Archive | August, 2016

Drive Yourself Calm

29 Aug

There’s nothing like bad traffic to trigger stress levels! When we allow ourselves to get angry or frustrated as we drive, everything begins to boil over like a pot of spaghetti sauce… and we all know what happens when spaghetti sauce boils over.

That’s right: chunks of red tomato all over the kitchen!

So when you drive, try not to drive yourself crazy. Set the intention of driving yourself calm, instead.  Here’s what you can do to facilitate that process…

Tip #1: Take a Deep Breath

Very often when we sit down in the car, we’re already feeling rushed. But before you put on your seat belt and hit the ignition, take a deep breath. This simple yet profound activity will help bring oxygen into your body and your brain.

As you take a few seconds to breathe deeply before hitting the road, ask yourself what you need. You might discover that you need some balance to your commute, or good music, or even a drink of water before you go.

Tip #2: Give Yourself What You Need

If you need to be at ease, adjust your seat and your mirrors so you can be in a comfortable position while you drive. This will decrease any tension that you might pick up.

If you’re in a comfortable setting while you drive and you come across a tense situation, your body is more relaxed and you’ll be better able to handle the stress.

Tip #3: Be Aware of Others

Look around and recognize that everybody on the road is trying to get somewhere. We’re all in the same boat, so don’t take things personally, even when it seems like someone cut you off just to spite you! All of us want the same thing: to come home safely to our families at the end of the day.

Tip #4: Take a Deep Breath Every 5-10 Minutes

Breathing mindfully is the way we connect with ourselves. When you’re at a stoplight, that’s a good time to take in a deep breath. When you intake oxygen, it calms your brain, and when your brain is calm, you are more relaxed and make better choices. And that is so important when you’re operating a vehicle.

Tip #5: Turn the Music Up and Feel Grateful!

I love listening to good music when I’m on the road because no matter what’s going on around me, it reminds me to be grateful and happy that I’m alive (and those things do a lot to reduce stress).

Search the radio or play your iTunes, and when you feel the urge to flip someone off, turn it up even louder! Music is a wonderful way to remind yourself of what really matters: it connects us to ourselves and our joy.

Are you looking for more ways to live a mindful life and experience bliss? Check out some of my free tips by clicking HERE [freegiftsfromrochele.com].

How to Exercise Mindfully

15 Aug

Recently, I wrote about 5 Simple Tips to Call Up Mindfulness Every Day [LINK: Blog Article]. Mindfulness is an important aspect of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, because when we integrate the aspects of focus and presence into everything we do on a daily basis, life becomes a blissful experience!

There is no doubt that exercise is a powerful way to access bliss… however, exercising mindfully as opposed to plodding along on a treadmill hour after hour will make a big difference.

Here is how to stay present to get the most out of your movement routine.

Mindful Muscle Activation

When you activate your muscles, you activate your mind. Whether you’re walking on the treadmill, sweating it out on the elliptical or going for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, you’re stimulating your cardio vascular system and doing your body good.

There is a difference between going through your exercise routine on autopilot and staying fully present as you work. People that dance, for instance, have to be mindful of what’s going on with each step (no one wants to be the dance partner that clobbers another person’s toes!).

The beautiful thing about exercise is that even though you’re executing an activity that gets your heart pumping, you’re actually shifting your mind from the fast lane of life to the slow lane. That is, you’re becoming more present, more focused and more centered.

When we’re in the “slow lane,” life is more sensual. It’s more vibrant and more fulfilling, because we’re truly experiencing the world (I wrote more about the slow lane recently, read it here [LINK: 5 Simple Practices to Call Up Mindfulness Every Day]).

In your exercise routine, follow this sequence to help guide your mind into the slow lane even as you elevate your heart rate…

Be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish with your workout. Are you feeling emotionally stuck and you want to get your juices flowing? Are you trying to break through a limitation, psychological or physical? Whatever your purpose, get clear on what it is, and say to yourself, “Today, I’m paying attention to my objective.”

