Viewing posts categorised under: Energy

The power of breath

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Body Breathe Energy Focus inner awareness Mindfulness Re-energise Stress weight management Wellbeing Wellness

Conscious breathing

Lung Power

 Did you know that our lungs are enormous? If you laid them out flat they would cover an entire tennis court.
The significance of this vital organ may suggest the importance of mastering the technique of breathing, if we are to ensure optimal health. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that we can do both unconsciously and consciously, and for thousands of years, ancient cultures have understood the control of the breath - to increase focus, awareness of self and slow the mind. Modern western science has also woken up to investigating the benefits of breathing consciously as a way to manage stress, boost mood and energy levels and even manage weight. Our breath is an indicator of our mood and our mood is an indicator of our breath. This means that if we change how we breathe we can change our mood. It also means that when our mood changes so does our breath.  

Conscious Breathing

There are several ways to consciously breathe, such as the Kapalabhati (breath of fire) and pranayama yogic breathing. They all share one thing in common, they induce rest in the body, by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.

The Alpha State

When we ground ourselves through the breath, we move into a lower vibrational state, close to the alpha state. In this highly focused but calm state, we turn on our creative brain, become more aware of our surroundings and can observe life from a different perspective. Doctors Brown and Gerbarg’s Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing Study in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression found that yogic breathing balances the autonomic nervous system, which influences stress-related disorders.

Breathe to Release Stress and Anxiety

Becoming more aware helps us to differentiate between experiences that induce fear or stress and the physiological changes that arise from them. By noticing our perception and physical reaction to them, we are able to enhance and safeguard our health in a more conscious and responsible manner.  

Better Mind, Body and Spirit.

We are each born with billions of brain cells, and when we deprive them of oxygen, our performance will suffer. For example when we hyperventilate, we expel too much CO2, meaning less oxygen can be absorbed by the body, which leads us into a cycle of breathing even faster. By practicing balanced breathing we allow oxygen to circulate evenly, to saturate the blood - feeding every cell in the body, muscles, brain, organs, and skin, while allowing the metabolism to burn fat and work more efficiently.

All is Well in My World

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The passing of Louise Hay was indeed a sad day for us all at PS. Even though she died of natural causes and had reached a ripe age of 90, she represents a great loss and will be missed by millions, all over world.

Louise has been proclaimed to be founder of the self-help movement as a pioneer in initiating the connection between mind and body as well as bringing spirituality into the mainstream. In 1976, she published Heal Your Body, at a time when self-help was almost unknown. It was an instant success and steered Louise who was 50 at the time, into a thriving, lifelong career. Along came the phenomenal bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, which sold more than 50 million copies and reached the New York Times bestseller list for 13 consecutive weeks. By that time, her affirmations and intuitive self-healing had been proven to be successful. Louise herself had been diagnosed with cancer and by using herself as a guinea pig she replaced traditional drugs and medicine with her affirmations, visualisation, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Louise healed herself within six months. By revealing how mental patterns can cause physical illness Louise taught us to use visualisation, affirmations, and positive thoughts to help reverse ailments and illness. Through Louise’s healing techniques millions have learned how to create healthier, more positive, pain-free and fulfilled lives. As well as not-for-profit - The Hay Foundation, Louise created Hay House, a publishing company that will continue her legacy of self-discovery, spirituality, and healing. Louise will be remembered for her wealth of illuminating quotes and sound teachings that are more relevant than ever, in today’s world of spiritual chaos, and growing mental and physical disease. She has been pivotal in growing the spiritual groundswell, gaining momentum around the world.

RIP Louise Hay.

We thank you for shining your light.

5 Ways to Instantly Boost your Wellbeing

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emotional wellbeing Energy Focus Happy mental health Re-energise REJUVENATE Wellbeing

Nurture from within

“Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment."

Martin Seligman     Paradigm Switch founder Neroli Jones identifies 4 pillars of wellbeing; mental, physical, purposeful and the one that is often the most overlooked - emotional. To experience a true sense of wellbeing we need to balance all these elements. Here are some effective wellbeing practices you can incorporate into your week.

MASSAGE

Boost your wellbeing through relaxation

Boost your wellbeing through relaxation

Massage is a recognised way to reduce stress and produce deep relaxation. Consider a massage when you are feeling particularly tense or anxious. The practice of using touch as a healing method began over 5000 years ago as a sacred system of natural healing when ancient civilizations found that massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. Todays therapists practice a multitude of techniques originating from the ancient methods. From those origins comes the inspiration to help with healing physical and emotional wellbeing.

