We love this simple and effective breath practice from BreathAware. Keep it open on your computer and just follow the practice whenever you feel the need to settle your body and mind. Not only is this practice good for your physical health – improving cardiovascular health and strengthening core muscles – it also helps to reduce fatigue and stress.

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When asked by researchers, “how in love are you with your partner?” 46 percent of women and 49% of men who had been married for 10 years or more answered “very intensely in love.

This report (1) from the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science from Stony Brook University is the result of a survey of 274 couples who also revealed their reasons why they thought their love lasted.

1. Hugging and kissing! Physical affection does more than tell your partner that you care and therefore want to be close. Affectionate physical contact (as well as tone of voice) actually releases oxytocin, called the “cuddle hormone” and is innate within all humans. The study also showed that when there was a general lack of affection, intense love didn’t last. Physical affection was, in fact, reported to be the glue that kept couples together even when they were going through difficult times or challenges within their relationship.

2. Sex! Although frequency of sexual activity was a direct correlation to intensity of love, 25% reported that they were still intensely in love after not having been sexual in the last 30 days.

3. Think positive and be grateful! When we live with someone day in and day out, it’s so easy to take them for granted and forget the very qualities we first saw in them. Every day is a choice to be aware, to appreciate and to acknowledge our partners and cultivate our love.

4. Sharing experiences! Relationships deepen and memories are woven through shared experiences. Stepping out of our ruts and sharing stimulating activities, travel adventures, new ideas or the simple joys of taking walks together or cooking – all strengthen the bond of love and relationship history.

5. Choosing your happiness! Being in a loving, joyous relationship begins with our relationship to ourselves. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and our happiness. In other words, to bring forth our best selves. As shown in this survey, it is one part of enjoying a vibrant, engaging and growing relationship.

(1)http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/08/01/1948550611417015.abstract Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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Empathy is a word that is thrown around a lot these days, however, in this ‘fix it fast’ society it can easily feel as though we just aren’t doing anything worthwhile if we simply allow ourselves to be present with another person’s pain.  And what does it mean to ‘be present’?  It is not doing a solitary brain storming session on how to fix the problem.  It is not being so filled and focused on our own sadness, guilt, discomfort or impatience that there isn’t a square inch of room to feel what another person is feeling.

It is the quieting of the mind as we feel the sensations of our breath moving in and out of our bodies and gently breathing into our own heart.  It is allowing the mind to quiet, even just a bit, in order to feel what this person in front of you may be feeling.  It is looking in to their eyes and feeling into their hearts – the simple and profound experience of connection.

 

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health and meditationAccording to Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, 20 minutes of meditation can significantly increase your health.   Two hundred adults with heart disease were divided into two groups.  One group was taught to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day; the other group was encouraged to spend a similar amount of time exercising and preparing healthy meals.  The results of the decade study report the following:

• the meditation group reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke by 66 percent over the non -meditating group

• the meditators reduced their blood pressure, reported reduced occurrence of anger and increased happiness.

So why not give a try?

For more information on mindfulness meditation, please call Celedra at 971-258-7252

 

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