Laughter, the best medicine

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Wednesday, 03 June 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

laughterThe debate over the benefits of laughter have long been argued. Advocates of laughter will point out the benefits it has on the body and mind, whilst others will argue that you cannot isolate laughter as the main cause. However, if something has caused so much debate in the scientific world, there has to be something in it, and personally… I think laughter really IS the best medicine for everyone.

Cardio health and blood pressure

The act of laughing increases your pulse rate and blood pressure, and this makes you breathe faster. This is great for your body, as it sends more oxygen to the tissues in our body. If you’re really animated with your laughter (such as waving your arms around) you’ll increase these benefits even more!

Well-being and stress levels

Laughter is like a mini workout. It stretches our facial muscles obviously, but it also affects the other muscles in our body.

This extra mini workout for our body not only helps send more oxygen around our body, but it also helps us to relax too – inside and out. Our posture becomes more relaxed as our muscles get exercised, our diaphragm and lungs relax, aiding our breathing and the blood vessels in our body to relax too – meaning our blood can flow easier around our body.

Laughter and your mindset

When it comes to laughing, the benefits remain with you long after the laughter has ended. Your mood improves, you experience pain differently and burdens become lighter. There’s no doubt that laughter has an impact on your mindset.

Other benefits of laughter include:

  • Feeling lighter and more hopeful
  • Clears the cobwebs – leaving your more focused and alert
  • Helps to energetically ground and centre you
  • Eases anxiety and stress
  • Enhances relationships
  • Helps diffuse conflict

Laughter helps your social life

Let’s face it, a happy person acts like a magnet – we all want some of what they’re on – and laughter truly is infectious! We also find people who frequently laugh attractive; we want to be in that person’s company, so it goes without saying that a happy person is also a more sociable person. If you’re happy you’re more likely to want to be around other people too, as you’ll want to spread that joy.  

Laughter binds people together and helps create intimacy – so whether the scientific community agree or disagree, laughter is free and easy – so get out there and laugh! Ho Ho Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee

Image courtesy Minerva Studio/Dollar Photo Club

 

How grounded are you?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Thursday, 28 May 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

If you practice reiki or some other form of energy work, you’ll have heard the importance of protection and keeping yourself grounded. Whether you’re an energy healer or not though, it’s really important that you ground yourself… to protect yourself from the negative effects of everyday life.

There’s intense energies rushing around us at all times. As energy healers know, this energy (called ‘chi’or 'ki') is the life force for everything – good-bad, heavy-light, light-dark.

How others can drain you

Have you ever been around someone who seems to just suck the life out of you? How about someone who is constantly moaning? How about someone who is constantly hyper and jittery? How do these types of people make you feel? Energies from other people can feel heavy and intense, especially if they’re feeling negative emotions such as pain, guilt, suffering, anger and upset.

We can often feel the energy given off by those people around us and, if you don’t adequately protect and ground yourself, you’ll end up feeling drained and exhausted, for no apparent reason.

Why ground yourself?

Put simply, grounding yourself is the act of making yourself fully present in the here and now, connected you to Mother Earth. Grounding yourself is essential if you want to minimise the negative effects of the energies around you.

Symptoms of not being grounded

When you’re not grounded you’ll feel varying symptoms, including some (or all!) of the following:

  • Feeling lost
  • Feeling slightly off kilter or ‘floaty’
  • Unsure of yourself
  • Forgetful and vacant
  • No flow of energy
  • Ears buzzing
  • Drained
  • Emotionally exhausted
  • Spaced out
  • Off balance

How to ground yourself

There is an easy visualisation you can do to ground and protect yourself:

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Imagine a white ball of light, approximately 6 inches above your head (it’s going to go through your centre AND around the outside of you).
  • Imagine that light getting bigger and brighter, as it comes down over your head and shoulders, as well as going down through the centre of your body.
  • Allow it to work down over the outside of your entire body, forming an egg shape around you and, simultaneously, imagine the light going through your centre, going down each leg and foot and through to the ground, as tree roots of a mighty tree.
  • It continues going into the ground, through the dirt, rock and down into a crystalline cave at the centre of the earth.
  • It weaves through the rocks and crystals in this cave, holding fast with its many roots.

If you want a superfast way to ground yourself, take a walk barefoot in the grass or sit on the grass with your back against a tree.

Tips to remember

When it comes to energy, the best thing you can do for yourself is to not get hooked up on other people’s drama in the first place – whether real or on the TV! If you have to go into negative and heavy situations, wait until you are adequately protected and grounded – and always approach them from a view of love. Finally, stop watching and reading the news, as it’ll depress you, make your energy heavy and keep you in a state of fear – if it’s important for you to know, you’ll hear about it!

 

How do you ground yourself? Do you regularly find other people drag you down or leave you feeling drained? How did you find the grounding and protection technique? Why not share your thoughts on grounding in the facebook group!

Life coaching for improved self confidence

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

There comes a time in your life when your outlook changes. Whether you’ve just had children or they’ve grown up and left home, you’re after a career change or have just been made redundant, life has a habit of changing our outlook and knocking our self confidence.

A lack of self confidence can affect certain areas of your life – it can also affect ALL of them. There are some people who are really confident at work, but who are uncertain and shy when it comes to relationships. Motherhood may leave you feeling unsure of who you actually are now – whether you’ve just had a child or yours have just flown the nest. You may just feel totally stuck and unhappy, unable to see a way forward but wanting to make a change – ANY change.

Reduced levels of confidence leave you doubting yourself, your abilities and your options. The only think you’re sure of is those feelings of being stuck, unhappy and confused… and this is where life coaching can help.

