all out there and it’s not like you’ll get it all back right away.” What you will get is a feeling for what working with that therapist might look like and whether that’s something you can invest in so you come out feeling better about yourself and your life.

The post Too Nervous to Talk to a Therapist? These Tips Will Help appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Find a Therapist You'll Open Up To

[caption id="attachment_59057" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Find a Therapist You'll Open Up To Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Whether you’re coping with a major loss, struggling with persistent anxiety, or simply hoping to get a fresh perspective on life, therapy can effectively help you find resilience and clarity. Yet despite the benefits offered by therapy, many people feel intimidated by the idea of reaching out to a stranger for help. “We are a culture that struggles to ask for help and values independence to an extreme. As a result we have forgotten the importance of and need for elders, mentors, and just an honest opinion from a neutral party,” says Jocelyn Jenkins, MA, CYT-200, CMT, a licensed professional counselor. Step number one for finally seeing a therapist: Recognize that a professional can help and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. When you’re ready to make the first move, a few simple strategies can help you find the right therapist who will meet your needs and hopefully, help you find happiness. RELATED:  8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal)

How to Overcome Your Nerves About Seeing a Therapist

"Therapy is more an indicator of strength than an admission of weakness.”
Before you pick up the phone and schedule your first therapy session, you may have to jump over a few mental hurdles. For instance, maybe you feel uncomfortable asking for help or you're worried that other people will judge you. Or perhaps you're concerned about a diagnosis. Whatever your hesitations, it’s important to acknowledge and process them in order to find success with a pro. For starters, know you’re not alone in your nervousness, says Jenkins. “It’s completely normal to feel anxious when starting therapy. And any qualified therapist understands the courage it takes to admit, ‘I need help,’” she says. “A qualified therapist has had many hours of their own therapy and understands what it is like to be a client.” It’s not only your therapist who is likely to have compassion for where you’re coming from, either. “If you start to scratch the surface and talk to people, you will learn that probably most of your friends have seen a therapist at some time or another,” says clinical psychologist and author Laurie Helgoe. “It’s not a rare thing anymore.” It’s also important to remind yourself that asking for help doesn’t equate to admitting to some kind of impairment or disorder, says Helgoe. Instead, she says, seeking therapy is “an indication that you have the courage to consider change and the courage to admit that you might not have the right perspective on things.” Looked at this way, therapy “is more an indicator of strength than an admission of weakness,” Helgoe says. RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

5 Steps to Identifying the Right Therapist for You

Once you’ve addressed your nerves about initiating therapy, it’s time to talk. The following strategies will help you hone in on a person you can trust:

1. Be honest about your values and preferred communication style.

For example, says Helgoe, is it important that your therapist shares your faith? Do you want someone who is not tied to a specific world view? Or do you prefer to be given clear directives? Do you want someone who will allow you to guide each session? Getting clear about these preferences is a great way to start shrinking the pool of potential therapists.

2. Pick a style.

Therapeutic styles can fall loosely into two categories, says Helgoe. On one side of the spectrum, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on increasing positive behaviors and limiting negative ones. On the other end, psychoanalysis involves a long-term, reconstructive process that dives into your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and experiences. In the middle is psychodynamic psychotherapy, which combines some of both sides. Different styles call for different therapeutic tools and lengths of treatment. The right style for you depends on the reason you’re going to therapy, as well as your personal preferences. Also, certain therapists specialize in subjects like eating disorders, addiction, grief, PTSD and so on. So consider whether you want to see someone who has expertise in these areas, Jenkins suggests. RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

3. Ask for referrals from like-minded people.

“It helps to talk to people who you identify with who might like the same kind of [therapist] you would,” says Helgoe. These personal endorsements can help steer you in the right direction.

4. Call around.

Once you’ve figured out your needs and received a few referrals, it’s time to start making some calls. When you do, communicate the preferences you identified above so the agency’s representative can determine whether you’re barking up the wrong tree. “I encourage people to be as clear as they can about what helps them feel comfortable and safe,” she says. Don’t be afraid to voice concerns and be firm about what you’re looking for — it’s the best way to find someone you’ll like.

5. Ask about insurance and fees.

It’s an unfortunate truth that mental health care isn’t always financially accessible. Many of us will need to ask about fees and insurance coverage in order to determine if a given therapist is a viable fit, says Helgoe. RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

Tips for a Successful First Session

The preceding tips should help you narrow in on at least one potential therapist. After that, it’s time to book a session. This first appointment will help you assess whether you’ve found the right person. And a few key questions can illuminate if you’d want to go back. For example, Jenkins and Helgoe recommend asking about the following:
  • The therapist’s credentials and hours of experience
  • What makes the therapist qualified to work with specific needs
  • The therapist’s personal commitment to growth and development
  • The therapist’s process and how long therapy generally takes
Additionally, pay close attention to your own feelings during the session. And observe the way the therapist talks to you and about your issues. “A therapist should help you strengthen your relationship with yourself and increase your capacity to navigate your own life,” says Jenkins. To determine if this is the case, Helgoe recommends noting whether the therapist is able to empathize with and listen to you in an accurate way. Most importantly, while therapist-patient relationships take time to develop, you’ll likely get a good feeling once you’ve found the right person. “Just like you might not be completely able to describe why your best friend is your best friend or why you're not fond of a certain coworker, there is a synergy and chemistry that is present in the right therapeutic relationship,” says Jenkins. RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You From Happiness? On the other hand, “you know pretty quickly if it’s not a fit,” says Helgoe. “If the therapist is interrupting you, the responses seem out of left field, or you don’t feel like you’re communicating well with each other, you’ll know that pretty quickly.” It’s common not to hit it off on the first try, so don’t feel bad if you need to break it off. The key is finding what works for you. “You won’t get everything you need from a first session,” Helgoe says. In fact, “first sessions can be a little overwhelming because you put it all out there and it’s not like you’ll get it all back right away.” What you will get is a feeling for what working with that therapist might look like and whether that’s something you can invest in so you come out feeling better about yourself and your life.

