Going on holiday is supposed to melt all your stress away. Unfortunately, the preparations and unpredictability of holidays can sometimes result in the exact opposite. One way to beat this is through the simple concept of mindfulness – being aware of the present moment and just appreciating it for what it is. As deceptively elementary as it sounds, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a scientifically proven method of combating stress in its many forms. Here are some of the easiest ways to apply the principle of mindfulness in your quest to enjoy your hard-earned time off. [Read more…]
There are many answers like drinking hot drinks and adding additional layers but why not consider stoking your inner fire by practicing some yoga.
Our circulation decreases in the cold and in turn this slows the effectiveness of the organs which causes a further decrease in our body’s temperature. [Read more…]
Improve your wellbeing with these 7 things that you can do in just 7 minutes.
Could you spare 7 minutes a day to improve your wellbeing? Considering that each day consists of 1,440 minutes, 7 minutes is just .49%. It is madness if we can’t allow just a few minutes to help our own wellbeing.
Starting now, why don’t you ensure that you take just 7 minutes to de-stress & improve your wellbeing each and every day. It doesn’t sound long, but you will be amazed how much you can fit in.
Listed below are 7 ideas we have, but we would also love to hear yours, so please don’t be shy to share them with us on social media.
Recognising when you are happy and remembering what that feels like makes it easier to recreate.
In this day and age, it is very easy to analyse our unhappiness, faults and flaws in order to find the causes and make improvements. Have you ever thought about analysing your happiness?
As humans, we have the ability to observe our emotions, meaning we can recognise our feelings of glee and contentment. This allows us the power to harness and savour these moments and to take time to be grateful for them. [Read more…]
Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la! As the festive adverts paint a perfect family Christmas, for some the pressures at this time of year can be all too much.
The reality of endless shopping whether trawling the high streets or plugging in and purchasing online, cooking, dealing with relatives, excited children and trying to cram in a very hectic social calendar can result in a stress overload. Beware anxiety is likely to occur. [Read more…]
Your decision on how you manage stress can have a massive impact.
Did you know that stress is actually a fight or flight response? It is automatically activated when we sense that we are threatened by someone or something. The response causes our bodies to increase both heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, our reactions are faster and our strength and agility increase.
Stress is not the perceived threats or demands made on you but rather your response to those perceived threats or demands. [Read more…]
Yoga – which type is for you?
We want you to get the most out of your yoga classes at The View Studio and that means finding a style that fulfils the needs of your mind, body and spirit in the present moment.
One session can help to transform your day or life for that matter, by improving your mental wellbeing, as well as acting as a prompt for you to change certain behavioural patterns that might be holding you back.
It can help you to feel stronger, flexible and more open minded. [Read more…]
Mindfulness – So what exactly is it?
You may have seen it on our timetable, heard the term mentioned numerous times, but what actually is mindfulness in layman terms?
We are not going to over complicate things by writing a long winded article, we are keeping it simple so you can stay in the moment….see what we did!
Basically, mindfulness is a meditation practice, focusing on the body, breath and sound, training the mind to be present in the moment.
Like any form of exercise, meditation can feel boring, uncomfortable and darn right difficult at times! Try to think of mindfulness as a “mind gym” where you learn to build your ability to pay attention like a muscle. A well-honed muscle of attention helps us make the right decisions, and will help to implement into our daily life.
5 everyday mindfulness tips:
You wouldn’t attempt to run a marathon if you hate running and have only actually ever run for a bus…keep it simple and choose an activity you do each day and, for a few moments while you’re doing it, try to pay attention to every sensation – sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch – go on check in with your senses.
Choose a piece of food you really enjoy. Cut whatever it is into bite-sized pieces. Place a small morsel in your hand. You may feel utterly ridiculous…just go with it, focus on what the food looks like, as if this the first time you have ever seen it. Using your senses begin to notice the colour, the edges, the shape. After a minute or so, pop that tasty morsel into your mouth, chew slowly and notice what sweetness or bitterness tastes like. Notice what the urge to swallow feels like.
Ask yourself “What does the water feel like?” Whether you are in the shower or bath, experience the movements you make while soaping up and washing the soap off again as if this is the first time you have ever washed! Notice when your mind drifts off and you start thinking about your to-do list for the day, then bring your focus back to the feel of showering.
3. The ritual of tea:
Being British we are a nation of tea drinkers. This is a great one to be in the moment with. Slowly, try to experience the details…the sensation of pouring the hot water into the teapot or cup, stirring the tea spoon round and round, smelling as you bring the cup to your lips, tasting and enjoying that first sip of the day…bliss!! Ok to try with coffee too if you are a) not British or b) Not a tea lover.
4. At your desk:
First up check your posture, notice are your shoulders hunched? Rounded forwards? Hello people, channel your inner Pilates goddess and melt those shoulders down your back, open your chest and lengthen your spine. Now tune into what the sensations are of tapping your fingers on the keys. Are you a loud tapper, or quite gentle? One finger typer or do you own that keyboard like a concert pianist? Come off autopilot and notice when your mind demands you type something new and, when you do, come back to the feeling in your fingertips.
Here’s our last really simple one. Nobody is too busy to walk through a door way. Entering class at The View Studio, I know for a fact you will walk through three doorways! This one again takes 30 seconds to a minute. Each day when you go through a doorway, you can home in on just one particular doorway to make it even easier. Use this doorway as a reminder to notice what’s going on around you; the sounds, smells, sights and the feeling in your body. Check in with your senses again.
