Simple Ways to De-Stress and Gain Positive Energy

Calm
Courtesy of: http://www.laschivasrayadas.com.mx

I have been hearing great nuggets from online talks from Hay House (free until May 26) to help one to de-stress, build up the immune system and positive thoughts, and increase oxytocins, the hormone of joy and love.

From John Norseman’s talk in Hay House:

The power of [ONE] positive thought negates 85,000 of negative thoughts…you can’t afford to think negatively…but when you can’t help but feeling a negative thought, just think of something beautiful and something very positive, and you can clear the whole thing; having negative thought not just lower your immune system but your physical strength in your body (concept was proven by the Kinesiologists.)

…There can be no healing without forgiveness…the first step: you forgive, the second step: you bless, the step 3: you thank him [the person who wronged you, for all the efforts you expend to overcome it]…and you receive the freedom.

…Love is like a precious flower, it needs to be nurtured and refreshed everyday, always putting the others first, never taking the other for granted…make the most of everyday, living life as if each day is our last.

From Davidji’s blog:

16 Seconds That Will Change Your Life

Of all the pattern-interrupting techniques that I’ve shared throughout the world, the one with the most powerful effect in the shortest amount of time is perhaps the simplest one. It’s a game changer, and I call it “16 seconds to clarity.” Not only does it have a profound destressifying impact in the moment, but it can also be the foundation for greater clarity of thought, heightened creativity, deeper intuition, and making better choices. Let’s try it right now. It’s okay to keep reading as you go through this exercise with me.

Think of something that has irritated or bothered you in the past few days . . . a difficult conversation, a disappointment, an unmet expectation. Perhaps someone said they would do something and they didn’t, or they said they would meet you at a certain time and they were late, or they unexpectedly shared something about you with another person and it got back to you. (Don’t go too deep. This isn’t therapy.) But right now, feel free to envision that other person’s face . . . maybe replay the moment in your mind’s eye, even notice someplace in your body that feels connected to the irritation. Take a few moments to settle into that space.

Now take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nostrils, and as you do . . . slowly count to four, and observe the air as it moves into your nostrils and to the back of your throat. Watch your breath as it moves down your chest and deep into your lungs. Feel your belly expand.

Observe your belly being filled, and hold that breath in to the count of four. And just witness the breath in your belly as you silently count. One, two, three, four.

Now slowly, to the count of four, release your breath and watch it as it moves up into your chest, into your throat, into your sinuses, and out through your nostrils.

And when the last wisp of air is out of you, hold that breath out to the count of four. And observe it, watch it, witness it . . . as it dissipates into the air.

Now breathe normally, and let’s try it with your eyes closed. Remember: in four—hold four—out four—hold four. And make sure you follow your breath. Observing it along the way is key to the process. (I’ll wait right here . . . it’s only 16 seconds.)

I’m guessing you’re back right now, eyes open and breathing normally. Well, our whole experience was 32 seconds: 16 seconds with your eyes open and 16 seconds with your eyes closed. And in that half a minute while you were observing your breath (assuming you were playing along), you were totally present. You were not thinking about the past or any of its grievances or regrets, nor moving into the future with all its predictions and projections. You were not thinking about your irritation. You were totally in the present moment. Your mind is a little calmer; your heartbeat has slowed a bit. You’ve filled your body with heavily oxygenated blood and nourishing hormones, and in the process, you’ve released a little bit of stress.

In under a minute, you have taken a powerful step into destressifying. The formal terminology for what’s happening in 16 seconds is introducing a pattern interrupt. You actually just jammed the brakes on a potential surge of stress hormones and all the negative bodymind reactions you were starting to feel. You broke the flow of conditioned physical and emotional responses. Just the thought of this irritating situation or person triggered a memory of the stressful circumstances, and in 16 seconds you returned to the present moment. Then in the 17th second, you’re clearer—beyond the moment of emotion. You are a bit calmer . . . a bit lighter . . . a bit easier.