 

GET CREATIVE

Whether it’s with arranging a vase of fresh flowers or crafting your own garden, putting some inner creativity into your life will develop a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Not all of us are budding artists but most will take pleasure in cooking a delicious meal, or creating a calm space in the home. Whatever your ‘thing’ - just lead with the heart. In her best-selling book Elizabeth Gilbert explains the untold benefits of living a life creatively –

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”  

Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
 

BORROW A DOG

Boost with a pooch

Boost with a pooch

This is a good one because not only does it provide the value of spending time with a furry friend, but gets your body moving too. The benefits of animal therapy are well documented. According to http://www.pawsforpeople.org spending time with a friendly pet lifts our physical, mental and cognitive focus. Many hospitals now encourage dog visits as a form of natural healing while a number of studies have found that people who spend time with animals experience some real positive effects such as lower blood pressure, a sense of belonging, fewer colds and flu, less stress and elevated moods.

   
smell lifts the spirit

Smell lifts the spirit

SENSORY BOOST

Our most primal sense is that of smell as it exerts surprising influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods, memories, and behaviours. Scents are experienced in the brain, long before we develop a conscious awareness of it. This is why it's nearly impossible to describe them with language. For this reason, scents can have a powerful influence over how we think, feel, and behave. Try burning some essential oils to suit your mood, match them up to add energy, focus or calm into your life.

 

BE KIND

Something as small as writing a few thankful words to someone who supports you, or giving a compliment to a stranger can work wonders for the soul. By giving, you boost your internal sense of value and wellbeing. Studies have shown that volunteering promotes better psychological and mental health as well as increased longevity.
kindness breeds kindness

Kindness boosts wellbeing

Next time you’re out and about be ready to offer a seat to someone need or lend a hand to a struggling mum with a pram. It’s tempting to overlook these small acts, while we rush through life, not realising that it’s a simple way of actually making us feel better. Psychologists recognise that doing something positive for someone else can lead to a feeling of well-being in both the helper and the recipient, even a sense of elation. If you develop a balanced wellbeing, other areas of your life will benefit. Kindness attracts kindness.

Seasonal Power-foods you need to know about

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    Have you noticed how Gardening has gained a big resurgence? Known for it’s anti-stress benefits and meditational qualities, growing your own power-foods have become the latest re-discovered natural therapy. Cleverly coined Green Therapy we are witnessing Healing parks, therapeutic gardens and community patches springing up everywhere, as fast as they can grow. From Ivanka Trump (yes!) to Oprah, the world is moving back towards homegrown. source There’s no doubt that eating locally grown fruit and vegetables – garden-to-table style is much healthier from a nutritious point of view as well as for the environment. Produce such as broccoli, green beans, kale, red peppers, tomatoes, apricots and peaches are susceptible to nutrient loss when harvested and transported from longer distances, while fresh foods tend to have a higher nutrient value, if grown and harvested locally and given more time to ripen. As we head into the cooler months, here are some tasty, seasonal vegetables that belong to the ‘power-food’ category; they don’t require a horticultural degree to nurture and the added Green Therapy will provide extra health benefits.

Eggplant

purple anti-oxidant power-food

Cram-packed with vitamins and minerals, eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Generally, plants use these compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi. The eggplant contains a particular phenolic compound, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers providing anti-mutagenic benefits (anti-cancer), anti-microbial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and anti-viral activities.

Tip:   Add roasted eggplant slices to pizza, pasta and salads

Parsnip

the perfect power-food snack

One of the greatest attributes of the humble parsnip is its ability to suppress the release of ghrelin, which is a “hunger” hormone. This makes it the perfect snack if you’re looking to lose weight. Parsnips also contain substantial amounts of soluble fibre – which has been associated with assisting with digestive disorders, reducing cholesterol and lowering the chance for developing diabetes. If heart health is of concern, the high levels of potassium and folate make the parsnip one of the most effective vegetables in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system, helping to reduce blood pressure and stress on the heart.

