With the speed of change in our world, not to mention the daily stressors and then for many unexpected crisis and tragedy, we need resource and strength more than ever before.
It seems everywhere we turn, we are reminded that this increase in stress has profound impact on our health and relationships both intimate and professional. It is reported that 75% of all visits to primary care physicians are stress related https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2011/final-2011.pdf
Simple Exercises for Stress Management and Grounding
How can we best stay grounded in our lives today-by keeping our feet on the ground.
Take a brisk walk or meditation in nature and get some good ol’ vitamin D. This alone increases seratonin and calm. If you can’t get outdoors, Even looking at the clouds out your window at home or work, mindfully putting your feet flat on the ground and focusing on the natural beauty while taking three deep breaths works wonders.
Here are some quick, natural exercises.Try this in the grocery store, at your desk or anywhere:
Put both feet on the ground and/or imagine them as flat on the ground if that isn’t possible. Imagine energy from the earth’s core coming up through your feet and moving up through your body.
Visualize your feet as tree roots that are growing down into the ground.
Plant your feet whether standing or sitting and take three, deep breaths. Be mindful of breathing as far down into your belly as possible.
“There’s an app for that”. (As the Apple trademark reminds us..)
To the rescue are a plethora of evidence based research contributions, apps, videos, Ted Talks, Podcasts and programs available at our beckon call to help us increase mindfulness, and calm, compassion, empathy, social judgment connection and engagement individually, for couples and at work.
To this end we are beginning a series of the latest in wellness, life coaching, relational, business and leadership apps and resources.
This first part will focus on mind/body health apps and resources.
Here are a few favorites:
Hardwiring Happiness: Rick Hanson, PhD This site is filled with videos, exercises, meditations and books contributing to our understanding and applied measures to work with our neurological “hardwiring” to increase happiness. In addition, Dr. Hanson has created a Foundations, “a year long program in the practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom” http://rickhanson.net
Self-compassion and the work of Kristen Neff, PhD presents a wealth of evidence based research on the need and preference of increased self-compassion over self-esteem. The site is filled with her TedTalk, exercised and meditations to create calm and compassion for self and others. http://selfcompassion.org
“Brainspotting is based on the profound attunement of the therapist with the patient, finding a somatic cue and extinguishing it by down-regulating the amygdala. It isn’t just PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) activation that is facilitated, it is homeostasis.” — Robert Scaer, MD, “The Trauma Spectrum”
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: http://mindfulnessapps.com/This app is designed by Jon Kabot Zinn, one of the early contributors of meditation in medicine. This is a natural evolution of his brilliant work spanning from the training the Olympic rowing team to corporations such as GOOGLE.
Stop, Breathe and Think http://stopbreathethink.org
This app offers a solid sampling of the basics of meditation, featuring a range of exercises at varying lengths (mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, the body scan practice), ideal for short practices at work and longer sessions at home. The non-profit Tools for Peace originally created the app for students and staff in their kindness and compassion programs, but the app’s popularity in the apple store has taken SBT to a more mainstream crowd.
Calm: http://www.calm.com/ Calm evolved out of http://Calm.com, a free web app where users could select background scenery and sounds (sunny seaside with crashing waves is one selection), set a timer, and chill out for a few minutes. Now, in app form, Calm consists of a “7 Steps to Calm” guide as well as its seaside offerings.
Happify states “It’s an exciting time for those who want to overcome negative thoughts, worries, and everyday stress. Happify has turned a decade’s worth of research into a series of activities and games that train your brain and build skills for lasting happiness. That’s our mission. Discover what our personalized tracks can do for you. They are effective and measurable.”
“Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food”
– New York Times
Andy has created through animated characters a cleverly designed program to increase mindfulness with step by step exercised sure to increase health, focus, creativity and relationship.
Creators of HeartMath state that Heartmath connects us with the heart of ‘who we truly are,’ helping us to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives while building a brighter future. They offer technology, education and training for individuals, organizations and healthcare professionals.
Not only does fitbit have these attractive devices, they have a tribe for fitness experiences and events. http://www.fitbit.com/
This device can map your route, track your activity and log your food.
Here’s to increased health, wellness, balance and joy!