3 Ways to Meditate Without Meditating

3 Ways to Meditate Without Meditating

Too busy in your day to meditate? I hear you. When we have a lot on our plate or something disrupts our routine a meditation class or practice can easily go by the way side. Or you may have never practiced it in the first place and that’s fine.

Here are 3 simple, easy techniques that can give you the same great benefits of meditation like improved concentration, more energy and increased happiness without really doing it.

 

  1. Breathe gently and slowly through your nose.

 

Sounds counterintuitive right? It is not uncommon to be told to breathe deeply and especially through your mouth. However, mouth breathing and deep breathing aren’t the answers. In fact, according to Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage, breathing through the mouth using just the upper chest increases our flight or fight response and makes us more agitated and stressed.

 

Focus on breathing through your nose gently instead. Try this:

  1. Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest.
  2. Focus on the airflow in and out of your nose. No need to force your breathing or count the number of seconds.
  3. Aim for gentle, slow breathing.
  4. Slow it down to the point where you feel air hunger because air hunger signifies that CO2 has increased in the blood, which is actually a good thing.

The body breathes to get rid of excess CO2 so the air hunger you feel when you do this exercise doesn’t mean your oxygen levels have dropped. When you work on slowing down your breathing, CO2 increases in the blood and your blood vessels open up, making you feel warmer.

 

When to do it: in front of the TV, in the shower.

 

  1. Use Becalm Balls.

 

These little squishy balls called Becalm Balls are based on carniosacral therapy – a technique used to improve the functioning of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

 

The balls induce something called a “stillpoint”. A stillpoint essentially shuts off your body’s response to stress. Your central nervous system and its fluids switch to a state of calmness from its usual state of alertness. It also helps ease muscle tension and helps improve the functioning of your nervous system.

 

When to do it: in the morning when you hit snooze or right before you go to bed. Just place the balls under your head at the same level as your eyes. You can start slow by just using it for 3-5 minutes a day and work yourself up to more if need be.

 

  1. Unleash the power of prayer.

 

Spiritual meditation meaning prayer was actually found to be more effective than secular meditation, according to a study done by Wachholtz and Pargament at Bowling Green State University. They found that the group who practiced spiritual meditation had greater decreases in anxiety and more positive mood, spiritual health, and spiritual experiences.

 

Say a simple prayer out loud, in your head or anyway you want to do it. You can ask for help, healing, happiness or more health in your life. Anyone can do it regardless of your background or beliefs.

 

When to do it: in the elevator, on your commute to work, in front of your computer- any time of day works.

 

If you’re interested in learning more ways to relax download your free guide “7 Quick & Easy Ways to Relax” here.

Can’t focus? 3 Fixes to Get You Back on Track

Can’t focus on your tasks? Or what your colleagues and especially what your boss is telling you?

 

The answer to getting your focus back up could be in your gut. It goes without saying our gut is our second brain.

 

There is a two-way communication between your brain and gut. Each gives and receives feedback to the other – the good, the bad and the ugly. The network of nerves in the gut is so large that is second only to the brain.

 

Your gut also produces most of your body’s neurotransmitters like serotonin, acetylcholine, and GABA – all essential for your brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps in learning and memory and GABA has a calming effect. More specifically it relieves anxiety, improves sleep AND improves focus.

 

If your gut is scrambled your brain will be too.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to have a healthier gut:

 

  1. Avoid Gluten. Next time you’re reaching out for that bagel, cookie or slice of bread think twice.

 

According to Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard, the world’s leading expert on gluten non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a real  ailment. Anyone who eats gluten is not doing their gut a favor. It creates leaky gut and inflammation regardless. Even if you are not celiac, gluten isn’t something you should eat regularly.

 

The Fix: Healthy, gluten-free foods are the way to go. Processed gluten-free products are best to avoid since they are chock full of sugar, preservatives, and additives. Here is a really easy gluten-free brownie recipe I absolutely love. It includes almonds and cacao full of great antioxidants like magnesium that is so good for your energy levels and brain.

 

Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

Total: 35 min

Yield: 9 brownies

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 cup almond or cashew butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut butter or oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond butter, syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix the wet into the dry and then fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the brownies are firm but still soft in the middle, 20 to 23 minutes.

 

  1. Chew your food. Do you wolf down your food just so you can get back to what you were doing? Take a good hard look at your chewing.

 

According to a study those who chew less, allowing larger particles to pass through the body, provide opportunistic bacteria and fungi with a source of fuel during their transit.

 

Digestion starts in the mouth with your saliva. It helps break down your food especially the carbohydrates. It’s not just about WHAT you eat it’s HOW well your body absorbs it. Make it easier on your stomach and small intestine and chew your food well. It also makes your food more alkaline, which creates less gas.

 

The Fix: Give your gut a break and chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times. Sound hard? Start with at least 15 and work your way up. Enjoy your meal and your food. Savor the flavors and textures in it. Your gut will thank you for it.

 

 

 

  1. Keep Your Phone Away from Your Stomach (and any other WiFi device).

 

Why? The answer lies in something called EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) radiation. What is considered a “safe” amount of EMF exposure from WiFi devices is holding your phone 1” from your head for only 6 minutes a day. And by the way, you have to be a 220 lbs 6”2’ man.

 

Have you met someone who fits these criteria? I sure haven’t.

 

Not only has EMF radiation been known to weaken the lining of your blood-brain barrier, allowing more toxins and pathogens into your brain it is very likely that it is doing the same to your gut.

 

What we know from sure from studies is that EMF signals are very disruptive to the delicate beneficial bacteria in your intestines (gut flora). They slow down their growth, while possibly making the viruses, superbugs and harmful bacteria that are trying to take over even stronger.

 

The Fix: Do you carry your phone near your waist? Consider putting it on airplane mode –when possible – to avoid radiation. Also, create as much distance as you can (preferably at least 1 foot) from your phone, tablet or computer and gut when it makes sense. Another way to protect yourself if you’re sitting and using a tablet or laptop is this blanket that shields you from 99.9% of the radiation: https://www.bellyarmor.com/belly-blanket/