Life coaching for clarity

The great thing about a life coach is they can cut through those feelings of unhappiness, stickiness and confusion. A life coach can help you pinpoint where those low feelings of confidence come from – whether they originated from your viewpoint and thoughts, external events and traumas, or the beliefs and values you’ve grown up with.

They don’t tell you what to do – but they give you the tools, space and support to establish your own clear vision of the path you want to take.

Having that clarity enables you to feel more confident, stronger and more aware of WHO you are and WHAT you’re capable off – they reconnect you to your deepest desires and wishes AND support you through the process.

Getting support

When you lack self confidence you need a support network to help nurture you whilst you grow stronger. A life coach can give you all the support and encouragement you need AND help you establish a really strong support network for yourself, so when you doubt yourself there are plenty of others who can help boost you back up again. They hold your hand through the entire process, helping motivate and guide you through the changes you’re making.

Hiring a life coach and getting coaching to improve your self confidence, are the BEST positive steps you can take, to ensure you build, protect and keep high levels of self confidence in ALL areas of your life.

If you’re suffering from a lack of self confidence and are ready to get life coaching help to improve your confidence and your life, why not get in touch with us and have an informal chat – and see how we can help you! We specialise in providing life coaching in Berkshire but can also offer services via Skype.

 

Look to nature!

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

The world can be such a busy place. We’re all rushing around – often from the minute we wake up each morning. There’s the journey from home to work (and back again!), taking the children to and from school, shopping, housework and that’s before we even start talking about our actual paid employment. We often eat on the move and do everything whilst set in ‘fast forward’ mode... is it any wonder we struggle to unwind?

look to natureNature, on the other hand, has it all sorted out. It provides us with beauty and shows us how flow should be – from the gentle trickling stream to rustling of the trees – plus it gives us examples of effortless, strength and time. So what else can we learn from nature?

The benefits of getting back to nature

You could argue that you go outside a lot, with trips to the shop, work etc. etc., but when was the last time you went outside – just to BE? Whether you need space to unwind or to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, spending time with nature is good for your health and your soul.

It’s been scientifically proven that spending time outside can ease depression, lift your mood and general outlook. Spending time in nature will also help you focus AND help boost your immune system – without reaching for the medicine cabinet!

Nature for relaxation

Alternative therapists know it, as do yoga instructors, spas and energy healers – the sounds of nature are great for relaxation! Take time out of your day to just go outside and listen. Even if you’re in a town, listen for nature. You have the trees, birds and possibly even water and, if you can’t get outside – bring the outside in! Invest in a couple of nature sound CDs and play them during your work day, to keep you relaxed and focused.

Nature is inspiring

Whether you’re a creative person or more logical based, nature can be inspiring. It provides us with a palette of beautiful colours, shows us how easy growth and change can be and can clear an over-cluttered mind.

Nature teaches us about time. When we’re busy rushing to and fro, trying to do several things at once, nature effortlessly changes her seasons, encourages new shoots to push through that top layer of soil and gently moves forward. No matter how much we want spring and summer to get here, it will happen when it happens – no pushing, rushing or stress needed.

Being in nature can help even the most logic-based person to focus. Add this to the already numerous benefits and, as is often stated – why not go outside and blow away those cobwebs!

How do you interact with nature? Do you take regular time outs to get reacquainted with nature? What do you love most about being outside? Do you prefer to relax to the sound of water, birds or rustling trees? Why not do something today to get you reconnected with nature!

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome the sun!

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

The sun, much like yoga, has long been known to have numerous health and wellbeing benefits. Whatever type of health benefit you’re after, both yoga and the sun can improve your mental and physical wellbeing and, if you combine both the sun AND yoga, you’ll have a sure-fire winner – and that’s what the sun salutation is all about.

Surya Namaskar literally means ‘sun’ (Surya) and ‘to bow down’ (Namaskar). The sun is the natural source of energy and light for us. Being in tune with the sun will help you feel rejuvenated, relaxed, healthy, vibrant and alive… so is it any wonder we have this pose in yoga, as we should all be welcoming the sun!

The sun salutation (as it is known in the west) is a process that allows us to potentially harness that solar energy, to bring that energy inside us and to help us sync with the cycles of the sun. The full sun salutation is a sequence of 12 yoga poses that stretch your body backwards and forwards, and are said to match the twelve and a quarter years of the sun cycle. But what are the benefits we can expect from Surya Namaskar?

Stretch all the muscles in your body

The sun salutation pose is a great workout for the whole body. It can be completed in slow or fast movements – slow movements in particular, will enhance the toning benefits, as well as bring your mind and body into harmony.

Helping with breathing

Not only does the sun salutation help the function of your internal organs, as well as strengthening your digestive system, it also helps release stuck energy. Sun salutations expand and contract your chest, detoxifying carbon dioxide from your body, ventilating the lungs and oxygenating your blood.

Cardio vascular workout

Practising sun salutations at a medium to fact pace is a great way to give yourself a cardio vascular workout. This makes them the perfect yoga stretch to do during the warmup stage of your workout, as it will stretch those muscles, as well as increasing your blood flow and heart rate.

Hints and tips for the sun salutation

  • Ideally, you’ll want to do this sequence on an empty stomach
  • Morning and evening are the best times of day – sunrise and sunset
  • Do not overstretch yourself – especially if you’re a beginner
  • Coordinate your movements with your breathing
  • Stay within the physical limits of your body

Do you currently use the sun salutation in your yoga workout? How long have you been using it and what would you consider the main benefits you’ve gleaned from it? What’s the one thing you can do to improve what you’re already doing?

Image courtesy cbpix - Dollar Photo Club