Tag Archives: meditate

This Super Simple Tool Will Help You Calm Down and Get Balanced — Instantly!

You wake up in the morning to realize your alarm didn’t go off.  Rushing to get ready in the morning, you run up to your car only to dump your coffee on the ground. To make matters worse, you then find yourself stuck in traffic longer than usual due to an accident. 

When our lives are this chaotic and busy, it’s easily to get super stressed out and feel completely out of balance.

But I have great news…

Despite these outer circumstances, you don’t have to feel this way!

It is possible to live a joyful, fulfilling, miraculous life where you can feel calm, balanced, and peaceful.

And the secret doesn’t come in the form of some magic pill.  Despite how much the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry may want us to believe, it certainly doesn’t come from taking Xanax, Prozac, or Klonopin. 

In fact, it’s much easier, sustainable, and a heck of a lot more cost effective than taking a pill.

Want to know this super simple tool?

Breathing — yep, you read that right!  It’s breathing.

How the heck is that going to do anything? I can hear you say.

Well, allow me to explain.

Often when we get stressed and overwhelmed we tend to either breath improperly, hold our breath, or stop breathing entirely.  We start taking shallow breaths through our upper chest rather than through our diaphragm. 

This is a normal and natural response to stress.  When something stressful happens, our sympathetic nervous system gets activated.  Our heart rate than goes up, our muscles become tense, we breath improperly, and so on.  When we have this reaction, it is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response — so we’ve recognized we may be in danger, so we become activated to decide whether we should fight or flight.

Our fight or flight response is not a bad thing.  In fact, we need it for our survival in case we get into dangerous situations.  We needed it back in the day when we lived in the wild and needed to be concerned about getting attacked by bears, wolves, or whatever.

However, the problem in today’s modern world is that our fight or flight response becomes activated in situations where everything is, in fact, okay.  It may get activated due to simply being impatient with morning traffic.  It may get activated due to overly thinking about about financial issues.  It becomes an issue when we don’t just choose to either fight or flight and then let it go, but, rather, hold on to it.

When our sympathetic nervous system gets activated due to some trigger and we don’t just feel the experience and let it go, that’s when we can feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and drained.  When we’ve spent out entire day ready to either fight or flight, it takes a lot of energy and can get pretty darn exhausting.

This is why breathing is so incredibly important.  Through the power of our breath, we can easily get ourselves out of a fight or flight mode and back into a normal level of function where we can feel calm and relaxed, think clearly, and, ultimately, experience happiness.  This is why I teach some kind of breath work or meditation to all of my coaching clients — because it is pivotal to creating a solid foundation so we can create lives filled with happiness, joy, and love.

So how exactly can we use breath to calm ourselves down and get balanced?  Here’s a super easy breathing technique to use:

Sit up with your back straight and place your hand on your abdomen.  When you breath in through your nose, make sure that your abdomen is expanding outward.  When you exhale, your abdomen should contract towards your spine.

Now, breathe in for three counts, and then exhale for six counts.  Do this cycle of breath a few times.

If you want to go deeper into this, breathe in for four counts and then exhale for eight counts.  Do this cycle of breath anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes.

This is a great breathing exercise to do because it helps calm down our variable heart rate, which will lead us to feeling much more calm, relaxed, and balanced in our mind and body.

In some cases, particularly individuals who have experienced past trauma, doing any kind of breath work can be triggering.  Old emotions of sadness, anger, and fear may come up.  If this happens, it’s important to reach out to a local psychotherapist to get support and care in processing these emotions.

Otherwise, practice this breathing exercise at least once a day for 30 days.  This super simple tool can easily help you create a solid foundation in creating a life of peace, balance, happiness, and joy.

This breathing exercise is one of the meditations I give in my meditation album Ignite Love from Within.  To learn more about my meditation album, click here.  To grab a copy of my free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love, click here.

Remember this: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace.

BreathPeace

Click to Tweet: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Do the breathing exercise that I shared in this article and, in the comments below, share with me what the experience was like for you.

5 Ways to Start Living in the Present Moment

Back in 2010-2011 — before I lived in Korea, before I moved to California — I had a lot of internal distress.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, seem to ever live in the present moment.

