Alternative Benefits To Keep Millennials Engaged At Work

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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Millennials are the enigmas that other generations in the office just can’t seem to figure out. If you manage a team of millennials, rest assured: they’re not as complicated (or avocado toast obsessed) as they might seem. They just want a positive workplace where they can make a difference - and that’s a goal that everyone in the office can benefit from. If traditional incentives just aren’t cutting it with winning over your employees, try these powerful alternative benefits to keep millennials engaged and to retain young talent.

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Encourage them to meditate.

There’s nothing like a company wellness offering to help employees feel more positive, supported, and like their company really “gets” them. Sign your employees up for subscriptions to the Unplug app, and encourage them to meditate each morning before work. If you want to take things to the next level, you can even guide your staff through a meditation challenge together to help them better manage work stress as a team.

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Pave the way for them to grow.

Consider two great ways to help your millennial employees grow: offer them the feedback they need to thrive in their role, and encourage them to keep building their skills.

For the former, the key is to regularly chat with them about how they’re doing in their role. Let them know where they can improve and check in about how they’re doing. This doesn’t have to be formal - in fact, frequent casual chats can go a long way in building a sense of connection.

As for skill building, consider offering programs that fund continuing education so employees have more means to pursue degrees and certifications. Millennials are all about feeling like they’re serving a greater purpose with their work (more on that in a second), and providing the funding for them to do so helps them provide that extra purpose for your company.

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Foster a sense of purpose.

Past generations may have felt fine simply clocking in and clocking out, but millennials put a lot more emotional stock into the work that they do. This can be a great thing - passionate workers are dedicated, creative, and enthusiastic - but it means you’ll want to make sure to highlight the importance of their roles in serving the greater good. Make sure your team understands how your company makes a difference in the world, and how they’re part of that mission.

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Offer fitness and wellness reimbursement programs.

This is a great option to include as a supplement to your company’s more traditional health benefit offerings. You can either direct employees to a specific company-approved gym or fitness space, or you can give your team free reign to attend boutique wellness and fitness studios of their choice and be reimburse their fees. And hey, you could even bring the wellness directly to their desks - Unplug offers custom corporate packages with in-person classes.

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Encourage team bonding, in person and online.

Millennial employees are famously eager to connect with their coworkers. Many of them love the feeling of being part of a tight-knit team that works together to make productivity magic happen. To foster this, encourage your team to connect via online company groups or digital platforms. Be sure to offer opportunities for teamwork and company social events. Heck, you might even want to create a team hashtag. If your happy hour shows up on their Instagram Stories the next morning, you’ll know you’ve officially slayed at boosting morale.

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Wellness Tips For Gen Z: How To Bust Through Your Anxiety

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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Millennials might ultimately be remembered for their love of avocado toast and trendy shades of pink, but Gen Z carries a very different kind of legacy on their shoulders: anxiety. Lots and lots of it.

Over 90% of Gen Z is stressed. For an age group that’s meant to be enjoying carefree years of high school, college, and early adulthood, that much overwhelm is a pretty big bummer.

This anxiety is showing up everywhere in Gen Zers’ lives, from the workplace to friendships. In such an overconnected, fear-fueled culture, it’s easy to see why. Thankfully, there are plenty of tiny steps you can take - even on the busiest of days - to feel a bit better. Here’s what to try.

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Start your morning with meditation.

Meditation can help you reduce anxiety and stress with mindfulness, visualization, and breathing techniques. The best thing about a meditation practice? It’s adaptable to every type of routine. A session can be as long or as short as you want, and it can be done solo or with a group.

If you like to get up and out in the morning, start drop into an early meditation class where you’ll be guided by a pro through calming techniques that can help you slay your day. If you like to stay in bed as long as possible in the morning, you can make your practice super easy: just pull out your phone, open the Unplug app, and start a meditation session of your choice right at home. With sessions focusing on everything from feeling energized to getting focused to soothing anxiety, there’s a perfect session to help you find your calm.

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Take tiny wellness pauses throughout your day.

