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Group Wellness Program 60-DAY. Relax TENSION is who you think you should be RELAXATION (Chinese proverb) is who you are.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Wellness Program 60-DAY. Relax TENSION is who you think you should be RELAXATION (Chinese proverb) is who you are."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Wellness Program 60-DAY

2 Relax

3 TENSION is who you think you should be RELAXATION (Chinese proverb) is who you are

4 In our modern world there are seemingly endless sources of potential stressors. As soon as one has been dealt with, another one comes along. In the Longevity Hot Spots, sources of stress are very few. Relax

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7 People do the same thing every day and know what to expect. They have no money worries because they have just enough and no more than they need. They look after each other. Being physically well and eating well has a relaxing effect on the mind. People do not have stressful jobs – traditionally they have worked the land. People are mainly outdoors in a beautiful setting rather than dealing with traffic jams or busy streets. Longevity Hot Spots are low-stress places:

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9 Many of us do not have that option. We can, however, find ways to manage how we react to potentially stressful situations. We can create more relaxation in our lives. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Longevity Hot Spots are low-stress places:

10 Raised levels of the stress hormone, cortisol: accelerates bone loss, disrupts insulin and blood sugar, leads to excess weight, is toxic to the brain and is pro-aging Raised blood pressure – bad for artery and heart health Reliance on drugs or alcohol Chronic stress is linked with heart disease, diabetes and depression (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007) Health effects of stress

11 Long-lived people have been found to have resilience to stress. The New England Centenarian Study (2009) from Boston University: people who live long are less neurotic and have a greater ability to deal with stress than others. Centenarian Study in Okinawa: Okinawans have unyieldingness – an inner strength and resilience. Hot Spot people do things which reduce stress: exercise, socializing, meditation, strong spiritual beliefs, hobbies, eating well. We can do all those things. Health effects of stress

12 Acute stress and chronic stress

13 Acute stress: some events are stressful but short-lived. We need to feel stressed in order to have an appropriate fight-or-flight reaction to these types of events. It is natural to feel this way and should not cause long-term health problems. Acute stress and chronic stress

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15 Chronic stress: – this is more low-level but may happen on a daily basis. If you are suffering from chronic stress, you may find that small things make you flare up more easily than they should, which adds to your stress levels. Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue – feeling tired, tired but wired in the evenings, sleeping poorly, putting on weight. This can be reversed with the right diet and lifestyle – such as the BluePrint for Life! Acute stress and chronic stress

16 Irritability and/or bad temper - flying off the handle at the slightest thing Difficulty getting up in the mornings – your alarm clock is your worst enemy Fatigue – everything seems like too much effort Sensitivity to criticism – everyone is so mean to you all the time Difficulty sleeping and having an inconvenient second wind later in the evening after having been tired all day long Colds and other minor illnesses seem to linger on forever Low libido – youd rather sleep or watch TV Indigestion Signs of chronic stress

17 Poor memory and concentration – where did you park the car again? Headaches High blood pressure Feeling dizzy when you stand up (a sign of low blood pressure caused by adrenal exhaustion) Depression – whats the point in doing anything? Lifes pointless anyway Aches and pains which dont seem to have any particular cause Reliance on alcohol, coffee or tranquillizers – in fact having them is the highlight of your day Sugar or salt cravings Signs of chronic stress

18 how to be by stress LESS STRESSED

19 yesterdays history, tomorrows a mystery, today is a gift – thats why they call it (Kung Fu Panda) THE PRESENT

20 Try not to worry about potential problems which may not happen. Not worrying today and feeling good in the present can influence your future in any case, since it will affect how you approach life and other people. In the Hot Spots, people live in the present moment because they stay busy and they know they will be doing mainly the same things again tomorrow. Try focussing on the current moment for a few minutes each day, or several times a day, by simply focussing on your breathing and letting your thoughts pass by. Take up a rewarding hobby such as knitting, golf, hiking, painting, or anything else you find therapeutic or immediately gratifying and which helps you concentrate on the now. Be in the moment

21 Do things at a pace which is comfortable for you – ultimately this may be more productive. Make a list of all the things you want to do or have to do – this will give you some sense of control, especially as you tick them off. If something goes wrong, dont worry – just keep going. Its all forward movement. Take one step at a time – eventually you will be able to look back on what you have achieved – whatever that may be - with satisfaction. Dont give yourself a hard time! It is counter-productive. When things go wrong simply work out what to do next. Be a tortoise, not a hare

22 Set yourself goals, but be realistic. Do you really need to make a million dollars? How likely are you to win the Nobel Prize? If those things never happen, are you going to spend your life feeling something is missing? In the Hot Spots, people are free from feeling they need to gain possessions or status. Focus on who you are, rather than on some ideal about who you should be. Be a tortoise, not a hare

23 When we meditate, the body enters a profound state of restfulness which is the direct opposite of the stressful, aging fight-or-flight state. Meditation is such an effective way to lower stress that it is used in some hospitals to aid the healing process and reduce pain. Meditation has been found to significantly boost the immune system, alleviate depression, help heal psoriasis, and slow disease progression in patients with HIV. Meditate

24 Transcendental Meditation, or TM, may be especially beneficial for slowing down the aging process and reducing chronic disease. Studies have found that TM lowers blood pressure, improves insulin use in the body, improves cardiac health, and reduces hospital admission for cancer, heart disease, infectious disease and mental disorders. Meditation is practiced in Bama and Okinawa. Try a meditation class or doing mini-meditations at regular points during the day in which you simply focus on your breath and try to put your attention on the present moment. Meditate