Why can’t I ever just enjoy things when its actually happening? I would think to myself.  Why am I so focused on what is yet to come rather than simply enjoy what I’m experiencing now?

Needless to say, a lot has happened between now and then.  And I’m not anywhere near as distressed as I was back then.  While I’m far from an enlightened being that can live in the present moment at all times, it’s certainly something that I struggle with much less than I did years ago.

I managed to make shifts so I can live more in the present, and I know with complete confidence that you can to.  So here are 5 ways you can start living in the present moment:

#1 – Get off your cell phone

Stop playing Candy Crush, solitaire, Words with Friends, or whatever other game you play on your phone.  Stop constantly texting your friend or boyfriend throughout the day.  Stop checking Facebook 50 times a day to catch all the latest news trends.

All of these things make us disconnected from our present moment experience.  When our eyes are glued to our phones, we are disconnected from all of what is going on around us.  We are unable to connect with our colleague at work.  We are unable to really connect with our partner after work.  We are unable to really be present with our friend who is sharing a difficult story.

It’s okay to have a phone, but be mindful about it.  If you see catch yourself mindlessly looking on Facebook, checking e-mail or doing Candy Crush put it away and look at all that is around you.  Put the phone down, and take in the beauty of your present experience.

#2 – Declutter… often!

Do you have a stack of books and notebooks from high school piled up in your closet?  Or how about a stack of CDs that you haven’t listened to a good 10 years?  Or maybe that one top hanging in your closet that your just waiting will be back in style someday?

Well, I’m gonna tell you right now.  If you want to really start living in the present moment, then it’s time to throw it out.

While it’s okay to have a few keepsakes, having too much “old stuff” only weighs us down.  It’s almost like the piles of old stuff that we keep is merely a reflection of all the old emotional baggage that we haven’t quite let go of yet.

Seriously — have you ever walked into the house of someone who has piles and piles of old stuff?  How did you feel walking in there?  I doubt it felt light, free, or gave any sense of renewal.

So let go of the old — both internally and externally — it’ll make it much easier to be in the present.

#3 – Be grateful for what you have right now

One of our habits as humans is that we have a tendency to either live in the past or the future.  We may be nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”, while, on the flip side, we may be caught up in dreaming about how everything is going to be great for us in the future. 

Both of these ways of thinking are distortions created by our ego, and all it does is keep us out of the present moment.

So rather than be wishing that things were as they were 10 years ago or how they could be 10 years from now, be grateful for what you have in your life right now.  Be grateful for that job that’s helping you make ends meet.  Be grateful for that apartment that you’re living in even though it may be smaller than you’d like.

Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily, so start bringing gratitude into your daily practice.

Gratitude Present Moment

Click to Tweet: Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily. via @jenilyn8705

#4 – Let go of worry

Many of us get so caught up in worrying about things that we can never enjoy what we are experiencing.  We worry about getting bills paid, our love life, our career, and so on.

So when you catch yourself being a worry-wart, stop and take a deep breath.  Take a moment to notice how your body feels.  By getting connected how we feel in our bodies, it helps bring us back into the present moment.

#5 – Meditate… every single day!

If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article and start implementing today it would be this: Start meditating!  It is the easiest tool to help you live more in the present moment and can be the foundation for so many other miraculous changes that can happen in your life. 

If you’re ready to start meditating today and open yourself to love, grab a copy of my free meditation Healing Blocks to Love from my new meditation album Ignite Love from Within.

Take action now!

Out of the 5 listed above, what are you going to start doing this week to better live in the present moment?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

3 Tips to Find Stress Relief Daily

When many of us are working 9 to 5 jobs and doing other activities on top of that, like taking some classes, doing some extra part-time work, raising kids, or whatever, it’s pretty darn easy to get stressed out.

But, despite how busy we may be, being able to find stress relief is not something that we have no control over.  Creating and maintaining a solid self-care practice can help us go from a stressed out mess to peaceful and going with the flow. 

Here are 3 tips that you can start implementing into your life right now to help you find stress relief daily:

#1 – Meditate at least once daily.