Tip:   Roast sliced parsnips and toss with a little sea salt, for snacking 

Leek

power-food for your arteries

Leeks belong to the Allium family along with garlic and onions all possessing disease-fighting properties known long before it was possible to identify their exact antibacterial properties. Today leeks are recognised as a source of Allicin - a antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal compound which helps in the prevention of clotting in the blood vessels, thus, decreasing the overall risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke. In addition, leeks are known to ward off antibiotic-resistant superbugs, with this compound that may also neutralise dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. It’s a good idea to eat plenty of leeks if you’re pregnant or trying to fall pregnant, since the perfect concentration of Folic acid in leeks is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division and can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.

Tip:   Add lightly sautéed sliced baby leeks to mashed potato for added taste and a nutritious punch.

Tips for a Healthy Christmas you didn’t learn at School

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We asked our talented team at PSU HQ to come up with their personal tips to make sure Christmas runs smoother, happier and healthier.

Neroli Jones, CEO breaks it down to collaborate and sing …

carol singing kidsDon’t stress… it’s just one day. We keep it simple, everyone pitches in and contributes and that way we all get to enjoy ourselves. Who doesn’t love a Christmas carol?! You’re likely to get pointed looks if you sing Noel in September, but the whole month of December is a month to go for it. Singing has to be one of the best stress busters ever, so belt out a falalala while you’re stuck in traffic and see if it doesn’t make you smile…  

Shelley Seddon, our synergy manager focuses on some year in review and personal observations …

During Christmas Lunch we have a (hopefully) fun “Year in Review” discussion. Everyone is emailed questions in advance so they have a chance to really think about their answers.

Topics include:

What was your favourite movie, book, TV show this year?

Best travel story.

Highlight of the year

What do you hope to accomplish next year?

What are you most looking forward to in the New Year?

  dinner conversation Family/holiday conversations can sometimes be awkward or dominated by a few people. I have found that if you give people time to prepare, it gets everyone involved, including children who can sometimes feel left out or embarrassed by being put on the spot. It’s a great way to actually connect with people instead of just making small talk.  

Hannah-Florence Macgregor, video producer advises us on how to keep our bodies healthy this season …

drinking-water-clipart-how-to-drink-more-water-VFoGP2-clipart

Drink more water

    Drink lots of water especially in these hot months. 3-4 litres a day, will keep you hydrated and balance out the excessive sugars and other indulgences we enjoy during the festive season. If you feel like going one step further, add little Apple Cider vinegar to alkalize the water and detox while you hydrate.  

 

Anna Barr, Director of Awareness focuses on staying calm…

Christmas listBe organized!

Don’t leave wrapping presents, decorating, baking and so on, all to the last minute. Do whatever you can in the weeks leading up to the big day, so you manage to actually enjoy the festivities without worrying about the menu or conjuring up a missing gift. I make lists on my phone so I can’t forget them!    For an instant recharge, escape to a quiet spot for 5 minutes and take a few deep breaths.  

Helen Kingsmill, Ground Control, has discovered a real crowd pleaser…

Here’s a handy recipe that is a whizz to make and sooo healthy and fresh!
Christmas party recipe

Christmas party recipe

Prawns with blended Xmas mango dip

Fresh, green Aussie king prawns 2 x plump Christmas season mangoes Generous handful of fresh basil leaves Garlic and chilli infused oil (for marinating prawns) Spritz of lemon juice   Shell the green prawns leaving tail intact and marinate in the garlic/chilli oil Peel mangoes and whizz in a food processor with basil and lemon juice. Cook the prawns on the barbeque, brushing with oil – they cook in a flash so don’t look away! Serve warm, with mango dip, then stand back so you don’t get injured in the crush for more!

games at ChristmasJohn Whaley, Architect of Order, suggests a time for reconnection without distraction …

I always love to play a board game or cards at Christmas. Whilst this can be a source of tension for over competitive family members (!), generally it is a great ice-breaker and activity for getting everyone together in one place and having a laugh… Another tip is to have a no electronic devices policy (phones, iPads, computers) on Christmas Day, allowing us to feel present and bringing some togetherness into the day.  

