#112 Binge Watch a Show

If the motivation for disconnecting from the world to watch television for hours on end is to distress and regroup – then binge watching a program is a great way to do just that.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#112

Binge watch a show

‘Binging’ is not often attributed to a suggestion that might increase happiness and yet there are times when too much of a good thing ends up being even a better thing. Sometimes, taking a ‘down’ day offers our body, mind, and soul a much needed vacation from daily life and its stressors. One of the ways to escape is to binge watch television.

New Term

“Binge watching” is a relatively new term and yet it’s akin to the concept of ‘marathon’. Seemingly, one has a derogatory connotation while the other was much of a contest of sorts. When ‘reruns’ came into being, there would me weekend ‘marathons’ of Star Trek that captured the full attention of Trekkies all over the world. When the AMC channel was introduced and ran one Hallmark movie after another all day and night long, we’d hear about someone watching a ‘marathon’ of Robert Redford movies. Even movie theaters would offer marathons of Spencer Tracy movies or newsreels and you could buy a ticket and come in throughout the day – sit as long as you would choose – and leave when you were finished enjoying the experience. Today, we do it without commercials on channels like Netflix and Hulu but we call it ‘binging’.

Disconnecting

If the motivation for disconnecting from the world to watch television for hours on end is to distress and regroup – then binge watching a program is a great way to do just that. Pick an old favorite, a classic you never saw, or a series that you’ve had a hard time following (sometimes it is easier to follow if you don’t have to wait a week to reconnect to the story line). For some, there’s barely a difference between digressing into the dramatic world of television or devouring three Nora Roberts novelettes in a weekend.

Avoidance

When making the decision to ‘binge’… allow yourself an honest evaluation of the motivation. If is as describe in the paragraph above – give yourself permission to unplug and recharge. If, on the other hand, it is to AVOID something… you may want to reconsider using the binge suggestion as a reward for meeting the responsibilities at hand first. Avoidance rarely offers constructive consequences. Indeed, it is at the core of much dysfunction and the accessibility of binge watching on countless devices makes it an easy out when we are looking for excuses.

Set Limits

It may be appropriate to set limits for yourself as you enter a binge watching session. Personally, hanging out on a winter afternoon in front of the fireplace in my jammies and curled up in a blanket on my sofa watching reruns of Fixer Upper is one of the most relaxing things I can think of to do. If I were to do it every weekend, many of the things that are important to me would never get accomplished so its key to set a limit for my binging. I generally have an hour limit… once it was the entire day – 12 hours of a docu-series that I got hooked on right away. Most times it’s capped at 4 or 5 hours and I might do that a couple of times a year. I might of felt guilty that first time because there was a long list of ‘should’ playing in my mind but I’ve learned to silence them and use this suggestion as a form of ‘self care’.

Try it! You may find that it is fun to …

Binge watch a show.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#120 Use Imagery

If you are challenged to create a descriptive monologue that depicts exactly what you are hoping to achieve, then something recorded may be the best option to start with.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#120

Use Imagery

Yesterday I wrote about using affirmations – a practice popularized from the New Thought movement and now reinforced in many areas of positive psychology. Another technique used to build positivity and sometimes incorporated into cognitive therapy, is imagery.

Imagery

The goal behind imagery is to use your brain’s ability to imagine in order to foster thoughts and feelings more conducive to your goal. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it is helpful to imagine yourself sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in or by a waterfall, listening to the sound of the water hitting the rocks below.

If you’ve read The Secret or if you are a follower of the Law of Attraction, then you know that both promote the use of imagery by using vision boards or manifestation meditation in the pursuit of future objectives. The concept is “if you can ‘see’ it, then you can believe it – and ultimately manifest it as reality; a testament to the power of your brain and it’s connection to your body.

Guided Imagery

When getting started, guided imagery is often the best way to go. Three are thousands of guided imagery videos on YouTube and thousands of other scripts available online that you can record and listen to yourself. If you are challenged to create a descriptive monologue that depicts exactly what you are hoping to achieve, then something recorded may be the best option to start with.

Goals

Imagery is used in the treatment of anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure. It’s been shown to reduce blood loss and pain after surgery. It’s used with athletes to improve coordination, develop skill, and increase confidence. It can benefit self-esteem, deepen intuition, and bolster creativity. And, those are just the areas with empirical research substantiating the benefits.

There are some people who have claimed to ‘cure’ their cancer via visualization and The Simonton Process is now used in a number of hospitals across the country in cancer care. It’s a consistent practice of imagining cancer cells evaporating, getting swept away, or being attacked and destroyed by other means. Many of the patients who saw improvements – and an increase in immune function – were those who committed to the practice.