Starting the habit of meditating every day has been such a game changer for me when it comes to managing stress.  I’ve managed to not only feel less susceptible to stress, but I’ve also found myself experiencing even more feelings of joy, gratitude, and happiness.

Making the goal to meditate every day can be quite intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done it before (I know I was!) but it doesn’t have to be that difficult.  Just as little as 3 minutes a day (or even 1 minute!) can really make a difference.

You can start off by sitting in a chair or on the floor with your back straight and to simply focus on your breath.  You can count your breath and breath in for 3 and exhale for 5. 

Another option could be to say a mantra to yourself.  A very basic mantra could be “So hum”, meaning “I am that”.  That you can repeat to yourself as you breathe, with the “so” on the inhale and “hum” on the exhale.

When doing a mantra, you’re going to notice a lot of thoughts from your “monkey mind” popping up.  When you catch yourself getting distracted by the thoughts, then simply go back to the mantra the second you notice. 

Remember that having the thoughts is normal and part of the process.  The thoughts come up so that you can process them and let them go.  You’re still going to benefit from the meditation whether you have the thoughts or not.  This is very important to remember because I think I a lot of beginners can get hard on themselves for it (including myself), so remember that it’s normal.

Finally, if you don’t like those types of meditations you could also do a guided visualization type of meditation as well.  There are many people out there with copies of guided meditations, myself included.  So if you would like to go that route, grab a copy of my Self and Relationship Healing Meditation if you haven’t yet and get meditating!

#2 – Start each day with an intention to let it all go. 

That person that cut you off on the way to work?  Let it go.  That very traumatic story that someone told you?  Let it go.  That person who yelled at you and flipped you the bird?  Let it go.

By holding on to the things that have happened to us we create this inner distress and tension within ourselves.  This doesn’t serve us and it only causes us unnecessary suffering.

One of the keys I think in letting go regularly is to live every day remembering this one main concept: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this very present moment then it doesn’t matter.

StressReliefPresentMoment

Click to Tweet: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this present moment then it doesn’t really matter. via @jenilyn8705

It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t get out of your parking job 2 hours ago, because that was 2 hours ago.  It doesn’t matter that you dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce walking out of the grocery store because that was 20 minutes ago.  And it doesn’t even matter that you need to call your doctor about some test results on Monday because it’s currently Friday night you won’t be able to do it until then anyway.

When we shift our mindsets to focusing on present moment, we can let go of all the stuff we think we have to stress about now — but it truly doesn’t matter in this very moment.

#3 – Move it!

Sometimes stressful things happen that shift us into “fight or flight” mode and it can throw us off for the entire day if we don’t know how to deal with it.

Let me let you in on something when it comes to fight or flight: We all experience it — and I don’t mean just humans, but animals too. 

Have you ever seen two ducks get into a fight?  They’ll beat on each other.  Maybe even look like the one is going to actually kill the other.  But, eventually, they break away.  They go separate ways and fly or maybe flap their wings rigorously a few times and then they’re back to floating around on the water all peacefully, calm and content.

They don’t think about how that other duck pissed them off 2 hours after the fact or the one doesn’t try to “get back” at the other in some way.  They just let it go and get back to their own business.

If you really stop and watch sometime (which I encourage you to do), all animals do this in their own unique ways.  But there’s something you’ll notice across the board:  They all move.

So when someone upsets you, pisses you off, or gets you all worked up then be sure to move.  Take a walk.  Jump around.  Flap your arms.  Stomp your feet.  Do whatever it is that you feel can help you let go of all that tension in your body.

Take action now!

Out of the three tips I’ve listed above, which one are you going to start doing today?  Share it in the comments below!

10 Super Simple Self-Care Practices to Help You Live a Joyful Life

You wake up early in the morning to sit in traffic for an hour, work for about 8 hours, sit in traffic again for another hour or more to get home, cook dinner and then have just enough time to watch a TV show or two before you find yourself in bed and ready to do it all over again for another four days.

When we’re so much on the go-go-go, the last thing on our minds can be our own self-care and how we can find joy in our day to day lives. But, trust me, it’s much easier than you think. Here are 10 super simple self-care practices to help you live a joyful life:

#1 – Breathe!

