Posts tagged health and wellness
how to become a more sensual person
how-to-become-a-more-sensual-person-recipes-for-life-the-good-life-cookbook.png

For many, the word sensual has a purely sexual connotation, but the more traditional meaning of the word is, 'gratification of the senses'. Using that definition, a sensual person is someone who knows how to stimulate their senses for not just practical, but also both pleasurable means.

Aside from the obvious benefit of experiencing pleasure, being able to tune into or focus one's 5 primary senses has numerous physical and mental benefits.

What Keeps Us From Being Sensual In the First Place?

As babies and small children, we were completely engrossed in sensory exploration of the world around us - putting everything (including our own little toes) in our mouths, delighted to hear the sound of our own shrieks, laughs and cries. Our five senses were the way we learned about everything. But social conditioning and maturity taught us to lessen our sensory interaction with the world in the name of appropriateness. Things like self-touch, loud vocalizations and uninhibited movement were discouraged and labeled as things that 'well-behaved boys and girls' didn't do.  As a result, many of us have become largely detached from our senses, and may even be uncomfortable as over-indulgent or immoral.

sensuality osho
sensuality osho

To become a truly sensual person, some unlearning of the norms of so-called good behavior is necessary.

These tips from MindBodyGreen and Mind Map Inspiration will help you increase your awareness and heighten your senses.

25 Ways to Increase Your Sensual Awareness

  1. Dance
  2. Self-massage 
  3. Walking meditation
  4. Stretch
  5. Give a hug
  6. Eat and drink more slowly
  7. Silently observe nature - watch your cat grooming, listen to the wind rustle the leaves outside, pay attention to the pace and rhythm of your own breathing
  8. Go barefoot
  9. Close your eyes to enhance your hearing
  10. Focus totally on your breath
  11. Look at a close object then a distant one and alternate focus
  12. Study your hand – explore the detail and aging!
  13. Smell deeply – differentiate between subtle odours
  14. Touch with eyes closed – explore textures, surfaces, shapes
  15. Close eyes and feel temperature of objects with hands
  16. Close your eyes and sense individual body parts
  17. Close your eyes and identify objects solely by touch
  18. Close your eyes and try observing your pulse or blood flow
  19. Gently pull your ears out and listen!
  20. Feel the wind – really feel it with all the senses
  21. Close your eyes and pass your hands through water
  22. Identify foods with your eyes closed
  23. Close eyes and brush fingers lightly over arms and face sensing hairs not skin
  24. Walk and be conscious of every step as you plant your feet
  25. Become aware of your entire body and “feel” with every cell

The more we feel with non-judgmental awareness, the more we open to the experience of our innate sensual pleasures"

While becoming more sensual may make you feel sexier - it may even make you a better lover - the real benefit in being more in tune with your senses is improving your ability to deal with the stress of everyday life.

What tips do you use to heighten your senses?

5 self-massage techniques you should learn right now
5-self-massage-techniques-you-should-learn-now-recipes-for-life-the-good-life-cookbook.png

Bad posture, stress and overuse can take a toll on our delicate muscles and tissues, making us feel tired, tense and not our best selves. Getting a professional massage may not always fit into our busy schedules or our budgets, but neglecting self-care for too long isn't the best for our physical or mental health. Whenever your body is feeling stiff and tense, try these 5 self-massage techniques to ease pain and stress in your feet, hands, neck and back.

How to Give Yourself A Foot Massage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUQYuQC-lWQ

 

How to Give Yourself A Hand Massage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=168lKIyc3lw

 

How to Give Yourself A Neck and Shoulder  Massage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFCO4f-NklA

 

How to Give Yourself A Breast Massage

4 Step Self Breast Massage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSd0dpwixvo

 

How to Give Yourself A Back Massage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CYAXocIk_U

 

For even more tips on how to give yourself a massage, check out this full-body guide to self-massage from Beyond Talk.

8 simple ways to improve health
live-well-health-manifesto.jpg

live-well-health-manifesto Since last year’s personal health discovery, I’ve had fits and starts with making permanent - and hopefully beneficial – changes to my lifestyle. While I’m still not 100% there, I’ve already made several small adjustments and have begun to see noticeable benefits. Those results are encouraging. They’re also evidence that I don’t have to make this ‘reclaiming health’ thing overly complicated. I just need to exercise some common sense and a little bit of commitment. Since I know that I’ll occasionally need a reminder of what it is I should be focusing on, I decided to pen my own personal health manifesto. Wanna hear it? Hear it goes….

  1. I have to be my own health advocate. A doctor is not an all-knowing source of medical wisdom. He/she is a practitioner. And practitioners of any craft are as much students as they are adepts. I have the responsibility to educate myself on my own body and conditions so that when I meet with the practitioner, I can engage in thoughtful dialogue and Q&A with him or her and challenge (respectfully) the info he/she provides. We are a team. I should not just take what is said or prescribed as Bible truth. I should use that as a launching point for further investigation, so that when I next meet with him / her, we can continue to plot a course to optimal health for me together. If my chosen practitioner is not open to this type of relationship with me, I should choose another.