Think of a change you’d like to see in your life and search YouTube, or find a practitioner to help you get started. There’s a lot to gain when you learn how to…

Use imagery.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#165 Get a Massage

All this in a quiet room with soothing music and low light. If it’s a gentle massage, you’re likely to fall asleep.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#165

Get a Massage

One of the most wonderful self care practices you can participate in is the treat of a massage. There are few treats better than settling into a state of complete relaxation while someone gently moves their hands across your muscles in a way that continues to promote a deeper sense of comfort and calm. All this in a quiet room with soothing music and low light. If it’s a gentle massage, you’re likely to fall asleep.

Differences

There are different types of massage and it’s important to ask for the one you want with clarity because if you’re expecting a gentle rub down but end up with deep tissue kneading – you’re likely to be disappointed. A Swedish massage is where many people start – it’s wonderful for people sensitive to touch, desiring something relaxing, and soothing. The sensation of long strokes along the lines of your muscles is quite relaxing. It’s wonderful for working out small knots in the shoulders, neck, or back and can last as long as 90 minutes on average.

Variations

For a variation on the Swedish massage, try asking for Hot Stones! In addition to their hands, a masseuse will use heated stones in place of their hands to ease muscle tension, relieve pain, and improve the flow of blood toward the heart.

In addition to hot stones, your massage may include Aromatherapy which can add a healing boost to your experience. Depending the type of ‘aroma’, you may enjoy a mood boost, reduction of stress or anxiety, and/or pain relief just from the aroma in the room while you enjoy your massage. Some of the essential oils may also be used as oil that is rubbed into your skin – increasing the overall health benefit.

A deep tissue massage may be a better option if you have chronic muscle problems, pain, or anxiety. There is a stronger pressure with each stroke and with finger movements during a deep tissue massage. While it shouldn’t ‘hurt’ or leave you feeling sore – it’s not the kind of massage you want if you are specifically seeking relaxation and maybe a little nap.

Benefits

There are a number of other options available for massage treatments so it’s important to have a good conversation with your therapist to decide which is better for you. Massage can be helpful with circulation, sore muscles, lymph drainage, and overall stress management. Asking for gift certificates or finding deals on sites like Groupon will help keep them affordable. It’s a fantastic opportunity for you to practice a little self-care by taking time to …

Get a massage.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comm

#189 Go to a Salt Room

Halotherapy has indicated benefits for a number of respiratory and skin ailments; in-particular allergies and eczema.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#189

Go to a Salt Room

You may ask “what?” as you conjure images of a nice big Porterhouse steak hot off the grill with a shaker of pink Himalayan salt… but no – that’s not the intent, goal, or process behind a ‘salt room’.

Halotherapy

Salt rooms offer Halotherapy which, is a process of sitting in a room filled with fine particles of salt. In doing so, you inhale micro particles (similar to breathing ocean air) and it settles on your skin as it does after an ocean swim. Salt is known to reduce inflammation both when inhaled and on your body. [Mosquito bites heal much faster after ocean swimming.]

Relaxation

During your stay at the Salt Room, you’ll be sitting comfortably in a chair or on a yoga mat and the session is often coupled with a guided meditation, shifting your relaxation into high gear. Taking this ‘quiet’ time for yourself is a fantastic addition to your self care regimen.

Benefits

Halotherapy has indicated benefits for a number of respiratory and skin ailments; in-particular allergies and eczema.  It’s safe for people of all ages and there are no reported negative side effects. So far, there is only anecdotal evidence for the benefits of Salt therapy but the testimonies from people who have experienced their benefit is difficult to ignore.  

Popularity Increasing

Prior to a year ago, I’d never heard of halotherapy and I’m now aware of two rooms within reasonable driving distance of my home. There’s a high probability of one near you. At the very least, a number of spas have introduced some form of salt therapy in their offerings. The combined benefit of meditation would direct me toward a full functioning location and so I encourage you to take a step out – try something new – and …

Go to a Salt Room.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#287 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We’ve added fountains and water features to our pools and landscaping in an effort to bring that calming effect to our outdoor living space and there are any number of tabletop fountains…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#287

Listen to the sound of water

If you’re looking for a different way to relax and/or meditate – try listening to the sound of water flowing. There’s no denying that aside from initiating the urge to pee – running water is known to help us relax. Indeed, it’s true for so many people that white noise machines routinely include the sound of streams and/or oceans.

Science suggests that our brains relate the sound of water to a NON-threat environment; walks on the beach, picnics by the brook, and sitting by lilly filled ponds are all pleasant, pleasure inducing visions or experiences. Others suggest that the sound of water is one of the first elements that we experience in our womb environment – more data that our brain relates the sound of water to safety and security.

