Stress Less: Apps for Meditation and Stress Reduction

Apps for Meditation and Stress Reduction Do you often get overwhelmed by stress? Not sure how to manage the rush of everyday life? You might consider giving mediation a try! Mediation is a well-established method for relaxation and stress reduction and may help improve sleep, concentration, anxiety and overall health. This practice helps push aside thoughts that may be distracting, negative, or stress-inducing, and focuses attention on the present moment. Thoughts of the past or worries about the future are pushed aside to focus on the peaceful moments spent in the experience. This is often accomplished through focusing on an external object, a repetitive word or phrase or slow, deep breathing patterns. Meditation is a skill that takes practice. To help you get started, there are many apps available that teach proper meditation techniques and can be done in as [...]

Namaste Calm

We all need a variety of strategies in our stress-busting toolkits that can effectively activate our body’s natural relaxation response. There’s no one right way to manage stress, but the techniques you use should resonate with you, fit your lifestyle, and enable you to shift your focus away from everyday thoughts. For many, yoga—a series of physical postures, breathing techniques, and mediation—does the trick. The individual components of yoga (stretching, deep breathing, and meditation) are great standalone stress reduction techniques. But together, they are bolstered. According to a national survey of U.S. adults, 86% of people who practiced yoga said it helped reduce their stress, 67% said it helped them feel better emotionally, and 59% said it improved their sleep. Others reported that it gave them the motivation to eat healthier, cope with medical problems, or use fewer tobacco products. [...]

Sleep Health: Melatonin

Do you sleep soundly every night? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35% of U.S. adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis! If you’ve ever looked for a solution for your sleep struggle, you’ve probably heard about melatonin. It’s a hormone produced naturally in various parts of the body, but primarily in the pineal gland (located near the center of the brain). Melatonin is also a widely available and commonly used dietary supplement that may provide relief from specific sleep disorders. Here’s how melatonin works in the body. When the hypothalamus (in the brain) receives a signal from your retinas (in your eyes) that nighttime is imminent (i.e., darkness in your environment), it signals the pineal gland to release melatonin. Once melatonin enters your blood and cerebrospinal fluid, it travels to distant parts [...]