Look, we know you’re busy. In fact, you’re so busy that it’s probably tempting to tell yourself that you “don’t have time” for self-care, even on days when you’re in desperate need of a few minutes to just chill. Fortunately, a few minutes can really be all it takes to start feeling better in times of stress or panic. Pull out your phone and choose an ultra-short Unplug meditation to help you find your center before diving back into your day. Another great method is the classic that your mom taught you as a kid: close your eyes, and slowly count your way through ten deep breaths. It really does work!

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Find healthy channels for stress.

Everyone needs an outlet, especially on days when you feel overwhelmed or cranky. You can let off steam through running, journaling, guided visualizations, or even dancing it out to your favorite song. It doesn’t really matter what your outlet is (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, obvisously), what matters is that it’s something you’ll give yourself the time to enjoy when you need it. The length of time you spend on these coping tools doesn’t matter so much as the fact that you do them in the first place.

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Learn your stress triggers.

When a sudden bad mood sinks its claws into you “out of nowhere,” it’s usually not just a random occurrence. Most of the time, something happened to trigger that stress in you, even if you didn’t notice it in the moment. Try to trace backwards and take note of what that “something” was, so that next time it strikes, you’ll be aware that it’s a stress trigger for you. Once you identify these triggers, you can be more mindful about anticipating and managing them.

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End your day with a bang.

There’s nothing like a powerful experience just before bed to help you unwind from the day. Get into the habit of enjoying soothing practices, like soundbaths, to sink into relaxation before nodding off to sleep. Bedtime de-stress routines can make all the difference the next day!

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Can Meditation And Hypnosis Help You Lose Weight?

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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If you’re eager to lose weight or if you have a less than ideal relationship with food, you’re not alone. Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated! Tools like meditation and hypnosis have helped guide thousands of people along the path to weight loss, without all the resistance and struggle of crash diets. How can meditation and hypnosis help you lose weight? Here’s what you need to know.

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Meditation can help you manage emotional eating.

Research has indicated that meditation can play a helpful role in weight loss. Meditation is a brilliant tool for managing stress, and when you’re less stressed, you’re less inclined to emotionally eat.

Meditation can also help you transition from a more reactive state of mind to a more proactive state. In the case of food, that makes you better equipped to plan healthier meals in advance rather than grabbing junk food as a knee-jerk solution when you’re hungry and in a hurry. (Unplug even has specific meditations to help you pause when you’re feeling tempted to reach for unhealthy food.)

When you regularly meditate, you’re more likely to consider how you’re feeling in the moments before and after eating. You’re better equipped to notice which foods make you feel most vibrant and which foods make you tired, and which feelings most trigger you to reach for unhealthy foods. Research has found that those who practice mindfulness for weight loss are more likely to keep that weight off once losing it.

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Meditation can help you practice intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating is practice that involves choosing foods without guilt, listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and savoring the joy of each meal. This practice has been associated with healthy and successful weight loss - and meditation can help you thrive at it.

When you eat intuitively, your focus is on enjoying the experience of each meal, and appreciating your body’s needs and capabilities. When you lose yourself in the taste, smell, and overall sensory journey of your food, you’re too busy living in the present moment to default back to unhealthy thought patterns around food. Unplug’s mindful eating and healthy eating meditations can help you hone in on this practice.

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Hypnosis can transform the way you feel about food.

Research has indicated that hypnosis may be able to help people quit smoking, reduce anxiety, and improve their confidence. It’s no surprise, then, that research also points to hypnosis as a powerful potential weight loss tool.

In addition to its potential ability to modify behavior, research shows that hypnosis might be able to increase weight loss. If you want to dip your toe into the world of hypnosis, you might want to begin with visualization. Just like people visualize themselves slaying a big speech or sporting event before they begin, you can envision a day of positive food choices. Try this for a few days in a row and monitor any differences in how you feel.

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Next, you’ll want to dive a bit deeper by trying a few hypnosis sessions, which draw upon the help of guided imagery and other techniques to help you kiss cravings goodbye.

Whether you’re drawn to hypnosis, meditation, or both, Unplug’s library of 500+ guided meditations has everything you need. Sessions in the app focus on everything from carb cravings to curbing overeating to reaching for healthier snacks. A more positive relationship with food - and maybe even a smaller waistline - is more connected to your mind than you might think.

