Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide to Insomnia

By: Kate Hanley

Ms. Mindbody Kate Hanley shares the breathing exercise that will calm you back to sleep.

Insomnia takes different forms—either you can’t fall asleep to begin with, or you can fall asleep fine but you wake up in the middle of the night. This remedy can help with either type.

This simple breathing technique is particularly well-suited for helping you get back to sleep for three reasons: First of all, you can do it even when you’re lying in bed and exhausted, which is incredibly convenient. Second, taking a longer exhale requires a little act of surrender and helps you purge any tension you may be feeling. And finally, counting the length of your inhale and exhale is just enough of a distraction to take your attention off your thoughts.
Taking a longer 
exhale . . . helps you purge 
any tension you may be 
Extended Exhale Breathing
Two pillows-—one for under your head, one for under your knees
Time Needed:
As much time as you like
*  Lie on your back. Place one pillow under your knees so that you feel extra comfortable and supported. This arrangement also encourages the muscles in your lower back and abdomen to release completely, which enables you to breathe more deeply. The other pillow goes under your head.
*  Rest your hands on your belly and spend a few breaths feeling your hands rise as you inhale and fall on the exhale.
*  Once this belly breathing has helped you calm down a little, begin counting the length of your inhales and exhales. Inhale for a count of four, and exhale for a count of eight.
* If this count causes you any stress or strain, modify it to a more appropriate length for you. The only parameter is that the exhale should be twice as long as the inhale. Repeat until you feel yourself getting sleepy, verrrrry sleeeeeepyyyy...
If you’ve been at it for twenty minutes and you’re still not sleeping, get out of bed. On those long, dark nights when your mind won’t quiet down, get up, go in the other room, and write in your journal. It may not make any sense when you look at it by the light of day, but sitting and releasing all the thoughts that are swirling around eventually allows your natural urge for sleep to have its voice heard.
Soothes your nerves, which paves the way for the unrestricted breathing and total muscle relaxation that sleep brings. Gives you something to focus on besides your anxious thoughts and quiets your mind, making you more receptive to sleep’s gentle whispers

Other Remedies to Try:
Chamomile Tea • Open Your Inner Gate
Rescue Remedy • Supported Child’s Pose

The Anywhere, Anytime Chill GuideReprinted from The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide: 77 Simple Strategies for Serenity, by Kate Hanley. Published by skirt!, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT.

Kate Hanley

Learn more about Kate Hanley at her Web site

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Healing Depression Without Medication

BY: Tara Springett

Tara Springett discusses how to get over grudges that are causing depression. Depression and they all – without exception– overcame these painful feelings within a short time by following the advice that I will outline in this article.

I begin by showing all my clients how to send love to themselves - just like a mother would love her only child. Doing this has an enormous healing effect on our troubled emotions and prepares the ground for completely eliminating depression. We also need to learn to talk to ourselves just like a loving mother would talk to her troubled child and give up all harsh and judgemental words toward ourselves.

Many people believe that traumatic experiences of abuse and loss are the reason that they suffer from depression. While I have the deepest empathy with the feelings of my clients (having being abused as child myself) I do not believe that it is the trauma or abuse in itself that causes depression. What I have found is that most depressed people harbor deep-seated resentments against the people from their past who have hurt them. Sometimes, they even resent God for allowing painful things to happen. It is those unresolved resentments about the trauma – not the trauma in itself – that have turned into depression.

So, healing depression needs the acknowledgement of our grudges towards others who have caused us to suffer. Feeling this anger is an important step to recovery because once we feel angry we are already less depressed. Then we need to let our anger go because we are only harming ourselves with our chronic resentments – they will turn into depression and even physical sickness. However, I am not an advocate of ‘simply forgiving’. If we have experienced serious harm, nobody is in a position to simply forgive this. The person who has traumatised someone else will have to live with their guilt for the rest of their lives.

Letting go of our old grudges involves only one thing: sending positive energy to the other person with the intention that they will be healed from their negative impulses and regret what they have done. In other words, we need to send love to the very people who have harmed us.

Many people find it hard to imagine that they could send love to the very people who have hurt them. However, in my experience with my clients, most people find it easier than they initially believe. In fact, for many it feels like a big burden falls from their heart and their depression improves dramatically in a matter of minutes.

Once we have learnt to love ourselves and we have liberated ourselves from our negative self-talk and chronic resentment, it will become much easier to focus on positive feelings and our depression will soon be a thing of the past.

Tara SpringettTo learn more about eliminating depression please refer to Tara Springett's book The Five-Minute Miracle. Tara holds an M.A. in Education and has post-graduate qualifications in gestalt therapy, body awareness therapy and transpersonal therapy. She is a fully qualified and licensed psychotherapist and counselor. Tara has worked as a drugs counselor, counselor for adolescents and general psychotherapist since 1988. Tara has been a dedicated Buddhist practitioner since 1986. In 1997 she received encouragement from her Buddhist teachers to teach meditation.  Tara is the author of several self-help books. She has been featured in numerous publications and has appeared on various radio and television shows in Europe and the United States. Her website is:
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