In fact, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between an image you see in your mind and an image you see in the physical world. It’s all the same to the brain when you focus ten minutes a day in better health. Using imagery and focused intention contributes 100% to vitality.
Only Ten Minutes a Day
You can have better health, meaning more energy and improving how you feel, by using your imagination. As you increase relaxation responses to lower the stress hormones that keep you on ALERT. You take charge of your energy and brain-body communication through purposeful imagery.
Try This for Better Health Right Now!
It’s a bright and warm Friday afternoon. You left a little early this day to go to your ATM to get some cash for the weekend activities. You check your bank balance to find the astounding sum of one million dollars. All those zeroes flash on the screen. Surprise lights up your eyes. Awestruck, you stare at the screen one more time to make sure its real. Passion wells up and laughter rolls through your body!
Now, hold that feeling. Inhale deeply and keep that feeling, then release your breath. Inhale, hold the feeling, and release. That is how you can improve your finances, your health, or your relationships in ten minutes a day. Right now, let’s create better health.
This exercise is an example of mental imagery—evoking a scene and a feeling–a dynamic combination. When you merge images and feelings that work for you, you can direct your energy and empower your results.
Better Health Needs Your Focused Awareness
Mental imagery makes you aware of your energy. You then can choose how to direct it towards an intention.
- Your intention is a requirement, the purpose for your spending ten minutes a day to better health. Intention focuses on the result you want: reduce stress, increase good feelings; disappear anger and be calm; focus on peace and banish negative thinking.
- Listen to the audio of the imagery. Another option is to listen to the Cosmic Waltz music that expands your energy and automatically entrains your nervous system to relax and create the scene mentally to merge.
- While within the imagery, strengthen the emotional association to better health and wellness through the inhale, hold the feeling, and then exhale gently.
Think of an image as a powerful emitter of your message to your environment. For example, you focus on one picture that supports your intention of joy—you are smiling, children laughing, ocean waves caressing the shore. You broadcast this image out into the world. Like any emission of energy, it will spread itself around, and your magnetic field will resonate with it.
So the question to ponder is: What do you want to send out through your energy field that resonates? What healthy image do you want to empower?
“Imagery is a very powerful psychological tool which can be used to enhance self-esteem, expanded awareness, facilitate psychological growth and integration, evoke inner wisdom, increase empathy, expand creativity, increase memory, facilitate optimal performance, evoke a more positive attitude, and accelerate the learning of subject matter.”
-Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Strengthen The Emotional Bond to Better Health
Imagery is the ability to visualize or mentally create pictures and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are not separate from each other. Thoughts are the emotional association, biochemical response in your body. A feeling or sensation triggers a corresponding chemical response in the brain. Imagery empowers your awareness and directs your body to better health and wellness.
Mindbody science has shown us that thinking about running a race triggers the same physical feelings as the act of running. Apparently running the race gives you the happiness, physical exercise, and tension release. Imagining that you feel vibrant and radiate optimism is the real dynamic to better health.
Lynn Joseph, Ph.D., a professional speaker and founder of Discovery Dynamics, calls “guided imagery a thought process that directs and focuses the imagination and involves the body, the emotions, and all the senses: vision, audition, smell, taste, and touch. Even if your absolute sense is not visual, you can still use guided imagery effectively by feeling deeply and sensing acutely.”
Imagery is YOUR powerful language of the subconscious. By choosing your images, you can program your subconscious mind for better health and wellness.
Two physical elements that you cannot live without, and that are abundant and practically free, will help you immensely as you aim to keep your heart healthy. They are air and water, or more specifically, clean air and clean cool water, which provide a solid foundation for the body’s needs. Breathing in fresh, clean air enables your heart to pump a rich supply of oxygen throughout your whole body. And drinking enough clean, pure water improves the quality of your blood, which in turn improves your heart health.
Let’s Talk About Air
Your body requires a good supply of oxygen to keep it running optimally. Literally, oxygen is food for your body. Benefits include:
• Cell regeneration
• Energy production
• Waste elimination
• Tissue detoxification
• Healthy brain activity
• Immune system maintenance
• Promotion of healing and recovery
• Natural calming effect
We all know that without oxygen, we die very quickly. Our body systems simply shut down. It makes sense, then, that ongoing low oxygen intake is equivalent to a slow death. This is why increasing your daily supply of oxygen should become one of your highest health-related priorities.