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4 Top Workplace Wellness Trends Your Team Will Love

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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Interest in workplace wellness is growing at rapid pace - and it’s about time. Companies are finally catching on to the fact that anxious, stressed, and overworked employees can’t help their organization grow in the way that happy employees can. It’s a lot harder to innovate, think creatively, or rake in the big bucks when you’re showing up to work burned out.

If you’re worried about employee burnout, take note of these top workplace wellness trends. Give them a try - your team will thank you for it!

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1. Group challenges.

Unplug has created customized wellness programs for more than 150 companies, and one of the most popular components of these programs is team meditation challenges. A custom meditation challenge in the Unplug app offers the team a sense of friendly competition, and provides a chance to bond over something that doesn’t involve meetings or deadlines. Imagine your employees spending their time at the water cooler chatting about how peaceful they feel thanks to their newfound meditation habit, instead of how stressed they are!

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2. Company-wide wellness subscriptions.

If you really want your employees to pick up on a healthy habit - and you want to boost their morale in the process - the best way to make it happen is to take care of the logistics for them. Many companies purchase bulk subscriptions to apps like Unplug so their employees have easy access to the wellness tools that can help them thrive. When an employee opens Unplug for a quick meditation in the morning before work, they’re in a good mood when they show up at the office. That makes for more creative work, better collaboration, and a more cheerful atmosphere.

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3. In-office wellness classes.

If your employees struggle to make time for wellness outside of work, bring the experts directly to them. Set up special in-office wellness events, like yoga workshops, stretching breaks, meditation classes, or even rejuvenating sound baths.

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4. Limits on email use.

An ultra-responsive employee may seem ideal, but the reality is that any team member who answers your emails at 1 a.m. is sacrificing both work productivity and at-home satisfaction. Setting hard limits on when your team is allowed to send and respond to emails (for example, barring email after 7 p.m. on work nights) makes for a more energized team. When employees have time to fully rejuvenate away from their screens in the evenings, they’ll show up to the office each morning ready to dive into their work. Trust: burnout does not a focused team member make. Besides, for your employees to be the kinds of interesting people that you and your clients enjoy talking to, they need the time to pursue their actual life - partners, kids, hobbies, the works - when they’re off the clock. With wellness at the forefront, your team will thrive - and so will your bottom line!

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Do These 5 Things Before 10 A.M. For A Way More Productive Day

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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Are you one of those people who hits the “snooze” button approximately nineteen times before finally dragging yourself out of bed? Do you recognize the sinking feeling of realizing you only have twenty minutes to get to work and hurling yourself out the door, only to spend the rest of your day feeling like you just can’t get any momentum going?

Rushing through mornings without a routine can make you feel like you’re running behind from the second you begin. We’ve all been there, but there’s an easy way to break the cycle: get yourself a morning routine! Try these simple morning tips to have more productive days than you ever thought possible - and to finally feel in control of your time.

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Start things off with meditation.

There’s a reason why heavy hitters like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and Arianna Huffington start their days with a meditation session. Morning meditation is dynamite for your mood and productivity. In just a few minutes, you can completely change the course of your day for the better.  

After a morning meditation you’ll likely feel less anxious, better able to focus, and less inclined to stress eat - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s all about RCM: Rise, Click, Meditation! When you first wake up, grab your phone and open the Unplug app. You can choose an AM session from the app’s Morning session, or choose any other meditation that catches your eye (with 500+ guided meditations in the app, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect.) Take a deep breath, press play, and get your mind ready to slay the day.

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Break a sweat.

Yes, exercise is a great way to take care of your body, but it’s also the perfect tool for optimizing your mind before the day begins. A quick workout can provide a rush of endorphins to start your day in a good mood, and research has found that exercise can help sharpen your mind. If you’re not much of a morning person, moving your body can give you that burst of energy you need to get going. Your morning workout can be anything from a quick session with Beach Body On Demand or an intense hour-long run - all that matters is that you do it.

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Choose your top three priorities, based on your intentions.

