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Weight Loss Tips

March 26th, 2015 by Alison Shaw

Do you want to lose weight?

Here are some top tips for not losing weight but refocusing your mind set – changing and challenging what you have always done or thought

  • Weight Loss Tip 1. The first tip is knowledge, knowledge is
    Weight Loss Tips

    Weight Loss Tips

    power. Understand your body and how it works. Losing weight is 80% food and 20% exercise.  Read, research from sources that you trust. An understanding of how and why your body and food relate is a good start to a new healthy lifestyle that encourages weight loss.

  • Weight Loss Tip 2. Don’t starve yourself. Your body won’t function without enough good nourishment. Like petrol is to your car – food is to your body. Your metabolic rate slows down if there is not enough fuel in your body. Metabolism is the chemical reaction that takes place in your body – converting the fuel in food we consume into energy.
  • Weight Loss Tip 3. Eat when you are hungry and avoid snacking. Eat consistently each day, this helps regulate your sugar levels. If we overeat or under eat the blood sugar levels end up all over the place and this can cause, mood swings, irritability and health risks. Some health care people recommend 5 – 6 small meals a day while others suggest 3 solid meals a day and no snacking.   All recommend not to over eat. Choose snacks wisely with the only reason to eat a snack is for nutrition and health reasons.
  • Weight Loss Tip 4. Protein is one of the main building
    Weight Loss

    Weight Loss

    blocks in our bodies – protein makes up about 16% of a person’s body weight – as connective tissues, skin, hair and muscle. It is recommended that each meal should include some form of protein. Protein is a great source of fuel and will keep your engines running for hours – snacks or food high in sugar is not able to sustain the same amount of energy as protein, so in a few hours or less you will be tired and hungry again.

  • Weight Loss Tip 5. Have you ever thought HOW you eat
    Tips for weight loss

    Exercise is key

    your food – are so hungry that you grab something that’s quick and down the hatch – like a quick fix! Plan your meals and menu’s each week.   Think about what you are eating and why! Ask yourself how is this going to benefit me? Will it help me? If the answers are no – don’t eat it. Find an alternative choice. Enjoy your meal, chew slowly and meals an event to be relished with family and friends – your food needs to be savoured. If your meal makes you feel overly full, uncomfortable your body will not perform at it’s best.

  • Weight Loss Tip 6. Be aware that there is good and bad fats…don’t avoid the good fats. Fats help absorb the protein. The good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are good for your heart and cholesterol – they assist with preventing health risks. Bad fats (saturated) increase cholesterol levels and the risk of disease. A point to note that when cutting down on saturated fat you should replace them with healthy choices.

    weight loss tips

    weight loss tips

  • Weight Loss Tip 7. Dehydration works against weight loss as well as other factors. Without enough hydration your body slows down. Drink water – the old saying “8 glasses a day” is fairly close to t the mark as a minimum requirement each day.
  • Weight Loss Tip 8. Sleep or lack of it plays a part in any weight loss regime. Poor sleep affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Set your bedroom up to what is the optimal place for you. Quiet, peaceful and warm. Wind down before bed, and if sleep doesn’t come easily try a magnesium bath. Magnesium has a multitude of benefits from relaxation to assisting in muscle fatigue. Magnesium is absorb through the skin much better than taking a capsule.

    Weight loss tips

    Weight loss tips

  • Weight Loss Tip 9. Stress and the affects it has on the body is far reaching. One of the major effects stress has on weight gain and loss is the release of Cortisol hormone, this creates inflammation and fat storage around the waistline. Managing your stress and inflammation is imperative to assisting in reducing weight. Take time for yourself whether it be yoga, mediating, exercise, walking, music…..
  • Weight Loss Tip 10. In line with the stress is your attitude, your feelings and emotions. We can be our own worst enemy with self doubt, self negative talk – our inner voice can be our biggest critic. Be kind to yourself, don’t allow negativity into your thoughts. We don’t have to be happy at every turn, unhappy or negative feelings can be destructive and in a bid to avoid dealing with those feelings we turn to food. If you don’t deal with your feelings you may struggle to lose weight.
  • Weight Loss Tip 11. It may only be 20% of weight loss but
    Massage weight loss tip