Thankfully, increasing your oxygen intake is well within your reach. It’s a matter of learning to breathe deeply. Unfortunately, as we grow older we develop the tendency to breathe shallower and shallower. It’s a mistaken notion that our lungs lose their capacity as we age. That’s simply not true. In actuality, we “forget” how to breathe deeply, and we tend to take shorter, shallower breaths that deprive our cells of oxygen and fail to use our full lung capacity.
Take a deep breath right now, then exhale slowly. Feel your lungs filling up. Feel every cell of your body energized by the oxygen. Feel yourself relax with every big breath you take. Therapeutic, isn’t it?
I’ve developed a form of deep breathing called Full Wave Breathing™ (FWB) that does wonders to increase your body’s oxygen intake. It’s an easy three-step process that you can learn quickly and master with regular practice. It involves breathing fully into your abdomen and maintaining a steady inhale-exhale flow with no pause in between. Your exhale is effortless and natural. You can breathe through your nose or mouth, whichever you prefer. Just be aware that breathing through your mouth can increase oxygenation by more than 50 percent.
You can download and print complete FWB instructions here. This is a great technique for working with children as well as adults. After downloading FWB instructions (they’re free), remember to practice this powerful technique daily. We’ll cover FWB more in future posts.
Many individuals have found Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT or HBO) to be highly beneficial. HBOT involves flooding every cell of the body with oxygen. The individual lies down comfortably in a chamber and breathes normally. The pressurized chamber supplies 100% oxygen. Most sessions last from 45 minutes to two hours, with the person relaxing inside while breathing normally and listening to soothing music. This therapy is used extensively in Europe and in Russia, with positive results. It’s not as widely available in the United States yet; fewer than 400 American hospitals offer HBOT. But it is available.
Doctors and researchers have discovered that HBOT:
➢ Increases oxygen concentration in all body tissues
➢ Improves blood flow, even in regions with arterial blockages and also to compromised organs
➢ Stimulates growth of new blood vessels
➢ Enhances white blood cell action
➢ Successfully addresses chronic degenerative health problems.
For these reasons and others, HBOT is used around the world to treat a vast array of ailments. Conditions that have been successfully treated by this method include traumatic brain injury, stroke, fetal alcohol syndrome, coma, multiple sclerosis, autism, and sports injuries. More and more it’s being used for cardiovascular cases.
Spend some time researching Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on the Internet. If you feel you might benefit from this form of therapy, then print the information that you find most useful and take it to your doctor. Discuss with him or her the potential benefits in your particular situation. This form of therapy is approved by Medicare for limited uses, including peripheral artery disease. Know also that private clinical services are available.
Let’s Talk About Water
Next we move on to water, another basic element that does wonders for your health and wellbeing. Over the years, you’ve repeatedly heard that it’s a good idea to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Why is this important? Because the cells of your body, including your heart, need water to work properly. Your body is composed of water, and you lose water through natural functions like perspiration. It’s important to replenish this water daily.
Sufficient water intake helps with your digestion, keeping your skin hydrated, helping your body absorb nutrients from food, and detoxifying your cells. In addition, drinking enough water can stave off a wide range of maladies, from headaches to exhaustion to even kidney stones!
What’s more, drinking plenty of water can lower your risk of getting heart disease for a number of reasons. Here are several:
- Being marginally dehydrated affects your blood’s viscosity, or thickness, which can raise blood pressure and increase heart attack risk.
- When the body doesn’t get enough water, it “closes off” some capillaries. This restricts the flow of blood and causes blood pressure to rise in order to keep the blood circulating through.
- Water contains minerals, such as magnesium, which help keep the heart healthy.
- By drinking plenty of water, you flush toxins out of your system more quickly. This, in turn, helps keep your blood cleaner, so to speak. Healthier blood circulating through your body keeps your heart healthier, too.
A study conducted by the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California found that drinking enough water every day significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Findings showed that healthy men who drank at least five glasses of water a day had a 54% decrease in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared to men who drank only two glasses of water. For women, the risk was lowered by 41%. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that drinking plenty of water thins the blood, which reduces the risk of developing blood clots.
Tap water is good, so long as you filter it to remove harmful substances such as fluoride and chlorine. A faucet-type filter can remove most impurities and you’ll need to keep it clean.