The post Too Nervous to Talk to a Therapist? These Tips Will Help appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal) http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-deal-with-stress/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-deal-with-stress/#comments Wed, 24 May 2017 15:15:35 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=25746 8 Signs You're Too Stressed (And How to Deal With It)

[caption id="attachment_58931" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Signs You Have Too Much Stress in Your Life Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Unless you surround yourself with Tibetan monks, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in your life — including you — that wouldn’t say they’re stressed about something. There are times when stress can be a good thing — it can help you conquer fears or motivate you to get something done. But when you're constantly in a state of tension and anxiety, it can have an effect on your body's physical and emotional state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of all illness and disease is stress-related. In honor of Mental Health Month, we encourage you to take time each day to de-stress and do something that makes you happy. Take a walk, write in a journal or pull out a paintbrush. Want more ways to get a handle on your stress levels? Catch the red flags. Here are some not-so-obvious signs that you need to relax a bit more — and how to do it.

RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

8 Unexpected Signs You Have Too Much Stress in Your Life

1. You’re perpetually sick and just can’t seem to get over it.

If it seems like every week you’ve got a cough, sore throat or a fever, you might want to blame your workload and not just your sneezing coworker. “When we are under extreme pressure, our bodies secrete a stress hormone called cortisol that can help us short-term,” says Richard Colgan, MD, professor of family and community medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Advice to the Healer. “But if you’re stressed out constantly, these hormones aren’t as helpful and can become depleted over time.” Colgan says cortisol and other hormones are components of the immune system that help the body cope with stress. But when these hormones are withdrawn, we become more susceptible to sickness.

And the side effects don’t end there. “Stress can also slow wound healing, contribute to the reactivation of latent viruses and increase vulnerability to viral infections,” says Keri Tuit, clinical psychologist at Yale University.

What to do: Listen to your body when you feel tired or drained. Make time for rest and extra sleep. Whether you recently spent time traveling or finalizing a huge work project, allow your body the time it needs to recover.

 

 

"A tired body is not well prepared to cope with stressful situations and ward off illness.”

 

 

2. You’re having trouble concentrating.

When you’re too overwhelmed to focus on what’s in front of you, it could be a sign you’re overworked. Research has connected long-term exposure to excess amounts of cortisol to shrinking of the hippocampus, the brain's memory center, says Tuit. Studies have shown that long-term stress stimulates growth of the proteins that might cause Alzheimer’s disease.

What to do: If you find that you’re experiencing this during the workday, taking a few long inhales and exhales can help. “Deep, even breathing not only affects whether or not our thoughts control us or we control them. It also affects the bodily sensations that are experienced when faced with a high-stress situation,” says Tuit. This type of breathing can help control the heart rate and blood flow, as well as muscle tension, she says.

RELATED: 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

3. You have a constant headache that just won’t go away.

If you experience throbbing or feel pressure anywhere on the head or temple area, there’s a good chance it’s a tension or stress headache, says Dr. Colgan. Oftentimes people point to particular troubles in their life that might be causing this pain, but lifestyle might be to blame instead. Keep in mind, if your head pain feels like a “migraine headache,” “the worst headache of your life,” or a headache that wakens you from sleep, those are signs of a dangerous health problem. You should visit a doctor immediately, advises Dr. Colgan.

What to do: “When stress is the cause of your headache, the easiest thing to say is, ‘have less stress in your life.’ But that advice itself is stressful,” says Dr. Colgan. Knowing what your headache‘s coming from is helpful therapy. People oftentimes feel worse worrying and trying to figure out what the cause could be. So knowing it’s not some serious health problem may make a person feel better. “Sometimes the most effective way a doctor can treat a patient is to teach them about their symptoms,” says Dr. Colgan.

4. Your back or neck is always aching.

If you’ve got knots in your shoulders, a stiff neck or your lower back cramped up after a long day, it could be the constant of a job or personal situation, not just the position you sit in during the day. “High levels of stress and tension create discomfort and muscle pain by tightening muscles and causing muscle spasms,” says Dr. Colgan. And stiff muscles in your neck can also lead to headaches, he says.

If your back pain developed after an accident or emotional trauma, it could also be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The National Institute of Health recommends talking to your primary doctor, as many people aren’t able to heal their back pain until they deal with the emotional stress that’s causing it.

What to do: “Many relaxation techniques can help with stress reduction, including guided imagery, taking deep breaths from the diaphragm, meditation, massages and yoga,” says Tuit. Try devoting time for stretching breaks throughout the day to help prevent muscles from tightening up. Make time for some of these yoga poses to unwind at the end of the day.

RELATED: 5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

5. You having trouble sleeping well.

“If you find yourself waking up and worrying or ruminating over things, it could be a sign of anxiety or depression,” says Dr. Colgan.  After a long day, sleep should come easy and getting into bed should finally be a time when you can shut your brain off. If you feel tired but have a difficult time falling asleep, it’s possible you have stress-related fatigue.

What to do: Talk to your doctor if this is regular occurrence. Discuss whether your chronic stress may have led to depression, says Dr. Colgan. When you’re not sleeping well, everyday annoyances might make you feel even more overwhelmed and frustrated because you’re more vulnerable. “A tired body is not well prepared to cope with stressful situations and ward off illness,” says Tuit. She suggests addressing your sleep issues by asking yourself if you’re getting six or more hours of sleep each night. If not, determine what’s interfering with that. “Cutting back on caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and increasing exercise can also improve sleep patterns," she says.

6. Your hair is starting to fall out.

If you’re waking up with more than a few strands on your pillow, you may be suffering from alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune skin disease brought on when the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles. It causes small round patches of hair loss on the scalp. “It’s not dangerous, but it’s likely to be associated with a severe stressor, like an assault or significant traumatic event in one’s life,” says Dr. Colgan. This disease is more likely to occur in young women or adolescent girls.

What to do: In most cases, this is typically a temporary condition and your hair will grow back once stress is minimized. But don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about what’s going on, says Dr. Colgan. While your MD might recommend injectable scalp steroids to help with hair growth, it’s best to have an examination. The hair loss could possibly be a sign of a scalp fungal infection, a bacterial function or even a thyroid disorder.