From Julie Daniluk:

The Role Of Serotonin

Serotonin creates a sense of peace, self-esteem, happiness and safety. Beyond concentration and relaxation, the more serotonin you have on board, the less pain you will experience. We boost serotonin levels naturally by embracing the practice of yoga or tai chi, prayer and meditation. Even going for a walk amoung the trees and sitting in the sunlight can boost serotonin naturally. Talking with a close friend or writing to love one can bolster the love hormone oxytocin and serotonin levels.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole gluten free grains, including wild rice, buckwheat, amaranth, teff and quinoa and root vegetables, squash and fresh fruits boost serotonin levels, creating a sense of calm, peace and confidence.

Herbs that help boost serotonin levels include burdock, dandelion and ginseng.  Read more.

Finding gratitude in plants

Not just “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but treasure the small stuff!

In the recent rainy days of San Francisco, I particularly enjoy seeing the flowers and trees – they are extremely lush, colorful, and useful.

Beautiful peach blossoms in front of the Ferry Building in San Francisco

 

Trees lining the pavement acting as rain shelter!

 

Lovely idea for your balcony – taken from a page in a book (sorry can’t remember the title)

 

Arranging Flowers Like a Pro

To all flowers lovers including yours truly, here is a short and sweet video to how to arrange flowers like a pro from Food52 for your parties and just pure bliss at home.  Play around with your glass containers, bud vase, egg vase, canning jars, etc. for beautiful arrangements on your tabletops, shelves, and fireplaces!

Courtesy of Food52.com

The first completed road in British Hong Kong

When I was travelling in Hong Kong in February, I took a good look at the road I stepped on almost daily every time I was in HK (but usually no stopping), the Hollywood Road.  This road was the second road to be built after the British took over Hong Kong, but the first to be completed. Embark.org describes the Hollywood Road vividly:

A popular street for travelers in central Hong Kong, Hollywood Road is known for it’s many local shops and open-air vendors, where you can purchase a wide range of curios, include pro-Maoist memorabilia, to bring back home to the weekday warriors that couldn’t make the trip. The first road to be completed in the original British settlement in Hong Kong, this is also the best place to find a resurgence of contemporary art, with a number of fine galleries from one end of the street to the other. Also of interest is Hong Kong’s oldest temple, Man Mo, a bounty of culture amongst the “antique” stores of the area. For those who need to escape the traffic and gawking, there is Hollywood Road Park at the western end of the thoroughfare [editor: this park is peaceful and gorgeous!]

Here are some pictures to feed your imaginations:

    
    
    
    
     

Even the chairs and the screen at Starbucks (last 2 photos) go with the antique theme – fun in a combination of the modern and old worlds.

New Year, New Luck, New Project

Happy New Year of the Monkey!  May this year be the year when your best of dreams come true, and a year filled with great happiness, wealth, and health!  If you know your zodiac sign, you can check out your luck this year here and you can see what the character of your zodiac sign means (keep scrolling down).

In celebrating a New Year, I am also doing a project which I have been thinking for a little while.  I would like to make a PDF booklet gathering from a group of friends your health tips/habits that have made a difference to your health and energy, your favourite wellness food and drinks, yummy recipes, and apps or tools that you cannot live without, etc. Then I would love to share among us.

If you would like to contribute, please fill in this survey and let me know by the end of February, 2016.  Here’s to health and wellness!  Thank you so much!

Year of the Monkey_Google Continue reading

2 recipes (sweet) I am dying to make

As you can see I love to record what I cherish on my blog; these are often simple and pleasant sceneries, activities, objects, food, drinks or tips that I love to always come back to.

Here are 2 sweet recipes I am eager to make:

1. Sweet potato kale ball from Ricki Heller’s blog.

Mix coconut milk, cumin, onion bits, granulated garlic, sea salt, chopped kale into the steamed and mashed sweet potato, and then mold into little balls.  Sprinkle some grounded flax seeds on top.  Then bake for 20-25 minutes.  Sounds delicious and healthy!

2.  Chocolate on Baguette from Allrecipes.

Cut slices from the baguette, drizzle some olive oil and put them in the oven for about 2 minutes. Then put a piece of dark, bittersweet chocolate on top and then bake for another 2 minutes (6 inches away from heat source.) Alternatively, melt the dark chocolate with olive oil in a pot and then put the sauce onto the baguette.  Sprinkle some sea salt, add some orange zest (optional) and enjoy! If you are gluten-free, there is a recipe to make Gluten-free and egg-free baguette!

Chocolate on baguette