25 1.Find a quiet place to sit for minutes. 2.Sit cross-legged on the floor or against the wall in a way that enables you to be comfortable for the duration of meditation. 3.Keep your back straight and your neck aligned with your spine, with your head tilted slightly forward. 4.Keep perfectly still. 5.Half-close your eyes – this will help prevent both daydreams and visible objects from distracting you. 6.Relax your shoulders. 7.Slightly constrict your sphincter so as to preserve internal energy circulation. Simple 10-Step Meditation Technique

26 8.Exhale the old air from your lungs with a few breaths, then take a few deep breaths. Start to breathe normally, with smooth soft breaths, and focus on your breath. 9.Focus on internal sounds and ignore external sounds. 10.Stray thoughts will start to come. Let them pass through. Do not focus on them but do not try to push them away either. Simply let your internal dialogue become weaker and weaker, and do nothing. Keep focusing on your breathing only. Simple 10-Step Meditation Technique

27 1.Hold any tension you feel in your forehead until it feels uncomfortable, then let it drop. 2.Notice the way the sense of relaxation spreads through the head. Allow the warm feeling to move to the scalp, the back of the head, the ears, the temples, the cheeks, and then the nose. 3.Open your mouth and chin and relax your jaw, then your whole face. 4.Relax your neck muscles and let your head tip forward. 5.Allow the feeling of relaxation to flow into your shoulders, arms, and hands, then down your back, across your chest, down over your abdomen and to the base of your spine. 10-Step Relaxation Exercise

28 6.Let your buttocks go limp, then relax your thighs, legs, feet, and tips of toes. 7.Take a moment to check that all parts of your body are completely relaxed, starting at the top of your head and working your way down. 8.Inhale deeply and send the fresh breath to any areas which need attention, bringing a sense of relaxation to them. 9.Exhale, feeling any tension becoming replaced with relaxation. 10.When quiet and relaxed, remain a few minutes more to enjoy it, then gradually rouse yourself back to a state of alertness. (If you are trying to go to sleep, miss out this last step.) 10-Step Relaxation Exercise

29 Many or most of us are not breathing properly. This can increase stress levels. Deep breathing has a relaxing, rejuvenating effect. Breathe Deep

30 Try this simple deep breathing method: 1.Sit cross-legged in loose clothes and keep your spine straight. Relax. 2.Inhale and exhale slowly, expanding your chest and lower abdomen as you breathe in. Count to five. 3.Breathe out all the old stale air and imagine the fresh, new air coming in and reaching to all the parts of your body. 4.Remember not to overdo it, as this may lead to hyper-oxygenation which can cause dizziness. Do what feels natural. Breathe Deep

31 Meditation, aerobic exercise and yoga are all also ways to improve deep breathing. Try also humming, which is relaxing and also enables us to hold in more oxygen while exhaling. Breathe Deep

32 People in the Hot Spots generally go to bed at dusk and arise at dawn. Researchers have found that on average they get 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Many also take siestas during the afternoon million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. Seven hours per night is currently the recommended amount, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry Studies show that sleep is anti-cancer, protects the heart, boosts mental function, improves immunity, and helps keep weight down by regulating appetite hormones and glucose use in the body. Sleep improves resilience to stressful situations. Get plenty of sleep

33 Go to bed and get up at the same time each day – your body clock will then function better and you should feel sleepy at bedtime. Have a relaxing routine at bed time. Avoid using electronic devices before bed as these are stimulating and disrupt production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Teenagers produce less melatonin, which is why they often want to stay up late and have trouble waking. Focus on the breath and try not to think! Ways to get a good nights sleep

34 Check your magnesium and calcium levels – waking early can be a sign of low levels. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables to keep levels up. Dont go to bed too hungry or too full – either of these can prevent you from sleeping well. Avoid having caffeine, alcohol or sugar too close to bedtime, since these are stimulants. Ways to get a good nights sleep

35 If you have been chronically stressed and producing excess adrenaline on a regular basis for a long time, your adrenal glands may be under-functioning as a result of overwork. Symptoms of low adrenal function include irritability, fatigue even after a good nights sleep, apathy about life in general, low blood pressure, a second wind later in the evening, and salt cravings. The BluePrint for Life will help the adrenals recover. You need: – A healthy diet and lifestyle Give your adrenals some TLC

36 Plenty of nutrients (have 2 scoops of Essentials daily as nutrients such as zinc and magnesium will feed adrenals) Avoid sugar and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol A good nights sleep most nights (try to go to bed before 10pm) Ashwagandha – a herb which helps normalize cortisol levels Give your adrenals some TLC

37 Laugh it off

38 A Loma Linda University study from 1996 showed that laughter can significantly boost immunity. In another study, watching a funny film was found to expand the blood vessels, while watching a stressful film was found to cause them to constrict. Laughter reduces stress and triggers the release of feel-good endorphins. At laughter workshops, people have a good belly laugh for several minutes daily. Laugh it off

39 Exercise lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, it triggers the release of feel-good endorphins, and it reduces anxiety and depression. Exercise

40 People in the Hot Spots have strong spiritual beliefs of different kinds. Having a strong spiritual faith reduces levels of stress. It provides an anchor, a sense of comfort, a source of strength and a feeling of support. Studies from the National Institutes of Health show that praying lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Prayer also reduces levels of cortisol. Worship

41 Worshipping at a church can also be a pleasurable way to socialize and give focus to the week. Being in touch with your spirituality does not have to mean joining a particular faith – it can just mean nurturing a sense of some larger force and wider purpose. Worship

42 ACTIVITY: Try to incorporate at least 1 of these relaxation techniques once each day. Write down how you feel afterward.

43 NEXT WEEK: fruit


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