Do a simple warm up. It should be at least five minutes to help your body transition into “workout mode.” After those first five minutes, you can settle into a nice, fluid rhythm, making sure to pay attention to what’s going on from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Adjust according to what your body needs and wants that day.

Challenge yourself! All workouts are better when you push yourself just enough that it’s challenging. Do more reps, or longer time, or more weight than you normally would, and you’ll see great results.

Have a cool-down period. During the cool-down, ask yourself these questions: “How does my body feel? How do my muscles feel now that I’ve worked out? Did the challenge make me feel tighter, or more breathless?” Notice what’s going on for your body.

Take some quiet time. After a workout, give yourself the gift of space and quiet time. Pay attention to how you feel immediately after you complete the workout – my guess is that you’ll feel better than you did before!

Exercising mindfully can be one of the most invigorating physical experiences on a day-to-day basis. How do you like to exercise, and do you see how mindfulness can increase the pleasure in your experience? Leave a comment in the area below to join the conversation.

5 Simple Practices to Call Up Mindfulness Every Day

1 Aug

These days, it’s so easy for our hectic and fast-paced lifestyle to get the best of us. Work, family and finances all demand our time and attention so much that often, we become overwhelmed and disconnected.

However, when we’re mindful we can step back onto the blissful path. It doesn’t take much time to come into a space of mindfulness, just a bit of focus.

Here are five things you can do every day to keep yourself grounded and connected to what really matters.

  1. Start with a Purpose

When you wake up in the morning ask yourself, “What is my purpose today? How would I like the day to go?”

So often we rush out the door and start our day without evening thinking about how we want it to go. Before we know it, we meet people who have energy that doesn’t match ours or we encounter a challenge we weren’t anticipating. That’s when we start to react with frustration, impatience or even a little rage.

Instead of blazing into the day without an intention, strengthen the connection between your higher and lower self first thing in the morning.

When you wake up, take a few slow, deep breaths in and out. Sit in your bed, connect with how your body feels and ask yourself, “What is my intention today?”

Whatever comes up is perfect. Carry that with you through the day and periodically check in to see if you’re living that intention.

  1. Eat with Reverence

In Ayurveda, the act of eating is considered a sacred experience. It is valued as one of the most intimate experiences of ourselves, because when we eat, we take in nutrients that will help with energy levels, vitality and sustainability.

Instead of rushing through your eating process, take time. Allow your body to absorb the fact that it is taking in nutrients, and eat only as much as your body needs.

After you eat in this way, you will feel refreshed and nourished!

  1. Pause Throughout the Day

Take moments throughout the day to pause. They can be 3 to 10 seconds of slow breathing and reflection that will help your brain move out of the fast lane and back to the middle lane or the slow lane as you travel down the highway to bliss!

About 95% of what we do through the day happens on autopilot. The more present we can be, the more joyful we become.

  1. Create New Patterns

Along the lines of running on autopilot, we often do the same things over and over and over again. Even things as simple as always crossing the right leg over the left instead of vice versa can get us into a sort of rut, a sort of “autopilot.”

Try consciously altering your patterns. Cross a different leg on top. Eat something different for breakfast. Shop at a different grocery store. Anything that doesn’t fall into your regular behavioral pattern will help you stay more focused and present in your life.

  1. Exercise

When you activate your muscles, you activate your mind and body. Walking on a treadmill, sweating it out on the elliptical machine or just going for a run outside will stimulate your cardio vascular system and get the blood flowing.

Any way you can get moving is good for you, even if it’s as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

When we choose to live in the slow lane, we are choosing mindfulness. Turning off the autopilot feature of our brains, even if it’s just for a few minutes several times through the day, will help us make the right decisions and ultimately feel more fulfilled in our lives.

Would you like to live life in the slow lane? Click here [Freegiftsfromrochele.com] for some of my tips for slowing down and leading a more purposeful life.