I’m not suggesting that being IN the water is the same as I know many people have negative experiences in regards to being in water; not knowing how to swim, bad boating or ocean experiences, etc…. But listening to the sound of water is the prominent point.

If you find yourself with a cranky infant – walking over to the sink and running the water will almost instantly calm the baby.  Oceanfront rooms around the world attempt to capitalize on the idea that you can hear the waves simply by opening the window or sitting on the patio/deck. We’ve added fountains and water features to our pools and landscaping in an effort to bring that calming effect to our outdoor living space and there are any number of tabletop fountains that bring the sound of running water neatly indoors for your listening pleasure.

If all else fails, you can head over to YouTube and discover thousands of video options to include beach waves, waterfalls, babbling brooks, and fountains from around the world so that your smart TV (or connection via HDMI) will generate the sound and vision simultaneously.

Focusing on the sound of running water will induce a calming effect within minutes, especially if combined with mindfulness. Use this strategy to bring a tranquil element to your space when stress is present in your life or if you anticipate a stressful situation. In an emergent scenario use this tip… find the closest bathroom, stand at the sink, turn on the faucet, and …

Listen to the sound of water.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#299 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

For me, old movies remind me of rainy Sunday afternoons when Shirley Temple reruns were played back to back or a childhood sick day when mom and  I curled up on the couch to watch Esther Williams synchronized her swim strokes to Hollywood music.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#299

Watch an old movie

The term old here is ‘relative’… depending on your current age, the movie that comes to mind when I suggest watching an old movie may be Casablanca from 1942 or it may be Saturday Night Fever from 1977. Frankly though… I am specifically referencing something that was filmed before the mid 1950’s when color films were the new standard. Black and white films starring Cary Grant, James Stewart, and Humphrey Bogart or the actresses of that era Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers or Ava Gardner. There is something special about allowing your imagination create the color of the scene – to imagine that the sky is a light blue or deep azure – depending on the context of the screen.

Does a character soften in your thoughts if she is wearing a light pink blouse instead of a stark white one? Would it matter to you if a sofa was dark grey or brown? How might the tension in the scene change if you imagined bright orange walls? While I am certainly not a film critic or even a student of film direction, there is most definitely something to the lighting techniques and shadow play in those old films that lend to the character of the scene and so black and white movie viewing is an experience worth having. If you can’t quite get there, try something from the sixties like The Graduate from 1967 or The Apartment from 1960. Old movies remind us that the shot is everything… that techno effects and post production editing, while nice – aren’t absolutely necessary for a good film.

For me, old movies remind me of rainy Sunday afternoons when Shirley Temple reruns were played back to back or a childhood sick day when mom and  I curled up on the couch to watch Esther Williams synchronized her swim strokes to Hollywood music. It’s like a stroll through an antique store missing only the musty smell, dust, and occasional cobweb. The next time you don’t feel well or are treated with a lazy Sunday afternoon, forget about binge watching The Office or catching up on Hulu’s latest hit and try treating yourself to something unfashionable but classic…

Watch an old movie.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#302 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

The low light condition of a room lit by candles resembles dusk to our brain – creating a reflex to begin winding down – and our body naturally starts to relax.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#302

Light candles

For more than 5000 years, candles have been a part of our lives – first for providing light, then ambiance, and in more recent time – they have offered us a way to make our environment smell better. Additionally, candlelight is attributed to romance, relaxation, and focus.

Candle meditation is beginning to rise in popularity as the flame offers a specific point of focus and is naturally soothing to our brain. Candle yoga is offered in some studios for the same reason. Our faces and bodies look softer (and younger?) in candlelight. The low light condition of a room lit by candles resembles dusk to our brain – creating a reflex to begin winding down – and our body naturally starts to relax.

Companies have made giant fortunes on the business of providing us with candle options. From the home party company Candlelight that many of us were familiar with as it made its rounds through suburbia in the early 2000’s, to the Yankee Candle Co. storefront in malls across America – businesses are marketing to our adoration of soft light and nice smells.

Some of us have even been introduced to the correct ‘way’ to care for our candles, depending on how many wicks it has and what kind of ingredients it is made of. Craft stores have dedicated entire isles for candle making supplies as the creatives among us take on the challenge of personalizing our little wax lights. And the combination of scents have matured from Rose and Cinnamon to Roasted Nutmeg Butternut Squash and Cucumber Melon Ocean Breeze… tantalizing us with the idea that an ocean breeze could actually be contained in a jar filled with wax.

Nevertheless, there does seem to be validity behind the idea that lighting a candle at home – for a variety of reasons – may add to your sense of well-being. So, if you are seeking relaxation, aromatherapy, or a nice romantic evening I’ll offer the simple suggestion of…

Light Candles.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.