3 Simple Techniques To Master Mindfulness And Release Stress

3 Simple Techniques To Master Mindfulness And Release Stress

Bring your attention to the present moment and be here now.

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Mindfulness is a term that has become a buzzword in health and wellness spaces and conversations. As a commodity, mindfulness is used to sell products and services that are promised to deliver an experience of serenity and zen. As convincing as marketers can be, mindfulness is not something you can buy - these products and services might help you get to a state of calm, but are certainly not necessary! Mindfulness is solely about your quality of awareness. It is your ability to observe the sensations in your body and the feelings and thoughts that come up when you do so. As you bring your attention to the present moment, maintain an intention that as you notice roaming thoughts enter your mind, you will continue to bring your attention back to the present moment.

1. Engage your senses with aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy is a powerful tool to active with your olfactory system, guide your breathing naturally, and can have immediate effects on your mood. For example, citrus scents and peppermint are known to be uplifting and refreshing, while lavender is known to be relaxing and soothing. If you have essential oils, you can use an oil scent of your choice and put a drop or two onto a cotton pad. Take five deep breaths in, and allow your exhales to sigh out of your mouth.

If you don't have essential oils, you can use citrus to produce the same effect. You can either slice a fresh lemon or orange and enjoy the scent or place lemon or orange in your freezer. Once frozen, you can pull it out and scratch the frozen surface to release the aroma. The additional benefits of frozen citrus are that the sensation of the temperature engages your senses, even more, to root you in the present moment.

2. Release neck and headache tension with a mini self-massage

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Bend your elbows and bring both thumbs to find the occiput at the bottom of your skull, allowing your palms and fingers to rest against your head. If you suffer from neck pain or tension, it likely comes from this area where your neck and head meet. Apply light pressure with your thumbs and move them in towards and away from each other to give yourself a gentle massage. As you do this, bring your awareness to your breath and visualize sending your breath to the back of your head and neck. Allow yourself to picture the tension and stress melting away with each cycle of inhaling and exhale.

3. Get connected to your breath

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Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach, just beneath your belly button. Spend a couple of minutes breathing here, without changing anything, just feeling the warmth and presence of your hands on your torso. Feel the way your ribcage and belly expand and draw in naturally. As you continue to bring your attention to your breathing pattern, bring your focus to the repetition of your breathing - the way your inhales are always followed by an exhale, and the way this continues without forcing. Focusing on this repetition activates the relaxation response in the body, reduces anxiety and stress, and lowers heart rate.

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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An Open Letter: To The Simple Things

An open letter dedicated to living within the small and simple things in life.

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To the Simple Things,


I know there's probably a saying dedicated to the "simple things," that life gives us. I suppose one could label that phrase, indeed, a cliché. However, could it be that maybe, just maybe, the simple things do impact us positively?

Recently, there was something that happened to me that I wished would come to pass a while ago. I let that hope pass as time quickly produced no results. But then, without warning, little bits of positivity would come about: a word of encouragement here or healthy advice there. It all seemed to be smaller pieces of a bigger puzzle. These simple things lead to that one event I wished for long ago.

We often times think that the major occurrences should happen right now. And if they happen right this moment, it'll appease us in all we've hoped for. But what is overlooked is the simple things that helped build your positivity along the way. I understand that it may not seem like much, but any sign that everything will work in your favor is worth remembering and living in. The smaller moments are just as important as the bigger ones.

Life is difficult. However, I wish for everyone out there to admire all of the simple things that come your way. And most importantly: believe that those small moments will lead to something greater for you. Anything is entirely possible, and you're worth all of those possibilities. I've said many times before, but here it is yet again: never let others mute your happy little moments. These simple things in life hold various meaning for each individual. No one in any shape or form is allowed to tell you what exactly that meaning is. That is completely up to you.

As with anything I write, I am only voicing from perspective. But I know how hard it is to see the positive in small bursts and not getting the immediate result. I have learned to look at these simple things as building blocks and relish what they give to me. All things will work out fine; just believe in the simple things.

May you find comfort in these mini bursts of happiness even if, at first, they're hard to place faith in.


Positively,

Jessica

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