RELATED: A Dietitian's Foolproof Tips for Letting Go of Bad Habits

7. You’re getting UTIs.

If you’ve ever been in a meeting that dragged on for hours or didn’t get up from your desk for a bathroom break, you could be putting yourself at risk for urinary tract infections, says Dr. Colgan. “When people are under increased stress or working too hard, they sometimes put off going to the bathroom, but that’s one of the biggest risk factors for a UTI,” says Dr. Colgan, who’s also a UTI expert.

What to do: C’mon, you’re an adult! When you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, give yourself permission to take a break and go. An uncomfortable urinary infection is going to feel way worse than those few minutes you spent trying to crank out your work.

8. Your sex life is suffering.

While you or your partner might not be aware of it, stress and tension are the leading causes of erectile dysfunction. “A lot of men walk into my office and say they want Viagra, but oftentimes I’ll tell them I don’t think a pill will help their problem when I believe it’s stress that’s causing the issue,” says Dr. Colgan. It’s a vicious cycle, as erectile dysfunction can also cause more stress for the person experiencing it. “And since they’re stressed, sometimes guys will start drinking alcohol to reduce their inhibitions, but I’ll remind them that this is a muscle relaxer, so it won’t help them perform better in their sexual relations,” he says.

What to do: Identify what’s causing the problem. “I tell patients, the body and mind are like significant others: When one doesn’t feel well, the other sympathizes,” says Dr. Colgan. “If you’re having a rocky relationship, increased financial stresses, or lost your job, it’s illogical to think that with all that worry and tension in your life, your body is going to stand by idly and not act differently.”

Dr. Colgan also recommends talking with your partner to let them know what’s going on in order to work through the problem. “I tell them the answer isn’t a pill. The solution is for you and your partner to communicate so you can help them understand that you’re under a lot of stress and tension right now.” If you can work to relieve that tension, your sex life should improve as well.

What are your favorite tips to minimize stress in your life? Share them in the comments below.

Originally published March 2014. Updated May 2017.

The post 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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8 Signs You're Too Stressed (And How to Deal With It)

[caption id="attachment_58931" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Signs You Have Too Much Stress in Your Life Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Unless you surround yourself with Tibetan monks, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in your life — including you — that wouldn’t say they’re stressed about something. There are times when stress can be a good thing — it can help you conquer fears or motivate you to get something done. But when you're constantly in a state of tension and anxiety, it can have an effect on your body's physical and emotional state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of all illness and disease is stress-related. In honor of Mental Health Month, we encourage you to take time each day to de-stress and do something that makes you happy. Take a walk, write in a journal or pull out a paintbrush. Want more ways to get a handle on your stress levels? Catch the red flags. Here are some not-so-obvious signs that you need to relax a bit more — and how to do it. RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

8 Unexpected Signs You Have Too Much Stress in Your Life

1. You’re perpetually sick and just can’t seem to get over it.

If it seems like every week you’ve got a cough, sore throat or a fever, you might want to blame your workload and not just your sneezing coworker. “When we are under extreme pressure, our bodies secrete a stress hormone called cortisol that can help us short-term,” says Richard Colgan, MD, professor of family and community medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Advice to the Healer. “But if you’re stressed out constantly, these hormones aren’t as helpful and can become depleted over time.” Colgan says cortisol and other hormones are components of the immune system that help the body cope with stress. But when these hormones are withdrawn, we become more susceptible to sickness. And the side effects don’t end there. “Stress can also slow wound healing, contribute to the reactivation of latent viruses and increase vulnerability to viral infections,” says Keri Tuit, clinical psychologist at Yale University. What to do: Listen to your body when you feel tired or drained. Make time for rest and extra sleep. Whether you recently spent time traveling or finalizing a huge work project, allow your body the time it needs to recover.
    "A tired body is not well prepared to cope with stressful situations and ward off illness.”    

2. You’re having trouble concentrating.

When you’re too overwhelmed to focus on what’s in front of you, it could be a sign you’re overworked. Research has connected long-term exposure to excess amounts of cortisol to shrinking of the hippocampus, the brain's memory center, says Tuit. Studies have shown that long-term stress stimulates growth of the proteins that might cause Alzheimer’s disease. What to do: If you find that you’re experiencing this during the workday, taking a few long inhales and exhales can help. “Deep, even breathing not only affects whether or not our thoughts control us or we control them. It also affects the bodily sensations that are experienced when faced with a high-stress situation,” says Tuit. This type of breathing can help control the heart rate and blood flow, as well as muscle tension, she says. RELATED: 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings

3. You have a constant headache that just won’t go away.

If you experience throbbing or feel pressure anywhere on the head or temple area, there’s a good chance it’s a tension or stress headache, says Dr. Colgan. Oftentimes people point to particular troubles in their life that might be causing this pain, but lifestyle might be to blame instead. Keep in mind, if your head pain feels like a “migraine headache,” “the worst headache of your life,” or a headache that wakens you from sleep, those are signs of a dangerous health problem. You should visit a doctor immediately, advises Dr. Colgan. What to do: “When stress is the cause of your headache, the easiest thing to say is, ‘have less stress in your life.’ But that advice itself is stressful,” says Dr. Colgan. Knowing what your headache‘s coming from is helpful therapy. People oftentimes feel worse worrying and trying to figure out what the cause could be. So knowing it’s not some serious health problem may make a person feel better. “Sometimes the most effective way a doctor can treat a patient is to teach them about their symptoms,” says Dr. Colgan.

