Breathing for Relaxation: Simple Techniques for a Calmer Mind and Body

Breathing is a simple and effective way to promote relaxation and calm the mind and body. By focusing on your breath, you can slow down your heart rate, reduce stress hormones, and promote feelings of relaxation and peace.

Here are some simple breathing techniques you can try:

  1. Deep breathing: This involves taking slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body. To practice deep breathing, find a quiet place to sit or lie down, and close your eyes. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for several minutes.
  2. Square breathing: This technique involves counting and regulating your breaths. To practice square breathing, inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold for four counts before starting again. This can help to slow down your breathing and promote feelings of relaxation.
  3. Alternate nostril breathing: This technique involves alternating between breathing in and out through each nostril. To practice alternate nostril breathing, close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril with your right ring finger and release your thumb, breathing out through your right nostril. Repeat this pattern, breathing in and out through alternate nostrils, for several minutes.
  4. Belly breathing: This technique involves focusing on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your belly. To practice belly breathing, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in deeply, filling your belly with air and allowing your chest to rise slightly. Exhale slowly, feeling your belly fall as you release the air. Repeat this for several minutes.

In conclusion, breathing is a simple and effective way to promote relaxation and calm the mind and body. By taking a few minutes each day to practice breathing techniques, you can improve your overall well-being and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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Relaxation and Mental Health: How It Can Improve Your Mood and Well-Being

Relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. When we relax, our bodies and minds are able to rest, rejuvenate, and heal.

Relaxation can come in many forms, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or a warm bath. It can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For example, deep breathing exercises can help to slow down the heart rate and reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the body. This can promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

Meditation, in particular, has been shown to have a significant impact on mental health. It can improve mood, increase feelings of well-being, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment, has been found to be particularly effective for reducing stress and improving mental health.

Yoga and physical exercise can also be a form of relaxation, and they can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and to promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

In conclusion, relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Whether through deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or physical exercise, finding time to relax and recharge can help to improve mental health and overall well-being.

Meditation and the Positive Impact on Mental Health: What the Research Says

Meditation has been the subject of increasing scientific interest in recent years, and research suggests that it can have a positive impact on mental health.

Studies have shown that regular meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood and well-being, and increase resilience to stress. For example, a review of more than 1,300 studies on meditation found that it was effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and pain.

Meditation has also been found to change the structure and function of the brain in ways that can improve mental health. For example, research has shown that mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment, can increase gray matter in the brain regions associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.

Another type of meditation known as Transcendental Meditation has been shown to have a significant impact on reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans. A study conducted by the Department of Defense found that veterans who practiced Transcendental Meditation reported a significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD, including flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and anxiety.

It is important to note that while research suggests that meditation can have a positive impact on mental health, it is not a substitute for professional medical treatment. However, when practiced regularly and combined with other therapies and treatments, meditation can be a valuable tool for improving mental health.

In conclusion, the research on meditation and its impact on mental health is still ongoing, but the results so far suggest that meditation can be a useful tool for reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

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Finding Inner Peace: Simple Techniques for a Calm and Centred Mind

Inner peace is a state of calm and tranquility that is characterized by a sense of contentment, fulfillment, and happiness. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to find inner peace, as we are often surrounded by stress, anxiety, and negativity. However, by incorporating simple techniques into your daily routine, you can cultivate a sense of inner peace and improve your overall well-being.

Here are some simple techniques for finding inner peace:

  1. Meditation: Meditation is one of the most effective ways to cultivate inner peace. By quieting the mind and focusing on the present moment, you can reduce stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts, and improve your overall well-being.
  2. Mindful breathing: Mindful breathing is a simple and effective technique for reducing stress and anxiety and promoting inner peace. To practice mindful breathing, find a quiet place to sit or lie down, and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body, and let any thoughts or distractions pass by without getting caught up in them.
  3. Gratitude: Practicing gratitude is a simple and effective way to promote inner peace. By focusing on the things that you are grateful for, you can shift your attention away from negative thoughts and feelings, and cultivate a sense of contentment and happiness.
  4. Nature walks: Spending time in nature is a great way to find inner peace. By immersing yourself in the beauty and tranquility of nature, you can quiet your mind, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.
  5. Yoga: Yoga is a great way to cultivate inner peace. By combining physical postures with deep breathing and meditation, you can reduce stress, increase flexibility, and improve your overall well-being.

In conclusion, finding inner peace is a simple and effective way to improve your overall well-being. By incorporating techniques such as meditation, mindful breathing, gratitude, nature walks, and yoga into your daily routine, you can cultivate a sense of inner peace and happiness, and experience greater physical, mental, and emotional health.

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How Sleep Can Affect Your Mental Health: How They Affect Each Other

Sleep and mental health are closely connected, and the quality of your sleep can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. On the other hand, your mental health can also affect the quality and quantity of your sleep.

