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Stress Awareness Month

Posted by itsupportgroup
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on Monday, 25 April 2016 in School Nutrition Blog


Each person encounters a different type and/or amount of stress each day, whether from home, work, relationships, and whatever comes up in between.  Everyone responds to stress differently, and how you handle your response to stress can make a big difference to your state of overall health.  Research has shown that chronic high levels of stress, or even moderate amounts of stress that are not effectively coped with, can increase the risk of heart disease, decrease the ability of the immune system to fight off disease, make it difficult to lose weight, and so much more. 

Thankfully, there are easy and simple ways to handle stress to keep you healthy, one of which is by meditation.

You don’t need to be a Zen master to meditate.  All you need to do is breathe.  From there, you can get creative to see what works for you!

First, create your space.  It could be at your desk, in your car, in your bedroom, or anywhere else that you can spend at least one minute with minimal distractions.  Then, either sitting, standing, lying down, or even walking, just listen to your breath.  Your eyes can be closed, or you can keep them open to gently focus your gaze on one object (that is not a computer or phone screen!)


Breathing techniques can help keep the mind focused on the breath (instead of whatever to-do list is waiting for you after you are done with your meditation).  Try counting the length of each inhale and exhale, and either keeping them the same time frame, or playing around with making the inhale either longer or shorter than the exhale.  When the inhale is deeper than the exhale, it helps you feel more alert and focused.  When the exhale is deeper than the inhale, the nervous system starts to slow down, and you will feel more grounded and calm.

Start with just one minute a day, and then if you find the time, maybe work up to ten minutes (or even longer) over the course of a few days/weeks, or try more frequent one-minute meditation breaks throughout the day.  You can make this work for whatever your schedule throws at you each day!


Laura Binder-Hines is a Whitsons corporate registered dietitian as well as a certified yoga and meditation instructor.  She is passionate about helping others to manage stress as a part of their personal journeys towards complete wellness.  Feel free to contact Laura via email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a complimentary one-page guide to basic meditation techniques for stress management.


Contributor: Laura Binder-Hines, MS, RD

Photo by: Liz Degan, www.lizdegen.com







Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates.  All content and material contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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