4. Your back or neck is always aching.

If you’ve got knots in your shoulders, a stiff neck or your lower back cramped up after a long day, it could be the constant of a job or personal situation, not just the position you sit in during the day. “High levels of stress and tension create discomfort and muscle pain by tightening muscles and causing muscle spasms,” says Dr. Colgan. And stiff muscles in your neck can also lead to headaches, he says. If your back pain developed after an accident or emotional trauma, it could also be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The National Institute of Health recommends talking to your primary doctor, as many people aren’t able to heal their back pain until they deal with the emotional stress that’s causing it. What to do: “Many relaxation techniques can help with stress reduction, including guided imagery, taking deep breaths from the diaphragm, meditation, massages and yoga,” says Tuit. Try devoting time for stretching breaks throughout the day to help prevent muscles from tightening up. Make time for some of these yoga poses to unwind at the end of the day. RELATED: 5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

5. You having trouble sleeping well.

“If you find yourself waking up and worrying or ruminating over things, it could be a sign of anxiety or depression,” says Dr. Colgan.  After a long day, sleep should come easy and getting into bed should finally be a time when you can shut your brain off. If you feel tired but have a difficult time falling asleep, it’s possible you have stress-related fatigue. What to do: Talk to your doctor if this is regular occurrence. Discuss whether your chronic stress may have led to depression, says Dr. Colgan. When you’re not sleeping well, everyday annoyances might make you feel even more overwhelmed and frustrated because you’re more vulnerable. “A tired body is not well prepared to cope with stressful situations and ward off illness,” says Tuit. She suggests addressing your sleep issues by asking yourself if you’re getting six or more hours of sleep each night. If not, determine what’s interfering with that. “Cutting back on caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and increasing exercise can also improve sleep patterns," she says.

6. Your hair is starting to fall out.

If you’re waking up with more than a few strands on your pillow, you may be suffering from alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune skin disease brought on when the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles. It causes small round patches of hair loss on the scalp. “It’s not dangerous, but it’s likely to be associated with a severe stressor, like an assault or significant traumatic event in one’s life,” says Dr. Colgan. This disease is more likely to occur in young women or adolescent girls. What to do: In most cases, this is typically a temporary condition and your hair will grow back once stress is minimized. But don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about what’s going on, says Dr. Colgan. While your MD might recommend injectable scalp steroids to help with hair growth, it’s best to have an examination. The hair loss could possibly be a sign of a scalp fungal infection, a bacterial function or even a thyroid disorder. RELATED: A Dietitian's Foolproof Tips for Letting Go of Bad Habits

7. You’re getting UTIs.

If you’ve ever been in a meeting that dragged on for hours or didn’t get up from your desk for a bathroom break, you could be putting yourself at risk for urinary tract infections, says Dr. Colgan. “When people are under increased stress or working too hard, they sometimes put off going to the bathroom, but that’s one of the biggest risk factors for a UTI,” says Dr. Colgan, who’s also a UTI expert. What to do: C’mon, you’re an adult! When you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, give yourself permission to take a break and go. An uncomfortable urinary infection is going to feel way worse than those few minutes you spent trying to crank out your work.

8. Your sex life is suffering.

While you or your partner might not be aware of it, stress and tension are the leading causes of erectile dysfunction. “A lot of men walk into my office and say they want Viagra, but oftentimes I’ll tell them I don’t think a pill will help their problem when I believe it’s stress that’s causing the issue,” says Dr. Colgan. It’s a vicious cycle, as erectile dysfunction can also cause more stress for the person experiencing it. “And since they’re stressed, sometimes guys will start drinking alcohol to reduce their inhibitions, but I’ll remind them that this is a muscle relaxer, so it won’t help them perform better in their sexual relations,” he says. What to do: Identify what’s causing the problem. “I tell patients, the body and mind are like significant others: When one doesn’t feel well, the other sympathizes,” says Dr. Colgan. “If you’re having a rocky relationship, increased financial stresses, or lost your job, it’s illogical to think that with all that worry and tension in your life, your body is going to stand by idly and not act differently.” Dr. Colgan also recommends talking with your partner to let them know what’s going on in order to work through the problem. “I tell them the answer isn’t a pill. The solution is for you and your partner to communicate so you can help them understand that you’re under a lot of stress and tension right now.” If you can work to relieve that tension, your sex life should improve as well. What are your favorite tips to minimize stress in your life? Share them in the comments below. Originally published March 2014. Updated May 2017.

The post 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/mirror-meditation-self-esteem/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/mirror-meditation-self-esteem/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 15:15:43 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58749

[caption id="attachment_58751" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Mirror Meditation Can Boost Self-Esteem Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, forest bathing — these days there are endless ways to get your zen fix. The latest? Mirror meditation.

That’s right, the new way to reduce stress and anxiety is to stare at your reflection in a mirror. But don’t worry: This isn’t a competition to determine who’s the fairest of them all. It’s a practice designed to develop self-compassion.

We talked to the founder of the practice, Tara Well, PhD, professor of psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University, to get a behind-the-scenes look at why you should make time to self-reflect — literally! Here’s what you need to know for your first mirror meditation session.

RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Let’s be honest. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the mirror. You can’t help but stare when you catch a glimpse of your reflection. But look too long and it can be uncomfortable to hold your own gaze. And it’s often easy to fall down the rabbit hole of self-criticism and comparison. A wrinkle (or six) here. Too many freckles there.

That’s how Well used to feel. “As a teenager, I learned to become more critical of my appearance and not wanting to look in the mirror,” she says.

“We use mirrors for social grooming rituals like fixing our hair or make-up,” says Well. And when you do that day-in, day-out, it becomes habitual, which can promote self-criticism. “Then, we tend to look past ourselves, not at how we’re feeling. Or we don’t see ourselves as people but more as objects that need to look a certain way to get approval,” she says.

RELATED: 7 Trainer Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence

It wasn’t until Well was conducting a Skype session with a coaching client that she realized the potential transformative power of reflecting on your own image.

When she asked her client to look at herself in the camera and express a difficult realization, she says something clicked for her and her client. Then, Well experimented with mirror meditation on a trip. “When I came home, people noticed how different I was,” she says.

“Because we grow up being taught that we need to look a certain way, somehow we became separated from how we feel inside,” she says. “The mirror gives you a glimpse of what’s happening inside.”