When you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Conversely, lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Studies have also shown that sleep problems can be a symptom of mental health conditions, and can even worsen their symptoms. For example, people with depression often experience sleep problems, such as insomnia or oversleeping. These sleep problems can make the symptoms of depression worse and make it more difficult to manage.

In addition to the direct relationship between sleep and mental health, sleep also plays a role in regulating the release of hormones in the body, such as cortisol and serotonin. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can interfere with sleep, and a lack of sleep can cause cortisol levels to increase, leading to feelings of stress and anxiety. On the other hand, serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep, is also affected by sleep. A lack of sleep can reduce serotonin levels, leading to feelings of sadness and depression.

In conclusion, the connection between sleep and mental health is complex, and it’s important to prioritise good sleep hygiene to maintain both physical and mental well-being. This can include creating a relaxing bedtime routine, avoiding screens for a few hours before bed, and creating a comfortable sleep environment. If you are experiencing sleep problems, it may be helpful to consult a doctor or mental health professional to address any underlying mental health concerns.

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Energy healing can help with sleep and mental wellbeing, email if you would like more information. I am a qualified adult sleep consultant.

How to Understand and Overcome Anxiety: Five Tips for a Happier Life

Anxiety is a normal part of life, but it can become a problem when it starts to interfere with daily activities. Many people experience feelings of worry, nervousness, and fear, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible to manage and overcome these feelings. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of anxiety and provide tips and strategies to help you find peace and calm.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety can stem from various sources, including stress, trauma, genetics, and even certain medical conditions. For some, it may be a temporary response to a stressful situation, while for others, it can be a chronic condition that requires ongoing management.

Tips for Overcoming Anxiety

  1. Practice mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. By focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries about the past or future, you can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  2. Exercise regularly: Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and can help to reduce feelings of anxiety.
  3. Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for our overall health and can greatly impact our emotional well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night to help manage anxiety.
  4. Connect with others: Talking to a trusted friend or loved one about your feelings can be a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety. Joining a support group can also provide a sense of community and a safe space to discuss your concerns.
  5. Seek professional help: If your anxiety is causing significant distress in your life, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a mental health professional. They can help you develop coping strategies and provide support as you work to overcome your anxiety.

In conclusion, anxiety can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but with the right tools and support, it’s possible to overcome. Remember to prioritize self-care, connect with others, and seek professional help if needed. By taking control of your anxiety, you can create a happier and more fulfilling life.

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Learn how to start the new year being kind to yourself!

Being kind to ourselves is an important aspect of self-care and personal growth. However, it can be difficult to practice self-kindness when you are feeling overwhelmed or dealing with negative thoughts.

Here are six suggestions to help you.

  1. Practise self-compassion. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend. Instead of criticising yourself for mistakes or negative thoughts, try to be understanding and supportive.
  2. Treat yourself with kindness. This means being gentle and patient with yourself, rather than pushing yourself too hard or being too critical. Take time out to do things you enjoy, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or going for a walk.
  3. Set realistic goals. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to feelings of failure and self-criticism. Instead, set goals that are challenging but achievable. Then if you fail to achieve a goal, be kind to yourself and try again.
  4. Speak kindly to yourself. Pay attention to the language you use when talking to yourself. Try to avoid using negative or harsh words and try to use kind positive and compassionate language.
  5. Forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is an important aspect of self-kindness. We all make mistakes, so it’s important to forgive yourself for past mistakes and focus on moving forward. I have written several meditations to help people with forgiveness.
  6. Seek professional help when needed. If you find it hard to be kind to yourself, or if your negative thoughts are impacting your daily life, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you work through your thoughts and emotions in a safe and supportive way.

Overall, being kind to yourself is an ongoing process that require effort and practice. By setting realistic goals, speaking kindly to yourself, and seeking professional help when  needed, you can become more self-compassionate and happier.

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Two clear reasons why our sleep cycles change as we age.

How circadian rhythms work.

Our sleep-wake cycle would normally follow the sun. As the sun rises and the temperature gets warmer we wake up. As the sun sets, core body temperature falls, and we produce a hormone called melatonin to promote sleep. This daily cycle is known as our circadian rhythm, this is managed by the master clock in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Located in the hypothalamus, the SCN tells our body when to sleep, when to eat, and when to be the most active, based on cues such as light and temperature.

Circadian rhythms change throughout our lifetime, from middle age they shift half an hour every decade. This change means from 60 to 65 we perform mental tasks better in the morning and start to become sleepy in the late afternoon. There has been research that has shown circadian rhythm timing in older adults, can be more delicate, often leading to disrupted sleep if they do not sleep within certain times..

Two reasons circadian rhythms change with age.

  • Studies on mice have shown that the SCN becomes weaker with age. This leads to less pronounced fluctuation in our circadian rhythm, which in turn will produce less melatonin at night, hence older adults may have less of a distinction between being asleep and awake, resulting in sleeping less soundly at night and experiencing more tiredness throughout the day.
  • Light is the critical part in regulating our circadian rhythms. There have been many studies researching how light exposure changes as we age. As our eyes age, they do not let as much light in, also we may spend more time in weak artificial light, which is not as effective at regulating our circadian rhythm. After people have had cataract surgery, they often report better sleep, because more light is getting into the eyes.

