This past Sunday I awoke bright and early, (well not too early, thanks to that extra hour of sleep... ehem, Daylights Savings Time :-), to the Rock The Ripple Effect Conference at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC with my fellow IIN grads and ambassadors. Walking from the 6 train, dodging police barricades and marathon groupies, I made it to the Time Warner Center just in time to hear Joshua Rosenthal, (founder and father of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition), rev up the crowd of health coaches to "rock the ripple effect" of health and wellness all around the world!
Less than two weeks after Food Day rocked the healthy food ripple effect around the country, Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), (the brains behind the national event), took the stage to talk about "Healthier Diets: How to Make a Difference." Did you know that 2/3 of American adults and 1/3 of American children are overweight?!
Dr. Andrew Weil, the Founder and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and my IIN teacher, gave the keynote address. He spoke about depression's hold on America, noting that 1/9 Americans are depressed. Attributing this to several reasons including lack of social connectivity, (we're all online these days! me included...), information overload, (hellooo, twitter), and BIG pharma. New Zealand and the U.S. are the only countries that directly market drugs. It's so important that we all get our daily dose of mental nutrition in order to properly focus on our body nutrition. After all, what you feed your mind has an impact on your overall wellness. I'm a fan of The Power of Positive Thinking mentality and try to apply it to my life. Try to pop a positive thinking pill tomorrow and see how it makes ya feel...
Or if you find yourself getting in the negative zone and stressing out, try Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 Breath Exercise a variation of Pranayama, a type of yogic breath control. Pranayama is Sanskrit word meaning "extension of life force." 'Prana' means 'breath' (and 'spirit') and 'ayama' means 'to control.'
2) Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3) Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5) This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Check out this video of Dr. Weil demonstrating the 4-7-8 Relaxing Breath Exercise at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice.
Do you have stress management techniques that help you? Please share!
Tatiana Ridley, CHHC, AADP