Nadia Superina, Mission Control, shares her diet tricks…

*Eat a healthy breakfast with loads of fruit/veggies and healthy fats. Either a big smoothie or eggs with avocado. This means that even if you have a fabulously unhealthy lunch and dinner, you’re charged with one healthy meal. Plus, fats will make you feel fuller so you’ll eat less of the bad stuff.
*Stick to three meals and avoid snacking. All the snacks add up and you’d be amazed how they pile on the weight.
*Drink lots of water between meals. NOT with meals. Water dilutes stomach acid, which needs to be strong to digest meals (particularly loaded with carbs and protein). Drinking between meals will help you feel full as well as prevent snacking.
Christmas-Tree-Fruit-Platter

merry fruity Christmas

Merry, healthy Christmas to all!

 

Why Yoga Teachers are Always Happy

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BE A WARRIOR NOT A WORRIER

As I walked into the yoga class and planted myself firmly cross-legged on my mat, I was given my mantra of the day

“ Set your intention for today as Acceptance”

Of yourself         Of others         Of your body

People annoy us and challenge us daily, we frustrate ourselves, we criticise what’s wrong with us - and the world, we self-judge and judge others, often without any background knowledge. We moan, we stress, we worry and we ruminate over things out of our control. All this can be eliminated with one clear mantra – Acceptance. If we smile and accept what is, we cannot be ruffled, we can protect ourselves from the outside stressors and build a sturdy Zen fence all around our happy inner beings.   Paradigm Switch yoga teacher, Jo Kirkpatrick shares similar guidance: “The 8 limbs of yoga are over 2000 years old and guide us on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life without suffering. According to Patangali, when you master being content with what you have, supreme happiness results. so much yogaTwo key elements in the philosophy of yoga include consistent practice and non-attachment. Those who practice the 8 limbs of Yoga, reap the rewards of life, free from misery. It is important to note that as with anything in life, good things only manifest as the result of hard work and discipline.”

Yoga is a life-long practice with new possibilities available, every time we enter a class.

  The oldest yoga teacher turned 98 this year, and looks like the happiest person alive. Tao is said to be full of joy and light, "Yoga is the essence of the dawn of life and it sparkles inwardly she says, “The greatest pleasure is to see someone suddenly realize there was nothing they could not do.” Yoga can be for everyone with the latest research from Roy Morgan showing one in 10 Australians (14+) now do Yoga. The number of women practicing yoga has doubled in the past 8 years, making yoga the fastest-growing sport or activity in the country. Despite being one of the lowest paid jobs, the yoga teacher ranked 10 in America in the most-sought-after careers list.

So what is it yoga yoga teachersteachers share in terms of job satisfaction?

It seems that yoga gives us the possibilities of accomplishing something seemingly impossible. The thrill arises from creating a space for healing, to be able to share the practice, watching transformation occur. This is fundamental to yoga. It’s all about giving - guiding students toward becoming the best version of themselves. Namaste :)    