It’s best to drink plain water; juices, milk, teas, and sodas do not have the same effect as plain water does. They do count as part of your daily consumption unless they are diuretic in nature. Bottled water is also a good option for drinking; although, it has some negative implications for the environment. Make the choice that makes sense for you!
Nourish your vitality, mind, and emotions when you eat. Not everything you are tempted to put into your mouth is nutritious. Most processed, treated, and refined foods lack nutritional value. The chemicals and preservatives disrupt communication in your mind-body-spirit system. Processed foods are high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fat. In other words, they offer a lot of what you don’t need and very little of what you do.
Since these foods are typically void of nutrition, we eat them to fill other needs. Their consumption is often rooted in cravings, which may be for a certain taste, emotional comfort or because we are thirsty. Do you acknowledge these alternative reasons for eating? Observe yourself and your diet to identify any patterns.
- Do you eat when you are happy? Sad? Bored? Lonely?
- Do you crave sugar? Salt? Spices?
- Are you confusing thirst with hunger?
Pinpointing these patterns help you to develop strategies for coping with them. In turn, these strategies are your guides to a lifetime of good health and feeding your body with intention and nutrition.
There are five types of taste. Sweet, sour, salty, astringent, and bitter. At different times, the body will seek them all out. Many people are familiar with the desire for something sweet after a meal or a salty snack in the afternoon. These cravings are based on taste, not nutrition.
Scientists have proven that on an average, cravings last approximately fifteen minutes. Even though you feel as if you won’t last another second without a cookie, it simply isn’t true. If you can occupy your mind with deep breathing or another activity until the craving passes, you will survive.
The Ayurvedic lifestyle also offers a strategy to deal with taste-based cravings. According to these ancient teachings, the best way to solve the problem of eating for taste is to nourish all of these sensations in every meal. Look for natural sources of each taste and combine them to satisfy your food cravings before they begin. Your meals could include a variety of foods from each taste group. This includes sweet fruit, astringent herbs, sour yogurt, salty cheese, and bitter spinach. This may require that you begin to see foods differently, but that is an inevitable byproduct of feeding your body with intention. Food becomes fuel, not an answer to a craving.
The human body is 70% water. Good health requires that you remain hydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water and when this occurs, the body sends you a signal. Often this signal is misinterpreted as hunger. So before you hit the food, drink a glass of water. This may be just what your body needs. And giving your body what it needs is the basis for proper nutrition.
Some cravings are emotionally based. Throughout your life, you may have associated food with a number of situations, which, in turn, became automatic responses. If as a child, you were treated to a bowl of ice cream when you were sad, chances are as an adult you will repeat this pattern to nourish your self. The ice cream made you feel better then, so you assume it will make you feel better now. It often does for a little while. However, in the end, you are still left with an unresolved situation or emotion. The only thing you fed was your sweet tooth, and as we all know what it wants is hardly ever nutritious.
Our world is a highly stressful one and many people turn to food as an escape. Like the emotional eating described above, eating to release stress is only a temporary fix. It does not offer you valid emotional or nutritional value. Instead of reaching for the chips, reach for a pad and pencil. Help yourself learn to deal with your emotions by making a list under the heading Emotions I Would Feel If I Allowed Myself To Do So. Write down any emotion, positive or negative, that you feel you are holding back. Your list could include anger, joy, guilt, sadness or love. When you eat out of stress or for comfort, you are using food to stuff these emotions back inside.
Now go down your list and allow yourself to really feel each emotion. Use deep belly breathing to help yourself focus and center. This process teaches that these emotions are a part of you with a need to be expressed. You owe it to yourself and your health to freely express your emotions without fear or shame. Once you accomplish this, you may find that open communication is more satisfying than cookies, cake or any other foodstuff you would have previously reached for.
Studies Suggest We Are Slowly Suffocating
- Air pollution may contribute to the development of asthma in previously healthy people.
- A recent Los Angeles study found that 8% of childhood asthma cases are a result of living within 250 feet to major roadways.
- The gains in lung function paralleled improving air quality in the communities studied, and across the Los Angeles basin, as policies to fight pollution took hold.
- The research appears in the March 5, 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that air pollution is causing an increase in respiratory illnesses, as much as 50% in some areas. The result is that asthma has grown into an epidemic in the United States. Breathing exercises that can help are often overlooked.affects 16.2 adults and 6.7 million children.
