Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Stress Reduction

How to Outsmart Morning Stress & Feel More Ease All Day Long

A spike in morning stress can last till the late afternoon!

Do you rush in the morning and already feel stressed before you’re even out the door?

Research indicates an early morning increase in stress can continue all the way into the afternoon or early evening. Yikes!  Wouldn’t it be better to institute a calm morning routine?

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How to Punctuate Your Day with Stress Relief

Tiny Bursts of Stress Relief

Recently, I took advantage of a short wait at the dentist to close my eyes, relax my body, and let go of stress.

How do you respond when you’re required to wait?  Be honest with yourself.

  • Do you get impatient, bored, or restless?
  • Do you turn to a digital device to keep your mind busy or stave off the feeling of too much to do?
  • Do you turn to a magazine or the television screen to distract yourself?

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How to Take the Stress Out of Deadlines

How to Take Stress Out of Deadlines

Do you dread deadlines like I do?

Deadlines were never an issue for me during my earlier years.  I did whatever it took, even if it meant working during the evening hours, putting time in on the weekend, or staying up all night.

You could say obsession characterized my working style melded with the notion that I and only I held responsibility for everything.

No wonder I burned out!

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33 Mantras to Quickly Calm Your Stress Response

Stress Relief | Stress Management

Yes, I want you to talk to yourself in wonderful and soothing ways.  As soon as you start to feel stressed, please talk to yourself with clear, gentle, and encouraging words.

You see, a cascade of biochemicals courses through your body when the stress response turns on.  What happens when your body and brain go into this alarm state?  Imagine:  tight muscles, increased heart rate, impaired digestion, depressed immune system and so much more.

That’s okay occasionally, but constantly living in a state of emergency will take a toll on your health and happiness.

Fortunately, you can turn the stress response around.  One way to do so is to talk to yourself in a soothing way.  Your kind words will let your brain know the “danger” has passed and thus will allow the relaxation response to kick in.

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How to Meditate: Best Advice from 3 Long-Time Meditators

Meditation Tips | Meditation for Beginners

Mindfulness has become such a popular topic that bloggers are writing about it non-stop.  Some develop online courses on the topic as well.  But, do they know what mindfulness or meditation really is?

I have a concern that the practice of meditation could be be diluted by well-intentioned, but inexperienced individuals. So I invited three authentic and accomplished meditators to share the joys and challenges of meditation with you.

I’m delighted to introduce you to Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, Maureen Cooper, and Maia Duerr.  Collectively, these dedicated women represent nearly 100 years of meditation experience including several three-year retreats.  Yet, their responses are as fresh and relevant as any beginner’s mind.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the purpose of meditation, helpful ways to structure your practice, and how to work with some of the common obstacles that arise in meditation.

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel on Meditation

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

Why do you meditate?  How does it help you?

I meditate because I have a longing to habituate my mind toward sanity. I often think of the traditional analogy of the untrained mind: it’s like a blind, limbless person riding a wild horse – you can’t rein it in. There’s no freedom in that.

We have so many preferences in term of what we want to experience. When I sit to practice sometimes I feel peaceful and sometimes my thoughts, emotions or sensations feel jagged and wild, sometimes painful and overexcited.

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To Beat Your Stress, Know Your Stress

When my husband began teaching Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), I was eager to take one of his 10-week courses.  I know that MBSR is a highly effective way to reduce medical symptoms, manage chronic pain, ease stress, and relieve psychological distress based on more than 30 years of proven medical research.

Honestly, few of us escape the ravages of stress in modern life.  Stress has without question played an overbearing role in my own life.  Post traumatic stress has etched unhelpful grooves into my brain that can sometimes turn on alarm bells at the least provocation.  Fortunately, we now have tools like MBSR to retrain and rewire the brain and modulate the stress response.

To beat stress, the first step is to know your stress.  At the start of the MBSR course, I received a simple, open-ended “Stress Assessment” to complete.  I took my time – a few days, actually – to explore all the causes of stress in my life.

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