There you have it, 5 simple steps to adding mindfulness into your day. Come on, no one is ever too busy to eat!
Taking time to breathe!
During times of stress I often say to my husband, “Just breathe! Inhale for 3, exhale for 5.” We tend to take sips of breathe when stressed and incorrect breathing can lead to low back pain. Recent research now indicates that taking a deep breath does indeed help to ease stress and help you become more emotionally aware, but only if done properly. Inhale through the nose and out through the mouth not in through the mouth and out through the mouth.
The power of active breathing and breathing correctly helps to control our breathing rhythm. Slow deep breathing can help to calm the nervous system by reducing our heart rate and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, actively reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. By doing this our bodies start to calm and our minds also begin to quiet.
Being aware of whether you breathe properly is essential, so many people carry out dysfunctional breathing. Dysfunctional breathing patterns reduce oxygen delivery to the lungs, as well as posture and stabilisation of the spine , resulting in fatigue and a whole host of other health issues. This sets you up for a viscous circle, where the longer you breathe in this dysfunctional pattern, the harder your body has to work.
Here are some reasons why people don’t breathe properly:
- Smoking, along with any other medical conditions makes breathing laboured.
- No one else breathes properly. Shallow breathing is a bad habit, imitating bad posture and movement habits learned as infants.
- Breathing is emotionally stimulating and expressive, many people avoid this like the plague.
- Sitting, with so many of us in sedentary jobs, – the hips are flexed to 90 degrees and the ribs sit down in the abdominals making it extremely difficult to breathe laterally.
Breathing has a vital role in its effects on movement quality and stability of the core and spine. When breathing normally or “functional breathing”, posture and stabilisation of the spine will be maintained in a healthy manner.
Take the plunge and focus on breathing properly!
The diaphragm is the primary breathing muscle for all of us! It is a thin, wide sheet of muscle that separates the rib cage from the abdomen. It is shaped like a dome which flattens out when it contracts. It is important to understand, when the diaphragm contracts, the dome flattens and pushes downwards on the viscera, like a piston or a plunger. The watery viscera cannot be compressed, they have to move outwards. So, when you inhale with your diaphragm your rib cage expands.
Breathe in through the nose to the sides of the ribs, letting the rib cage expand out to the sides working the intercostal muscles in between the ribs. This allows you to get a deeper breathe from your lungs.
As you exhale out through the mouth, imagine you are blowing out of a straw, draw the rib cage across and down.
As you breathe make sure your feet are hip width apart, your shoulders are relaxed and with each inhale ensure you are not lifting your shoulders. Feel your spine straighten, lengthening through the crown of the head with each breathe.
For many the concept of exercise means pounding the pavements, cycling at extreme speeds, HITT or anything else that is high intensity. Nobody is saying that these exercises are not good for you, especially if you enjoy them, but sometimes it is beneficial for your body and mind to slow things down. Mixing your exercise regimes up, is a great way to enhance your whole body and mind.
Studies have shown that slow exercise practice like yoga, Pilates, Barre, mindful movement have amazing benefits that include stronger muscles, improved cardiovascular and greater immune function.
A fast-paced workout allows the mind to drift, a slow controlled practice allows one to focus on the movement and breath. This allows one to consider feelings, thoughts and actions and helps to achieve that goal to live a peaceful life. Our values can be readdressed within a slow, controlled practice.
Everyone should allow for peace and solitude in their lives, but how many of us actually take time for this? How much do we really miss what is going on around us with our family, friends and community by constantly rushing around with no time to absorb? Do you appreciate each day, listen to the birds sing, feel your lungs fully with fresh air or even just appreciate your family and friends for who they truly are? Doing too much, too fast and spreading yourself too thin doing unimportant things, means that you are not allowing time for the things that are important.
Often, we only realise what is important when it is too late or has reached crisis point. This is not a healthy way to live. Constant work life pressures, force situations to arise, and before we know it we are so busy that we haven’t stopped to think about the implications. Most of us would never consciously put ourselves in this scenario, but many have arrived here and do not even realise it. Take a minute, sit down and just consider the above. Are you in this trap?
Running constantly on that hamster wheel of life is not feasible twenty-four seven. Looking after everyone else, ensuring that everything is completed and done for everyone else and neglecting yourself is not a long-term solution to any situation, it can only ever be a short term fix especially for you. What happens when you go under and can’t keep it up as the neglect to yourself reveals itself in one form or another? At that point, everything crumbles and that will intensify the pressures you already have to cope with.
The L’Oréal Paris brand use the phrase ‘because you’re worth it’ and this is so true, you are worth it and you deserve it. See the bigger picture and ensure that within your day you take time for you. Relax, focus on what you have and not what you don’t and appreciate everything good in your life and surroundings. You will benefit and these benefits will also be felt by everyone around you.
Why not try one of our mindful movement classes. We currently offer two lunchtime classes. The first is on Thursday at 1.00 p.m. and the other is Friday at midday. By taking the time at lunchtime, just 45 minutes, you should be able to continue most of your schedule for the rest of day. These classes are a win, win for everyone. Make sure you book today and use these classes to help you observe how you feel about your experiences, both good and bad. Allow the class to help give you the tools to manage stressful situations and to experience overall well-being. The slow movements focus on breath and body awareness and are combined with a mindful mediation practice throughout. What are you waiting for?