outdoor

Outdoor Therapy?

By | Biltmore, Blog, calm, depression, exercise, Happiness, Health, Mindfulness, outdoor therapy, Stress | No Comments

Have you ever heard of therapy that is conducted in the great outdoors? We have a beautiful practice here in the Biltmore, but sometimes the temperatures here in Arizona are so scorching we are happy to be inside where it is cool.

However, there has been more and more practices and counselors who are taking their craft outdoors. There have been many studies on the affects of how getting outside and being outdoors can positively impact our lives. The mere fact of just being outdoors have shown to decrease stress levels, soothe mental illness, and increase physical activity. A lot of time spent in the outdoors is spent connecting with others, so the social interaction can be a positive thing in an individuals life as well.

There is a certain sense of calm when we are outside, especially when we are in a space that is green, clean, and quiet. This type of environment can really give us a platform to reconnect with ourselves, be in the moment, and appreciate what is around us that we often forget about when we are running through our busy lives.

There are therapy programs and groups that are held in outdoor environments, like camping in the woods, hiking groups, and even one on one counseling sessions done in a park. The results have shown that these types of activities can lower the stress hormone cortisol, which can be increasingly inflammatory and damaging to our health and our minds. Lowering cortisol can help improve symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and anxiety. Often people feel healthier, and stronger after they’ve done something outside. So it’s no wonder taking the calming feeling of just being outdoors, coupled with am individual counseling session or in a group can be successful.

There is an article over at American Psychological Association about how psychologists are using wilderness as a therapeutic tool. Check out that article here. There is also a wonderful article written by Frederick Reimers on Outside Online that explores the topic. We would love to know what you think?

Would you sign up for a therapy session done outside?

Does being outdoors make you happier?

What are your favorite outdoor activities?

Woman Meditating at her Desk

Your Mindful Workspace

By | Biltmore, Blog, calm, Mental Health, Mindfulness | No Comments

Is it possible to be mindful at work? Can you have a more peaceful work environment? For most of us, our day to day is spent at a desk in front of a computer (or computers!) for hours on end. During these seemingly endless days, we can often find ourselves zoning out, or juggling so many different tasks it’s hard to stay focused. What can we do during our work hours to help us stay in the present, be more productive, and be conscious of our actions?

According to mindful.org there are plenty of things you can do through out your day to keep your mindfulness in the forefront. It can be small things like turning your phone off during the day so you’re not distracted by your personal life. Or staying off social media when you’re logged onto your work computer.

Also, making your physical office space more calming is a great way to keep your mood boosted. Stay organized and avoid any clutter on the desk so you can focus on what needs to get done. You might have a calendar or a picture with a motivational saying reminding you to stay present. Maybe you set an alarm every 30 minutes to get up, stretch your legs, bring your mind back to yourself and the moment, do some breathing exercises.

At mindful.org they give 10 great examples of how to do this and much more like:

  1. Be Consciously Present
  2. Use Short Mindful Exercises
  3. Be a Single-Tasker
  4. Use Mindful Reminders
  5. Slow Down to Speed Up
  6. Make Stress Your Friend
  7. Feel Gratitude
  8. Cultivate Humility
  9. Accept What You Can’t Change
  10. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Head on over to their website for a more detailed explanation of these 10 ways to be more mindful at work. Will you try any of them?

#psychlopedia – meditation

By | #psychlopedia, Biltmore, Blog, calm, meditation, Mindfulness, self awareness | No Comments

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary definition, meditation means:

-to engage in contemplation or reflection

OR

-to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

We have been focusing on meditation, being mindful and more self aware for the month of March. As March comes to an end, and Spring has finally sprung, have you tried meditation yet? Have you done any self reflection or tried to be engaged in the present more?

 

Alarm clock on table with the words 'Wake Up' on the alarm time slot

How to start your Monday off Mindfully?

By | Biltmore, Blog, calm, goals, Happiness, Health, meditation, Mindfulness, self awareness, Stress | No Comments

Some mornings can be tough, but Monday mornings seem to be particularly tough for some. When you’re winding down from a socially filled or relaxing weekend, it can be hard to switch your mind to business mode for the Monday morning job. Is there anything we can do to make the sting of the alarm on Monday’s less painful?

Setting yourself up for a positive and productive day starts as soon as your alarm goes off. Even on that dreaded Monday you can start making small changes to act more mindfully. Studies show that setting your alarm to a less “alarming” sound can benefit in a multitude of ways. First, being ‘alarmed’ abruptly out of a deep sleep can be quite fear and stress inducing. Second, where did it say in the rule book that your alarm must be extremely loud and annoying? Try setting your alarm to a more calming sound, still benefiting from the help in waking you up, but less jolting as you begin your day.

It seems like a lot of people today find it hard to keep hydrated through out the day. If you start your day with coffee, tea or juice, it can be even harder to get back on track. Start with a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. It doesn’t mean you can’t have coffee or tea later, but starting with a full glass of water can help keep you hydrated and help keep you motivated to drink water through out your busy day.

Do you find inspirational books, quotes, or podcasts helpful? A lot of people do. And starting your day with a little motivation has a great positive impact. It might be reading an inspirational book, or having a motivational calendar in your view. There are a plethora of positive, inspiring, and motivational podcasts these days, perhaps you listen to one as you’re getting ready for work.

You might think you don’t have time to meditate in the mornings. But what about a little body scan, a little self check in? This can be done in 5 minutes, as you’re waiting for your shower to heat up. Take a few deep inhales and exhales, try some light stretching and put the focus on relaxing and setting your intentions for the day.

Adding a nutritious breakfast to your morning can help set yourself up for success as well. Try incorporating some good fiber, and complex carbohydrates to help you feel full through out your morning. Things like plain oatmeal with berries and nuts, or a refreshing smoothie with fruits and vegetables are easy and healthy.

What do you do to start your week off right?