Five mindfulness steps towards happiness

Many of us struggle with an unhealthy, stressful, sad work-life balance. The good news is that we are not doomed to that, as we can, and we should, improve that balance so that our life can become better, healthier, and happier.

Here are five steps that will help you develop mindfulness during your days and will put you in the right direction for your ultimate goal: happiness.

1. Start your day with the right foot

When you wake up in the morning, don’t rush checking your email and social media. Instead, take your time to make some exercise (I suggest starting with the Dai-Hara Kizendo version of the Qi Gong routine called Ba Duan Jin – Eight Pieces of Brocade). It takes just ten minutes and will give you a positive boost that will last long in the day.
Drink a glass of water to re-hydrate your body and go to wash up in the morning.
Use this time to belly breath, in order to further give you the right start.

2. Be present while having breakfast

When you’re having your breakfast, try to be fully present.
Experience the full range of sensations you are feeling. The taste, the smell, the look and the texture of the food are an integral part of your eating time. Use your senses and what they tell you to give you the right connection with the starting day.

3. Have a break during the day

At some point during your day, take some time for you. Take some time to have a break, possibly having a short walk in a park, or even just around your office, or home, where you find it more enjoyable.
Try to add this break to your daily routine to build its positive effects up.
While having the break, whether you are walking or not, pay your undisturbed attention to each breath, to each sensation, to each step you do. Turn off your phone, make yourself unavailable for external distraction, and allow yourself to experience 15/20 minutes of break.
Should you be able to make this break even longer than this you could also add some of your favourite activities during it, like reading (not work-related material!), journaling, drawing, exercising.
You know better what you like the most!

4. Practice gratitude

At least once every day, practice gratitude.
Take your time to expand your gratitude to all the people who contributed to your day. Think to all the people needed to let you eat your food, to travel, to live in your home.
This extended gratitude will help you adjusting your feelings and reset your mind: everyone in this world has a role, from the smaller to the bigger ones.
Think about all it takes to be present in this moment, and be grateful for that.

5. unwind before sleeping

Before going to sleep, take 5/10 minutes to completely relax your mind and your body, using belly breathing and body scan meditation.
Use this time to realign the two parts of your being, mind and soul, letting out of all negative thoughts and emotions, and letting in positive ones.
This will help you have your calm, relaxed, and deserved rest.

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How stress hurts us

Welcome to April!

Very probably, with the arrival of Spring you start to become aware that you’re overstressed due to work.

According to recent studies from the American Institute of Stress, up to 65% of professionals state that workplace stress is the cause of their distress.

As you certainly know, stress has a negative impact both on our minds and our bodies.

Some of the signs that your mind/body system is overstressed are:

FREQUENT SICKNESS

If you feel like you’re constantly battling against a lot of not well-defined illnesses, stress may well be the cause. This occurs because stress takes a great toll on your immune system, leaving you more subject to infections.

Different clinical studies show that people exposed to chronic stress have weakened immune response to the flu vaccine, and that stressed adults are more prone to respiratory infections and experience 60% more days of symptoms than the people who are not stressed.

CHANGES IN LIBIDO

Many people experience changes in their libido due to stress and anxiety.

A study showed how high levels of stress are associated with lower levels of sexual activity and satisfaction in women and men.

TIREDNESS AND INSOMNIA

Stress also causes a very negative effect on your sleep. When you are overstressed, the cortisol levels in your blood become unbalanced, thus reversing the normal patterns. This means that you will be unable to fall asleep quickly, you will have troubled nights, and then you will wake in the morning tired.

YOU HAVE INTESTINAL PROBLEMS

Our guts are our second brain, so it’s no surprise that when we are stressed and anxious, they undergo a lot of negative side effects.

These range from a feeling of having knots in our stomach, intestinal inflammation, digestion difficulties, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and more.

EFFECTS ON OUR BODY

Stress puts our amygdala, the oldest part of our brains, in a permanent state of alert, putting us in a fight or flight mode. When this mode is active, we partially lose the control of our rational brain and we become more uncontrollable and unpredictable. Fight or flight hormones are released in our body, and they increase our blood pressure, heart rate, and alter our muscular tension and respiration. All these things are designed to let us be prepared to cope with an emergency.

We can feel the adrenaline being pumped in, and our heart start beating quicker and with more strength, and sometimes it can miss some beats while we experience hyperventilation.

EFFECTS ON MIND

Stress and anxiety, as everyone has easily experienced, have a very negative effects on our brain. When the amygdala takes control of the situation, we become unable to access memories, information, focus control.

This is because our body goes into a survival mode, shutting off all functions that aren’t necessary for survival.

To help solving all these symptoms, Dai-Hara Kizendo offers a vast range of solutions, starting from meditation, passing through relaxation and mindfulness practice, and arriving to physical exercises.

Next on this site: meditation

In today’s life stress, anxiety, tiredness can negatively impact on the quality of our being. Often, we don’t know how to deal with these feelings.

