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Month: July 2015

Coloring for Adults. The New Stress Buster.

Coloring Stimulates Brain Centers Related to Relaxation and Creativity

 

B&W Mandala

Who knew? Coloring intricate patterns (or not so intricate) taps into areas of the brain related to creativity, logic, decision making, and fine motor skills.

And as we engage in this artistic endeavor the crayons and colored pencils of our youth come to our aid to calm the brain centers related to stress as our attention shifts to an activity that calms us and quiets our mind.

The physical activity, the patience, the focus, the satisfaction, the distraction all help put our worries to rest.

Review this interesting, informative excerpt and it may well send you in search of crayons and coloring books (for adults 🙂

Coloring is an activity that we tend to associate with children. As we grow older, we put aside our crayons and colored pencils in favor of more respectable writing utensils like pens and highlighters. However, it turns out coloring can be beneficial for adults — namely for its de-stressing power.

The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. In fact, publishers have lately been launching coloring books specifically for adults. The trend is alive and well in countries in Europe and North America. Most recently, in Spain, the publication Espasa published Coloréitor, with illustrations by well-known cartoonist Forges.

Does Coloring Really De-stress?

One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century. He did this through mandalas: circular designs with concentric shapes similar to the Gothic churches’ rose windows. They have their origin in India.

When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria MartĂ­nez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. But it also “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.” “I recommend it as a relaxation technique,” says psychologist Antoni MartĂ­nez. “We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state,” he assures. We can also use it to connect with how we feel, since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity. “I myself have practiced that. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”

Coloring Books for Adults

In countries like France or the UK, coloring books for adults are bestsellers. The French publisher Hachette even has a collection called Art-ThĂ©rapie with twenty de-stress volumes including all kinds of drawings from books of butterflies and flowers to cupcakes, graffiti and psychedelic patterns. There’s also the book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book (M & E Books) that has snuck into top selling lists.

 

Read the complete article here

 

Kittens Can Dissolve People’s Stress

Surprised by Kittens & Almost Forced to Play…Great Medicine

When there is stress, the element of surprise can really help shake your brain loose.

It puts you in the moment and it’s hard to hold on to the problem that exists in your past or your future…but rarely actually in this moment.

These kittens are always in the moment. It’s fun to watch the reactions of the observers and the participants. I love it when they press their

faces against the glass. By the end, the people are as playful as the kittens. Like I said…good medicine

Watch this kitten play and just smile and relax…

 

Thank you Alli B. for posting this YouTube video. You may want to visit the blog.

Lavender Lemonade Recipe: Headaches/ Anxiety

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What a Lavendar Solution to a Pesky Problem

Lavender has long been used for it’s aromatic qualities that have so many beneficial medical effects. The amount of research related to it’s use is impressive. And just short of 400,000 people have shared this recipe so far. Perhaps you will want to join the ranks.

And Lavender is not simply an herb that is used as an essential oil for creating an environment with pleasant fragrance. While aromatherapy is it’s typical application, it can actually be used in minute quantities prepared in a tasty glass of lemonade.

And you can discover other ways that this oil can be used as well.

So review the information below and explore the possibilities. 

Flavoring your lemonade with lavender is a great way to utilize the amazing medicinal properties of lavender. Lavender is a wonderful aromatic herb that calms the senses.

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains.

The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.56
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.58
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis.59 The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honet
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

 

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.

  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.

  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

You can view the full article here .