RELATED: 7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen

Mirror Meditation: Just Look Into Your Eyes

A mirror meditation practice is as simple as it sounds. Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably with a mirror propped up in front of you. Observe yourself for 10 minutes...and that’s it. (Of course, if 10 minutes seems like forever, start with three to five minutes and go from there.)

Unlike traditional meditation practices, you don’t use a mantra or special breathing technique. Your gaze becomes the focus of your practice. “The mirror creates a focal point and a tool for people to track their attention. It makes it much easier to come back to your center by using this tool,” says Well.

“The goal is to be with yourself without an agenda and be open to whatever comes. There’s no way to get it right or wrong,” says Well. “Just come with the intention to be kind to yourself.”

Mirror meditation lets you actually look into the eye of the person receiving your critical thoughts — in this case, you. But the key is to recognize your negative thoughts, then pause, breathe and return to your gaze.

Through the daily practice, you become more familiar with your own appearance and notice your critical thoughts. “Whatever thoughts in your head that are normally in the background come to the foreground,” says Well. “The mirror hasn’t created these self-judgments but it’s reflecting them back to you.”

Some people find the experience intense. Others discover things that they didn’t know before. Well recommends the practice to anyone interested in personal growth or looking to change up their typical mindfulness rituals. Keep in mind, Well notes, that if you get super down on yourself, then it’s time to step away from the mirror for a while.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good

Behind the Looking Glass

Well believes that the interest and power of mirror meditation is due to the fact that our culture is so starved for attention that goes beyond surface level. Take the rise of selfies and other narcissistic behavior, for instance. “The reason that’s so prevalent is because people aren’t being seen authentically by each other,” she says. “Mirror meditation is the opposite of that. It allows you to look deeply. And when you are able to give that attention to yourself, you’re able to give kindness and compassion to others.”

In her studies, Well found that those who practiced mirror meditation for 10 minutes a day reported significant decrease in stress, anxiety and depression accompanied by an increase in self-compassion. She found that women in the study started to focus less on appearance and more on how they were feeling. In turn, this lead to self-reliance and a better connection with themselves. “Then, you choose relationships with people based less on how they can affirm you or not affirm you, but who authentically gets you,” says Well.

RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You From Happiness?

It can also be a tool to learn to regulate your emotions, which we often hide or ignore in our daily lives. “Doing mirror meditation, you’re more aware of your emotions and take responsibility for your emotions. You go into situations more aware of how you’re feeling,” says Well. “If you ignore when you’re angry or afraid and move forward with those negative emotions, they can leak out in ways that create problems for you and the people around you.”

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotion or just need a mental break, head to the bathroom, pull out a mirror and just take a few minutes to self-reflect. You might be surprised at what you see.

The post The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_58751" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Mirror Meditation Can Boost Self-Esteem Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, forest bathing — these days there are endless ways to get your zen fix. The latest? Mirror meditation. That’s right, the new way to reduce stress and anxiety is to stare at your reflection in a mirror. But don’t worry: This isn’t a competition to determine who’s the fairest of them all. It’s a practice designed to develop self-compassion. We talked to the founder of the practice, Tara Well, PhD, professor of psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University, to get a behind-the-scenes look at why you should make time to self-reflect — literally! Here’s what you need to know for your first mirror meditation session. RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Let’s be honest. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the mirror. You can’t help but stare when you catch a glimpse of your reflection. But look too long and it can be uncomfortable to hold your own gaze. And it’s often easy to fall down the rabbit hole of self-criticism and comparison. A wrinkle (or six) here. Too many freckles there. That’s how Well used to feel. “As a teenager, I learned to become more critical of my appearance and not wanting to look in the mirror,” she says. “We use mirrors for social grooming rituals like fixing our hair or make-up,” says Well. And when you do that day-in, day-out, it becomes habitual, which can promote self-criticism. “Then, we tend to look past ourselves, not at how we’re feeling. Or we don’t see ourselves as people but more as objects that need to look a certain way to get approval,” she says. RELATED: 7 Trainer Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence It wasn’t until Well was conducting a Skype session with a coaching client that she realized the potential transformative power of reflecting on your own image. When she asked her client to look at herself in the camera and express a difficult realization, she says something clicked for her and her client. Then, Well experimented with mirror meditation on a trip. “When I came home, people noticed how different I was,” she says. “Because we grow up being taught that we need to look a certain way, somehow we became separated from how we feel inside,” she says. “The mirror gives you a glimpse of what’s happening inside.” RELATED: 7 Products to Make Your Home Instantly Zen

Mirror Meditation: Just Look Into Your Eyes

A mirror meditation practice is as simple as it sounds. Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably with a mirror propped up in front of you. Observe yourself for 10 minutes...and that’s it. (Of course, if 10 minutes seems like forever, start with three to five minutes and go from there.) Unlike traditional meditation practices, you don’t use a mantra or special breathing technique. Your gaze becomes the focus of your practice. “The mirror creates a focal point and a tool for people to track their attention. It makes it much easier to come back to your center by using this tool,” says Well. “The goal is to be with yourself without an agenda and be open to whatever comes. There’s no way to get it right or wrong,” says Well. “Just come with the intention to be kind to yourself.” Mirror meditation lets you actually look into the eye of the person receiving your critical thoughts — in this case, you. But the key is to recognize your negative thoughts, then pause, breathe and return to your gaze. Through the daily practice, you become more familiar with your own appearance and notice your critical thoughts. “Whatever thoughts in your head that are normally in the background come to the foreground,” says Well. “The mirror hasn’t created these self-judgments but it’s reflecting them back to you.” Some people find the experience intense. Others discover things that they didn’t know before. Well recommends the practice to anyone interested in personal growth or looking to change up their typical mindfulness rituals. Keep in mind, Well notes, that if you get super down on yourself, then it’s time to step away from the mirror for a while. RELATED: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good