    Massage weight loss tip

    moving, exercise is important. You need to move – you to need to find out what floats your boat… Walk, playing with the kids, walking the dog, dancing. You need to enjoy when you move and then it fits into your lifestyle with ease. Going to the gym, lifting weights all are beneficial but what is it “that your body needs” Back to the research – talk to personal trainer, the local gym, a yoga teacher, marshal art or a dance class. Moving every day is vital to good health and with good health comes healthy weight loss.

  • Massage can be a key factor to helping you lose weight.
    Weight loss tips

    Weight loss tips

    Massage helps remove toxins from your body, increases your blood flow, increases nutrients reaching your cells, reduces stress and cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body, increases serotonin which regulates your moods, increases dopamine (the feel good neurotransmitter) as well as helping your digestion (stomach massage is sensational for this). Plus you can use it as a reward once you reach your weight loss goals.

  • Weight Loss Tip12. It’s not just one thing that will help you lose weight and develop a healthy lifestyle – it’s a combination of your food, sleep, exercise, mental health, hydration, support – one step at a time. Keep a journal of your journey.

Ripple is Australia’s premier mobile massage company. Bookings can be made on 0438 567 906 or online.

Prenatal Massage

March 24th, 2015 by Alison Shaw

Prenatal Massage – top reasons why massage helps you during pregnancy

Having a massage while you are pregnant can be one of the best things you can do for yourself

Pregnancy massage

Prenatal Massage

and your unborn child. Physically and emotionally the effects on you and your body are amazing. Don’t just have one, if possible book a regular prenatal massage.

Circulation

Prenatal massage can improve blood circulation in turn this creates more oxygen and nutrients to both Mum and Bub. While the blood is moving toxins are being eliminated from the body as well.

Blood Flow

With the pressure on the uterus and pelvis building over the time of our pregnancy, this can inhabit the blood flow – massage will help the blood flow to these areas.

Calming

The parasympathetic system (The parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the ‘rest and digest’ activation, is the segment that assists with normal, autonomic functions.) is calmed through massage treatment. This assist with a better night’s sleep and the release of endorphins giving both Mum and Bub a sense of relaxation and calm. If Mum is calm then Bub will also be calm!

Helps balance your neurotransmitter system

Prenatal massage

Prenatal massage for mum to be

Prenatal massage has been shown to increase substantially serotonin which is the neurotransmitter that helps balance mood. It has also been show to increase dopamine (the feel good neurotransmitter) and also reduce cortisol (the stress neurotransmitter). The combination of this will make your pregnancy happier and less stressful, both positive effects that will add to your baby’s well being. Taking a little time to care for yourself during pregnancy will not only help you, but will translate into a healthier bub. Plus Mums-to-be should be spoilt, creating a bub is hard work!

Hormones

Ahh… those dreaded hormones that are blamed for everything. During pregnancy there is an increase in hormones and this can affect our moods. Having regular prenatal massages during your pregnancy will help to stabilise our hormones and in this help our mood fluctuation.

Muscles and Joints

As you grow through each trimester more and more stress is put on your back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, feet and the list goes on…..the more stress our bodies feel the more it seems to tighten muscles and joints. Prenatal massage is fantastic for relieving stress on these areas of the body and make it easier for you to move.

Blood pressure

Many of us can experience stress throughout our pregnancy, through lack of sleep, anxiety

Babyshower gift certificate

Prenatal gift certificate

about the pending birth, working, running around after toddlers….this can affect the heart rate and blood pressure. Massage – the power of touch to the skin – assists in relaxing the mind, the body and in turn reducing blood pressure. A much healthier place for you during this magical time.

Your time

Being pregnant is hard work, takes a lot of energy to carry your bump around. Take time (regularly) to nurture your emotions as well as your physical side – the power of touch – therapeutic touch is beyond measure.