Before you dive into your daily tasks, think about your goals for the week. Think about how you want to feel when you wrap up for the evening. Is there a specific dream you want to feel closer to reaching? Jot it down in your journal so it feels tangible. With your intentions in mind, choose three things from your to-do list to prioritize. Do them first thing, and then no matter what happens for the rest of the day, you’ll feel like you’re right on track.

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Block out your time.

Ever notice how it gets harder and harder to make choices as the day goes on? Decision fatigue is a huge energy drain that can slow down your productivity. Get around this by blocking out your time in your calendar before you get started. Decide exactly what time you’re going to do each task on your list, and how long you’re going to spend on it, so you won’t waste any part of your day trying to figure out what to work on next.

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Start with a task you’ve been dreading.

Time management expert Brian Tracy calls this tactic “eating the frog first,” which may sound a little gross, but it’s all kinds of brilliant. Your focus and willpower are sharpest first thing in the AM, so doing your most dreaded task first makes it more likely that you’ll breeze through it efficiently. Most of the time, you’ll find that this “horrible” task isn’t as stressful as you thought it would be, and you’ll be finished before you know it. The rest of the day only gets easier from there!

Each of these tips become a whole lot easier when you’re in a positive and present frame of mind, and that’s why it’s so important to make meditation the very first thing on your list. When you start your day with a mindful approach, life has a tendency to flow more smoothly. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!

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5 Ways Meditation Can Make Your Life So Much Easier

By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer

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You know meditation is good for you, so why aren’t you doing it yet? Yes, you’ll feel more calm if you meditate, but that’s just the cherry on top of the dozens of other scientifically proven benefits you’ll experience.

The benefits of meditation are not just about vague, intangible improvements (though those are pretty great too.) It’s about real deal changes to your life, and the best part? You can unlock all these benefits with just a few minutes a day. You can be the person in good health despite the stress around her, the coworker who always has her projects done early without overwhelm, and the friend known as the best listener. It doesn’t take superpowers. What it takes a simple meditation practice. And all you have to do is start.

As we say at Unplug, “working in is just as important as working out.” Here are some of the most exciting scientifically-backed benefits of working in.

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You can curb overeating.

Meditation can help tackle emotional eating and help you enjoy food in a richer, more satisfying way. Several studies on meditation and mindful eating have found that a meditation practice can help you find calm amid the urge to reach for an unhealthy snack. Guided meditations focused on eating can help reduce binging and help you explore the emotional reasons behind why you’re compelled to eat when you’re not hungry. The best part? When you do decide to eat something delicious, a mindfulness practice can help you fully savor every last bite.

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You can go with the flow in high-stress situations.

You know that chest-tightening, mind-racing sensation you wake up to each morning and carry with you through the day? Yeah, you don’t have to live like that. A daily mindfulness practice can help you shift from feeling overwhelmed at every turn to finding your center in moments of pressure. Meditation is scientifically proven to help reduce stress. Some research has found that meditation may even help ease symptoms of stress-related health issues, like fibromyalgia and IBS.

No life is completely devoid of stressful moments (nor should it be!), but when true high-pressure situations do turn up, meditation can help you feel equipped to handle it from a place of calm instead of making knee-jerk decisions out of panic.

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You’ll like yourself (and your life!) better.

Meditation makes it easier to treat yourself with the kindness you’ve always deserved. Practicing meditation regularly can help quiet your nasty inner critic. It can also help deepen your sense of optimism and joy, so not only will you love yourself more, you’ll love your life more too! A long-term meditation practice may help decrease symptoms of depression by reducing mood-dampening chemicals in the brain. Essentially, you’re paving a pathway in your mind for optimistic thoughts to flow more freely.

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You can hustle like never before - without straining yourself.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever procrastinated on a project you couldn’t focus on by Googling how to focus better. (We’ll wait.) The answer to increasing your attention span is actually inside the mind, and you can build your focus muscle through meditation.

When you start meditating regularly, you might find that you can sustain your attention for longer periods of time and regain focus faster when your mind does stray. In fact, some research has found that meditation might even reverse negative mind patterns that contribute to lack of focus. Get ready to turn out some of the best focused work of your life - without wasting half the day trying to get your mind into the zone first.

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You can finally get that coveted eight hours of sleep.