 

  1. My body is itself a store of wisdom. If I quiet myself and listen, really pay attention to it, I will receive tons of clues about what might be causing dis-ease or imbalance within me. I was gifted with intuition to do this work, and I should make a conscious effort to strengthen this gift by paying attention to outward signs of inner distress or well-being. My skin, hair, nails, weight, emotions, eyes, teeth, gums, bowel movements, and menstrual periods are all readily accessible and easily observable external signs that give me clear clues as to how I am doing inside. I should not ignore these things or think of them as yucky, messy, gross, or inconsequential. I should pay attention and note any significant changes in them. I should seek out tools and reliable educational materials that allow me to accurately interpret what these changes could be saying about my overall health.

 

  1. Diet (i.e., what I put in my body as food, fuel, or sustenance) is of paramount importance. The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method applies here. The simpler the food, the more beneficial it is to me. The more the food looks like it did in its original state, the better it is for me. If it comes wrapped in plastic, encased in cardboard, Styrofoam, cellophane, aluminum, or glass, it is probably less beneficial than things that don’t. I should avoid those types of food as much as possible, but where I can’t or don’t want to, I should both: be very aware (by reading labels) of what extra / unnecessary / unhealthy ingredients are coming inside that package; and be sure to balance consumption of those foods with other, healthier choices. I will limit my consumption of foods prepared by strangers. It is my belief that the closer my relationship to the preparer of the food, the more likely that food is to be good (or at least not bad) for me. I will prepare my own meals as much as possible. I will plan ahead by stocking my fridge / cabinets / workspace with foods that are good for me, so I am not forced to make bad decisions due to limited options.

 

  1. ExerciseMovement is essential. Because I am not an athlete and never plan to be, nor am I a supermodel (though I could be… lol!), I refuse to become obsessed with points, pounds, number of reps, number of calories burned, miles logged, etc. My only obsession will be making time daily or at least 4 out of 7 days to get in the movement that I enjoy, that brings me pleasure, and preferably, that causes me to break a sweat. For me, this includes: dancing, gardening, stretching, dancing, swimming, hiking, biking, stretching, dancing, and stretching. Also – sex is exercise. Especially when done with a partner, and especially when done right.

 

  1. Nature is a source of regenerative energy and healing for me. Its cycles mirror my own internal cycles of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. I must dedicate time to interact with nature on a daily basis, whether by combining it with my physical activity (e.g., hiking, gardening, walking), by meditating on some aspect of nature (e.g., a tree, squirrels playing in the yard, a vase of fresh cut flowers), or incorporating nature into or acknowledging it as I go about my daily routines (e.g., taking lunch outside, touching a leaf as I pass, observing the movement of the clouds overhead).

 

  1. My mental diet is as important as my physical diet. The information and ideas I consume have a direct impact on love-your-lifethe health of my mind and emotions. I will make conscious decisions about the books and magazines I read, the websites I visit, the TV programs and movies I watch, and the conversations and friendships I enter into and foster. This does not mean that I will only consume info or ideas that I agree with, but that I will limit intake of such info that leaves me feeling distressed, anxious, uneasy, or causes an uptick of negative emotions or associations about myself, others, or the world around me.

 

  1. Vices. I like to stay up late. I like to drink. I occasionally like to smoke. I like to drive over the speed limit. I tend to stress. I recognize that none of these things are beneficial to my health, especially if done to a level of excess or overindulgence. At this point, I don’t think I can or want to eliminate any of these behaviors 100%. I accept the inherent risk I am assuming by not being able to do this, and plan to at least minimize / mitigate that risk in the following ways:
    • If I stay up late (or don’t get enough sleep) one night, I will go to bed early the following night and/or sleep in late the following morning, and/or incorporate a nap the following day or days.
    • I will not drink during the week. If I find myself at a weekday event or occasion where alcohol is a factor, I will opt for my non-alcoholic beverage of choice (grapefruit juice and tonic water).
    • I will try to limit smoking to ‘special occasions’ (e.g., 2-3 times / year). Since I’m especially tempted to smoke either when stressed or when drinking, I will ask myself these 3 questions when the temptation arises: 1) is this worth a new wrinkle? 2) is this worth an increase in blood pressure? 3) is this worth dying for?
    • When I recognize stress in myself, I will either: remove myself from the stressful situation, reframe the situation in a more positive light, or focus on my breathing (i.e., taking several deep breaths until I feel the stress is reduced or eliminated.

 

  1. I will practice self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Not beating myself up for falling off the wagon or experiencing setbacks, but using such experiences to reflect on what caused the setback and what I need to adjust to get back on track.

Do you have any healthy reminders for yourself? How do you keep yourself on track with your health and wellness goals? cheers, k

photo: 100_2230 by echoesofstars, on Flickr

photo: Reminder... by redwood 1, on Flickr"