So many of us get so stressed out over deadlines, places we have to be, and things that we have to do that we forget about how important it is to just breathe. When we’re stressed out, often our natural tendency is to hold our breaths or to breathe in through our chest.

So whenever you’re feeling strung out, turn your attention to the breath. Exhale. Breathe in through your diaphragm and breath out for a few counts. By consciously making deep breaths for a few minutes each day, you’ll be able to think with a more clear mind, be more resilient to stress, and feel much lighter overall.

#2 – Sing.

Who doesn’t like to jam out to one of their favorite songs? When you’re driving home from work, turn on one of your favorite songs and just start singing. And so what if people in the other cars around you see you! Clearly, they haven’t learned how to enjoy life nearly as much as you.

#3 – Dance.

You know the next best thing to singing your favorite tunes? Dancing to them! So when you get home, spend some time gettin’ your groove on. It’s not only good for a little exercise and to reduce stress, but it’s just flat out fun.

#4 – Meditate.

Have you ever had one of those days where your mind just can’t seem to “turn off”? It’s like the thoughts of your day just keep going on repeat in your mind and you just can’t get it to stop.

This is where the benefits of meditation comes in.

So every day spend a good 3-5 minutes just sitting and focusing only on your breath. If you want, you can also add in a mantra that you can say to yourself over and over again. A very basic one to do could be “so hum”.

If focusing on the breath or doing a mantra isn’t your cup of tea, you could also do a guided meditation or visualization as well. There are plenty of free ones online to try out. In fact, in case you haven’t already, you can get a free copy of my guided meditation for self and relationship healing. This is a great guided meditation to use to help send some love and healing for yourself and then send some love and healing to others in your life as well.

#5 – Eat natural foods.

When we’re running around busy all the time, the last thing our mind and body really needs is a Big Mac. We need to be mindful over what we are putting into our bodies so that we can be better able to tackle life’s challenges.

So try to eat more natural foods. Spend more time buying foods out of the produce section. Be sure to eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Drink more water and a little less coffee. Try to cut down on sweets and fatty foods. In making these little changes, you’ll have much more energy.

#6 – Be grateful.

Start keeping a gratitude list and every day identify at least one thing that you are grateful for. Once you have identified what it is that you are grateful for, then close your eyes and breathe. Visualize that person, place, or thing that you are grateful for. Visualize yourself sending that person, place or thing your love and appreciation.

#7 – Give someone a hug… or kiss.

When we give someone a hug (or a kiss) we get an instant boost of oxytocin in our brains, which is the brain chemical that creates feelings of pleasure, bonding, and intimacy. So give out some more hugs and it’ll make you and the other person feel better.

#8 – Play… literally.

When we’re so cooped up in our daily responsibilities of being an adult, we forget what it was like to be a kid and just play. Spend some time coloring or playing a game with a friend or with your partner. Dance in the rain. Play in the pool. And let go of the inner critical thoughts like, “I’m too old for this” and just do it. Just enjoy it and have fun!

JustPlay

Click to Tweet: Give yourself time every day to just play. You’ll reduce stress & bring a little more fun and joy into your life! via @jenilyn8705

#9 – Spend time outside.

For the majority of us that have desk jobs and sit in front of a computer every day, we don’t end up getting nearly as much time in the sun as we should be. So take some walks outside, spend time time regularly taking care of a garden, or simply just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sun. You’ll feel much better!

#10 – Create something.

In comparison to past generations, we don’t really have that many hobbies. In previous generations, more of us took up things like knitting, cooking, drawing, playing music, dancing, painting, and so on. Today it seems that most of us have exchanged this for working more hours and spending more time mindlessly checking our cell phones and watching cable.

And, frankly, there’s not a lot of joy that can come out of that.

So find a little hobby and start doing it. Start writing. Start knitting. Start learning piano. And no, you don’t have to be perfect and no, you don’t have to work towards “going pro”. Just do it. Not for money. Not for anyone else. Just for you.

Take action now!

Out of this list, which of these are you going to do for yourself today? Share it in the comments below!

