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Psychological Benefits to Being More Active
The physical benefits of exercise and physical activity are well known, but there also is a strong psychological benefit to being more active. Studies consistently have shown that regular physical activity can reduce stress levels, decrease symptoms of depression, improve sleeping habits, improve immune system functioning and even help to retain one's cognitive abilities. When people exercise, real physiological changes occur within the brain, which impacts our moods and well-being. Researchers have found that exercise triggers the body to release the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which have been associated with improvements in mood. It is the release of these chemicals that helps to promote positive changes in our emotional health. Fortunately, in order to reap the benefits of physical activity, one does not need to engage in a rigorous workout routine. Many sport psychologists suggest that even regular moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, may be enough to feel the psychological benefits that come with exercise.
VIBRANT LIVING TIP: Use E-3 Energy Cream to reduce pain, stiffness and tightness that may be preventing you from doing exercise. E-3 re-establishes the disrupted energy flows causing the pain and stiffness.
Make One Small Change: WALK
Much research has been done on the physiological and psychological effects of one of the simplest of exercises: walking. Walking lowers your cholesterol levels: More specifically, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol. Exercise stimulates production of enzymes to remove LDL from the blood vessels. It also increases circulation, which breaks down and moves it out of the body. The American Heart Association says that walking is the preferred physical activity for obtaining beneficial cholesterol levels since it is so easy, convenient and low-cost. To obtain this benefit, walking must be at a brisk speed that brings your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes. Lower your weight and body fat: Walking at a moderate pace for 30 to 60 minutes burns stored fat and builds muscle, speeding up your metabolism and helping you lose weight. Sixty minutes of brisk walking translates to 10,000 steps, burns 300 to 500 calories, and lead to weight loss if you do it daily. Lower your blood pressure: A study in the Journal of Hypertension says a brisk 10-minute walk four times a day can lower your blood pressure for 11 hours. So if you're looking for that one small change to make into a habit, consider walking!
VIBRANT LIVING TIP: Use ExcellZyme to get the most of out of your walking. This formula helps with circulation and energy levels so you can feel that all-important motivation!
Walking as a Spiritual Practice
Everyone knows the benefits of walking for your health, but not so much for your mind and spirit. Many ancient cultures used walking in their spiritual practices--everything from the aboriginal "walkabout" to the Hopi Indian "vision quest." The reason walking became a sacred practice is due to what it does to the parasympathetic nervous system. Walking automatically syncs up all the bodily functions as one dynamic motion. It stimulates brain chemicals that normalize the endocrine system, releases endorphins, and re-establishes blood flow to the neocortex for enhanced higher brain functions. Long walks will heighten the senses and can bring on deep spiritual experiences. By adding regular counted breathing to your walking steps--counting to 6 on the inbreath and 6 on the outbreath, the rhythm created enhances cardiovascular functions, and stimulates all the energy centers of the body. As a completely different practice than touring, where you allow the itinerary to do the steering while you enjoy the ride, try walking without any destination at all in mind. Just walk. Turn where you turn, and allow the process to unwind you. Observe changes in perceptions, and feel the connectedness to trees, bushes, animals, clouds, sounds and the air itself. Abide fully in the now as you move across the surface of our Mother Earth. Let thoughts come and go like the clouds--hold on to nothing, reach for nothing. Notce how, when the time is just right, your body begins to circle back to it's original destination, simply following original intent. This can be very enlightening!
VIBRANT LIVING TIP: Use Cosmic Eye Elixir to increase sensitivity to the subtle messages life is sending to you.
Company & Product News
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NEW Energy Sprays to Transform Your Space
We're very excited to be partnering with world renown aromatherapist, Candice Covington, to bring you her latest creations, the Primal Elements
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Gem Elixir of the Month
Traditionally known as the "Stone of Courage".
Spiritually: Sharpens intuition, clairvoyance, and spiritual awareness and is good for meditation. It invokes high states of consciousness and spiritual awareness and encourages service to humanity.
Emotionally: Sooths fears and increases sensitivity, invokes tolerance and overcomes judgmentalism.
Mentally: Calms the mind, removing extraneous thoughts, clarifies perception, sharpens the intellect, and clears up confusion.
Physically: May calm overreactions of the immune system, and harmonize the pituitary and thyroid. Can strengthen the body's cleansing organs and aid the eyes, jaw, teeth and stomach. May assist the autoimmune conditions such as hay fever.
Aquamarine Intelligent Elxir is on sale this month for 30% off with discount code AQUA30 (enter the code in the indicated box as you checkout through the website shopping cart).
Personally, from the
The Power of Gentle
My yoga teacher has been on a big campaign lately with his students to make changes slowly. Why? Because if you try to "change everything today", you're going to fail.
This is certainly NOT to say that change is a losing proposition (and the cynical among us may say "people never change"), but it is to say that change, when it does successfully occur, is due to persistent, small advances.
In the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes, there is a hexagram (symbol pictured right) that is relevant here. It is "The Gentle", and it arises from the concept of wind, and the energy of penetrating. The admonition within this hexagram is: "THE GENTLE: Success through what is small." And in the discussion, Wilhelm says, "Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation, but by influence that never lapses." I love that. Influence that never lapses. It is the gentle, consistent, ever present influence that carves down mountains into hills, and polishes river rocks into smooth discs.
Thus, in this way, as my yoga teacher has been saying, it is the only way to lasting change. To try to change a lot of things quickly is essentially a violent act, and those conditions holding the circumstances you want to change in place will surely and shortly reverse this violent attempt. Diets are a perfect example. Sure you can lose weight really fast in several ways, but all of them, because they are fast and require rapid change, are almost certainly doomed to fail. There is simply too much counter habitual momentuum to offset without a great deal of force.
David R. Hawkins, wrote an entire book about this subject: Power vs. Force. True power, he says, is staying power, and staying power is achieved by steady, unwaivering energy that is in harmony with the forces of your life. Force, on the other hand, is essentially violence. It goes against the flow of momentuum, and requires a lot of energy.
By making small changes, easily incorporated into your daily routine is the best way to effect total change over time. And when you are changing, you must make time your friend.
For example, you've finally become fed up with your level of physical fitness. The worst thing to do is to run to the local gym, spend a thousand bucks for membership and shove aside everything else to make room for 2 hours a day of workouts. Even if you were able to do this for a short period, 1. Your muscles would be sore and in shock, 2. Your family and friends will start whining about what you're doing--or downright ridiculing you, and most importantly, 3. There will be days when you logistically can't make it happen, or just don't feel like it, and then become discouraged and shortly you'll conclude it was a "dumb idea in the first place."
Here's a better way to ensure success. First, chose the smallest thing you KNOW you can do EVERY DAY. Maybe it's walking for 5 minutes, or spending 1-2 minutes when you first wake up in the morning doing stretches. Then, once that has become a habit, move up to 10 minutes of walking, or 5 min. of yoga in the morning. Before too long, you'll be doing these things effortlessly and starting to feel your level of fitness increasing. This may spur you on to wanting to make a bigger change. Don't do it. Choose the next smallest thing that seems like barely nothing, and do that day in and day out. You'll know it's become a habit when if you skip a day, you really miss it. If you DO skip a day, do so without judgment. Simply return to the routine.
This approach is how Nature herself changes. Sure, there are storms and earthquakes and landslides and such, but they are violent, extreme events that once they are over, the effects are slowly and surely worn down by the gentle routine of water and air moving inexhorably around the Gaia sphere.
As Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, advises: "Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves--slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future." And so by also making changes in this way, you harness the true power of momentuum that is already available to you to become everything you want to be.
In vibrant health,
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