Wednesday, May 4, 2016

8 Mindful Alternatives to Meditation

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Mindfulness is a conscious state of calm that evokes an awareness of the present moment. When you are mindful, you are able to objectively gauge your own thoughts and feelings at a glance. When you are mindful, you enable yourself to fully live in the moment, and you are thus awake to all you are experiencing.

 

Meditation yields the same results, but many people are intimidated to begin the practice. If this is you, start with mindfulness! It's a great way to achieve the same results, using similar techniques and applying them to your daily life. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace, and love.”

 

Below are 8 mindfulness alternatives to meditation:

 


1. Cleaning


Yes – cleaning can be meditative! It can be vacuuming, washing the dishes or doing laundry – presence can be brought into every aspect of our lives. Focus on the suds of the dish soap, or the coarse texture of the sponge. When you immerse yourself fully in the task at hand, you allow yourself to actually experience every aspect of that moment. Hey! You missed a spot!

 


2. Walking


Nothing special is needed for this method. Just choose a time and place and go! While you stroll, let your thoughts pass you by like clouds floating in the sky. Be mindful of your body and become aware of your movements. Acknowledge your feet as they touch the Earth or the way your arms move. When you focus on your body, you are being mindful.

 


3. Listening to Music


Within the last 24 hours, odds are you have had headphones in your ears or music playing through your speakers. Yet when was the last time you actually listened to music? When was the last time you gave your full attention to the lyrics, the instruments, the rhythm or the harmonies? Mindfulness gets you out of your head, and when you properly digest a song, it becomes an enjoyable form of meditation.

 


4. Dance


This is a fantastic form of meditation because you can only go so long before you are forced to move into the present moment as you move to the beat. Once we start dancing, we become one with the music. It is good to let go of your inhibitions and have some fun!

 











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5. Yoga


Yoga is meditation in motion. Each movement you make on your mat requires an inhale and an exhale. Breath is the quickest way to bring you back to the present moment. When you are doing yoga, you are focusing on yourself, which makes you aware of everything around you as well as within you, both physically as well as mentally and emotionally.

 


6. Tai Chi


This is also a form of moving meditation. Tai Chi involves movement, breath, concentration and healing, which helps build awareness and mindfulness. The slow, calculated movements help to improve balance, strength and energy flow but also mental concentration and focus.

 


7. Coloring


We did it as kids, so why can't we have the same fun as adults? Mindful coloring books are becoming all the rage, and for good reason! When we color and create something beautiful, everything fades away and we get lost in the beauty. Coloring helps ease stress and anchor you to the present moment.

 


8. Conscious Breathing


If you have a pulse, you're breathing. Your body has known how to do this since birth. When you take a moment to listen to your breath, you become aware of the way it moves through your nose, down your throat, and into your lungs. Pay no mind to intrusive thoughts that might bother you throughout the day – just keep breathing, and let the rest fall into place.

 

 

Being mindful helps you gain control of your emotional and mental state. It gives you the power to be an arbiter of change, rather than a pawn to be played. “Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and now.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


The post 8 Mindful Alternatives to Meditation appeared first on Yogi Approved.

How To Talk To Your Boss About Your Mental Health

It seems scary, but it doesn't have to be.
















Start with the basics.



Start with the basics.



Telling your manager about your mental health issues is a personal choice, you're under no legal obligation to do so. Having said that, if you feel like you need some support in your work environment, being open with your boss may be the easiest way to get it.



If your mental health problem is considered a disability under the Equality Act your employer has a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments. Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind told BuzzFeed: "Typically you might be offered a change of working hours – start time, finish times, breaks, a change of working environment, more regular catch ups with your manager to discuss workloads, priorities and stress and anxiety levels etc."




Chibird / Via chibird.com




















Be as honest as you can.



Be as honest as you can.



Mamo shared: "We all have mental health and our mood varies hour to hour, day to day – so having a conversation about mental health should be as simple and acceptable as talking about our physical health." Never feel ashamed or embarrassed about your condition. It's important to be open about what you need to improve your working conditions.




unsplash.com / Via BuzzFeed

















Sarah, 26 spoke to BuzzFeed about her own experience: "You don't have to go into exhaustive personal detail, but being truthful about what you need will help you and your employer find a balance between what they need from your role and what you're able to do. Trying too much too soon will burn you out and cause set backs. If work know what you need they can support you better."























Don't go in expecting the worst.



Don't go in expecting the worst.






NBC







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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Alberta's Government Made This Bizarre Website To Warn You About “Buttholiosis”

Those darn kids with their Facetweets and Instragrindrs.
