Good sleep doesn’t have to be a rare luxury! Imagine finally waking up feeling rested, focused, and maybe even - gasp - excited to get out of bed and start your day. Meditation can help you fall asleep faster and stay dozing for longer, and it’s especially helpful if you suffer from insomnia. Meditation can help your mind learn to redirect those racing, anxious thoughts that pop up right when your head hits the pillow. It can help you let go of the stressors of the day and finally drift off into the kind of deep, restorative sleep that can help you take on the next morning like a pro.

And that’s just the beginning! The Unplug app’s 500+ guided meditations cover the whole gamut of topics from mindful eating, work focus, parenting, and everything in between. This simple practice can turn your world upside down for the better - so what are you waiting for?

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Give yourself a break.

Longtime Unplug student Lana Rushing (Founder of Rushing PR) wrote the article below with the sweetest shoutout to Unplug!

 
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We live in stressful times. We are more tethered to digital devices than ever before and many struggle with work / life balance even more as a result of this “always-on” mentality.

So, while technology advances fuel progress and keep us connected and entertained, they can also impact our ability to stay grounded and present. Being overbooked, over-worked and over-stimulated mentally can really take a toll. Here are four ways you can cope:

1. Set boundaries. One of the things I realized after becoming more senior in my public relations career is that when I was more junior, I gave up too much of my time to work stress. I took it home with me. It wrecked my sleep sometimes. It takes practice to leave work at work. There will always be exceptions -- especially in a field like mine -- but it is possible to compartmentalize and find harmony.

2. Find quiet time to reflect. For me this one is a game changer. Four years ago, Unplug Meditation opened up in my neighborhood and I was surprised to learn that I actually canmeditate. Previously, I had tried a few meditation workshops but I thought my mind was too busy so it didn’t stick. At Unplug, I learned that you don’t have to try to stop your thoughts to be a successful meditator. No one can do that! I also learned to think of myself as the thinker of the thoughts, and to let them exit like clouds, and then go back to the breath and repeat that cycle as new thoughts emerge. That’s it. It is really that easy and it can help you in so many aspects of your life. If you don’t have a meditation studio nearby, take a look at all of the apps that bring meditation to you. In this case, technology can bring relief with soothing sounds. (Just turn your ringer off!) You can also find meditative moments while out on a neighborhood walk or perhaps while gardening or even doing household chores, believe it or not!

3. Get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition. All of these things fuel your body and your mind. Your mood, communication style and level of creativity are a few things that can be impacted by how well you take care of yourself.

4. Watch the negative self-talk. We all have bad days or things we’d do differently if we could go back in time. However, dwelling on the negative is like jumping into quicksand and I happen to think it all starts with how you talk to yourself. Are you your own biggest critic or cheerleader? It is definitely something to think about. Coming from a place of gratitude can help you pivot out of a bad situation.

Life is too short! Make it count.

How to Meditate When You Have 1, 5, or 10 Minutes

Take mental mini-vacation by following these examples.
By: Kathryn Anne Stewart

 
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Can you really meditate in a few stolen moments? You bet, says Suze Yalof Schwartz, CEO and founder of Unplug Meditation. “The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do,” Schwartz says. “Whenever you can squeeze it in and for whatever amount of time, that’s good.”

In fact, a quick session might be preferable, especially if you’re new to meditation. “Your mind’s going to constantly wander, and it’ll be a battle between thought and focus,” Schwartz says. Finding the gap between the two, she says, is “the sweet spot of meditation,” and it gets easier the more often you do it.

In the same way that a specific length of meditation time isn’t required, Schwartz says you don’t need to sit a certain way or feel compelled to buy props like meditation pillows or candles. In short, meditation should not add more stress to your life. “Meditation should meet you where you are,” she says. “It’s really just breathing.”

One thing you do need, however, is a place where you won’t be disturbed or disrupted. Schwartz says she’s been known to lock her car doors and meditate in a parking lot.