A great way to take time out for yourself or perhaps share with someone special

Prenatal Massages

Prenatal massages

Prenatal massage is a great way just to take some time to enjoy your pregnancy, and perhaps, if you book two massages at the same time, is a way to enjoy some down time with your partner or someone special. It is also perfect as a gift certificate for the Mum to be. Often when people leave work it is difficult to get them a gift … a prenatal massage gift certificate is always welcome, for either before the birth, or sometimes they are saved until afterwards. They also make a great baby shower gift or book one when you are on your babymoon.

 

Massage Tips

March 12th, 2015 by Alison Shaw

Top 10 Massage Tips

Top ten things to ask a Massage Therapist

Massage tips

Massage tips

Do I need to bring anything?

Just yourself, as professional massage therapist we supply all that is required. We have a massage table that is set up for our height to ensure our back well being and to perform the perfect massage for you.

Do I have to wear undies?

Some therapists prefer that you do, but it is up to you. If you do prefer to wear underwear, we will tuck a towel into the top of your undies and roll them down so we can massage your glutes. Otherwise we will keep your private areas covered with towels or sarongs at all times, even in Ka Huna massages so that your privacy is respected.

Do I need to be toweled?

Massage tips and benefits

What to ask your massage therapist

As professional massage therapist we usually follow a protocol about draping, that is covering our clients with towels. We keep all areas covered that are not being massaged except during Ka Huna massages where we drape with sarongs. With towel draping, the area being massaged will warm up, so we need to keep the other areas of the body toweled and warm. You will feel cocooned under your towel and this gives you a real sense of comfort.

Are you a therapist or masseuse?

In reality we are both, however, with such a lot of misunderstanding about massage service and adult services, we prefer therapist. A professional therapist has completed a lot of training to be able to offer clients a well-planned massage with ongoing treatment plan to help alleviate your aches and pains.

Do I have to take my clothes off?

Yes, it is much easier and way more beneficial for you. We fully understand that you may not be comfortable being naked in front of a stranger however, therapist treat many clients and we see the body as a whole and as unit that requires our professional treatment. At your treatment you will be shown to your treatment room and your therapist will leave your for a few minutes to allow you to undress and pop onto the bed under the towel.

Homework – Really ?

Yes – if you have sort treatment with a Remedial Massage Therapist they will more than likely give you soft exercises or stretches to do daily. You will have booked a remedial therapist for an injury, or aches and pains and the ongoing homework will help to alleviate the pain.

What if my body makes noises?

How to relax during your massage

Relaxation massage tips

It’s ok, it’s a compliment!! You may snore – that’s great you are so relaxed and enjoying your treatment. Tummy rumbles, passing wind it all happens because your body is now in the rest and digest mode. It’s all part of your massage treatment. Just relax and enjoy – it’s all part of our job.

Can I talk in a massage?

Most people like to chat at the beginning of the treatment – it helps them feel comfortable and relaxed. As the massage proceeds most will go into a relaxed sleep mode. Clients can use their therapists as sounding board for pressures and stress in their lives.   Even though this is not part of the job, therapist care and are happy to let you unwind.

Will my massage hurt me?

Depending on what type of massage you are having. A Swedish Massage is a relaxation massage whereas a Deep Tissue massage is much slower and deeper to help knotted and tight muscles let go.

Your therapist will ask you how the pressure is throughout the massage – don’t be shy, tell them to back off or get into more! If your therapist pressure gets too much for you, don’t hesitate to ask them to change the pressure. Everyone’s idea of a firm massage is different. It’s your massage to have how you want – your therapist wants you to receive the treatment you are looking for.

How will I feel after my massage?

Massage tips

Post massage care

Having a remedial or deep tissue massage you may experience a little of bit of pain for up to 24 hours after your treatment. Second day you should feel great! Your therapist will advise you of this before you leave. They should recommend that you drink plenty of water, particularly in the first hour after your massage. They may also recommend heat, ice and or stretches as after care for your treatment. A relaxation massage should have you floating out the door – hydration is still recommended after any sort of massage.

