holiday season

Day 9: BREATHE

It's late evening on Christmas eve, but I'm keeping to my promise. 1 Tip each day until 2011.

DAY 9: BREATHE

Today's tip is quite perfect because this is literally the first chance I've had all day to relax.

It's late. I'm tired from a long day, a long week and a loooooong year.

I work retail and run my own business. I have wonderfully rich and challenging relationships. I am a Gemini and I am blessed with an active imagination and I am in touch with my emotions.

All of these combined make for many wonderful opportunities to breathe deeply in order to relax, slow down and/or get perspective. Oh and it's the holiday season. And winter is upon us. And it's cold...

Not all breathing is the same, and from what I have learned--it's important to do it right. And you'll know when you're not. A client recently asked me during a meditation session: "what is this actually doing for me?"

While involuntary most of the time, we can (and should) make breathing an intentional act as often as possible, particularly when we feel stressed, tired, challenged or as a way to practice when we aren't feeling any of those things. Physiologically, breathing correctly brings much-needed oxygen into our lungs, blood and brain. Next time you feel stressed and have a headache, try to stop and notice your breath. Have you taken in enough oxygen in the past 2 minutes? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? Hmm...

How about interpersonal experiences? How many times have you taken a deep breath before responding to "that person" who always has a way of triggering you? A work associate? A parent? A sibling?

This is what I do with my clients. See how it works for you:

Belly Breathing 101
  • lie flat on your back or sit up really tall in a chair
  • place your hand on your lower belly
  • take a deep breath in and instead of raising your shoulders when you pull air into your lungs, instead push out your gut so your hand moves an inch or more. I know. It feels weird. Do it anyway.
  • as you exhale, pull your belly back in toward your spine.
  • REPEAT the inhale.
  • REPEAT the exhale.
  • REPEAT the inhale.
  • REPEAT the exhale.
  • Teach this to someone else and practice it as often as possible.
Breathing correctly and intentionally can positively impact your mental and physical health in many ways. Notice how you are or aren't breathing from minute to minute, day to day. Make small changes when and where you can.
See what happens.
Good night and Merry Christmas.

10 Tips to 2011!

Ok friends! It's about that time.

We have 10 days until 2010 is officially behind us and, I don't know about you, but I am REALLY jazzed about it. 2010 was challenging and rewarding for me in many ways--and I am really excited to implement all the valuable lessons, skills and brilliant insights I gained from the past 12 months.

In celebration of "waving good-bye to the old" and "Welcoming the New", I am posting 10 Tips to 2011 each day until January 1st, 2011.

Each day, I'll share one way you can improve your life for the better. If you strive to coordinate each tip into your daily life--you will see improvements in:

  • quality of sleep
  • energy levels
  • interpersonal relations
  • general outlook and attitude

These are just a few of the benefits you should experience as a result of living a life of more intention and balance. These next 10 days are a snippet (love this word) of what my clients experience in our work together. I am so glad to welcome 2011, I am now sharing a slice of what makes my life so good with you.

DAY 10: DRINK MORE WATER
from the U.S. Geological Survey:
Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.

From what I can find, 2.4 litres is about the same as 2.5 quarts.

Are you drinking 2.5 quarts of water each day? That's an 8-ounce glass of water, 10 times.

Water is absolutely essential but many people seem to think it's optional. I run into so many people who casually comment on their water intake like it's a game they are playing---you know how people do that with plants? They will let the leaves droop and get dried up and then water it and watch it become green and spring back to life?

No?  Only me?

Ok.

Seems people are doing this to themselves and don't really understand the many ways it is negatively affecting their health. On a basic level, we need water to hydrate our hard-working brains to think clearly and execute simple and complex motor functions (think school, work, relationships, etc.)

Water is physiologically necessary to transport minerals, vitamins and nutrients to our organs and through our intestines. This isn't something we can opt-out of without experiencing some painful and uncomfortable results.

Want to look younger? More awake and healthy? Drink water. It hydrates your skin from the inside out in a way no over-priced face cream can.

Want to feel less aches and pains? Drink water. It lubricates your joints, tissues and helps pass toxins on through.

Want to have a better outlook on life? Less headaches? More energy? Drink water.

This holiday season, do yourself a favor. Drink about 16 ounces before leaving the house for any holiday party or gathering and notice how it affects your experience. Note how you feel and send me a message and I'll send you a free bottle of HINT water just for taking on my challenge.

More H2O for 2011!!