What is #1 Health Booster in 2015?

waterfall-400x267 newsletterWhat is the #1 Health-Booster in 2015?

No, it is not a hard-core workout or a fad diet.  It’s a gentle, ancient practice that millions say is the antidote to the 21st-centrury stress that affects everything from job performance and sleep to your weight.  

It is as simple as breathing and can be almost as life saving for people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. It is meditation practiced by some of the hottest names in Hollywood, the sports world, and big finance, including:

•    Lina Dunham the creator and star of HBO’s hit series Girls
•    Pete Carol, renowned coach of the Seahawks and the 2014 Super Bowl
•    Oprah Winfrey, who has teamed up with Deepak Chopra to offer a series of 21-day online medication “challenges”
•    Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post who calls it the third metric to success
•    Russell Simmons hip-hop tycoon and author of Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple
•    Tim Ryan, U.S. Representative (D-Ohio) who credits mindfulness for helping him prevent burnout

Although meditation has its roots in Buddhism many people today perform a non-religious form of meditation or mindfulness that requires nothing more than sitting quietly and focusing on your breath. As stated by psychologist Elisha Goldstein, “Mindfulness looks like you aren’t doing anything, but you can literally change your brain by this practice.”

It’s as easy as this:

“It’s free, it’s portable and you don’t have to be sitting on a pillow somewhere for an hour with your eyes shut to achieve it,” says Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully. “You can do it at the dinner table, you can do it during a meeting at work, you can do it while driving your car.”

Following are four simple ways to get started.
1.    Breathe mindfully: Sit in silence breathing deeply.  When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
2.    Hug mindfully: "When you hug someone, take a few moments to focus on the sensation of the hug.  Don’t let go until you feel both bodies start to relax,” says psychologist Elisha Goldstein.  He prescribes this meditation for couples he counsels and does it himself every night with his spouse. “That act of touching will actually align your nervous systems so you feel more connected.”
3.    Eat mindfully:  This classic mindfulness exercise helps you pay more attention to your food so you enjoy it more while you eat less.  It’s typically taught with a raisin but can be applied to whatever you’re eating.  Consciously slow down.  Look at the raisin, touch it, and smell it.  Think about how it started out as a grape, shriveled in the sun, and became the treat you see before you.  Then eat it very slowly.  Take the time to taste it on all parts of your tongue, and notice how you respond:  Do you like it? Does it taste sweet? Does it make you salivate? Chew slowly, feeling the raisin beneath your teeth, and then swallow and notice how you feel.
4.    Walk mindfully:  You have to walk somewhere everyday so turn it into a moving meditation.  Focus on each step, what you see, how it feels, your surroundings, the weather and your breath.  Don’t worry about your destination.  “Walking meditation is not a means to an end; it is an end.  Each step is life, each step is peach and joy,” said by a Buddhist monk.

Full article adapted from Parade Magazine, Sunday, January 11, 2015.

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