Meditation can be the right solution: it helps relaxing, addressing stress and anxiety, increasing self-confidence.

Dai-Hara Kizendo has developed a series of tools based on meditation, mindfulness, and gentle physical activity, that will help you getting immediate results. No previous experience is required, and all the exercises can be done everywhere, at any time.

On this site you will find meditation tips, exercises, and practices. Follow us now not to lose the opportunity to life a happier, more relaxed life!

Meditation to manage stress

Stress is one of the biggest problems in today’s life of many people.

A research performed by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows that one of the most relevant factors in employees sickness is chronic stress.

Various researches and studies have clearly shown that when an employee is
stressed, s/he is also less engaged, produces less, and is often absent from work. Only in the USA, the consequences of stress-related illnesses cost businesses the incredible sum of $190 billion a year.

Scientist agree in recognizing the benefits of meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness practices in personal and professional environments.
Meditation, in particular, has been proved as having long lasting effects on its practitioners when dealing with stress levels.
So, science suggests that adopting a life style change that brings to the adoption of meditation and relaxation practices can contribute to an healthier, happier life.

Investing in one’s wellness, both mental and physical, and in one’s business environment wellness, is a wise choice, that is no longer acceptable to delay. Meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness can be easily adopted by anyone, in every place, at any time, and those who decide to invest on it, quickly discover the wide range of associated benefits in their personal and professional life.

These benefits go from a better mental health, increased levels of morale, better communication and participation in groups, to a better goal setting, more concentration, clearer planning and execution. All this is possible thanks to the positive effects meditation has on emotions, brain’s physiology, and body stress reaction.

Our mind and our body are bound, and as negative patterns impact on both, thus positive behaviours create a positive spiral of increased resiliency and wellness. Of course everyone is aware that, even if we try, we cannot separate our personal stress reaction from a “business-related” one. When we are stressed, the effects ripple both on our personal and professional lives.

Through meditation, we can build a healthier mind, understanding how our body reacts to stressors, and nurturing a conscious awareness of how each stressor could be controlled so that its impact on us is limited or eliminated.

Dai-Hara Kizendo meditation practices, when specifically aimed at managing stress, focus on awareness, relaxation and breathing. These kind of exercises can be done everywhere, at any time, by everyone, even those who never tried meditation before. With our method you will start reconnecting your mind and your body, understanding yourself and your reactions to stress.

With these tools, you will connect your body to your mind, creating the right attitude to address stress, relax, and live better.

Soon, basic courses on Udemy

Great news !

I am working on a series of basic courses for the Udemy website. These courses will cover the real roots of the Dai-Hara Kizendo Syllabus.

The subjects will cover (but will not be limited to):

  • Intro to meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Breathing
  • Basic ki development

 

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Follow us to get updated !

 

Be present

One of the key issues in today’s life is that we often are not aware of ourselves and of the environment all around us.

I suggest here 3 easy exercises to help you be present. These quick and effective exercises can be made everywhere. Start when you are in a comfortable place and when you learn the technique, use it every time you need it.

Feet on ground

It’s a very easy technique, highly effective and it takes just a minute.

Sit or stand, relax your body breathing deeply. Bring your awareness, all of it, on the sole of your feet. Feel the ground, feel the pressure your feet put on it and how the ground feels (cold/hot, hard/soft ?).

Drive your full attention to your sensations.

Time: 1 minute.

Observe your breath

The second technique can be done just after the first one or as a single exercise.

Sit or stand, feet shoulder apart. Close your eyes and keep it close during all the exercise. When you inhale, observe the air that enters through your nose and feel it while it fills your lungs. Exhaling, observe your lungs that become empty while keeping your mouth slightly open.

The more you will practice this technique, the more it becomes effective. The goal of this exercise is to observe the breath instead of forcing it. Let your thoughts pass through your mind without any attachment. You should aim at letting your body and your mind reach unity through breathing.

Time:  starting from 5 minutes up.

Becoming a tree

Stand with your feet parallel at shoulder’s width apart. Let the weight of your body settle towards the ground, relaxing all the muscles. Keep your head straight like if you had a rope from your top-head keeping it up; leave your chin naturally tucked, and let the spine straighten through relaxation. Keep your hands over your hara (over your navel).

Let all the body center itself on its center of gravity, that is right under your first chakhra (your perineus) and in a point on the ground between your feet. Release all muscular tension and let your energy freely flow through your feet.

You need to imagine being a tree, with your feet being your roots. You keep your ki (your vital energy) from the ground and absorb it. Your body will be the trunk, stable and rooted. Imagine your head being the leafs, that get the positive energy from the sun, releasing all the negative energy breath after breath.

The most stunning benefit of this exercise, is an increase in physical and mental energy, achieved trough a proper body posture. A correct posture relieves fatigue as it allows a correct ki/energy flow in the body.

Time: from 5 minutes up.