Behind the Looking Glass

Well believes that the interest and power of mirror meditation is due to the fact that our culture is so starved for attention that goes beyond surface level. Take the rise of selfies and other narcissistic behavior, for instance. “The reason that’s so prevalent is because people aren’t being seen authentically by each other,” she says. “Mirror meditation is the opposite of that. It allows you to look deeply. And when you are able to give that attention to yourself, you’re able to give kindness and compassion to others.” In her studies, Well found that those who practiced mirror meditation for 10 minutes a day reported significant decrease in stress, anxiety and depression accompanied by an increase in self-compassion. She found that women in the study started to focus less on appearance and more on how they were feeling. In turn, this lead to self-reliance and a better connection with themselves. “Then, you choose relationships with people based less on how they can affirm you or not affirm you, but who authentically gets you,” says Well. RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You From Happiness? It can also be a tool to learn to regulate your emotions, which we often hide or ignore in our daily lives. “Doing mirror meditation, you’re more aware of your emotions and take responsibility for your emotions. You go into situations more aware of how you’re feeling,” says Well. “If you ignore when you’re angry or afraid and move forward with those negative emotions, they can leak out in ways that create problems for you and the people around you.” So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotion or just need a mental break, head to the bathroom, pull out a mirror and just take a few minutes to self-reflect. You might be surprised at what you see.

The post The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/nap-tips-sleep-better/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/nap-tips-sleep-better/#comments Sun, 21 May 2017 13:15:07 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=30433 13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever

[caption id="attachment_58822" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

A mid-afternoon nap of just 10 minutes can help you stay alert for more than two hours when you're sleep deprived, according to research from the journal Sleep. But it's not just insomniacs who benefit from some midday zzz’s. Napping can also improve alertness, performance, creativity and provide a slew of other benefits among the well-rested and yawning masses alike, says psychology professor and nap researcher Dr. Sara Mednick, PhD, in her book Take a Nap! So how can you harness the power of a restorative afternoon snooze fest? Read on for our expert-approved tips.

RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

When to Nap

There’s a time and a place for playing catch-up, and while some strategies are universal, others will depend a bit more on your individual lifestyle.

"A 30-minute nap has been shown to improve alertness and prevent unsafe driving nearly as well as coffee, according to one study."

1. Consider your sleep schedule.

Mednick's book notes that the best time to get some sleep during the day depends on when you wake up. For example, early risers who are up at 5 a.m. should nap at 1 p.m., while those who get up at 9 a.m. shouldn't close their eyes again until 3 p.m. You can use Melnick's interactive Nap Wheel to find your own best wake-up time.

2. Choose afternoons.

It wasn't until the late 80s that researchers began to hone in on the value of midday snoozing. One of their first observations about daytime sleep was that the dreaded 3 p.m. slump is part of human nature. They found that, left to our own devices, humans tend to sleep once for a long period at night, and once for a shorter period in the afternoon. So if you can schedule in an early p.m. siesta, there’s no sense in fighting those droopy eyelids — Mother Nature approves.

RELATED: Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep

3. Think ahead.

While staying up late (or all night) isn't good for you, if you're going to do it, a nap may be a good idea. Researchers have found that a long session of after-lunch shut-eye — two hours or more — can significantly improve alertness for up to 24 hours. Moreover, a preparatory nap counteracts the effects of sleep deprivation better than one taken after the missed sleep.

4. Put safety first.

Sleeping only six to seven hours a night can double your risk of falling asleep at the wheel, compared to getting eight hours. However, a 30-minute bout of zzz's has been shown to improve alertness and prevent unsafe driving nearly as well as coffee, according to one study. Young adults in particular benefitted the most from a quick set of zzz's.

5. Preempt a night-shift.

Anyone who works hours other than the traditional 9-to-5 can reap benefits from napping, too. A study of night-workers found that while an evening snooze plus caffeine was the best way to stay awake, a nap alone also improved alertness — especially helpful for those who don't like to rely on caffeine to stay awake.

RELATED: How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

[caption id="attachment_58824" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Nap Smarter

So how do you make the most of your precious rest time? These tips will help you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed.

"It can be hard to fall asleep if you are worried about whether you will wake up at the right time. Setting an alarm takes the pressure off."

6. Time it right.

Studies have tested a wide range of nap times, but for most individuals, it seems between 10 and 20 minutes of sleep is best. Longer siestas can cause sleep inertia, or a period of grogginess and reduced performance caused by waking in the middle of deep sleep.

7. Get a wake-up call.

"Setting an alarm is really helpful for napping," says Dr. Janet Kennedy, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor. "It can be hard to fall asleep if you are worried about whether you will wake up at the right time. Setting an alarm takes the pressure off."

RELATED: 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

8. Find your napping happy place.

For the perfect bout of shut-eye, you want to find a dark, quiet place to lay down. If necessary, use an eye mask, ear plugs, or white noise to help tune out disruptions. (Of course, if you've got a few thousand bucks to spare, you could always get one of these nap pods. Or, the more budget-friendly alternative: the ostrich pillow.)

9. Order up a nappuccino.

A “caffeine nap,” or a quick cup of something caffeinated followed by sleep, outperforms both a nap or caffeine independently. Because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, drinking a cup before a 10- to 20-minute nap means the caffeine will start working just as you wake up, leaving you feeling refreshed and alert.

10. Try meditation.

You know the feeling: You're practically falling asleep with your eyes open, but as soon as you get all hunkered down for a few zzz's, your mind is suddenly racing. Try calming yourself for sleep with meditation techniques like breathing and visualizations. Need more guidance? Try this five-minute meditation app and pick up some of these zen products.

RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

Who Shouldn't Nap

For some, it’s worth noting, napping isn't always the best bet. Here's how to tell if you're just not cut out for midday zzz's.

11. Go with your instincts.

Dr. Kennedy notes that, "Some people just aren't good nappers." If all of the above tips don't work for you (you can't fall asleep, don't wake up alert, etc.), you just might have to skip the midday option and make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye at your regularly scheduled bedtime.

12. Don't lose sleep at night.

Got a case of insomnia? Dr. Kennedy says napping isn't a good bet for you. "If a person is having difficulty sleeping at night — either falling asleep or prolonged night waking — I advise against napping at all," she says.

