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12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

Rejuvenate in the world’s most relaxing hot springs. Mother Earth heats the water then gently infuses it with mineral rich nutrients. All you have to do is slip in.

There is nothing that makes you feel better, physically, mentally, or emotionally, than a long soak in hot mineral spring. Your aches and pains fade away along with your stress and cares. Your skin and hair look radiant and vibrant. Your spirit becomes more vital.

Are you ready to take part in the study of balneology? Oxford dictionary defines balneology as “The study of medicinal springs and the therapeutic effects of bathing in them”.

Here are 12 unique places to begin your relaxation:

1. Banff Upper Springs, Alberta, Canada

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    Set in the awe-inspiring peaks of Banff National Park, these spring fed pools sit under the majestic Mount Rundle. Discovered in 1884, these soothing waters are loaded with sulphate, calcium, magnesium, sodium and bicarbonate. After a day of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or sightseeing you can relax and ease your sore muscles in the natural hot spring water.

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    2. Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/44048265@N00/4995883630

      At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. Surrounding the ruins calcite-laden waters have created an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins given the name of Pamukkale. After exploring the sites you can float in the Sacred Pool gazing up at the cerulean Aegean sky or down at the 2,000-year-old Greek and Roman antiquities scattered on the pool’s floor.

      3. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, USA

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/cumulus_humilis/9087683673

        Grand Prismatic Spring was first mentioned by geologists in 1871 who named them for their striking coloration. The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The bacteria produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.  Although you are not able to soak in these hot springs, the sheer beauty of them is awe inspiring.

        4. Bains De Dorres, France

          Situated in the Pyrenees, close to the Spanish border, the baths date back to Roman times and offer visitors the chance to soak away their worries in water that is typically between 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 degrees Celsius) and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) surrounded by stunning views of the valleys below from an altitude of 4,800 feet.  This little known hot spring is a must do for anyone wanting a relaxing soak without the crowds.

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          5. Myvatn Nature Baths, Iceland

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/skarpi/4990648690/

            Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the country’s headlining attractions. However, the Myvatn Nature Baths, located in the more-remote northern part of this island nation, offer equally stunning landscapes and pools that are much less crowded than Reykjavik.  Laze in the temperate waters on a long summer’s day when the sun never sets, or under a delicate sprinkling of snow in the dark of winter when you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Located in the heart of northeast Iceland, a mere 65 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Lake Myvatn was shaped through the years by repeated volcanic eruptions and seismic activity. At an altitude of more than 900 feet, the landscape around the lake is a panorama of lava, crater and cave formations, mountains, and sweeping wetlands.

            6. Puyuhuapi, Chile

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/wild-places/6964506606

              Puyuhuapi Hot Springs are located 213 kms northeast of Coyhaique. This is one of the most important springs in Chile, and also one of the southernmost. Puyuhuapi is located within Dorita Bay of the Glacier Inlet, in the middle of the Chilean Patagonia and surrounded by a thrilling wildlife scenery of native forest and enormous ferns. The name Puyuhuapi means “place of puyes”, which is a species of fish that is greatly sought after by fishing lovers. The waters of the inlet are source of underground springs of the Melimeyu volcano.

              7. Edipsos, Greece

              https://www.flickr.com/photos/81189848@N00/9555875577

                Edipsos has to be one of the most amazing resorts in the world when it comes to healing mineral baths. There are more than eighty individual springs with waters ranging from 28 to 86 degrees Celsius, which can be quite hot. There are also many privately owned spa facilities, baths and pools, some of which belong to the hotels. Nature has also chipped in for a rare combined experience where the warm water gushes from the sea bed, a rare phenomenon that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

                8. Strawberry Spring, Colorado, USA

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                https://www.flickr.com/photos/7430002@N06/3855908938

                  Steamboat is home to natural hot springs that are located throughout the area. Upon first hearing a chugging sound, early trappers believed that a steamboat was coming down the river. When the trappers saw that there was no steamboat, and that the sound was coming from a hot spring, they decided to name the spring Steamboat Springs. The area has two hot springs that are open to the public. The largest is at the Old Town Hot Springs, with multiple pools and two slides. Located in the hills a few miles out of town is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, with two pools and natural rock features. Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers excellent stargazing opportunities due to the lack of ambient light.

                  9. Takaragawa Onsen, Japan

                  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kcfoo24/2580180633

                    Takaragawa Onsen is located deep in the mountains of Minakami. The onsen is world famous and one of the most scenic hot springs in Japan. It sprawls along the banks of the Takara River which is home to wild boar, bear and river fish. The onsen had four outdoors of hot springs as well as two indoor bath and several smaller ones. One large open air bath faces a spectaular mountain stream. This bath also claims to have the best healing properties.  The traditional Japanese architecture and open air baths situated along the beautiful mountain stream all join in harmony to create a relaxing balanced experience.

                    10. Heviz, Hungary

                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lajapuma/9513539915

                      The Heviz Lake is a geological curiosity, Europe’s largest thermal lake – a warm water lake situated in a peat-bed. The lake is surrounded by a nature conservation area which provides a tranquil setting within which to relax. Springs of different temperatures merge in a narrow cave and become a constant 38.5 degrees Celsius temperature when entering the lake. Beautiful water lilies, brought to Hungary at the end of the 19th century, dot the lake, supporting the eco-life. The lily leaves help to slow down evaporation and creepers protect the medicinal mud on the bottom of the lake.

                      11. Palia Kameni, Greece

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                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/chagiajose/10909213036

                        The turquoise springs on this volcanic island in the Santorini caldera are known for their therapeutic sulphuric mud. ‘Old Burnt’ in Greek, Palia Kameni is accessed by boat from Santorini – visitors are required to swim from a moored vessel to reach the main seaside spring. These healing waters consist of large amounts of iron and manganese. If you are looking for a different hot spring experience this one is for you.

                        12. Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia

                        https://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeoenergy/6435577915

                          Peninsula Hot Springs is the only natural thermal mineral springs bathing and day spa facility in Australia. It has two main facilities providing relaxation and recreational spa experiences. One facility caters to adults and the other to families. Relaxation, rejuvenation and fun can be found in the 20 plus bathing experiences including a cave pool, reflexology walk, hydrotherapy pool, thermal stream gully, sauna, hilltop pool offering stunning 360 degree views, massaging thermal showers, family pools and many more.

                          Where will your next hot spring experience take you?

                          Featured photo credit: Saturnia/aurelio candido via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                          I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                          If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                          1. The Inner Critic

                          This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                          • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                          The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                          Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                          2. The Worrier

                          This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                          The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                          3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                          This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                          This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                          The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                          The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                          How can you control these squatters?

                          How to Master Your Mind

                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                          1. For the Inner Critic

                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                          This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                          • They rile up the Worrier.
                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                          • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                          • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                          • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                          Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                          2. For the Worrier

                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tense

                          Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                          Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                          For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                          Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                          3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                          Breathe in through your nose:

                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                          Breathe out through your nose:

                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                          4. For the Sleep Depriver

                          (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                          2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                          From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                          • Shut down your thinking
                          • Calm your feelings
                          • Simply focus on the present moment

                          The Bottom Line

                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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