“You will never find the time to meditate,” she says. “You really have to make it and carve it out of your day. Whether that’s 60 seconds a day or 60 minutes a day, it’s all good.” For your next quick session, try one of these meditations from her book, Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers

If you have 1 minute to meditate, try …

The Savoring Meditation

This meditation is great for slowing down, appreciating the moment, promoting mindful eating, and experiencing what Schwartz calls “food joy.” Do it as you begin a meal or snack.

  1. Hold the food in your hand.
  2. Look at it and ask yourself, “How did this get from the earth to my fingers?” Think about it. Imagine all the steps it took to travel all the way to you.
  3. Lift the food to your ear. When you squeeze some foods, they make interesting sounds. Spend a few seconds listening.
  4. Put the food in front of your mouth with your lips closed. Notice that you’re salivating a little in anticipation.
  5. Place it in your mouth and feel the texture with your tongue, then begin to chew as slowly as you possibly can, noticing as many elements as you can.
  6. Swallow, smile, and go on with your day. 

If you have 5 minutes to meditate, try …

A Quick Shot of Calm

Ideal for relieving anxiety, cooling off anger, or releasing frustration, this is the meditation to go to when tension is running high or if you’re about to speak publicly or make a tough decision.

  1. Take seven slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
  2. Take seven more slow breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
  3. Finally, take seven more slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your mouth.
  4. Resume breathing normally and notice how your energy has shifted.

If you have 10 minutes to meditate, try …

Relaxation Meditation

If you’re feeling tense (shoulders up, forehead wrinkled), this is a great meditation to relax, revive, and refresh.

  1. Lie down and close your eyes. If you’re in an office or anywhere it’s not appropriate to lie down, sit up comfortably in a chair.
  2. Take three slow, extended breaths.
  3. Bring your attention to your feet and notice how they feel. Notice the weight of your heels on the ground. Tense up your feet, then consciously relax them.
  4. Slowly work your way up your body in the same way, tensing then relaxing your calves, thighs, hips, hands, stomach, chest, arms, shoulders, neck, and face. When you reach your face, relax your lips, your cheeks, your eyes, your forehead, and your brain.
  5. Take one last deep breath and then open your eyes.
 

Meditation for the Doshas

       By:  Sahara Rose

 

Ever wondered why your mind keeps wandering during meditation?

Or why you can’t stop fidgeting?

Or why you out-right fall asleep?

Ain’t no shame. These things happen and it all relates to your Dosha.

 

What’s a Dosha? you may be wondering. A Dosha is an Ayurvedic mind-body type. Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and the sister science of yoga, based on balancing the mind and body. According to Ayurveda, there are three Doshas, or mind-body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

 

Vata is the air Dosha. Pitta is the fire Dosha. Kapha is the Earth Dosha.

 

As an Ayurvedic Practitioner and the author of The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, which is available for pre-order on Amazon, I specialize in making sense of these three Doshas. I see how they show up in a yoga class, traffic jam, waiting in line for groceries and everything in between. In this article, I’ll share with you how these three Doshas are in meditation and the best ones for them.

If you don’t know your mind-body type, I recommend you first take my free quiz here [www.eatfeelfresh.com]. Unlike any other Dosha quiz, I separate the results of the mind and body and break them down by percentage, giving you a deep overview of your Doshic constitution. For my meditation guidelines, follow the Dosha of your mind.

Vatas are the airy and spacey Dosha with minds that move just as fast as the wind. For them, being told to shut off their minds during meditation feels like mission impossible. As the meditation teacher is telling them to silence their minds, they’re mentally jotting down their to-do lists, planning out their next Instagram photo and thinking about what they’re going to eat for dinner all whilst singing the new Justin Beiber song. Since Vatas have such active minds, it’s good for them to have a more active meditation practice. Listening to a guided visualization or repeating an affirmation such as “I am centered” can help keep their dynamic minds focused.

Vatas also commonly have skeletal issues and feel back-pain when sitting down for too long. That’s why I recommend a supported meditation chair, like the ones at Unplug, so you can focus on your meditation, not your raging backache.

Pittas are the hot and fiery Doshas with personalities to match. The hardest part about meditation? Getting there. Pittas are productivity-powerhouses. For them, wasting an hour sitting down doing nothing makes zero sense. They could be doing more work or at least going to the gym. However, they’re often the ones who need it the most. Pittas may be more apt to meditate when they hear that meditation is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, OCD and even hypertension, while increasing memory, emotional wellbeing, brain function and productivity.