Boost Serotonin and Decrease Mood Swings with Massage

February 23rd, 2015 by Alison Shaw

We all love to feel good. And serotonin is the neurotransmitter that research has shown is responsible for ensuring mood balance.

Balance mood swings and regulate serotonin with massage

Massage and serotonin levels

A deficit of serotonin can lead to a number of things that make us feel off balance and unhappy. A lack of serotonin can lead to depression and it can also lead to you not being able to delay gratification or follow through on plans. It can lead to people not being able to finish things, being a little down or snappy and being sensitive or easily irritable by small things. If this sounds like you, it maybe a serotonin imbalance that is in part causing your mood swings.

The good news however is that there are four powerful things you can do to boost your serotonin levels. Four very simple things that, yay, are also hugely enjoyable. So if you are finding yourself having these symptoms perhaps try

Pregnancy massage and serotonin

Pregnancy massage boosts well being and serotonin levels

these things. If they continue however, always consult a professional medical practitioner like a psychologist, there maybe more at play than low serotonin levels.

Need a serotonin boost? Here you go …

1. Massage - yep, that yummy lovely things we do for our bodies when we remember to and schedule the time, massage is also a great way to boost your serotonin levels. A study showed that pregnant women that were regularly massaged by their partners over a period of four months, showed significantly higher serotonin levels than a control group that did not receive the massage. This is particularly significant for pregnant women where pre and post natal depression can be a large factor in a new mum’s mental health and consequently the health of the baby. A good reason to book in regular pregnancy massages

Serotonin has also been shown to be elevated in new born babies who received

Infant massage and mood swings

Infant massage also boosts serotonin

regular infant massage over the period of six weeks. In this study, new born babies who received regular massage had serotonin levels 34% higher than the control group of babies who received no massage. Similarly serotonin has been shown to be elevated in migraine sufferers who received regular massage, with correlational research suggesting there maybe a link between massage and lower migraines. Yet another study indicated that women with breast cancer who received regular massages also reported higher levels of serotonin.

The bottom line? Massage will improve your mood.

2. Sunlight -  good old fashioned sunlight. Now too much UV light is a bad thing, but some UV light, which gets absorbed through the skin is crucial to

Sunlight serotonin

Sunlight boosts serotonin levels

producing vitamin D which in turn is essential to producing serotonin.

Experiments in rats have shown that bright sunlight correlated to the rate of production of serotonin in the brain. Further, when serotonin is released it is then scooped by reuptake cells in the synapses, and this seems to occur faster in the darker months of Autumn and Winter when there is less bright UV light around. It is this transporter (the one that scoops up the serotonin) that is blocked by anti depressants with the aim to increase the amount and duration of serotonin in the neurons synapses. Getting enough bright UV sunlight can have a similar effect. Further, there is an argument to get your bright light hit during day light hours.. bright light at night blocks the conversion of serotonin into melatonin which in turn prevents you from getting a good nights sleep (and this is all about feeling good.)

3. Exercise - there have been many studies that have shown serotonin levels

Exercise serotonin

Moderate mood swings with exercise

are boosted by exercise, specifically aerobic exercise. Feel good after working out? Feel more emotionally balanced and stable? An increase in serotonin maybe the cause of you feeling so good after your work out. Yoga has also been shown to boost serotonin levels as well.

There is one downside though, for the serotonin boost to work, you need to want to exercise. If you feel pressured into doing it you may not get the same serotonin boost as your gym junkie friends (and doesn’t that suck!). And here is the catch 22, you may not feel like exercising because you have low serotonin levels and you may not exercise regularly because your serotonin is low. The key is to do it regularly (yes, we know, that can be really hard) so that it doesn’t feel like an imposition but just part of your normal routine and your serotonin levels don’t drop so low its hard to get the exercise regime kick started.

4. Remember things that make you happy - thinking back over things

Happy memories and serotonin

Happy memories can also modulate mood swings and increase attention

that in the past have made you happy, or happy events you have shared with friends, lovers or family, is a great way to boost your serotonin levels. Plus it comes with the bonus of being free and really involving very little effort.