Sexually transmitted infections appear to be on the rise in Alberta and the province is pointing the (hopefully gloved) finger at social media.



Sexually transmitted infections appear to be on the rise in Alberta and the province is pointing the (hopefully gloved) finger at social media.



"The use of social media to make an anonymous connection, very quickly, we believe is driving this particular outbreak,” said Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Karen Grimsrud, according to the Edmonton Journal.



By "social media," Grimsrud was presumably referring to hook-up apps like Tinder or Grindr.



"When people don't know their sexual partners' identities, it makes it difficult for public health to contact partners, as far as setting up testing and treatment," she said.




Tsering Topgyal / AP




















You know, as opposed to the good ol' days when you got someone's complete medical history and social insurance number before bringing them home from the bar.



You know, as opposed to the good ol' days when you got someone's complete medical history and social insurance number before bringing them home from the bar.



Whatever the cause, the province is reporting that STIs have reached "outbreak" levels in Alberta.



Cases of gonorrhea were up 80% in 2015 compared to 2014 and cases of infectious syphilis doubled in the same timeframe.



Released Tuesday, the report also showed different groups are disproportionally affected. Nearly half of the female patients with gonorrhea were Indigenous and 86% of the syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men.




FOX




















In an attempt to reach out to ~the youth~, Alberta Health Services created Sexgerms.com (we assume Cooties.com was taken). A
"Sexgerm Generator" spits out sophisticated infection names like "poonfluenza" and "testiclegitis."



In an attempt to reach out to ~the youth~, Alberta Health Services created Sexgerms.com (we assume Cooties.com was taken). A <br />






Alberta Health Services / Via sexgerms.com

























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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This 12-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Ran A Half Marathon

“I just have to finish.”
















LeeAdianez Rodríguez, a 12-year-old student, was running late when she rushed to the start line of her second 5K race on Sunday.



LeeAdianez Rodríguez, a 12-year-old student, was running late when she rushed to the start line of her second 5K race on Sunday.






Brendalee Espada




















Brendalee Espada, LeeAdianez's mother, told BuzzFeed News that the young runner had been training for two months to prepare for the race, which is a little over 3 miles.



Brendalee Espada, LeeAdianez's mother, told BuzzFeed News that the young runner had been training for two months to prepare for the race, which is a little over 3 miles.






Brendalee Espada




















LeeAdianez, a sixth-grader at Genesee Community Charter School, had previously spent her spare time drawing, dancing, and listening to music when she told her mom one day that she'd like to start running.



LeeAdianez, a sixth-grader at Genesee Community Charter School, had previously spent her spare time drawing, dancing, and listening to music when she told her mom one day that she'd like to start running.






Brendalee Espada

















"I don't do anything athletic," Espada remembers her daughter saying. "I want to do something athletic."



"I told her whatever she wants to do she can do it and to never to give up on anything," said Espada.



The girl had been training for months for the race, which was one of two races offered at the Rochester Regional Health Flower City Challenge on Sunday morning. The second race was a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles.










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Monday, April 25, 2016

Tell Us What You Love About Your Vulva Or Vagina

Because it's an incredibly lovable thing.
















Vaginas are truly wonderful, awesome, and special, and they should be celebrated.



Vaginas are truly wonderful, awesome, and special, and they should be celebrated.






MTV / Via mtvgirlcode.tumblr.com




















But societal expectations, stereotypes in the media, and opinions from peers can sometimes lead us to feel self-conscious, disconnected, or unsatisfied with our vulvas.



But societal expectations, stereotypes in the media, and opinions from peers can sometimes lead us to feel self-conscious, disconnected, or unsatisfied with our vulvas.






BBC One / Via youtube.com




















Like maybe your friends made you believe you were supposed to be groomed and maintained a certain way down there.









Instagram: @planned_parenthood_cw




















Or maybe something you saw or read made you think your vagina wasn't the right shape or size or smell.



Or maybe something you saw or read made you think your vagina wasn't the right shape or size or smell.






ABC / Via popkey.co







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Sunday, April 24, 2016

37 Things That Prove Money Really Can Buy Happiness

Things to help you cheer up, calm down, or just get through.



































A glitter lamp to mesmerize you.



A glitter lamp to mesmerize you.



"I put it on a high shelf, and when I'm stressed/overwhelmed, I just turn the lights off, lie on my bed, put on my 'Songs That Make Me Happy' playlist and watch the little lights flicker across the whole room like stars." -Lengyi



Get this one on Amazon for $19.97.




amazon.com




















A really good sex toy to bliss you out.



