Just Live Mindfully

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Tag: self-care

Naptime!

Ahh, nap time!  It’s an amazing time, right?

But how many of us get a chance to actually take advantage of a nap?  I bet it’s not many.  The unfortunate thing about this is, we might not be taking full advantage of the benefits of taking a nap.

So what are the benefits?  There are actually a lot.  For starters, naps can restore and increase alertness.  You know that feeling when you just can’t use your brain anymore and want to turn it off?  That’s the point when your brain is not alert anymore and needs to rest.  Think of your brain like a muscle.  When a muscle gets tired or sore, it needs to rest.  When you take a nap, you’re resting your brain and helping it come back to normal.  According to a study by NASA, even just a 40-minute nap can increase alertness back up to 100%!

Another benefit of taking naps is that performance can be enhanced and mistakes and accidents can be reduced.  In that same study by NASA, the astronauts improved performance by 34%.  It’s a small increase, but hey, it’s an increase!  When you’re at work and you get that “2 o’clock feeling”, you just want to go lie down for awhile, right?  I get that feeling regularly and I know by just taking a 15 to 20-minute rest I’ll be able to bring myself back into focus and keep working.

The third benefit, and my personal favorite, is all about the psychology.  A nap can be seen as a luxury or a mini-vacation.  A lot of people don’t have the time or money for luxurious vacations, but a nap might be the next best thing.  It can be a quick way to get in some relaxation and rejuvenation.  When you give yourself time to take a nap, you’re allowing yourself to get some extra rest.  Maybe the rest you need to keep pushing through the day.  And even though it’s quick, you might even get a chance to dream of that luxurious vacation.

Why am I bringing up naps?  Because it’s getting closer to the holidays and it’s the perfect time to start making a habit of taking naps, even if it’s just on the weekend.  Whether you take a spontaneous nap or schedule one, it can be a good thing!  You might need that extra time for yourself and the extra rest to get through the rest of the year.  When are you going to take your next nap?

Reiki…is it for you?

One of the things I always encourage is practicing self-care.  For some, that may include taking time to de-stress from time to time.  One of my ways to attempt to live stress-free is to have a reiki session about every month.  You may be asking yourself “What the heck is reiki?”  Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to give you a little overview of what reiki is, how it works and give you my personal experience to help you see if it’s right for you.

Let’s start with an easy question – What is reiki?  The word itself has Japanese origins.  Rei means “God’s wisdom or the higher power” and Ki means “life force energy”.  Essentially, reiki is spiritually guided life force energy.  And they say you should connect more and more to your life force energy to live a well balanced life.

Reiki is an alternative practice that helps to promote stress reduction and relaxation.  It use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing.  Practitioners transfer universal energy through the palms to the body to allow the body to heal itself and reach balance.

The idea behind reiki is that unseen life force energy flows through our body and allows us to be alive.  If our energy is low, we are more likely to get sick and feel stressed out.  If our energy is high, we are more capable of being in “the flow” and feeling happy and staying healthy.

Want more info?  Let’s keep going.  Reiki treats the whole person and includes all areas – body, emotion, mind and spirit.  A session can be different for everyone too.  Some may feel the energy literally flowing through the body and around it.  Most feel a sense of relaxation, inner peace, security and well-being.

Reiki works through hand placement on energy lines or chakras along a person’s body.  A person has seven chakras on the body:

  1. Crown Chakra – Our consciousness concerned with perceptions of unity or separation comes from this chakra.  It also involves one’s inner wisdom.
  2. Third Eye – This is where our spiritual perspective comes from, our deep inner level of being.  It’s where our ability to trust our inner guidance comes from.
  3. Throat Chakra – Communication and expression come from this chakra.  All aspects of expressing, listening to and receiving our intuition are based here.
  4. Heart Chakra – The feelings we have of compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, rejection and well-being come through this chakra.
  5. Solar Plexus Chakra – Perceptions of power, control and freedom stem from this chakra.  This is the chakra that allows us to be ourselves.
  6. Sacral Chakra – Our wants and needs, what we find pleasurable and true in emotion come through this chakra.  Food and sex desires come through here.
  7. Root Chakra – This chakra represents security and survival and the ability to be grounded in the present.

If you’re still with me, you probably want to know more about a direct experience.  Well, I can share mine.  I’ve been going for reiki for years now and it’s been an amazing journey. I don’t know what I’d do without it now.  I will say, it took a few sessions before I really felt any changes.  It’s like any other practice…you have to do it a few times before you’ll see results.

I actually went yesterday and my practitioner has me lie down on a table, puts on soft music to help me get in the zone and has me take a few deep breaths before we start.  As she goes through my chakras she moves the energy around and helps balance my system.  Sometimes I can feel the energy being moved and I can see images that may or may not mean something for me.  I have felt like I was floating off the table before.  Believe it or not, I’ve seen the image of the staircase at Hogwarts in my mind.  Yes, strange, but there is a reason…sometimes I’m just not sure what it is.  These types of things happen simply because the energy is being moved about and the life force energy wants me to feel or see these things.

My sessions last about an hour and sometimes go a little over that.  When my session is over, I feel like I’ve had a HUGE weight lifted off my chest.  I feel a sense of relief and feel like the world is alright.  I can relate reiki to going to a therapist for a session.  Although my practitioner and I don’t always talk, she helps me feel better and feel more at ease.  I highly recommend reiki for anyone looking to try something new to help them de-stress and live a more balanced life.

If you’ve tried reiki, share your thoughts below.  I’d love to hear about your experiences and how it helps you.

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