Coping with these changes.

Older people still need the recommended 7-9 hours sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you tired, confused, and even depressed, symptoms which may be mistaken for dementia or other disorders. While it’s normal to experience sleep problems as you age, severe changes to your circadian rhythm may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Also, during deep sleep, toxins are flushed from the brain particularly the amyloid plaque. Amyloid plaque build-up is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

It is very hard to fight the natural cycles of our bodies, although we all try. If it is possible to change your sleeping pattern to an earlier time, you may have more sound sleep and get more deep sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is also helpful.

Getting more light during the day may help you sleep better. If you are a night person try not to get too much light in the morning hours, take your walk or time in the sun in the evening. You could also use light therapy later in the day. This may help delay the melatonin release and make your body think your bedtime is later.

I will begin a course of meditations to help people sleep starting 12th January 2023 at 8pm. Cost £35 if paid on or before the 12th of January or £10 per session.

In the new year I will also have a course you can buy to help with sleeping.

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Are you struggling with sleep? Would you like help to sleep well?

by Soul Essence New Eltham

We spend a third of our lives sleeping, yet so many of us struggle to sleep well.  Poor sleep affects every part of our life, from our cognitive ability, sleepless nights leads to 40% less memory storage, weight loss, dieting is affected because our hormones become unbalance, deprived of sleep we lose muscle not fat. Even our immune function is affected, we have a 70% drop-in immune cell activity, after a night of poor sleep. It is said “we are not healthy, if our sleep is not healthy”.

Did you know only 200 years ago before artificial light, Biphasic sleep was common practice? This is the practice of sleeping during two periods over the course of 24 hours making up seven to nine hours sleep, people went to bed at sunset and woke in the early hours 1 and 2 am and were fully awake for approximately an hour, this time was spent praying, interpreting dreams, engaged in sexual activity, writing books and poems, sometimes visiting neighbours, and even milking cows. They would then go back to sleep and get up at sunrise. Now with artificial light, office jobs, and shift work we sleep using a monophasic routine of one approximate 8-hour block of sleep.

If you are someone who wakes up in the early hours wide awake, perhaps your circadian rhythm prefers the Biphasic sleep pattern.  Try getting up and doing something relaxing for an hour reading a book (not on a screen) yoga, or meditating, maybe if you find ironing relaxing or another quiet housework chore you could do these. Then after an hour return to bed and go to sleep. This takes the stress away from looking at the ceiling and feeling guilty because you can’t sleep. Your insomnia may be as simple as accepting this hour or two of wakefulness, put it to good use and then go back to bed. You may need to change the time you go to bed so you can still get 7 to 8 hours sleep.

Using your breath to relax your parasympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic part of your autonomic nervous system balances your sympathetic nervous system. While your sympathetic nervous system controls your body’s “fight or flight” response, your parasympathetic nervous system helps to control your body’s response during times of rest.

One breathing exercise which is very good for relaxation is coherent breathing. Breathing in for 5 to 6 seconds and breathing out for 5 to 6 seconds. This gives us the exact 5 to 6 breaths a minute. This is a healthy breathing rate, doing this for 20 minutes a day has many benefits. If you can get your breath to leave a stressed state the other parts of your autonomic nervous system will follow, creating a reaction that will help to reduce stress, anxiety, and related health issues, including insomnia and lack of sleep.

There are many breathing exercises to help you relax so you can sleep.

Many of these will be shown and discussed on my package of meditations to help people sleep starting 12th January 2023 at 8pm. Cost £35 on the 12th of January or £10 per session.

In the new year I will also have a course you can buy to help with sleeping.

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How becoming a parent helped me heal my suppressed energy and emotional conflicts

When I got into my early 20’s I wanted to get married and have a family. I had been with someone for almost two years. I was overjoyed when he asked me to marry him. We waited a couple of years before having children. We were lucky I had no problems conceiving and gave birth to three healthy boys during four and a half years.

Having children mirrored so many of the emotional conflicts I was masking and suppressing. I wanted my children to be independent like me, and they were encouraged to be self reliant. I always said they would fit round my life (control) not me fit round theirs. However, the control became part of normal life, I struggled with emotional intimacy, the relationship between myself and my partner was hard as we focussed only on the children and their needs. Never giving ourselves time together. Once our children began leaving for university, we realised we had nothing in common and both had traumas to heal.

At 42 I realised there was more to life, and I began looking for a way to heal my traumas. In 2004 I found the School of Energy Healing now the Foundation of Integrated Energy Healing. During my training to become an energy healer I was able to heal some of my trauma. Learning how to let go of this control was very enlightening. Working with others to help them recover from their suppressed emotions has also taught me so much more about myself.

Do not wait for 20 plus years like me to heal your childhood traumas, heal them now!

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