- The most common chronic childhood disease in the country affects 1 in every ten kids and links is now correlated with allergies.
- Common air pollutants slow children’s lung growth according to results of a comprehensive, ten-year study from the University of Southern California Children’s Health Study.
When the quality of our air is weak, we tend to breathe shallower, and we absorb more toxins.
The resulting rapid, shallow breathing leads to inadequate oxygen supply, respiratory disease, and fatigue. Parents may resort to the strongest medications to help their children breathe better and remain active. On the other hand, many parents are uneasy with the constant intake of medication and look for alternative ways to reduce their children’s need for bronchodilators and steroid-based drugs.
Solution: Breathing Exercises
The environmental facts speak openly about the necessity and urgency to take action and improve our breathing capacity. To enjoy health, we must enhance our breathing ability and understand that:
- Shallow breathing increases stress and anxiety.
- Deeper breathing exercises bring relaxation and the ability to manage better asthma episodes.
The first step in the breathing process is inhaling. After oxygen enters the lungs, it is picked up by hemoglobin in the blood and sent to all the cells. Once in the cells, oxidation, the method of combining the nutrients from food with oxygen, creates energy. Oxygen maintains cells and keeps them clean and healthy. At the same time, oxygen helps remove waste from the body and reduces inflammation. Breathing that is more efficient increases oxygen in the body.
Children are especially at risk for respiration difficulties because their growing bodies require oxygen. Moreover, their bodies must be capable of using that oxygen efficiently. Unless the muscles responsible for respiration are exercised through deep breathing techniques, the rib cage and surrounding tissues get stiff, which makes inhalation more difficult. Less suppleness and weak muscles leave stale air in the tissues of the lungs and prevent fresh oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. This stunts growth, depresses the immune system, and contributes to disease. By teaching children to breathe fully and deeply, you can positively impact their health for a lifetime.
First Graders Can Do It
The International Breath Institute helps you retrain poor breathing habits in a three-step breathing exercise called Full-Wave Breathing. Full-Wave breathing fights the toxins that pollute our cities by strengthening the lungs, relieving bronchitis, improving circulation, oxygenating the blood and minimizing the reoccurrence of respiratory ailments.
Research from the International Breath Institute shows that first-grade children, who sat for long periods of time in their seats, breathed shallower and shallower as the day progressed. Their postures slumped, and their eyes glazed. Learning cannot take place under such conditions.
But, when their teacher led them through deep breathing exercises for ten minutes each day after lunch, something amazing happened. They felt upbeat! They learned and concentrated more easily. They were relaxed and could shift attention without difficulty after recess. The first graders reminded each other to use their breath before each assignment, and they practiced breathing while walking in the hallway, which helped them not chatter and disturb others.[i]
Emotional Links to Allergies and Asthma
Emotional reactions affect our breathing.
Fear accelerates breathing.
Anger pumps our breathing like a spewing volcano.
Sadness and grief inhibit breathing.
Well-known asthma triggers are exercise, emotional stress or emotional excitement.
Shallow breathers are more anxious and impulsive.
Breathing is the only body function that we do involuntarily, and that we can voluntarily control. We can influence our autonomic nervous systems and positively affect other systems in the body like circulation, respiration, and digestion.
How people breathe affects their attitudes. Deep breathers are more relaxed and balanced. Shallow breathers are more anxious and impulsive. Full-Wave Breathing is a smooth and successful tool to help children develop better resilience and emotional strength!
You can’t breathe for your kids, but you can help them with breathing exercises to give them an extra edge in fighting illness every day. Use the Full Wave Breathing method with your children and you will see the difference it makes.
OTHER LINKS WITH UPDATED POLLUTION NEWS:
NEWS RELEASE: Research links tobacco smoke and roadway air pollution with childhood obesity
NEWS RELEASE: Research raises new concerns about air pollution impacts at Los Angeles International Airport
Ignite Intuition and Expand Consciousness
Become your own consciousness coach by strengthening your connection to your intuition. Using your intuition is like conducting a science experiment. You can take my testimony that it’s powerful chemistry, but wouldn’t you rather spark the flame and see for yourself?
