1. O's Little Book of Calm & Comfort
Joy and frustration simultaneously exist in everyone's life — meditation offers people a way to help harmonize that internal dichotomy. This meditation book from the editors at O, The Oprah Magazine, is a collection of essays that grounds the abstract nature of meditation with stories of the pleasures and setbacks that are all part of the human experience. It also includes an enlightening conversation between Oprah and Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön about rebuilding and thriving after going through a personal tragedy. This book is an enjoyable quick read, and it's small enough to carry with you, for flipping back open to a favorite essay at any time.
2. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
- For quick relaxation of the whole body:
- Sit or lie down before beginning this exercise, so you will be able to relax your body completely.
- Gently tense the entire body.
- Then relax and withdraw your mind away from the body.
- Try to avoid any motion, as this will bring your mind back into your body.
- Imagine that your body is jelly-like, without any bones or muscles.
- Savasana (Corpse Pose) Visualization:
The proper position for corpse pose. You may use props and blankets to make yourself more comfortable. You may stretch your arms out or keep them next to your body.
- Lie on the floor and turn the palms of your hands upward.
- Inhale and tense the whole body, then throw the breath out and relax (repeat two to three times).
- Lie very still and listen or feel your breath. As your calmness deepens, feel your consciousness becoming centered increasingly at the point between the eyebrows. Think of your body as surrounded by space — space in all directions spreading out to infinity.
- Visualize this space gradually seeping through the pores of the skin into your feet, until your feet become space. Visualize this space as gradually coming up into the rest of your body and then your brain. In feeling space in your brain, release from your mind all regrets about the past, all worries about the future. Rest in the infinite ocean of the eternal Present. The objects of endless human concern no longer exist. There is nothing in all eternity but the Right Here, the Right Now.
- You can repeat mentally: “Bones, muscles, movement I surrender now; anxiety, elation and depression, churning thoughts: All these I give into the hands of peace.”
- Exercise: yoga-star-lisa
Doing yoga postures, or going for a walk or jog, is a great way to relax and rejuvenate your body. Exercise is particularly helpful in the morning or middle of the day, because it will allow you to relax and relieve any stresses without becoming drowsy.
- Take a hot bath:
Soaking in a warm bath at the end of the day or before a stressful event such as giving a speech is an easy way of releasing physical and mental tension
Note: Make sure you do not become overheated, and drink plently of water afterwords because hot water is dehydrating
- Take a sun and air bath:
- Go out in the sun. If it’s cold you can bounce up and down to keep warm.
- Slowly inhale counting to eight, hold for eight, then exhale for eight. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
- As you breathe, feel the suns rays penetrating your skin and expelling all worries.
- Stay out for 10 minutes or so, depending on the sun’s intensity.
From 8pm to 11pm is the time for hydration and stimulation, while 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration, and 3am to 5am is the time for resting.
Of course, very few adults are in bed at 8pm and, as the hormone that triggers sleep - melatonin - peaks at around 11pm, this is the time we should naturally get tired.
Seven or eight hours of sleep is ideal for most of us. More than that can mean we wake up looking puffy and feeling sluggish.
Chronic lack of sleep, or poor-quality sleep, has an incredibly negative effect on the way we feel - and on the way we look.
When we are asleep, our cells rebuild and repair themselves (the growth hormone functions only at night). If you don't sleep, this function is impaired.
If you sleep badly, you are likely to become stressed, and this can cause the capillaries to tighten up, affecting the flow of nutrients to the skin and scalp and causing the skin and hair to look dull.