This has been shown to increase serotonin levels in the area of the brain responsible for attention. Studies have also shown that remembering sad or negative events have the opposite effect, reducing serotonin in this region and allowing you to become more distracted. The best thing about remembering times when you were happy has a double effect .. increasing serotonin plus also reducing that amount of times you remember negative events. This can be hard if you are depressed or in a downward spiral, it can be particularly hard to remember happy events when you are feeling down. One of the biggest negative effects of depression is that depressed people find it difficult to remember when they were happy or find it difficult to remember the happy events. If this is the case, looking back over happy photos or calling a friend or family member to reminisce about happier times can help stimulate serotonin production in the brain.

So there you have it! Massage, sunshine, a little regular exercise and savouring the good times of the past can help you keep your moods constant and your serotonin levels boosted.

Like to know more about Ripple Massage? We are on 0438 567 906 or check us out online at https://www.ripplemassage.com.au

 

 

 

 

Ten surprising ways massage can improve your life

February 10th, 2015 by Alison Shaw

Ten surprising ways massage can improve your life

  1. Reduces stress - Perhaps the biggest  studied effect of massage is that it reduces cortisol levels in the blood  Cortisol is the
    Affect of massage on cortisol

    Massage can reduce cortisol

    stress hormone released when the body and mind are under pressure. One recent study indicated that the reduction in this hormone is directly linked to affects of stress. So the reduction in stress comes not just from taking time out or relaxing, but a the physiological effects of reducing this hormone in the body by massage.

  2. Immune system - studies have also shown that massage can also increase immune cells in the body such as lymphocytes
  3. Oxytocin is increased - this is the “cuddle hormone” often released in new mothers to bond with babies and also during orgasm. It is the bonding hormone that helps.
  4. Enhances growth, especially amongst infants and premature babies. There is now a significant body of research showing the power of touch to infants and how essential this is for their growth. Initial studies in rat babies showed a decrease in growth hormones when removed from their mothers. When the babies received simulated licking that mimicked the touch and stroking of the mother, the growth hormone levels rose again. These also showed less cortisol during the periods of being touched by their mothers as well. This has transferred to the human sphere, where premature babies also show lower levels of cortisol when massaged. Further studies have shown that premature babies put on more weight (up to 45% more) when they receive regular Swedish massage than those who don’t. These babies also scored better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale and displayed more normal levels of norephrenine compared to those babies who did not receive the treatment. There were similar positive results for babies of cocaine addicted mothers and also those with HIV positive mothers.
  5. Full term babies also benefit from massage, in not only weight gain but also memory – one study compared
    Massage effects during pregnancy

    Massage effects during pregnancy

    babies who were massaged as opposed to being rocked. The massaged babies had lower cortisol levels indicating lower stress, and also better sleep patterns, suggesting that massaging as opposed to rocking might help better with settling babies. Full term babies who were massaged also gained more weight, it seems because of an increase in food absorbing hormones such as insulin from the massage, not because they were eating more calories. There is also some evidence to suggest that a baby’s memory is also improved with massage, with one study showing that babies that were massaged scored higher on the Bayley Scales for Infant Development in the mental capacity than a control group.

  6. Reduces anxiety and depression during pregnancy - because massage reduces cortisol, whilst simultaneously increasing dopamine, it can reduce anxiety and depression during pregnancy. One study indicated that pregnant women who received regular massages, as opposed to a control group of pregnant women who received relaxation therapy, showed lower levels of cortisol, lower levels of anxiety and depression, had less pregnancy pain, less sleep disturbances and lower levels of postnatal complications. As massage increases oxytocin, it can also be beneficial for inducing labour and helping labour progression.
  7. Helps with severe pain and reducing pain, not just of the muscles - massage has been shown to reduce anxiety in burns patients about to undergo painful treatments, and also in the perception of patients with post operative pain.
  8. Fibromyalgia, lower back pain, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis pain – several studies have supported the idea that these three conditions in particular are assisted by massage therapy in reducing pain, anxiety and depression. In some of these studies, there was an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels.
  9. Reduces depression and anxiety – many studies have indicated that massage can increase dopamine and serotonin and show reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.

