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10 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Day

10 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Day

Writing this article has strangely become the most cathartic activity I reach for during the day. You see as a mother, writer, investor, mud runner and community server, all of the pieces- which make up my life – don’t always come together in a neat picture. But as I read – and began to live – the recommendations from mediation expert Jean Marie DuHamel of Fostering the Journey with Jean Marie, I found the beauty in the messiness which configures my life. And as I spent 30 seconds gazing at a squirrel or took five seconds to appreciate how soothing the sunlight coming in through a window could be and took a minute to be grateful for how hard working my husband is, I noticed how the weight of my life began to lift and not only was I smiling more,  but I also felt free and happier.

So it is with great joy that I bring you 10 Ways to Fit Meditation Into Your Day from Ms. DuHamel – along with some inspirational thoughts from some of the most influential individuals known to mankind –  and I hope you will find it inspirational enough to Pinit or place it on a vision board.

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity,” Voltaire

1.  Gaze

gazing

    “All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.” – John Ruskin

    2.  Repeat throughout the day three things for which you are grateful

    grateful

      “If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled.  If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

      3.  Find meaning in whatever you are doing

      meaning

        “We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to your sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” – Earl Nightingale

        4.  Find joy in the moment

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        joy

          “By knowing who you are – your authentic self – you can find joy in the moment. When tuned to this, joy is in every moment.” – Jean Marie DuHamel

          5.  Be present in the moment

          moment

            “Be present in the moment by focusing on something such as breath or a mantra or the task at hand. Become one with the task at hand.” – Jean Marie DuHamel

            6.  Smile

            smile

              “Laughter is day, and sobriety is night; a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.” – Henry Ward Beecher

              7.  Laugh

              laugh

                “Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody out to bathe in it.” – Henry Ward Beecher

                8.  Focus on the heart

                heart

                  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

                  9.  Inhale and exhale slowly and evenly

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                  exhale

                    “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.” – Krishnamacharya.

                    10.  Play soothing background music

                    music

                      “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us”, – Martin Luther

                      “Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patters for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.” – Sharon Salzberg.

                      Featured photo credit: aigarius via morguefile.com

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                      ablab

                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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