Yes, you’ll need to do a little training. Don’t worry – no aerobics required! Instead, this article offers you some exercises that will sensitize you to your feelings and thoughts.
Sensitivity is the first step in communicating with your intuition.
Choose a time when you won’t be interrupted to practice these exercises. Your practice time is most effective if you’re not distracted. Simply keep in mind that when you’re open and relaxed, you’re more receptive to the “voice” of your intuition.
1. The Tide Flows Images To You
Sit or stand, but make yourself comfortable. Imagine that you are
- Digging your toes into sand
- Feeling a soft wind touch your face.
- Listening to the waves roll up on the sand and roll away.
- Warming like a sea turtle on the beach in the strong afternoon sun.
- Now listen more closely to the rhythm of the tides, and begin slowly syncing your inhale and exhale to rhythm of the tides
- The tides are high, rushing to shore and spreading all over the sandy beach.
- In your mind’s eye, watch how the tide rolls in and out. Feel the rhythm of the tide within yourself. Breathe and open your abdomen fully. Feel the imaginary water moving in and out of you.
- Do you feel pulled in and out like the wave? Ask the waves, “Waves, what images do you have for me?” Wait, breathe, and be still. Intuitive images and feelings rise spontaneously within you. You hold the space to receive them.
2. Lightning Strikes for You
If you’ve ever watched a storm when bright flashes sizzle the sky, then you know the power of the energetic activity in a bolt of electricity. You can reach that energy for yourself, using lightning as a doorway.
- Imagine that you are comfortably seated with a good view of the sky. Stare out of an imaginary window, and gaze at the sky as the thunderclouds roll before you. Lightning flashes, leaving its footprint-its light reflection-against the dark, heavy clouds.
- Stare into that space, and the lightning flashes again. Hold the image of the lightning blaze in your mind and breathe the intensity and power of the lightning into you. Imagine the power in your gut, your nervous system. Feel the tingle as the power lightning activates you!
- Now that you feel and focus on the lightning flashes, ask for the images you need according to your intention. Wait, breathe, and be still. Intuitive images and feelings rise spontaneously within you. You hold the space to receive them.
3. Let Nature Teach You
You’ll get a tremendous benefit if you can take a walk or simply retreat to nature itself to learn to soften and focus your vision as a gateway to deeper awareness and feelings. Nature imagery exercises are a good way to use intuition and to help you relax if you work long hours. Natural images are familiar and most people find them comforting.
There are several ways that you can let nature help your intuitive connection.
4. Remembering Past Ah-Ha Moments
An Ah-Ha Moment is your natural intuition at work and at its best.
In a moment of flight over enemy lines, a World War Two pilot had a flash of insight – an “Ah-ha!” moment about what he would do if he lived through that moment. He lived and now owns a large business conglomerate.
While vomiting in the alley behind the local neighborhood pub, an alcoholic wondered what he could do to help himself. — “Ah-ha!” — He saw his answer as a vision in his mind. The next morning he quit drinking and rehabilitated himself.
On the way to her office one morning, a real estate developer wondered what it would take to close a big deal. The answer — “Ah-Ha!” — arrived in her daydreaming while driving.
To foster your intuition, take a trip down memory lane to an Ah-Ha moment you’ve already experienced. Write in as much detail as possible what you remember-images, feelings, sensory awareness, and all the emotions that the moment stimulated. Review what you’ve written. In reviewing, you’ll find clues to how your intuition works and how to become your own consciousness coach.
Keep an Intuition Journal
Some people keep dream journals. Those practicing and cultivating intuition keep Intuition Journals.
Give yourself fifteen minutes each day to check in with your gut and see if there is anything you need to be aware of. Just write down whatever comes and then go about your regular schedule.
After a week, you’ll begin to see patterns. You might notice that your intuition communicates in brief sentences, images, metaphors, caring advice, or a soliloquy.
The Bottom Line
Be open to the idea that your intuition is giving you important information that you need to know. Ultimately, when you decide your need to know is so important that you can’t ignore intuitive signals, you’ll have made intuition a priority in your life.
If a strong feeling of certainty arises from your intuitive exercises, write it down. Ignore your intellect’s questions or judgments, and truly trust your gut-level feelings, images, or awareness. Re-read all that has happened to you; see how intuition has worked for you and how being incongruent did not.
Learn from experience that your intuitions are to be trusted.