Relaxation massage can be booked through Ripple Massage across Australia on 0438 567 906.

 

15 Easy Get in Shape Tips for the New Year

January 10th, 2015 by Alison Shaw

It’s the New Year, and it seems like most people’s New Years Resolutions are to get in shape.

Here are 15 super quick and easy ways …

1. Work out in the morning - its too easy at the end of a long day to put off working out. Make it your first priority and it kind of

Get in shape with quick tips

Get in shape with quick tips

sets the tone for the rest of the day. Thinking about indulging in that chocolate cake at lunchtime? The thought of the run you did that morning might stop you!

2. Portion control - buy smaller bowls and plates. Like to instantly reduce the amount you eat? If you have smaller dishes then you automatically will reduce your portion size. Tapas style dining is also a great way to eat beautiful food but with smaller sizes.

3. Get enough sleep .. studies have shown that getting enough sleep is an important step to weight loss. Being tired is a real disincentive to eating well and exercising. Turn off your phone, set a bedtime, remove any TV or other distraction from the bedroom and allow your body to get the full rest it needs.

4. Don’t aim to be perfect - having unrealistic aims is a really great way to act as a disincentive for eating well and losing weight, and a good excuse to blow out (“I didn’t lose the two kilos I wanted this week so I’ll have that piece of cheesecake). Set realistic goals for weight and exercise and concentrate on meeting just those. If you do more then fantastic, but don’t try to conquer Everest in one day.Make keeping your resolutions easier

5. Do exercise that is fun. I don’t particularly enjoy treadmill running, so I don’t do it! But swim in the ocean or run along the beach, yep, love that. Pick stuff that you love doing and do it consistently. You will be more likely to get up and do your exercise first thing, and also more likely to get that positive buzz from doing

6. Try to do some exercise every day – habits make exercising and eating well easy. NASA research has shown that by consistently doing the same one thing every day for 30 days a habit is formed that is easier to maintain. The trick however is to do it every day, skip a day and you go back to the beginning of the 30 day count.

7. Change one thing - yep, instead of trying to totally transforming your eating and exercising habits all at once, just try changing one small thing. When that becomes embedded, then add the next thing. So it might be that you stop drinking diet drinks (which by the way make you fat) and do that for month until it becomes a habit, then tackle the next thing. Slowly, you build sustainable weight loss.images (18)

8. Work out with a friend or in a group. Much harder to not go to the gym when you are organised to go with someone else. Plus it can make the exercising a whole lot more fun. Or take up a team sport where the team relies on you to show up.

9. If you have to, try distraction. I don’t really like working out on the treadmill, but am happy to do it if I have some load rock music on my ipod or my favourite tv show on the tv in front of me. It makes the time go a lot quicker and before long my work out has finished. An added bonus is if my show hasn’t finished yet I will keep working out until it does.

10. Lift weights - great for women particularly to reduce osteoporosis and to define the body. Weights really shape your body, and even if the scales don’t shift, your body image will, giving you a great confidence boost.

11. Use your friends on social media to encourage you and to keep you on track. Put up on facebook, or whichever social medium you use, that you are starting an exercise routine or trying to lose weight, and post up your results or pics or whatever you like on a weekly basis. The positive feedback you will get from your friends will really help keep you motivated and will help you stay accountable.10603295_10152392219805966_3800740588870309098_n

12. Try to eat clean (as the expression goes) but don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Most people who have successfully lost weight have eaten stuff that isn’t “clean” or healthy. But instead of using that as an excuse for a blow out and to stop trying altogether they forgive themselves and start again. Try not to use all or nothing thinking .. that is “today I will only eat healthy food” and if you have a biscuit then give up all together. Try to practice loving kindness for your self, forgive yourself for any small slip ups and keep on track.

