Monthly Archives: November 2015

Doing Things Slowly – Enjoying a Snail’s Pace

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Take time to slow down, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be.

My Favorite: Herbal Tea

Choice Easy Digest Tea!  I cannot say enough about this wellness tea. Not only does it help immensely with digestion but it’s main ingredients, ginger and turmeric, are award winners in the health department:

GINGER

  • Reduces pain and inflammation, making it valuable in managing arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps.
  • Has a warming effect and stimulates circulation.
  • Inhibits rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold.
  • Inhibits such bacteria as Salmonella, which cause diarrhea, and protozoa, such as Trichomonas.
  • In the intestinal tract, it reduces gas and painful spasms.
  • May prevent stomach ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

TURMERIC

  • Turmeric can calm heartburn and an upset stomach.
  • A compound in turmeric (curcumin) may ward off heart attacks. A study involving bypass surgery patients showed the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may contribute to as much as a 65 percent lower chance of heart attack among bypass patients.
  • May help fight or prevent cancer. Curcumin “interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread,” according to the American Cancer Society, even killing cancer cells in the lab setting and shrinking tumors and boosting the effects of chemotherapy in animals.
  • May help delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Turmeric can curb joint-pain and arthritis pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

 

*Photo courtesy of John Carter at http://shutterbrothersphoto.com

The Importance of Sleep 💤

Most people are not getting enough sleep. And many of you, the sleep you get is mediocre at best. Your bodies NEED good, solid, restful sleep…and lots of it. Maintaining adequate amounts of quality sleep is essential to your optimal health and well-being. How sleep deprivation affects you:

YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO GAIN WEIGHT
Leptin, your satiety hormone, is significantly reduced when you are sleep deprived. Since leptin plays an important role in appetite control and metabolism, having low levels of this hormone results in hunger not being naturally suppressed. Therefore, your appetite and cravings increase.

 

YOU ARE AT A HIGHER RISK FOR ILLNESS
Your body is more susceptible to stress without a good night’s sleep. The immune system does not function optimally, and inflammatory proteins and blood sugar levels rise in response to lower levels of insulin being released throughout the night. All of these negative effects on the body contribute to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and infection.

 

YOUR RISK OF INJURY INCREASES
When you are exhausted, both physically and mentally, there is an increased risk of injury, errors, and accidents. This tired state of mind may lead to mishaps like stubbing your toe, cutting yourself in the kitchen, or getting into a car accident.

 

YOUR BRAIN DOES NOT FUNCTION OPTIMALLY
There are measurable changes in brain activity that occur after
a period of sleep deprivation. When you do not get a sufficient amount of sleep your mental performance suffers, impairing your ability to process new information and memories and impacting your overall mood, focus, and high-level cognitive function.

 

YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO STRUGGLE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
Without sufficient rest, you may have trouble keeping your emotions in check. Increased feelings of irritability, anxiety, sadness, and anger are common. You may even find that you are more vulnerable to laughing or crying regardless of what you are experiencing.

 

How much sleep do you actually need? Adults 18+ years require 7-9 hours of sleep per night to allow critical bodily activities to take place. Those activities are:

• Internal organs rest and recover – tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis primarily occur during sleep.

• Hormones are released and help to regulate appetite control, stress, growth, metabolism, and other bodily functions.

• Memory consolidation occurs, allowing for the formation and storage of new memories, which is essential for learning new information.

Follow these 9 steps towards better sleep:

  1. Maintain a consistent daily schedule
  2. Reduce your daily intake of caffeine
  3. Turn off the computer or television
  4. Don’t go to bed on a full or empty stomach
  5. Engage in regular exercise
  6. Limit beverage consumption before bed
  7. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet
  8. Invest in comfortable bedding
  9. Go to sleep and wake up using your internal clock

 

*Photo courtesy of John Carter at http://shutterbrothersphoto.com

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