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Stress Free Living: The Calm before the Holiday Storm
November 03, 2009

Prepare to Experience Relaxation

November 2009 - Issue #011: The Calm before the Holiday Storm

Welcome to the November issue of Stress Free Living! As the holiday season (and holiday stress) fast approaches, I thought it might be time for some rest and relaxation… to prepare for the calm before the storm! So this ezine issue is focused on ways you can bring a little extra relaxation into your life.

Then next month, be on the lookout for great tips to help you manage your holiday stress.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Stress Free Living ezine!


"We can’t stop the waves, but we can learn to surf."
~ Jonathan Kabat-Zinn

In This Issue...

1. Relaxation: Meditation

2. Relaxation: Hypnosis

3. In Case You Missed It: Other Relaxation Resources

4. All About You

Welcome to the
Stress Free Living Ezine!

Relaxation: Meditation

Meditation is a practice that is used for many different reasons… stress relief is one of them. Meditation will help you to relax your mind and your body. Those constant thoughts and worries going on in your head can be turned off (or at least turned down) through meditation. Clearing your mind and relaxing your body will not only help to relieve your stress, but can also improve your concentration, mental discipline, and open you up to find the answers you’ve been seeking to problems and issues going on in your life.

I often meditate when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, but I also use meditation when I feel that my creativity is blocked. Meditation can have many positive effects… so isn’t it worth a try?

Some of the common questions or comments I hear from people who have never meditated are about religion and how meditation may or may not be going against their beliefs. The truth is, that many religions and cultures use meditation for spiritual reasons, however, meditation itself has nothing to do with religion. You can certainly practice meditation for stress relief, or for focus, or for whatever you want and it can have nothing (or everything) to do with your religion. Rest assured that meditating is a practice of mental discipline, not religion.

So how do you meditate?

There are many different meditation techniques… so many that I couldn’t possibly begin to cover them within the scope of this ezine. However, I will give you one simple example to help you get started:

Zazen Meditation

Zazen is referred to as the “sitting meditation”. While it only really consists of just sitting, it’s a lot tougher than it sounds… especially if you are someone who has a difficult time relaxing or just sitting still. So just be aware that you may need to begin practicing this technique with very short periods of time and then work your way up.

Through this meditation, your mind and body become calm and relaxed. Your life may become more clear, you may find answers to your problems, and you can concentrate on the present and the good things in your life instead of thinking about the stress you’ve been facing.

To begin, find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed. Be sure to turn your phone off, and if necessary, notify your family members that you need to be left alone for a bit. You will sit with your legs crossed or folded under you. Sit straight up with good posture and your shoulders back. Rest your hands in your lap, with the left hand resting in your right hand, palms up. If sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable, you can sit upright in a chair instead.

Then, look down without hanging your head, and unfocus your eyes a little so that you don’t actually see what’s in front of you (so that you won’t begin focusing on that instead of paying attention to what’s going on inside of you).

To begin to gain control of your focus, start by focusing on your breath. Breathe in and out through your nose keeping your mouth closed. While you breathe, simply notice all the different attributes of your breath without trying to change it in any way.

That’s really all there is to it. Sit, breathe, be present.

While it sounds very easy, it can be quite difficult… especially for people who are extremely stressed out or have a hard time relaxing or just sitting still. In the beginning, aim for just five minutes of meditation then slowly work your way up to ten, then fifteen, then thirty.

To be honest, while meditation is extremely beneficial for many reasons, when you’re just starting out, it can be tough. One of the things that I have done to increase my success rate with meditation is use a guided meditation DVD. If you’re interested, I recommend the Meditation for Beginners DVD from Gaiam. This particular DVD is not only helpful for meditation, it also includes a yoga program to help you prepare for your meditation. It's extremely relaxing and also a great value at $14.98.

I've purchased a lot of products from Gaiam and have always been more than pleased with every product as well as the delivery time... and many of their items are shipped for free.

In addition to the Meditation DVD, I also highly recommend Gaiam's Escape CD for relaxing music and their Stress Relief CD icon for guided relaxation, conscious breathing, and relaxing music.

If you do decide to place an order from Gaiam, be sure to also check out this special offer:

$20 off any order $100 or more (Excludes Outlet). Use code AFHLOWEN. Expires 11.11.09.


Relaxation: Hypnosis

For those of you who’ve gotten to know me through and this ezine, you may have noticed that I’m a huge fan of hypnosis. The reason is simple. It changed my life. In fact, hypnosis worked so well for me, it was one of the main reasons I became so interested (and somewhat obsessed) with stress management.

Several years ago, when I decided it was time to get serious about managing my stress, I sought the assistance of a hypnotherapist. And for the first time in years, I realized that stress could in fact be overcome and properly managed.

If you’ve ever been interested in hypnosis, I highly suggest that you give it a shot. It’s a completely safe and natural process so there is nothing to lose… except your stress!

Through, I’ve done my best to supply you with as much information and knowledge as possible about hypnosis so that you won’t be afraid to try it…. you never know, it might just change your life!

And since hypnosis is an incredibly relaxing experience, and this ezine issue is all about relaxation, I thought I’d take a moment to point you to all the different resources available to help you with your discovery of hypnosis.

For basic information on hypnosis for stress relief, visit:

Sign up for a free Introduction to Hypnosis e-course:

Share your experiences with hypnosis and read what others have to say:

The Stressful Lives Mini-Guide to Hypnosis has been given away exclusively to subscribers of this ezine.
Click here if you didn't get a copy or if you need another one.

If you're interested in trying hypnosis for yourself, finding the right audio CDs can make all the difference in the world.

Click here to find out what products I use for successful hypnosis sessions.

In Case You Missed It... offers many more tips for your relaxation toolbox. Check out some of these other links to learn more:

Click here for information on relaxation therapy.

Click here for my product guide which includes a short list of some of my favorite relaxation products.

Click here to find out how exercise can reduce your stress and improve your relaxation efforts.

And Finally...

I need your help!

Below is a link to a short survey to get your feedback on the Stress Free Living ezine. If you're willing to take the time to complete this brief survey, you'll get a free copy of the Stressful Lives Mini-Guide to Foods That Fight Stress which will help you discover some great tasty foods that can help you relax and relieve your stress as my Thank You gift to you!

Please click here to be directed to the survey.

Thank you!

All About You

I'd love to hear from You!

To share your feedback on this issue, Please click here to be directed to the survey.

If you have any questions about stress or stress management, submit them on our brand new Ask The Expert page! And don't forget to visit the site regularly to either submit your own stories & tips or read & comment on what others have written.

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Thank you for spending some time with me today, I hope you have enjoyed your copy of the Stress Free Living ezine. If there is something you'd like to see next month, please reply to this email and let me know!

Wishing you all the very best,

Helping you live a less stressful life.

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