13. Avoid being "that guy."

Obviously, some work places are not nap-friendly. A mid-afternoon snooze at the office might suggest to your boss that you're not that into your work. You probably don't want to lose your job for the sake of napping — unless, of course, you can land a gig at one of these places.

What do you think? Are naps best for elementary schoolers or do the off-the-wall startups with nap rooms have it right? 

Originally published August 2014. Updated May 2017. 

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13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever

[caption id="attachment_58822" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption] A mid-afternoon nap of just 10 minutes can help you stay alert for more than two hours when you're sleep deprived, according to research from the journal Sleep. But it's not just insomniacs who benefit from some midday zzz’s. Napping can also improve alertness, performance, creativity and provide a slew of other benefits among the well-rested and yawning masses alike, says psychology professor and nap researcher Dr. Sara Mednick, PhD, in her book Take a Nap! So how can you harness the power of a restorative afternoon snooze fest? Read on for our expert-approved tips. RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

When to Nap

There’s a time and a place for playing catch-up, and while some strategies are universal, others will depend a bit more on your individual lifestyle.
"A 30-minute nap has been shown to improve alertness and prevent unsafe driving nearly as well as coffee, according to one study."

1. Consider your sleep schedule.

Mednick's book notes that the best time to get some sleep during the day depends on when you wake up. For example, early risers who are up at 5 a.m. should nap at 1 p.m., while those who get up at 9 a.m. shouldn't close their eyes again until 3 p.m. You can use Melnick's interactive Nap Wheel to find your own best wake-up time.

2. Choose afternoons.

It wasn't until the late 80s that researchers began to hone in on the value of midday snoozing. One of their first observations about daytime sleep was that the dreaded 3 p.m. slump is part of human nature. They found that, left to our own devices, humans tend to sleep once for a long period at night, and once for a shorter period in the afternoon. So if you can schedule in an early p.m. siesta, there’s no sense in fighting those droopy eyelids — Mother Nature approves. RELATED: Always Tired? 5 Signs You Need More Sleep

3. Think ahead.

While staying up late (or all night) isn't good for you, if you're going to do it, a nap may be a good idea. Researchers have found that a long session of after-lunch shut-eye — two hours or more — can significantly improve alertness for up to 24 hours. Moreover, a preparatory nap counteracts the effects of sleep deprivation better than one taken after the missed sleep.

4. Put safety first.

Sleeping only six to seven hours a night can double your risk of falling asleep at the wheel, compared to getting eight hours. However, a 30-minute bout of zzz's has been shown to improve alertness and prevent unsafe driving nearly as well as coffee, according to one study. Young adults in particular benefitted the most from a quick set of zzz's.

5. Preempt a night-shift.

Anyone who works hours other than the traditional 9-to-5 can reap benefits from napping, too. A study of night-workers found that while an evening snooze plus caffeine was the best way to stay awake, a nap alone also improved alertness — especially helpful for those who don't like to rely on caffeine to stay awake. RELATED: How Much Coffee Is Too Much? [caption id="attachment_58824" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 Tips for the Best Nap Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Nap Smarter

So how do you make the most of your precious rest time? These tips will help you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed.
"It can be hard to fall asleep if you are worried about whether you will wake up at the right time. Setting an alarm takes the pressure off."

6. Time it right.

Studies have tested a wide range of nap times, but for most individuals, it seems between 10 and 20 minutes of sleep is best. Longer siestas can cause sleep inertia, or a period of grogginess and reduced performance caused by waking in the middle of deep sleep.

7. Get a wake-up call.

"Setting an alarm is really helpful for napping," says Dr. Janet Kennedy, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor. "It can be hard to fall asleep if you are worried about whether you will wake up at the right time. Setting an alarm takes the pressure off." RELATED: 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

8. Find your napping happy place.

For the perfect bout of shut-eye, you want to find a dark, quiet place to lay down. If necessary, use an eye mask, ear plugs, or white noise to help tune out disruptions. (Of course, if you've got a few thousand bucks to spare, you could always get one of these nap pods. Or, the more budget-friendly alternative: the ostrich pillow.)

9. Order up a nappuccino.

A “caffeine nap,” or a quick cup of something caffeinated followed by sleep, outperforms both a nap or caffeine independently. Because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, drinking a cup before a 10- to 20-minute nap means the caffeine will start working just as you wake up, leaving you feeling refreshed and alert.

10. Try meditation.

You know the feeling: You're practically falling asleep with your eyes open, but as soon as you get all hunkered down for a few zzz's, your mind is suddenly racing. Try calming yourself for sleep with meditation techniques like breathing and visualizations. Need more guidance? Try this five-minute meditation app and pick up some of these zen products. RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

Who Shouldn't Nap

For some, it’s worth noting, napping isn't always the best bet. Here's how to tell if you're just not cut out for midday zzz's.

11. Go with your instincts.

Dr. Kennedy notes that, "Some people just aren't good nappers." If all of the above tips don't work for you (you can't fall asleep, don't wake up alert, etc.), you just might have to skip the midday option and make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye at your regularly scheduled bedtime.

12. Don't lose sleep at night.

Got a case of insomnia? Dr. Kennedy says napping isn't a good bet for you. "If a person is having difficulty sleeping at night — either falling asleep or prolonged night waking — I advise against napping at all," she says.

13. Avoid being "that guy."

Obviously, some work places are not nap-friendly. A mid-afternoon snooze at the office might suggest to your boss that you're not that into your work. You probably don't want to lose your job for the sake of napping — unless, of course, you can land a gig at one of these places. What do you think? Are naps best for elementary schoolers or do the off-the-wall startups with nap rooms have it right?  Originally published August 2014. Updated May 2017. 

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3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/guided-meditations-productivity-sleep-cravings/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/guided-meditations-productivity-sleep-cravings/#respond Mon, 15 May 2017 15:15:42 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58468 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Craving Control

[caption id="attachment_58470" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Craving Control Photo courtesy of Molly + Co Photography[/caption]

You know you need to exercise your body to improve your health. But what about giving your mind a workout? Or should we say, a cool down. A strong, less-stressed mental state can be just as important to your well-being as bumping up your physical activity, considering research links chronic anxiousness to obesity and sleepless nights. Yet many of us still don’t put tension relief on our priority lists. In fact, one in five Americans say they never do an activity focused on helping them manage stress.