5 Easy Ways to De-Stress FAST!

It’s Monday morning and you’re late for work.  In hopes to be on time, you take an alternative route to work but still find the traffic pretty crazy.  People are honking their cars in frustration and impatience and all you want to do is get out of all this craziness ASAP.

When you finally get out of traffic and get to work (where you are just barely on time), your boss tells you a change in plans for the day and you end up having to do work that you have had remotely no training for and nobody is there to help you.

By the time you get home, you come to realize that the salad you had planned on having for dinner had gone bad in the fridge and that you now have to make another trip to the grocery store.

After you’ve had dinner, you now have some time to relax but the only thing you seem to have the energy to do is watch some TV in hopes that it will relax you a bit.  But, ironically, it doesn’t — because come bed time, you find yourself unable to wind down enough to fall asleep.

When our lives are all filled with all kinds of hustle and bustle it’s easy for us to get all stressed out.  We can find ourselves experiencing all kinds of fun symptoms of stress like insomnia, low energy, headaches, an upset stomach, acne, muscle aches and pains, or constantly having some kind of cold, flu or sickness.

We can all certainly agree that none of those symptoms are good or fun to have.  We definitely don’t want to find ourselves tired and sick all day every day for weeks or months on end.  However, unfortunately, this is how many of us are living our lives.  We ignore our body’s signs to slow down and take care of ourselves and continue to focus on all the “go-go-go” and “do-do-do” all the things that we apparently “need” to do.

It’s a self-defeating cycle that many of us habitually fall into without really even knowing it until we have a headache and can’t sleep.  We get caught up in our self-defeating cycle of stress and we’re not sure what to do to get out of it.

Fortunately, there are little tools that we can add to our daily routine to help us avoid falling into this self-defeating cycle of stress.  Here are 5 ways to de-stress fast and quickly:

Take a breather.

Our breath is extremely powerful and important.  When we are stressed, we often respond by taking faster and more shallow breaths.  To throughout your day, stop and take a few really big deep breaths while focusing heavily on dragging out the exhale.  It will get you relaxed in no-time — trust me!

Meditate.

Take some time to meditate at least once a day, but, preferably, twice a day with one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.  You don’t have to do any particular kind of meditation in order to reap the benefits.  If you want to do a mantra by saying to yourself something like “so hum” to each inhale and exhale, then go for it.  If you like to do visualizations then go do that.  If you want to focus on counting each of your exhales, then do that.  If you simply just want to focus on your breath — then go for it!

The truth is, meditate in any way that you feel works best for you because either way meditation is still going to be a very powerful tool at combating stress in your life.

Exercise.

When we’re stressed out taking some time to simply move our bodies can certainly help us become better managers of stress.  Doing some kind of exercise allows us to release any tensions that we are holding in our bodies and help us clear our minds.

This may be a walk during your lunch break, an early morning yoga session, or a mile long run after work.  Whatever type of exercise it is — it is still going to help you!

Put good things in your body.

When we’re stressed, we often find ourselves wanting two things: We want our food and drinks fast and we want something that’s going to give us a “pick me up”.  For many of us, this could look like a quick trip through a drive thru for a burger and a french vanilla cappuccino.

Unfortunately, though, neither of these things are really giving us what our body truly wants: water and some fruits and vegetables.  So be sure to pack a bottle of water and an apple instead of just sipping on your coffee and munching on a nutri-grain bar.  Give yourself some real food.  If you really pay attention to your body when you eat something natural, real, and whole you will definitely notice a shift the second you do!

Be alone with yourself.

When we’re busy with doing this and that and we’re around all kinds of people, it’s easy to not only be stressed out over our own stuff but be caught up in their own stress and frustrations as well!

For this reason, it’s incredibly important and very beneficial to take some time every day to simply just be alone with yourself to give yourself the opportunity to get re-centered over what it is that you feel and what you are experiencing throughout your day.

DeStressEveryDay

Take action now!

From the list above, choose at least one of the ways to de-stress and go do it right now!  After you’ve done the task, share in the comments below your experience.  How has doing this benefited you?  How do you feel now that you’ve done it?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!