Lighten your Life with Energy Intelligence

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By Barbara Callan, International Intuitive Consultant for Paradigm Switch. Our guest blogger for the month. Have you ever felt totally exhausted after what should have been a perfectly pleasant coffee morning with a friend? Or perhaps you dropped into your neighbour’s for the mail and rushed home feeling flat? Energy levels fluctuate for each person, every day. We all pick up on the energy around us, so if you spend time with someone positive or excited your energy levels will automatically lift, while someone with a bout of the blues might deplete you. coffee morningThe trick is to learn and to manage your own energy to keep yourself balanced and effective all day. We are all energetic creatures Anyone who does martial arts will tell you that you will feel the energy of your opponent’s move before the move arrives. This of course requires discipline and training and we are not all at this level of awareness. So what can we do at the level that we operate, in our own lives? Firstly we must become familiar with our own energy so that we know what it feels like to be us. If we know what our energy feels like then we know what works for us; it becomes an 'energetic match'. The opposite also, is true. Note, the match can sometimes be subtle or sometimes be loud. Finding the match is the clue. We all know people who drain our energy but with our compassionate hearts it often becomes easy to say “yes of course I’ll have a coffee with you,” only to find that our listening and counselling muscle is overstretched! We can often be caught unawares of an energy mismatch only too late - when we are left exhausted and relieved to say goodbye. How can we manage our energy? Firstly we must be aware of any feeling of exhaustion or energy drop when we leave someone’s company. This indicates a deficit; We have been giving out our energy, but receiving less in return. Once we identify where our energy is draining, we will gain an idea of who to hang out with less! Try saying this to yourself “How does this feel for me?” and put yourself first. By being consciously aware of staying in the observer space, we protect ourselves from their energy, thus preserving ours. In this manner, we can leave our friend with a feeling that our energy remains balanced. Being energy aware when we are with loved ones and family can be especially challenging as we often have emotional charges both positive and negative, triggered by those that we have an attachment to. Notice these are often our greatest opportunities for learning and practicing the observer skill. waterfallChoose your space. Places can drain us of energy as the land also emits an energy. Do you recall an experience of visiting an area and feeling uncomfortable, for no obvious explanation.? You intuitively know areas where you can quite categorically say “I could never live there”. The reason being, there is too much of an energy mismatch between the energy of the land in that area, and your own personal energy. A sense of relief is often experienced as we leave that area, and return to a familiar place, that ‘feels more like us’. Being by the sea can be balancing while topping up our energy. The presence of negative ions by the ocean or running water (even the shower) has the power to enhance our mood, putting us in a good space. The head feels clearer and we feel more optimistic. We can also find negative ions around trees. That is why being out in nature - the sea or the forest, is a great way to increase our energy bringing ourselves back into balance. Conversely, living in the city can be exhausting, as we are surrounded by so many people pumping out their differing energies. Try to be aware of when your energy experiences possible ‘overload’ in crowded, shared spaces. crowded-mallShopping malls can turn into a dazed experience. You’ve been overloaded, your brain has a tough time focusing - is it a wonder you return to your car often, without the items you set out to buy? Food has the power to drop energy levels. Some foods take more energy to digest and leave us with feeling sleepy, while eating easily digestible food makes us feel light and energised. Think a plate of sushi versus a Sunday roast! Notice how your body reacts and understand how it affects your energy levels. Say Grace! Believe it or not, saying a prayer or showing gratitude for your food before eating, energises your meal positively. Pausing and thinking about what we are grateful for will change the energy of the food. The work of Masaru Emoto proves this where he showed images showing the effect words have on water. Thoughts influence energy levels which is why mindfulness has gained popularity in recent years. By focusing on gratitude, love and the positives, we lift our energy. Awareness is key - do more of what uplifts you and keeps you in that good space.      

You can Beat the Afternoon Slump

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It’s early morning and you’re feeling pumped, firing on all cylinders, getting through the to-do list, answered all your emails and you've even churned out a report. Then, shortly after lunch, you slump. Why? The afternoon slump is your body responding to two things

  • the natural circadian rhythm — that internal clock that tells us when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to bed
  • the highs and lows in blood sugar levels determined by what you eat.
Paradigm Switch nutritionist, Christine Blanchard shares the following: “Each organ has a particular time of the day when it has its peak of performance. For example, the stomach is 7-9 am - the time when ideally we have breakfast. 1-3 am is liver time which can pinpoint detoxification issues if people wake at this hour. Between 1-3 pm  energy moves to the small intestine and we go from the speedy Yang energy to the slower Yin phase, allowing the body to absorb nutrients. For about an hour after we eat, our blowind-up from the slumpod rushes towards our digestion, away from our brain and muscles, making us feel tired and unfocussed. This is why ideally all the hard work should be done in the first half of the day, leaving easier or fun tasks for the afternoon. If you can structure your day like this, you'll be more in tune with your body’s natural rhythms.” Recent studies suggest the sugar and other carbs in food directly affect a specific group of brain cells that play a key role in keeping us awake. Those cells located deep inside the brain turn off when they sense a large amount of sugar in the blood, leaving us feeling sleepy. Unfortunately, the demands of modern life require you to be on the ball all through the day. So here are a few simple  ways you can trick your body into staying alert and avert the mid-afternoon crash.   protein and salad keep you alertAvoid eating too many empty carbs and fatty foods.Fats are slow to digest, so we become tired as our bodies work harder to process them, while carbs often   create a ‘spike’ in energy making us plummet a few hours later, when we experience a “crash” in energy levels. “A lunch of protein and vegetables or salad and some healthy fats is preferable, if we are to minimize the afternoon slump,” adds Christine. Choose nuts over fries!   Take a brisk walk. Try this instead of reaching for another coffee. A little bit of exercise is often all it takes to encourage blood flow, boost creative thought, help the brain think more clearly and increase energy levels again.  
energetic

A couple hours of bright light early in the morning helps set our circadian rhythm for the day, which increases our alertness, performance and even helps to regulate   weight.