13. Eat the healthy stuff first. A simple trick, if you are having a meal, eat the healthy stuff first, like the salad, and leave the white bread roll till the end. Make sure you drink lots of water during the meal. Sometimes, you might be so full by the end of the healthy stuff you might not want to eat the stuff that isn’t so healthy. Eat the meat and vegetables first, the cheese potato last. Don’t deny yourself the rest but just leave it to last.

14. Keep a food diary if it helps you. This can help you keep track of the mindless eating (for example that bag of nuts while you are driving, or the orange juice while watching TV). If you can try not to eat and do something else at the same time, concentrate just on the food that is in front of you and savour every mouthful. This can be difficult for someone with an eating disorder or who uses food emotionally. Try it for at least one meal a day and gradually increase.

15. Do stuff that makes you feel sexy. Yep, celebrate your body and all that makes it feel good. Buy some new lingerie or do something that makes you feel alive.

Bonus tip – pamper yourself when you reach your milestones. Reward yourself the healthy way with a massage, a weekend away, nail treatment, shopping day or anything else to spoil yourself.

Christmas Stress Busters – top 14 tips to deal with stress

December 23rd, 2014 by Alison Shaw

Christmas Stress Busters

Top 14 tips to deal with holiday stress

1. Take time out - when the craziness of doing stuff and getting stuff done is getting on top of you, take a half hour breather.

Top tips for reducing stress

Reduce stress this Christmas

Whether its just getting outside and sitting in the sunshine or taking a walk, mini breaks will help you keep your sanity.

2. Scale it back - Christmas does not have to be a massive affair. Stick to just the main “must-dos” and scale back demands from others that you don’t have to do.

3. Balance doing things for other people with doing things for yourself - all those things that others expect you to do, keep them to a minimum, then every time you do something for someone else, do something nice for yourself (like some Christmas pampering!).

4. Put on your rose coloured glasses and try to look for the best in those around you. They are probably under just as much stress as you, so with those minor slip ups or moments of tension, try to let them slip on by.

5. Make exercise a priority – one of the best stress busters is exercise. Either working out at the gym or taking a long walk on the beach, try to find time to make it a regular thing. Put it on your Christmas to do list.

Christmas massage

Self care this Christmas

6. Try to eat healthy foods (well at least semi healthy!). Your body needs nourishment .. fill it with sugar and alcohol and not much else then your body will become unbalanced and under nourished and will lead to greater stress and cortisol levels. Nutrition directly affects your mood .. make sure you do your best to keep your body at optimal calm.

7. Try not to let Christmas be a time to excessively indulge… feel free to indulge but try to not go too overboard. Your holiday season will be much more enjoyable if its not seen through the haze of a hangover.

8. Why not try some tried and true stress relievers? Meditation is a great way to have a psychological holiday and escape for a moment from the stress of the holiday season. Even ten minutes will make a big difference to your state of calm. Or try mindfulness, where instead of fighting against stress or negative thoughts, you instead just sit with them. Acknowledge they are there and just let them sit within you. Looking at them like a third party helps take the heat out of many negative emotions.

Stress busters this Christmas

You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf

9. Sleep, sweet sleep. It’s easy to cut down on sleep to try to fit everything else in, but this is dangerous territory. Sleep is essential to physical and psychological well being. Try to make it the full 8 hours, and leave the tv in the bedroom off. Guard your sleep and make sure that during the stressful lead up to Christmas you get enough good quality, uninterrupted sleep. Your body and mind will thank you.

10. Massage - massage has been shown to be one of the best ways to reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone. If your body is running on empty, schedule in some time to relax, switch off your brain, and relax your body. As your body relaxes so will your brain.

12. Savouring - one of the easiest ways to take a mini break and live in the moment. Once a day, consciously stop to savour something beautiful. It could be as easy as stopping to really take in the scent of a flower (yes really stop and smell the roses!) or sitting under a big blue sky in the sun, soaking up the warmth, or even really savouring a great meal (even if its just a gorgeous ripe mango).