The great news is that exercising your mind doesn’t have to involve anything vigorous. Better yet, all you need to make it happen is a mere five minutes — plus one of these guided meditations.

RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

Why You Need Meditation for Mental Strength

Many studies give meditation the seal of approval — and not just for stress relief. (Though it does provide a serious dose of calm.) Research has shown that a few minutes of mindfulness can enhance your focus, help you make healthier lifestyle choices and even catch better zzz’s. And all of these advantages can help bring down your stress levels.

To help you use meditation to hone in on these life improvements, we asked Kelsey Patel, reiki master and meditation healer at The Den Meditation in Los Angeles to create three five-minute guided sessions. Each one steers you toward a different goal: enhancing productivity, controlling cravings and getting quality sleep. So listen in to zone out.

RELATED: 9 Mantras to Find Zen from Gabrielle Bernstein’s New Book

5-Minute Guided Meditations to Help You Reach Your Goals

Whether you can’t concentrate at work, keep reaching for some chocolate cookies or you’re constantly unable to fall asleep at night, these three guided meditations from Patel will lovingly nudge you back on track. You don’t need anything to do them — simply sit at your desk or lie in bed, close your eyes and press play.

I Want to… Boost Productivity

“This is a great meditation to utilize when you need a boost. It helps you receive the feelings of space, breath, trust, support and new creativity,” Patel says. “If you’re feeling drained, anxious, worried or stressed or if your mind is in a thousand places telling you there’s not enough time or other limiting beliefs about yourself and your talents...this one’s for you.” Listen to it mid-workday or first thing before you tackle your day’s tasks.

https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/boost-productivity-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn

RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

I Want to…Cut Cravings  

Before you reach for a sugar-filled snack, queue up this session. “Many times, cravings are an indicator of something deeper than just the immediate desire,” says Patel. “This mediation serves to help you go to that deeper place and explore a new territory of connection. There is a focus on self-love and self-awareness to help one identify where the craving is coming from so the choice can come from true mindfulness, rather than impulse or even self-sabotage.”

https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/cut-cravings-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn

RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now

I Want to… Get Sound Sleep

We’ve all had those nights where our minds race and falling into a slumber seems near impossible. Well, let this meditation guide you right into dreamland. “The mind and body may carry unknown stressors, thoughts, feelings, experiences and moments from the day,” Patel explains. “This meditation serves to help lovingly release any tensions in the body and mind. It is intended to give the recipient permission to completely unwind, restore and replenish itself for a peaceful night’s sleep.” (Want more tips for getting sound zzz’s? Check out these seven must-adopt bedtime rituals.)

https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/sleep-better-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn

The post 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Craving Control

[caption id="attachment_58470" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Craving Control Photo courtesy of Molly + Co Photography[/caption] You know you need to exercise your body to improve your health. But what about giving your mind a workout? Or should we say, a cool down. A strong, less-stressed mental state can be just as important to your well-being as bumping up your physical activity, considering research links chronic anxiousness to obesity and sleepless nights. Yet many of us still don’t put tension relief on our priority lists. In fact, one in five Americans say they never do an activity focused on helping them manage stress. The great news is that exercising your mind doesn’t have to involve anything vigorous. Better yet, all you need to make it happen is a mere five minutes — plus one of these guided meditations. RELATED: What Mental Health Experts Do to De-Stress

Why You Need Meditation for Mental Strength

Many studies give meditation the seal of approval — and not just for stress relief. (Though it does provide a serious dose of calm.) Research has shown that a few minutes of mindfulness can enhance your focus, help you make healthier lifestyle choices and even catch better zzz’s. And all of these advantages can help bring down your stress levels. To help you use meditation to hone in on these life improvements, we asked Kelsey Patel, reiki master and meditation healer at The Den Meditation in Los Angeles to create three five-minute guided sessions. Each one steers you toward a different goal: enhancing productivity, controlling cravings and getting quality sleep. So listen in to zone out. RELATED: 9 Mantras to Find Zen from Gabrielle Bernstein’s New Book

5-Minute Guided Meditations to Help You Reach Your Goals

Whether you can’t concentrate at work, keep reaching for some chocolate cookies or you’re constantly unable to fall asleep at night, these three guided meditations from Patel will lovingly nudge you back on track. You don’t need anything to do them — simply sit at your desk or lie in bed, close your eyes and press play.

I Want to… Boost Productivity

“This is a great meditation to utilize when you need a boost. It helps you receive the feelings of space, breath, trust, support and new creativity,” Patel says. “If you’re feeling drained, anxious, worried or stressed or if your mind is in a thousand places telling you there’s not enough time or other limiting beliefs about yourself and your talents...this one’s for you.” Listen to it mid-workday or first thing before you tackle your day’s tasks. https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/boost-productivity-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

I Want to…Cut Cravings  

Before you reach for a sugar-filled snack, queue up this session. “Many times, cravings are an indicator of something deeper than just the immediate desire,” says Patel. “This mediation serves to help you go to that deeper place and explore a new territory of connection. There is a focus on self-love and self-awareness to help one identify where the craving is coming from so the choice can come from true mindfulness, rather than impulse or even self-sabotage.” https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/cut-cravings-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now

I Want to… Get Sound Sleep

We’ve all had those nights where our minds race and falling into a slumber seems near impossible. Well, let this meditation guide you right into dreamland. “The mind and body may carry unknown stressors, thoughts, feelings, experiences and moments from the day,” Patel explains. “This meditation serves to help lovingly release any tensions in the body and mind. It is intended to give the recipient permission to completely unwind, restore and replenish itself for a peaceful night’s sleep.” (Want more tips for getting sound zzz’s? Check out these seven must-adopt bedtime rituals.) https://soundcloud.com/user-84244671/sleep-better-meditation-kelsey-patel-and-life-by-daily-burn

The post 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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