Advantages of Light Therapy

May 21, 2013

There are many advantages to light therapy, and it can help individuals with a wide range of conditions. Light therapy options range from simple bulbs in your home to dawn simulators, light boxes and more. If you’ve suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, or other mental health issues, you may find that there are many advantages to light therapy.

Light therapy was first used to treat those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or seasonal depression. In these cases, lack of light in the winter months, particularly in the north, contributed to depressive symptoms in many individuals. Those with seasonal depression may well find that light therapy, in the form of light boxes, broad spectrum bulbs, or dawn simulators, can relieve their symptoms.

Those with seasonal depression are not the only people who can be helped by light therapy. Light therapy raises the levels of serotonin in the brain, in a way similar to many pharmaceutical options. Individuals dealing with depression, insomnia, drug or alcohol abuse and more may find the serotonin boosting effects of light therapy beneficial in their daily lives. Light therapy can also improve sleep/wake cycles for many individuals, giving them more energy and vigor in day to day life.

If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression or another mental health concern, consider exploring the advantages of light therapy. Light therapy offers a natural means of relieving the symptoms of a number of mental health issues, and is worth considering or discussing with your health care provider. Moreover, light therapy is safe, and may even be covered by your health insurance company.

Creating Your Own Daily Oasis through Relaxation Meditation

May 5, 2013

Life in this millennium is usually busy, busy, and busy. Technological inventions such as the cell phone have made people more accessible and therefore, needs are now presented for accomplishing the moment they arise whereas they would have been delegated to the back burner two decades ago. Keeping one’s temperament and disposition on a strong and steady keel is often difficult when multiple tasks have to be done ASAP. It is therefore important for people to find some respite during the day to unwind and to regroup. Relaxation meditation can provide this respite for people who must battle daily stress and it would be a mistake to assume that only executives and businessmen do so. Excessive pressure and stress have become the constant challenge that even schoolchildren are not exempt from today.

Coping with Stress

Today many people cope with stress by watching television and immersing themselves in a favorite program. Some people sit and read books or the newspaper. Others find deadlier outlets for energies gone haywire by shopping or binging out on sweets. None of these really give the rest needed by a stressed out person.

People who have been rushing back and forth and who have been overly stressed need to find a way to restore balance to their overwrought nervous systems. Relaxation meditation can help correct the discordant rhythms produced by problems and pressures. Through its refined techniques, this particular practice of meditation can bring about what is called the relaxation response, which leads to a calm, centered, and relaxed body and mind.

Finding a Relaxation Technique That Works for You

There are countless relaxation techniques to meet different needs. The key to using this type of meditation effectively lies in finding out which technique you need to use. If you are agitated, tense, and angry, you need to find a set of exercises that will calm you down. Meditating with the use of serene music and imagery will probably part of the technique that will restore your balance. If stress and pressure make you withdrawn and depressed, your relaxation technique will entail healthy stimulation such as exercise. The goal of relaxation meditation is to reach a state of deep, alert, and active calmness.

Relaxation Techniques in Meditation

A primary technique in meditation to attain relaxation is deep breathing. This means breathing slowly through the abdomen and taking in your full capacity of oxygen. This improved supply of oxygen in itself will begin to relieve stress and anxiety.

Another technique that you can practice is isolating and relaxing the different parts of your body. After you have reached a relaxed state through deep breathing, systematically focus on the different parts of your body starting with your right foot all the way to your face. Center your attention on the part of the body you want to relax and squeeze its muscles while mentally counting from one to ten. Then, relax that part until you can feel it hanging loose. Do this with your left foot then the right and work your way upwards through your calves, thighs, hips and buttocks, stomach, chest, back, arms neck and face. The trick in using this technique well is to isolate the muscle group that you are working with and contract only those muscles. This specific technique will need a doctor’s go signal if you suffer from spasms or muscle cramps.

A similar version of this relaxation technique is to go through the entire body part-by-part and focusing on each part specifically while breathing deeply and imagining the oxygen flowing through that body part.

Visualization is the most commonly used meditation technique to achieve relaxation. To use this, all you have to do is sit quietly and do deep breathing for about two minutes. Then, put yourself in a restful scene of your choice. You may want to be in an island, a forest retreat, or even a cozy room. While you are in that special place, imagine the sensations each of your senses will experience such as the warmth of the sun, a cool breeze, and the sound of birds chirping or the sight of a flock of birds flying home to their nest.

Investing in Relaxation through Meditation

If you often go through stressful days and if you find yourself swamped by too many chores to do, too many decisions to make or too many needs to meet, try relaxation meditation to ease the pressure. Of all the branches of meditation, it is the simplest and the easiest to practice. All you need is your mind, your body and the determination to be kind to yourself. Having these three ingredients, you can create your own physical and mental oasis for the twenty minutes that will mean a brighter, calmer you for the rest of the day.