Relax these holidays

Christmas spa voucher from Ripple

13. Gratitude - writing down each morning five things that you are grateful (even something as simple as “waking up this morning”) has been shown to be very effective in increasing positive affect.

14. Asking for help - Struggling to get everything done? Feeling overwhelmed? Call on those near you to help you out. Those people with good social networks often are less stressed and happier than those without. Use them this holiday season if you are feeling that things are getting on top of you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or outsource things that you can get others to do so you can enjoy the holiday season.

Like to know more? Give us a buzz on 0438 567 906 or book your favourite holiday stress buster online at www.ripplemassage.com.au

 

Happiness – 16 ways to become happier

December 20th, 2014 by Alison Shaw

Happy

16 ways to become happier

1. Savoring – studies have shown that really relishing a moment, taking it all in, taking

How to be happy

16 steps to Happiness

a breath and sitting in the moment with whatever is wonderful, is an easy way to happiness. It also promotes positive coping. It can be something as simple as looking up at the sky for 30 seconds in wonderment and taking in the sunshine.

2. Give others a break (and yourself!). Everyone screws up. So when someone makes a mistake (including you) practice being gentle and kind and forgiving instead of judgemental. Practice loving kindness with yourself too, give yourself a break.

3. Be realistic in your thinking. Instead of aiming for happiness, try being realistic

Happiness through connection

Happiness through connection

in your thinking. The brain has a tendency towards a negativity bias and negative events will often be remembered more sharply than the positive ones. So if something unpleasant happens, try to challenge being negative about it. Ask yourself “Does this really matter?”, “Is it really as bad as I think?”.

4. Connection really is what its all about. The human brain is wired to be social and it is a fundamental source of happiness and psychological well being to connect with other people. Even if you are an introvert, be mindful of connecting with others.

5. Be proactive in resolving conflicts. If conflicts arise it is helpful to be proactive in finding solutions and resolving them instead of letting them fester. You can do this with kindness without letting others take advantage of you.

6. Love yourself and your body. your body works hard to give you the life you have. Recognize what it does for you and you take care of it. Show it kindness and attention through eating well, exercising and perhaps some pampering.

Love your body

Happiness through self care

7. Gratitude and thanks – There is a significant body of research that supports the idea that being grateful and thankful for what you have increases positive affect (that is, happiness). Write down five things that happened to you today that you are grateful for.

8. Focus on the positive and try to let go of the negative. – Our brains through evolution are wired to concentrate on the negative. When starting to get overwhelmed with negativity, try to proactively look for the good in your life. To really make this effective, on a daily basis write down give positive things and five things you are grateful for. An easy habit that can immediately increase your happiness.

9. Take a holiday in your hometown. You don’t have to go on holidays to have one. You can try out new experiences close to home. Novel experiences will often increase happiness. Don’t wait till your vacation, you can do it this weekend.

10. Fake it till you make it. If you are feeling down, try smiling. Even better try smiling in the mirror. The brain will get signals that if you fake a happy exterior you may in fact be happy and will release dopamine in the brain

11. Fun. Is that one your daily to do list? If not you need to put it there. Laugh, have fun, do things that you enjoy. Happiness will often follow.

Are you having fun today?

Are you having fun?

12. Spend money on experiences, not stuff. Money can’t necessarily buy you happiness, but if you spend your money on new experiences, connecting with other people, instead of more stuff. you are more likely to experience happiness.

13. De clutter – clutter and having too much stuff can make you stressful. Strip down your life and your possessions to those things that really make you happy. Overloading on stuff and activity can mean that the things that you really do love can get missed in the clutter

14. Stop comparing yourself to others. Besides what you see on the outside in people is often different to what is really going on in their lives. Just concentrate on yourself, your family and friends and what is important to you.

15. Find meaning in your life and follow it .. happiness follows living a meaningful life.

16. Give - Altruism has been shown over many studies to be a quick trip to happiness.

And a final free tip… relax, de-stress and take some time to be in this moment.

Aloha … Ali