A really good sex toy to bliss you out.



"It sounds weird, but since an orgasm releases dopamine, it really helps. Plus I've gotten to ~love myself~ with it. So, hey, say what you want. It rocks." -veethefabulous



Check out these sex toys if you don't know where to start.




taylormade_xox / Via instagram.com




















A premium Spotify account for all your thematically resonant music needs.



A premium Spotify account for all your thematically resonant music needs.



"I can listen to whatever music I need to to calm down, amp up, or get happy. Really helps me get through hard days!" -Nicole Stamas, Facebook



Try Spotify Premium free for 30 days or buy for $9.99 a month.




spotify.com







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Friday, April 22, 2016

9 Super Easy Ways to Go Green

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Everyone knows that recycling and reusing are good for Mother Earth, but did you know that Americans throw away enough aluminum every year to supply the entire auto industry?

 

Worldwide each year some 500 billion to 1 trillion (!) plastic bags are consumed. That's just an example of two things that could be recycled, or (in the case of all those plastic bags) simply not used in the first place.

 

You don't have to go on a recycling crusade or start a movement to create change. Making a few small changes to go green could really make a difference in your life and for the planet collectively.

 

Here are 9 easy ways to go green and help save the environment:

 


Get savvy with your electronics


Charge your smartphone or tablet on airplane mode so the battery charges quicker. Turn off your computer at night. Change your lightbulbs to energy efficient bulbs. Wash your laundry on cold instead of hot, and air dry what you can.

 

Do you need three lights on in your bedroom, or can you open a window and turn off two? Get into the habit of shutting off lights and other unnecessary electronics when you leave the room.

 


Invest in (or dig out of storage) a reusable water bottle


Find a quality water bottle and get in the habit of keeping it filled with your favorite beverage. Bring it everywhere so you don't contribute to the massive waste of cans and plastic bottles. If you want to take this to the next level, bring your travel mug along to the coffee shop – many places even offer discounts for bringing your own mug!

 


Lace up your sneakers


Think about ditching the car and walk or ride your bike to work, yoga, or a friend's house. The exercise will give you more energy throughout the day and it will mean one less car on the road that day. If that isn't an option, you can also look into public transit (aka bus, light rail, train, etc.) or carpools available in your area.

 


Grow your own green


Plant a garden or window box with your favorite veggies and herbs. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, but gardening can help you spend more time outside and you'll be able to use what you grow.

 

Also, try making your own compost bin! Coffee grounds make great fertilizer, too, so once you're done with your morning joe, the grounds can go towards those veggies rather than the trash can.

 











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Pay attention to what you buy at the grocery store


Are you buying products that have been processed and filled with sugar and wrapped up in a lot of packaging? Or are you focusing on the fresh produce, meat, fish, and fresh-baked products? Ready for the next level of green? Check out your local farmer's market.

 

Don't forget to bring your own reusable shopping bags, too!

 


Go meatless


Whether that's once a day, once a week, or a full lifestyle change, consider reducing the amount of meat you consume. Every pound of meat harvested takes thousands of pounds of water plus emissions to produce. And while going veggie for one day a week might not seem like a big deal, some say it can have as much impact as driving a hybrid car!

 


Donate and recycle


Do your spring cleaning (whatever time of the year you like to do it). Donate clothes you don't wear anymore and books you aren't going to read, or reread. Recycle those old magazines and get in a habit of recycling what you can from your garbage on a regular basis. Most cities make it easy (and free) to recycle, and it's a responsible alternative to sending all your trash to the dump.

 


Consciously consume eco-friendly yoga gear


There are more and more awesome 100% eco-friendly yoga mats and clothing on the market like Yoloha yoga mats, or Hottie Yoga Wear for example. As for your old mat, you can wash it and repurpose it to keep rugs from sliding, or turn it into cabinet and drawer liners, and you can donate or repurpose your old yoga clothes. The possibilities are endless.

 

Recommended read: 8 Eco-Friendly Yoga Clothing Brands For Eco-Conscious Yogis

 


Finally, be aware of how you interact with the world


What are you using and what are you wasting? What can you use less of and what can you switch for environmentally friendly products? Every little bit helps.

 

If everyone does a little bit (and every little bit counts) we will start cleaning up the world we all live in and depend on. Making a few small changes can lead to some truly great things. The Earth isn't ours to use up, but rather to care for and preserve. Let's start showing Mother Earth the love and respect she deserves!

 


The post 9 Super Easy Ways to Go Green appeared first on Yogi Approved.