Meditation is even anti-aging. Researchers have stated, "We have reviewed data linking stress arousal and oxidative stress to telomere shortness. Meditative practices appear to improve the endocrine balance toward positive arousal (high DHEA, lower cortisol) and decrease oxidative stress. Thus, meditation practices may promote mitotic cell longevity both through decreasing stress hormones and oxidative stress and increasing hormones that may protect the telomere.” Bye-bye Botox, hello Meditation pillow!

Kapha is the calm and steady Dosha with the bodies to match. For Kaphas, sitting down for an hour doing nothing is no problem. Throw the meditation at me, they think. However, the challenge is in staying awake. Kaphas often turn meditation into nap-time and wake up dazed and confused about what just happened. Kaphas must maintain a seated position when meditating, preferably with no back-rest, otherwise they’ll use it to drift off. When the body lies down, it is used to drifting off into sleep so Kaphas must prevent themselves from getting in that position. Meditations where you focus on different parts of your body can also be helpful because it reminds Kaphas to tune in.

Whatever meditation practice you choose, allow it to be meaningful to you. Thoughts, judgement and naps sometimes happen. It’s all part of the process. Forgive yourself, trust yourself and most importantly, love yourself. That’s what meditation is all about.

 

Stay balanced,

 

Sahara

 

 

 

Sahara Rose is an expert in the mind-body connection. She is the author of the Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda which is available for pre-sale on Amazon today, and passionate about bridging ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern nutrition and relatable spirituality. Discover your mind-body type on her quiz at  eatfeelfresh.com and follow her on Instagram @eatfeelfresh for colorfully delicious recipe inspiration and sacred self-care rituals.

 

 

Accessing Our Hearts and Joy (No Matter What the Circumstances)

BY DANIELLE BEINSTEIN

 
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No one is really centered and calm every moment of every day. A monk, maybe. A spiritualist living solo in the woods, perhaps. But most of us are a constant fluctuation of emotions, thoughts running through our heads.

We’re not meant to be perfect. We’re not meant to have an answer for every question. It’s the shifting moods and thoughts and responses that make us human, that make us who we are.

Meditation isn’t about perfection. It isn’t about becoming a statue. It’s about accepting our humanity, the willingness to sit with ourselves no matter what we’re experiencing. It’s about loving ourselves through the mess and having the courage to be still when we’d much rather run.

The world is always telling us how to be, what to feel. But the truth is, there is no right way to be, there is no right way to feel. Our feelings are feedback mechanisms. They reveal our needs, our wants, our desires.

Meditation teaches us, especially over time, that it’s our inner life that dictates and determines the rest. Once we begin to peel back the layers, we find, at our core, the peace we yearn for. So often we think we need to fix this or that, or acquire this or that to to feel a particular way. But the truth is, it’s the reverse. The more we cultivate the qualities we desire, the greater our powers of attraction, the more likely we are to draw in outer experience to match our inner state. We learn the power of perception.

We also crave less and less. Perhaps this is the greatest benefit of meditation: the joy of presence, the joy of aliveness. This, after all, is our natural state. Everything else, all the thoughts and emotions that cloud our daily reality, are passing storms. But again, this is part of being human. It’s our relationship to the passing weather that matters, not the weather itself.

I remember when I was growing up in Manhattan, how I would walk for miles and miles, my head brewing with unspoken conversations, unsaid words. The more I meditated, the more clarity I gained, the more articulate I became, the more my relationships improved. This isn’t magic; it’s the benefit of self awareness and self discovery. When we’re attached to our thoughts and emotions and opinions, we hold them as fact. When we learn to recognize them for what they are, they become easier to process and move through. We move out of our heads and into our hearts.

Life is a messy affair. We don’t always know which way the wind will blow. We almost never have control (though we often convince ourselves we do). We don’t always get exactly what we want the minute we want it.

But we can always choose to love ourselves. We can always accept ourselves. And we can always find our way back to our hearts, to our joy. And at the end of the day, what else is there?